American Go E-Journal

Brian’s Go Photo: Go Players Hit the Beach

Thursday August 4, 2011

Go players at the U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA enjoyed the nearby beach, sunshine, a light breeze, perfect temperatures — and of course a game of go — on Wednesday, the traditional Congress mid-week rest day. Other beach-going go players watched porpoises, sea lions, and pelicans diving for fish.
- photo: Congress Director Lisa Scott (l) enjoys a rare moment of relaxation; photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Shusaku Number, Corrected

Thursday August 4, 2011

In our recent “Shusaku Number ” article (What’s Your “Shusaku Number?”), we mistakenly reported that Hoensha founder Honinbo Shuho faced Shusaku in four of the “Castle Games.” Shuho actually never had the chance to play in those matchups. However, records of 38 games between the two masters have been preserved. The oldest dates from 1850, when Shuho was just twelve years old; most notable is the ten-game series (jubango) that Shuho and Shusaku played in 1861. In that series, playing mostly Black with no komi, Shuho managed six victories and one tie. For more details including copious historical material and several commented game records, you can consult Invincible: The Games of Shusaku,  generally regarded as one of the most important go books to ever appear in English.
- Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America
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Phil’s Portraits: Familiar Faces

Wednesday August 3, 2011

Tuesday’s gallery of photos from EJ photog Phil Straus:

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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PRO GAME COMMENTARY: NAIM Round 2, Board 4: Maeda & Shen on Hu-Chen

Wednesday August 3, 2011

2011 US Go Congress
North American Masters Tournament
Round 2 Board 4

[link]

W: ZiYang Hu 1p
b: ZhaoNian Chen (Mike) 7d
Commentary by Maeda Ryo 6P, Jennie Shen 2P, transcribed by Chris Garlock
Recorded by Solomon Smilack

Pandanet-IGS Announces New Client

Wednesday August 3, 2011

Next February, IGS (the Internet Go Server) will be twenty years old. In those two decades, IGS has gone through many major changes, especially since it was acquired by Pandanet. These days, in addition to hosting hundreds of players at any hour of the day or night,  IGS simulcasts many major tournaments, attracting as many as 1,500 online observers, hosts two of its own online events (The Pandanet Cup and the Cho Chikun Tournament.)  On Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Go Congress, nearly forty Congress attendees gathered for a presentation from Pandanet-IGS on the latest upgrade.IGS President Hiroko Taki (in E-Journal hat and Pandanet t-shirt in photo) and Pandanet staffers Hidekazu Hirai and Keiko Sota , who had traveled from Japan announce that PandaGo, a new, improved, Java-based client, was released in April. They also noted that a client, Tetsuki,  is available for the iPod/iPhone/iPad, a feature not currently available from KGS, the other server prominently used by Western players. Click here or here to view a Tetsuki video that Mr. Hirai and Ms.Sota presented.  A client for the Android is scheduled to roll out in November. A general discussion of IGS followed; players were especially interested in the ranking system. AGA International Liaison Thomas Hsiang explained that the system is extremely transparent, and is explained at length here. It’s a conservative system, moving slowly through a large numbers of grades – each level is split in half, so for instance a 3K must earn their way to 3K+ before advancing to 2K. Grades tend to run about 3 ranks below AGA ratings. Attendees were also interested to know how IGS handles the problem of “escapers.” Mr. Hirai responded that players who log off their games forfeit within five minutes. A bug that currently boots iPhone users offline when their phone rings is being fixed. With 75,000 active users, Pandanet-IGS hopes to attract more interest from Western players and urged online players to take the new clients out for a test drive, and write to developer@pandanet-igs.com with comments and suggestions.
- Roy Laird; photo by Phil Straus

Zen, Go bot and The Daily

Wednesday August 3, 2011

“A recent victory for a program called ‘Zen’ — which last month beat a highly ranked amateur player from Taiwan — has the Go programmer community buzzing,” reported Benjamin Carlson in the July 31 edition of The Daily. Carlson notes that “In games ranging from chess to ‘Jeopardy!’ powerful computers are making short work of human champions — with one notable exception.” “Can this be a turning point in the history of Go?” asked Zen co-creator Hideki Kato in a Go forum after the victorious results. The “Go bot” story — which discusses recent advances in go and AI through Monte Carlo Tree Search — goes on to quote Jie Li 7D, who calls go “one of the most artistic board games” as well as go programmer David Fotland, who says ““It’s so hard to look at a position and figure out who is winning.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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Brian’s Go Photo: Outdoor Lesson with Yilun Yang 7P

Wednesday August 3, 2011

Brian’s Go Photo: Li Ting from the Kansai Kiin

Wednesday August 3, 2011

Living in the corner for double digit kyu players.  Prizes were joseki handkerchiefs from Kansai Kiin. photo by Brian Allen

Brian’s Go Photo: Jennie Shen 2P Game Analysis

Wednesday August 3, 2011

Tuesday afternoon (August 2) at the U.S. Go Congress. photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Congress Game Records Posted

Wednesday August 3, 2011

If you haven’t had a chance to catch any of the live broadcasts from the ongoing U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA — and even if you have — check out the wealth of game commentaries and game records we’ve posted online:

Tournament Crosstabs:

Game Reviews:

US Open
Round 1 Board 1 reviewed by Mingjiu Jiang
Round 2 Board 1 reviewed by Maeda Ryo
Round 2 Board 2 reviewed by Li Ting and Maeda Ryo
Round 3 board 1 reviewed by Jennie Shen

North American Masters’ Tournament

Round 1 Board 1 reviewed by Hajin Lee
Round 2 Board 1 reviewed by Li Ting and Maeda Ryo
Round 2 Board 4 reviewed by Jennie Shen and Maeda Ryo

Redmond Cup
Round 1 Senior Division by Curtis Tang

Pair Go Tournament

Round 1 Board 1 – Hugh Zhang & Jasmine Yan vs Aaron Ye & April Ye
Round 1 Board 2 – Dae Hyuk Ko & Wan Chen vs Patrick Allen & Lisa Scott
Round 2 Board 1 – Yuan Zhou & Roxanne Tam vs Hugh Zhang & Jasmine Yan
Round 2 Board 2 – Dae Hyuk Ko & Wan Chen vs Lionel Zhang & Amy Su

photos: Ryo Maeda & Jennie Shen comment a North American Masters game (top right); Pandanet President Hiroko Taki & AGA IGF VP for International Affairs at Tuesday night’s Pair Go Tournament; photos by Steve Colburn