American Go E-Journal

Upcoming European Tournament: European Student Go Championship

Friday July 18, 2014

The European Go Federation, French Go Federation, and Go Seigen Club of Toulouse will host the 2014 European Student Go Championship on September 27 and 28 in Balma, France. Any university student under age 30 that is a citizen of an EGF country is welcome to enter free of charge. The champion will receive EGF sponsorship to participate in the Ing Foundation 2015 Student event at Shanghai including travel (750 EU for plane tickets) and all local costs. Players who register will also enjoy talks by 2013 European Go Champion Fan Hui 2d. To register or for more information including a full schedule and accommodations, visit the official European Student Go Championship website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar

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Your Move/Readers Write: Phil Straus on losing to a computer

Friday July 18, 2014

“I said for decades that I did not think I would ever be beaten by a computer playing go,” writes Phil Straus 2D in response to Go Spotting: IEEE Spectrum 7/16 EJ. “I was wrong. I was first beaten by a computer program on KGS sometime in the last two years. Laurence Sigmond and I watched Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at the Philadelphia Convention Center in 1997. To pass the time between moves we, of course, brought a go board. I showed the go board to Hans Berliner, one of the iconic chess programmers. He looked at it, and just shook his head. He said ‘maybe in 20 years.’ I was even more pessimistic. Go looked impossible in 1997. We were both wrong.”
Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. photo: Rémi Coulom and Crazy Stone. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED

Volunteer Programmers Wanted to Develop AGA Ratings for On-Line Play

Wednesday July 16, 2014

With the American Go Association committed to establishing parallel AGA ratings for games played on-line, the AGA is seeking volunteers to implement the new system. “This is an exciting and historic development,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Director for the Central Region. AGA ratings now are limited to in-person games, and those ratings will not be affected. “This is a great project for an entry-level programmer looking for something to put on their resume,” says Andrew Jackson, AGA Operations Vice President, who estimates it will take “a few months of nights and/or weekends for an experienced python programmer.” Mentoring is available. Reply here if interested.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Spotting: IEEE Spectrum

Wednesday July 16, 2014

Human go players will undoubtedly  find the graphic for “Go-bot, Go” annoying, but the article in the July issue of IEEE Spectrum is an excellent exploration of computer go-playing by Jonathan Schaeffer, Martin Müller and Akihiro Kishimoto, who developed Fuego, which in 2009 defeated a world-class human go player in a no-handicap game for the first time in history. In the online version, AIs Have Mastered Chess. Will Go Be Next?, the Schaffer, Muller and Kishimoto explain how “a know-nothing machine that based its decisions on random choices and statistics” triumphed.
IEEE photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Stylist: Dominique Baynes

Categories: Go Spotting
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Your Move/Readers Write: Quito Go Tourney, Anyone?

Wednesday July 16, 2014

“I am tentatively planning to attend the 16th Ibero-American Go Tournament in Quito, Ecuador this October and wonder whether there may be other AGA members who might also be interested in making the trip,” Bob Gilman writes. “There is information about the tournament here and a form to indicate interest and get additional information here. If your Spanish is as bad as mine, Google translate can help you understand these pages.” Email Gilman at bobgilman.aga@gmail.com if interested.
In a related note for our Spanish-language readers (or those interested in reaching them), our July 13 Prisoners in Cuba Learning Go post has been picked up by El Latino Digital – Reclusos en Cuba aprenden GO – thanks to Chris Uzal. 

Categories: World
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Nearly 30 Pros to Attend US Go Congress

Monday July 14, 2014

Nearly 30 professional go players are expected to attend this year’s US Go Congress, August 9-17 in New York City. Ranging in strength from 9-dan to 1-dan, the professionals come from Japan, Korea and China, as well as the United States; click here for the list, which does not yet include the Kansai Ki-in pros, Maeda Ryo 6P, Mariko Deguchi 1P, and newly-minted pro Francis Meyer 1P (right). A major attraction at the annual Congress, the professionals will give lectures and play simuls; the tentative Congress schedule has been posted here. Reminder that late fees for Congress registration will go up after July 15.

Andy Liu Sweeps 4th Annual YKNOT Tourney

Monday July 14, 2014

Defending champion Andy Liu swept the 4th annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), winning all five games.

[link]

 Winners in other divisions were Dazhi Xu in the 4-5D division, Peiyu Tang in the 1-3D division, Ary Cheng in the 1-5k division, and Monsoon Srestha in the 6k+ division. The online tournament ran June 21, 22, and 28th. “Special thanks so tournament sponsor Young Kwon, who has sponsored this tournament for four years now,” said AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Li, who also thanked “my TD team of Dennis Wheeler, Julie Burrall, Matthew Burrall, and Jay Tabaniag, as well as KGS for hosting the tournament.”

Andy Liu’s (Sweetrip) Round 5 game against Xuyu Xiang is at right; his previous four rounds are below.
Round 1: Yuan Zhou-Andy Liu
Round 2: Liqun Liu-Andy Liu
Round 3: Andy Liu- Jie Liang
Round 4: Changlong Wu – Andy Liu
Originally published July 12; updated July 14 with game records.

 

 

Prisoners in Cuba Learning Go

Sunday July 13, 2014

“At the request of the Cuban Sports Ministry we have started very interesting work in prisons,” reports Rafael Torres Miranda of the Academia Cubana de Go. “Hermes Rodriguez 1D is doing a tremendous job teaching go. The inmates have received it very well, have been highly motivated, and have very quickly grasped the techniques of go. The photo here is from the prison in the province of Guantanamo. Such go programs are also being implemented in other facilities.” In a related story, two of the three Cuban go players invited to attend this year’s US Go Congress (Cuban Delegation Invited to US Go Congress 1/20/2014) have had their applications for US visas rejected, while the third invitee’s application is still pending a decision.
In a related note for our Spanish-language readers (or those interested in reaching them), this post has been picked up by El Latino Digital – Reclusos en Cuba aprenden GO – thanks to Chris Uzal. 

Categories: World
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First Australian Go Congress set for 2015 in Sydney

Sunday July 13, 2014

The first-ever Australian Go Congress is set for January 25-31, 2015 in Sydney. The new event is timed to coincide with Australia Day on January 26, reports Sang-Dae Hahn, who’s chairing the Australian Baduk Organising Committee. “We’re definitely looking forward to our first Congress,” Australian Go Association vice president Neville Smyth told the E-Journal. Smyth, IGF director for Australia/New Zealand, is in Gyeongjiu, Korea for the World Amateur Go Championship. As at similar congresses in Europe and the U.S., the Australian Go Congress will feature tournaments, simuls with professionals and lessons. The delegation of professionals will be led by An Younggil 8P of the Korean Baduk Association and Go Game Guru. The Congress will be held at Dunmore Lang College, Macquarie University; registration is $200AU ($180 USD) and rooms run A$85 to $98, with hotels also available near the venue.

Categories: World
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The Power Report: Iyama Takes Game 5 To Win Honinbo; Fujisawa Rina Wins First Title; Kono Makes Good Start In Gosei Challenge; Kisei Leagues; Yamashita Misses First Chance To Win 39th Meijin League

Saturday July 12, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Iyama Takes Game 5 To Win Honinbo: Iyama Yuta (at right) completed his Honinbo title defense by winning the fifth round to take the title 4-1 over Ida Atsushi in the best-of-seven match. The fifth game was played at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture on June 30 and July 1. It was a very difficult game featuring attack and counterattack, and the players following the game in the anteroom at the tournament venue had a lot of trouble predicting the moves. The fighting spilled over from the left side into the center and then into the bottom, but eventually came to a peaceful end with Ida (W) capturing some black stones. A tense endgame fight followed, with Ida using up all his time allowance for the first time. Ida had a good position, but on move 198 he missed a move that would have secured him a win by 2.5 or 3.5 points (according to the newspaper commentator, Yo Seiki 7P). Then, on move 212, Ida made a fatal mistake; the move was played in the final minute of byo-yomi after the game recorder had read out ‘nine’. In conducting the 30-second byo-yomi, the recorder reads out ‘ten seconds,’ ‘twenty seconds,’ then ‘one’ to ‘ten’ for the final ten seconds. If he reads out ‘ten,’ the player loses on time. The move Ida played under this pressure let Iyama upset his lead. Iyama increased his lead after that and was ahead by ten points on the board when Ida resigned on move 247. Click here for Younggil An’s game commentary on Go Game Guru.
In winning the Honinbo League, Ida Atsushi added to his budding reputation for deep and accurate reading and fighting ability, but in this title series Iyama showed that he was more than a match for him. This is Iyama’s 24th title and he has also maintained his sextuple crown, currently holding six out of seven of the major Japanese go titles (the only one he doesn’t currently hold is the Judan). Just to review his record here, he first achieved the sextuple crown when he won the Kisei title in March 2013; he lost the Judan title in the following month, but resumed his sextuple crown when he won the Meijin title in October. He has now kept it for eight months.

Fujisawa Rina Wins First Title: The final of the 1st Aizu Central Hospital Cup Women’s Tournament was held at the Konjakutei, a traditional inn, in Higashiyama Hot Spring, Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture on June 26 and 27. Fujisawa Rina 2P (left), playing black, beat Okuda Aya 3P by resignation after 193 moves. This victory will extend the illustrious history of the Fujisawa name in Japanese go; Fujisawa Rina is Fujisawa Shuko’s granddaughter. A number of records were set in this tournament. The prize of seven million yen is the biggest for a women’s tournament in Japan; the final was the first two-day game in a woman’s tournament; at fifteen years nine months, Fujisawa Rin became the youngest woman to win a title in Japan and also the youngest player of either sex to make a sealed move.

Kono Makes Good Start In Gosei Challenge: Kono Rin 9P has made a good start in his challenge for the 39th Gosei title. In the first game, played at the Matsushima Ichi-no-bo hotel in the town of Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture on June 26, Kono (B) secured a resignation after just 129 moves. After the game, Iyama expressed considerable regret about move 18, a move which seemed to put him on the back foot early in the game. Kono built thickness on the right side and went all out in attack when Iyama invaded. Rather than play negatively and attempt to live small, Iyama also went all out and tried to live on a large scale. However, Kono was able to bring down his group. Kono suffered straight losses in his Gosei challenge last year, so he has already improved on that performance. Iyama suffered his second title-match loss in a row; both games were short, which was perhaps due to Iyama’s aggressive play when he fell behind. The second game is scheduled for July 20.

Kisei Leagues: Recent results in the 39th Kisei Leagues are listed below. It may be a little early to talk about leaders, but just for the record there are four players on 2-0: Yamashita Keigo (right) and Kono Rin in the A League and Murakawa Daisuke and Kobayashi Satoru in the B League.
(June 26) (A League) Yamashita 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji Judan by resig.; Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by 2.5 points; (B League) Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, by resig.
(July 3) Cho Riyu (B) beat Cho Chikun by resig.

Yamashita Misses First Chance To Win 39th Meijin League: On 6-2, Yamashita Keigo was two wins clear of the field in the 39th Meijin League, but he missed his first chance to become the challenger when he dropped his seventh-round game to Cho U. The latter is now on 5-2 and will be hoping for Murakawa Daisuke to help him out by beating Yamashita in the final round. If Cho U won his last game, he would qualify for a play-off with Yamashita. At the other end of the league, Ko Iso, who has played all his games and won only two of them, is the first player to lose his place.
Below are results of games played since my last report.
(June 19) Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig.
(July 3) Cho U 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points; Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.

Categories: Japan
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