American Go E-Journal

Fabulous NAMT Online Qualifier Set for June 7-8

Friday May 16, 2014

The first online North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2014 season will be held on June 7-8. The tournament has been dubbed “Age of the Fabulist” by organizer Karoline Burrall, “to celebrate the birth of Jean de la Fontaine (right), a French author of fables, or a fabulist, on June 8, 1621.” Click here for details and schedule, as well as the link to registration, or click here to register directly. Players must be eligible for NAMT and register by Wednesday June 4th 2014. All participants will earn points towards NAMT qualification, which this year means eligibility for the 9-round US Invitational event at the US Go Congress. NAMT qualified players are eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes at this tournament. Click here to see current NAMT points standings. “Players may wish to keep in mind the proverb from one of de la Fontaine’s fables, Burrall suggests. “’En toute chose il faut considérer la fin,’ or “In all things, one must consider the end.” It is not known whether Mr. de la Fontaine was a go player.

Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA City League Round 5 Finals Set for Saturday

Thursday May 15, 2014

Play in the fifth round of the AGA City League is set for this Saturday, May 17, to determine which two teams will meet at the Pandanet City League Finals in New York City at the US Go Congress. As previously reported (Canwa Vancouver 1, Chicago & Katy TX 1 Lead AGA City League After 4th Round 5/7 EJ), Canwa Vancouver 1 is leading the A League, with Seattle 1 and Greater Washington hot on their heels. Chicago is leading the B League with NY City their only contender and Katy TX 1 leads the C League.

Catch the action live on game day at 3p EST on Pandanet using the new GoPanda2 software. Games will be played in the AGA City League room. See below for current standings. 

Round 5
A League – FINALS
B League – FINALS
C League

 

Wired Magazine on “The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win”

Tuesday May 13, 2014

“Rémi Coulom is sitting in a rolling desk chair, hunched over a battered Macbook laptop, hoping it will do something no machine has ever done.” So begins Alan Levinovitz’s thorough report on the current state of computer go in Wired Magazine – The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win – published May 12. Levinovitz covered this year’s UEC Cup, the computer Go tournament held each March that rewards two finalists with matches against a “Go sage” in the Densei-sen, or machine-versus-man matches. The Wired report covers the history of computer go, name-checking Einstein, Turing and Nash, includes an excellent explanation of the game’s branching problem and explains how the development of Monte Carlo Tree Search enabled the latest breakthroughs in computer go, in which Coulom’s Crazy Stone program won the first Densei-sen last year against Japanese professional Yoshio “The Computer” Ishida. American-born pro Michael Redmond — a regular EJ contributor — makes an appearance in the report as the commentator at the UEC Cup. Levinovitz does a good job demystifying computer go, as well, writing that the view that go is “the final bastion of human dominance over computers” is “deeply misguided.” Levinovitz points out that “computers can’t ‘win’ at anything, not until they can experience real joy in victory and sadness in defeat, a programming challenge that makes Go look like tic-tac-toe. Computer Go matches aren’t the brain’s last stand. Rather, they help show just how far machines have to go before achieving something akin to true human intelligence.”
photo: Remi Coulom (left) and his computer program, Crazy Stone, take on grandmaster Norimoto Yoda. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED. Thanks to the many EJ readers who quickly spotted this report and passed it along. 

Categories: Go Spotting,Japan,World
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Go Quiz Clarification

Tuesday May 13, 2014

The answer to this week’s quiz is not in the title of the four cartoons listed in this week’s quiz; actually, the title of our piece of New York Go history, is referenced in one of these shows: “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Still a tough one, but I hope this helps. Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA 

Categories: Go Quiz
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Problem Of The Week: Classic for a Reason

Tuesday May 13, 2014

This study comes from Xuan Xuan QiJing, a 14th century work, which may be the most copied problem set in go.  Black plays.  The odd nature of the correct move sequence may throw off some stronger players, so that weaker players may actually find the solution faster! Click here to see the solution.
A new problem appears every Monday morning. And for archived problems click here.
- Myron Souris, POTW Editor

US Go Congress Announces New Logo & Contest

Monday May 12, 2014

The US Go Congress has a brand-new logo (right), and to celebrate, organizers are holding a contest. The logo was designed by Michael Samuel, a go player and graphic designer whose work includes logos for The History Channel, Sears, Hillary Clinton, and both the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center. The logo features a classic go problem in which the enclosed white stone must escape: all registered players who submit a complete and correct solution to the problem will be entered into a pool, “and one lucky player will win $50 off their Go Congress registration fee,” says Congress Director Matthew Hershberger. Solutions must be emailed to registrar@gocongress.org before the end of May. “At first glance it may seem impossible, but don’t give up!” Hershberger adds.

Club News: Evanston Boosts Tourney Turn-Out; Austin Hosts May Tourney

Monday May 12, 2014

Evanston Boosts Tourney Turn-Out: The Evanston Go Club held its regular quarterly tournament on May 10, with 22 players attending. Players ranged from beginner to 6 dan.  Albert Yen took the dan prize with a 4-0 record, Nathan Chan dominated the single-digit kyu division with a 4-1 record, and new-comer Mary Skolnik, playing in her first tournament, won the double-digit kyus at 4-1. “We tried something a little different this time.”, said TD Mark Rubenstein. “In an effort to get more participants, we offered free attendance to anyone who had not been to one of our tournaments in the last 16 months. And in an effort to boost attendance at our weekly club, we also offered free entry to anyone who came to three club meetings before the tournament. Of the 22 players, 9 were first-time attendees, so we think we are onto something. Since there was less money available prizes, books were given instead. Many thanks to Bob Barber for donating the entire 6-volume set of Yilun Yang’s Workshop Lectures series.”
photo: Albert Yen, 6 dan plays teaching games with Teddy Garrison and Emily No, both 25k.

Austin Hosts May Tourney: Sixteen players participated in the “May…you win” tournament held in Austin, TX on May 10th. Players came from as far away as Houston and Dallas to participate in this 4-round handicap tournament held at Great Hall Games, which hosts the Austin Go Club every Tuesday night. Gift certificates were awarded to 5 players who each had 3 wins: Michael Ruiz 1K (3-0); John Zhang 4D (3-1); Andy Olsen 3D (3-1); JT Jackson 8K (3-1); Kyle Highful 13K (3-1).

Go Quiz: New York’s Go History Mystery

Monday May 12, 2014

LICENSE TO FILL the US Open Field.  Respondents were evenly split between Tacoma ’05, Lancaster ’07, and Washington ’09 but Lancaster is the correct response with 379 players in the US Open field, second was Washington with 364.  Lisa Scott explained her reasons for her correct answer: “I had expected Portland, since Portland had the largest number of registered people in total, but Lancaster was a close second.” While overall attendance has been somewhat lower, the percentage of non-players has gone up of late, explaining the “ancient” leader.  Last year’s Congress had an open field of 285.  So, the gauntlet is thrown down for New York to make us proud.   Congrats to this week’s winner, Steven Burrall of Elk Grove, CA, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.

This Week’s Quiz: This week’s quiz focuses on the proud history of the beginnings of go in New York City, but your only clue is that the particular history I have in mind is referenced in what old television cartoon show? Is it “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”? Your quizmaster remains convinced that the players of this fascinating game are up for the most obscure challenge and while I really hope someone impresses me with the correct answer, please feel free to make up something creative for me to share. Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA

Categories: Go Quiz
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Nominations Open for 2014 AGA Board Elections

Saturday May 10, 2014

Four American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, including the three regional seats and the At-Large seat. Broad authority for organizational decisions and management throughout the year resides with the AGA Board, which selects the President. The current terms of office expire this September. Nominations may be made by full AGA members for the At-Large seat and the regional seat in which the member resides and must be received by June 15. Nominations and questions must be emailed to elections@usgo.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Ge Bei Lead UK Challenger; Chris Volk Wins Bar-Low

Saturday May 10, 2014

The Candidates’ Tournament, first stage in the British Championship, was held over the bank holiday weekend, Saturday May 3 – Monday May 5, with Ge Bei 6d (right) of no club winning all six rounds. Ge has previously been British Champion two years running after displacing longtime champ Matthew Macfadyen 6d in 2006. Reigning champion Andrew Kay 5d – who once again this year waived his right to bypass this event – placed second, losing only to Ge. The top eight will now contest a Challengers’ League, to be played next bank holiday weekend in London, to decide the two finalists. The other six challengers are: Alex Kent 2d, Boris Mitrovic 2d, Sandy Taylor 2d, Des Cann 5d, Tim Hunt 3d and Bruno Poltronieri 3d. Alistair Wall 4d is reserve. The event was organized by Bruno Poltronieri on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) at Warwick University in the Midlands of England. Click here for full results.

The Bar-Low Tournament, traditionally held the same weekend, was also played at Warwick alongside the Candidates’ on Sunday May 4 and was won by Chris Volk 1k of Reading, with Ben Ellis 3k of Milton Keynes runner-up. Click here for full results.

Click here to see Tanaka Kiyohiko’s (placed 10=) photo journal of the Candidates’ Tournament.

Report by Tony Collman, from reports (Candidates’ , Bar-Low) and other sources on the BGA website; photo (cropped): Ge Bei plays Harry Fearnley 2d in round one, by Tanaka Kiyohiko