American Go E-Journal

The Power Report (2 of 2): Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors; Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei

Saturday November 11, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.10_Rin Kaiho

Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors:
Rin Kaiho (Lin Haifeng) 9P has been awarded a decoration by the Japanese government in the autumn honors. Rin (right) was one of the top players in the second half of the 20th century. He has scored 1400 wins as a professional, behind only Cho Chikun, and has won 35 titles, including the Meijin eight times, the Honinbo and Tengen five times each (he is Honorary Tengen), and the Oza, Judan, and Gosei once each. He is a disciple of Go Seigen, who received the same decoration, and has many Taiwanese disciples (though born in Shanghai in 1942, he is a citizen of Taiwan), including Cho U. The success for which Rin is best remembered is defeating Sakata Eio, 2017.11.10_Ichiriki L Yamashita Rconsidered almost invincible at the time, and becoming Meijin at the age of 23, then a youth record. Twenty-six Nihon Ki-in players have received a total of 37 decorations.

Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 42nd Kisei title was held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Taking white, Ichiriki Ryo (left), the winner of the S League, defeated Yamashita Keigo 9P (right), second in the same league, by resignation after 216 moves. As the S League winner, Ichiriki starts the play-off with a one-win advantage, so this win made him 2-0 and made him the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei. That means that the two will meet in three successive title matches, making a super-series best-of-17 (a minimum of ten games will be played). Ichiriki is the youngest player to challenge for the Kisei title. Becoming the challenger earned him promotion to 8-dan (as of (November 10). The first game of the title match will be played on January 18 and 19.

Promotion: To 2-dan: Hirose Yuichi (30 wins, as of Nov. 3)

Correction: this post has been updated to reflect the fact that Rin Kaiho has born in 1942, not 1952. 

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 15: New, different and possibly bad

Friday November 10, 2017

“I don’t like to call it weird, but in this game we’re going to see some new and different stuff that AlphaGo is doing with the joseki that I don’t 2017.11.10_ag-ag-thumb-15really understand and I don’t like it,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his commentary on Game 15. “It’ll be interesting to see if eventually I change my mind, but for now I’m going to say it’s a bad move.” Redmond adds that “We’ll also see another typical AlphaGo move later in the game that’s pretty exciting too.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. Click here for a playlist of all the Redmond AG commentaries.

And keep an eye out here and on the AGA YouTube channel for the launch of Redmond’s commentaries on the AlphaGo Zero-Master games, coming very soon!

The Game 15 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.


The Power Report (1 of 2): Shibano sets Meijin League record; 73rd Honinbo League; Xie takes lead in Women’s Honinbo

Friday November 10, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.10_Ichiriki right

Shibano sets Meijin League record:
The play-offs to decide the vacant seats in the 43rd Meijin League were held at three different venues on November 2. Usually games are played on the home ground of the senior player; by coincidence, all three play-offs featured members of the same institution, so no one had to travel. In Nagoya, at the Central Japan headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in, Hane Naoki, who was bounced out of the previous league, was matched against a fellow Nagoya player, Hirata Tomoya 7P. The latter was seeking to make a comeback after a gap of one term. Taking white, Hane won by resignation; he will play in his ninth league. This is the third year in a row Hane has regained his seat immediately after dropping out. In Osaka, the Kansai Ki-in players Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P and Yuki Satoshi 9P were competing for a place. Taking black, Yo won by resignation. There was a big contrast in form between these two. Yo was leading the lists for most wins, best winning percentage and most games played at the Kansai Ki-in by a long way. Yuki has been the main title contender at the Kansai Ki-in for more than a decade, but this year, regardless results in games still to be played, he has lost a majority of his games for the first time in his career. This difference was reflected in the result: taking black, Yo won by resignation.

2017.11.10_Xie takes leadThe most spectacular pairing was in Tokyo, with the two hottest stars of the post-Iyama generation playing each other. Ichiriki Ryo (above, right) turned 20 on June 10; Shibano Toramaru turned 18 on November 9. Ichiriki won last year’s Ryusei tournament and is at present challenging Iyama Yuta for the Oza and Tengen titles. Shibano won this year’s Ryusei tournament in August, then in September set a record for the youngest player to win a seat in the Honinbo League. In August, however, he lost the play-off to decide the Oza challenger to Ichiriki. In the play-off for the Meijin League seat, Shibano (W) beat Ichiriki by resignation, so he took revenge. In the process he set another record, becoming, at 17 years 11 months, the youngest player to win a seat in the Meijin League.2017.11.10_Old Inn Kaneyu

73rd Honinbo League: The first game of the second round was played on October 2. Ida Atsushi 8P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by 7.5 points. With two wins, Ida has made a good start.

Xie takes lead in Women’s Honinbo: The third game of the 36th Women’s Honinbo title match was played at the Old Inn Kaneyu (at right; “Old” is part of the name) in Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture on October 4. Taking black, Xie Yimin (left), the challenger, beat Fujisawa Rina by resignation after 167 moves. She now leads the match 2-1. The fourth game will be played on November 17.

Tomorrow: Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors; Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei

Categories: John Power Report

The Traveling Board: Painting connects players

Thursday November 9, 2017

“At this year’s U.S. Go Congress in San Diego, I had the pleasure of playing Steve Uhl from Sante Fe, NM (left in picture) in round 2 of the2017.11.07_eric-wainwright-painting Open,” writes Eric Wainwright (right). “We had a very close and exciting game.  Steve had also brought many of his go-related paintings he had created and was showing them to attendees outside the main playing hall.  I found one that would look perfect in my go room and bought it from him.  Steve and his family recently came up to Boulder, CO where we had a friendly rematch in my go room (with his painting overlooking).  And, as luck would have it, we had another close and exciting game.”

In Memoriam: John Goon

Wednesday November 8, 2017

John Goon, a longtime go organizer and tireless promoter of the game, died recently. A memorial will be held on Saturday, November 18, from 2:30 to 5 at a familiar location: Rockville United Church, 355 Linthicum Drive, Rockville, home of2017.11.08_John-Goon-DC-SakuraMatsuri-2014.04 the Friday night gatherings of the Rockville Go & Chess (and lots of other things) Group. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in John’s name to WETA-TV and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “John was one of my first go friends when I started to play go about 35 years ago,” says Haskell Small. “I have fond memories of playing go with John into the wee hours at the Greater Washington Go Club . He worked tirelessly promoting go in our area.”

photo: John Goon (in hat) teaching at the 2014 DC Sakura Matsuri festival

Categories: U.S./North America

Kiseido Holiday Season Sale

Wednesday November 8, 2017

Kiseido is having a holiday season sale, writes Richard Bozulich, with discounts on go books, go boards, and Japanese prints. Shop between now2017.11.07 Yurugi Motoharu and January 6, 2018 for a 10% discount on orders of 4 books or more, or a 15% discount on orders of at least 10 books. Both book offers include free shipping. The company is also offering a selection of Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) on go themes, suitable for framing. Players looking for a top-quality go board with legs may be pleased to find Kiseido’s tenchimasa Kaya board for sale now at about 13% of the regular price.
For more information, visit the company’s new website.

AGA City League Registration opens

Tuesday November 7, 2017

2017.10.03_PANDANETRegistration for the sixth year of the Pandanet AGA City League is upon us. If you are interested please read the rules page and send an email to Registration will close on November 30th.

–Steve Colburn, Tournament TD

Go Spotting: Japanese firefighting jacket

Tuesday November 7, 2017

This 19th-century Japanese firefighting jacket is in the collection at the Seattle Art Museum. “The jacket tells a story from the life of Minamoto2017.11.07_firemans-coat-go-spider-1080px no Yorimitsu (948–1021), a warrior-hero,” according to a recent post on the museum’s blog. “The story is as follows: Yorimitsu was sick, and was resting in bed. He was visited by a priest—but the priest was actually a giant spider (tsuchigumo) in disguise! Yorimitsu, being very clever, sees through the disguise, and attacks the spider with his sword, wounding him. Yorimitsu’s four attendants, called the Four Heavenly Kings, were playing a game of go while guarding him, and leapt up to track the spider back to his den.

This narrative was popular in theatrical productions, and there was a song in Noh theatre specifically about tsuchigumo, the intimidating earth spider. The story appears frequently in woodblock prints in the nineteenth century as well. The jacket shows the moment when the go game was abandoned, with tsuchigumo retreating back to his web. So great was the hurried effort to find the spider that the attendants left behind their personal effects, scattering go pieces in their haste.”

Thanks to Steve Jones for passing this along.

Categories: Uncategorized

Everyone’s a winner at Syracuse Fall Self-Pair

Tuesday November 7, 2017

Eighteen players, ranging in strength from 8 dan to 20 kyu, participated in Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Pair Tournament this past Saturday,2017.11.07 Syracuse1 2017.11.07 Syracuse2November 4. “Every player left as a winner at the end of the day,” says organizer Richard Moseson, “getting to select a new go book from Slate and Shell to take home.” The date for Syracuse Go Club’s annual four-round Salt City Tournament has already been set for Saturday, March 24.

photos by Richard Moseson: (r) Joe Fratianni 11k ponders his move; (l) Wayne Nelson 1k, right, and Allen Noe 1k decide on their new take-home books.
Categories: U.S./North America

Redmond announces new series on AlphaGo Master vs AG Zero

Saturday November 4, 2017

“We were expecting DeepMind to make some sort of an announcement (about a new version of AlphaGo),” says Michael Redmond 9p, “But 802017.11.04_agzupdatethumb games was a big present.” (Self-taught AlphaGo Zero bests all previous versions in record time Redmond discusses AlphaGo Zero with the E-Journal’s Chris Garlock in a brief video announcing the launch of a new series of game commentaries. DeepMind released four sets of games for the self-taught AI, including training games, games against the Fan Hui version, the Lee Sedol version and the Master version, which defeated 60 top human opponents earlier this year. “I’m going to be looking at the games where Master plays Zero, mainly because Master is such a popular version of AlphaGo,” Redmond says. Master’s tactics, including big shimaris and emphasizing the center “people wanted to play, but were afraid because that way of playing is weak in territory. Master showed us some successful ways…and is still having an effect on how professionals play. So it’s going to be really interesting to see Master playing against a stronger version of AlphaGo.”