American Go E-Journal


Monday August 9, 2010

Jonathan Bresler has been appointed Vice President for Ratings of the American Go Association, AGA President Allan Abramson announced. “We’re confident that Jonathan will do an outstanding job in the care and feeding of our ratings system,” Abramson said. “It’s an honor to build on the more than 20 years of work by Paul Matthews, as well as Phil Waldron’s recent updates and work to further integrate the ratings code with the AGA Go Database,” said Bresler. “We now have an updated, open source ratings system downloadable from the ratings website, and Phil’s latest work is the “Provisional Ratings Calculator.”   Bresler says “There are other projects in the works and more in the planning stages: stay tuned!”

Categories: U.S./North America


Saturday August 7, 2010

Myung-Wan Kim 9P repeated as U.S. Open Champion Saturday, sweeping all six games and collecting his third straight Open title. He finished off his perfect run this week with a 161-move win by resignation over Canadian James Sedgwick 6D. His toughest challenge was from Tianyu (Bill) Lin 7d, the Canadian 13-year-old who held a lead for 90 moves in the first round but fell behind after missing a tesuji. Jie Liang 7D and Francis Meyer 7D also gave him a run for the money but were behind on points, while both Yongfe Ge 7D and Eric Lui 7D lost big groups to lose by resignation. The E-Journal’s complete Congress tournament coverage online includes the US Open crosstab and results, including game records, the North American Ing crosstab and results as well as Redmond Cup game records and commented US Open and Ing games. The complete final winner’s reports for all the Congress tournaments will be posted online and in the EJ soon.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock

U.S. GO CONGRESS: Friday Photo Album

Saturday August 7, 2010

photos by Chris Garlock & Andrew Jackson


Saturday August 7, 2010

This game between Ing finalists Eric Lui 7d and Huiren Yang 1P — the first Ing final appearance for both — was projected on two large screens in the main playing area of the 2010 U.S. Go Congress to a crowd of several hundred attendees,while hundreds more watched on KGS: on one screen was the actual game and a cloned game with Hane’s commentary, on the other was a live video feed showing the players. Hane began the game commentary and eventually it was taken over by Maeda and Shigeko; all three — with the able assistance of translators Yoshi Sawada and Shoji Honsono — kept everyone entertained and engaged. At the three-hour mark the two players were still battling it out but the crowd, the commentators and the translators were transfixed, and the detailed commentary continued right through the end of the 4-hour, 3-point marathon game, which didn’t finish until after 11 p.m.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock


2010 North American Ing Masters Tournament
Round 5, Board 1 (Final)
Friday, August 6, 2010
Played at UCCS, Colorado Springs, CO
Broadcast live on the KGS Go Server
W: Eric Lui 7D
B: Huiren Yang 1P
Commentary by Yasumasa Hane 9P, Maeda Ryo 6P & Shigeko Hane 1P
Translation by Yoshi Sawada & Shoji Hosono
Recorded by Solomon Smilack, transcribed by Todd Blatt.
KGS support by Akane Negishi and Matt Heymering
EJ coordination by Chris Garlock and Steve Colburn


Saturday August 7, 2010

Organizing Go Congresses takes a huge amount of hard work by a lot of people who volunteer their time and energy to pull together the annual gathering of hundreds of go players, professionals, go club and AGA volunteers. Here’s a few of the folks who helped make this year’s Go Congress a reality: Karen Jordan, Director; Ken Koester, Co-Director; Deedee Eckles, Pro Coordinator; Paul Barchilon, Youth Coordinator, Redmond Cup & Youth Tournament TD; Jim Michali, Treasurer; Bob Sorenson, Site Manager & Vendor Liaison; Erin Jordan, Registrar; Hal Small, Nakayama Memorial: Steve Colburn, Webmaster; Jon Hilt, web programmer; Cate Harris, Go Congress Book; Carmen Sears, Great Deals Guru; Xingshou Liu, Chinese Translator; Jason Kim, Korean Translator; Yoshi Sawada, Japanese Translator; Sam Zimmerman, Chris Kirschner & Ken Koester, US Open/NAMT Directors; Greg Alexander, Self-Paired TD; Lisa Scott, Women’s Tournament TD; Haskell & Rachel Small, Club Team TDs; Martin Lebl, Midnight Madness & 9×9 TD; Dave Weiss, 13×13 TD; Jim Hlavka, Lightning TD; Terry Benson, Crazy Go. photo (l-r): Karen Jordan, Deedee Eckles, Stan Yamane (Karen’s dad) & Joyce Yamane( Karen’s mom). photo by Chris Garlock


Saturday August 7, 2010

Official E-Journal broadcasting partner KGS tattoos were ubiquitous this week at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress. The temporary tats showed up on the most unexpected people — including Cyberoro and Tygem commentator Seong-Yong Kim 9P and in the most unlikely places, including, according to some reports, some nether regions, but we were unable to get to the bottom of this story.
- photos by Chris Garlock & Steve Colburn


Saturday August 7, 2010

Peter Shotwell, author of Go! More Than a Game, stopped by the U.S. Go Congress Friday evening to talk about some of the updates coming in a new revision of the book due in the next few months.  In the seven years since the publication of the first edition in 2003, Shotwell has done additional research in several areas that will appear in the new edition, including a re-examination of the attitude of Confucians toward go, advances in computer go, the combinatorics of go, and the possible spiritualization of Tibetan go.   It was long presumed that the Confucians did not think very much of the game of go, said Shotwell, identifying it with gambling and laziness, but a better dating of some of the source documents has led him to see an evolution in their thinking — including seeing some value in the game by the time of the last mention.  The Confucian writings were from the third century B.C. but the game was not explained at all, which implies that it was very well known and thus quite old at that time.  The earliest go board that has been found was from 141 B.C.E. in the guardhouse of a Han emperor’s tomb and go was alternately praised and damned in the writings of the Han period.  By the Three Kingdoms period in the third century, go was played by many and by 600 it was getting high praise in poetry.   An archeological find along with a game that Shotwell played in Tibet got him thinking about the connection between spirituality and go in Tibet.  He played with a government official while visiting Tibet and found out that there were some very different rules including only being allowed to move up to one space or a knight’s move from an existing stone, being awarded five points for taking the center, and losing twenty points if you lose all of the corners.  The starting position placed five stones of each color in a pattern on the fourth line around the whole board, which made for a kind of “race to the center.”  Shotwell thinks that these rules may have added a spiritual air to the game, which may have been done to “convince the early Buddhists that this new game from China was OK.” Two stone boards from the seventh century have been found in Tibet since the first edition and interestingly, one of the boards had two depressions on each side, which may indicate that Japanese scoring with prisoners may have been used.

There have been huge advances in computer go since 2003 as well. At that time “any kid could beat the computer programs.”  But, since the advent of Monte Carlo simulations and advances in the tree pruning algorithms in 2006 and 2007, “the top programs are at an amateur 1D level.”  Once in a while, those programs can beat professionals when getting seven stones on the 19×19 board.  On the 9×9 board, some programs are at a mid-level professional strength.  Those programs use a lot of computer power, though, with up to 112 cores allowing them to do 100,000 simulations per second.  Shotwell also pointed out some advances in go combinatorics, which is a branch of probability that studies the number of possible go games or positions.  Two of the more interesting results from studies by Dr. John Tromp compared possible chess positions with that of go: for go it is a 171-digit number whereas for chess it is only 46 digits. Even more astonishing, perhaps, is that just the number of digits in the total number of possible go games is larger than the total number of possible chess games.  Much of that information will be reflected in the new edition of his book, but Shotwell has also contributed numerous essays to AGA’s Bob High Memorial Library.
- Report/photo by Jake Edge


Friday August 6, 2010

Huiren Yang 1P won the North American Ing Masters tournament last night, defeating Eric Lui 7D in a thrilling 3-point 4-hour marathon viewed by a rapt crowd of hundreds at the U.S. Go Congress as well as a worldwide audience that watched commentary by Yasumasa Hane 9P, Shigeko Hane 1P and Ryo Maeda 6P broadcast live on KGS as well as a live video feed of both the Board 1 game and the game commentary. After the game, the board used by the two players – a brand-new 2-inch Korean hiba table board – was signed by the players and pros and will be auctioned off at the Congress Banquet tonight to benefit the American Go Foundation. Click here for complete NAIM results and game records, including the Board 1 final (watch for the commented game to be posted on the website Saturday).
- report by Chris Garlock, photo by Steve Colburn

U.S. GO CONGRESS: Thursday Photo Album

Friday August 6, 2010

photos by Gen Zhang & Edward Zhang


Friday August 6, 2010

Congress-going youth have had an exciting week in the Youth Room, with pro simuls, mini tournaments and prizes, prizes, and more prizes.  Thanks to the generosity of Winston Jen, every kid at the Congress has won a free set of all seventeen volumes of the Hikaru no Go manga.  DVD sets of popular series like Hunter x Hunter and Fruits Basket, piles of Hikaru no Go merchandise, Audio Go Lessons from Guo Juan, and donations from Art of Problem and Wolfram Mathematica rounded out the prize pool as well.  Eight-year-old Aaron Ye 2d (center, in photo at left) enjoyed his game review with Yilun Yang 7p, and so did the crowd that gathered round to watch. Youth also got to play six-on-1 and 8-on-1 simuls with top pros from Korea, China, and Japan.  Mini tournaments were held most days, with prizes for 9×9 table winners, 13×13, and Lightning.  Youth Adult Pair Go remains one of the most popular events, with 44 youth and adults playing this year, paired as one youth and one adult of opposite genders, with a few same-gender pairs thrown in for good measure. The Youth Team Tournament, modeled after Hikaru no Go, was also popular, with nine teams competing.  Top honors went to Keiju Takahara, Oliver Wolf and Takashi Hoshi in the dan division, and Anurag Varma, Albert Hu, and Alvin Hu in the Kyu division. Both teams are playing in the photo at right, while Winston Jen (third from left, standing) observes the match. - Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor, photos by Paul Barchilon (top left) and Chris Garlock (bottom right).