American Go E-Journal

“The Surrounding Game” announces worldwide release

Thursday February 1, 2018

For everyone that’s been marking time until the general release of The Surrounding Game, your wait is nearly over.2018.01.25_surrounding-game-ReleaseAnnouncement

The documentary team just announced that February 15th will see the film released worldwide on DVD, Blu-ray, and instant digital streaming. Through their new web store (operational now, though with limited items) players will be able to also purchase film posters, 9×9 starter sets, and other film merchandise. As an added bonus the filmmakers will include six never-before-seen deleted scenes on the discs.

“Thanks to volunteers from around the globe, the movie now comes with subtitle options in many languages”, said co-director Cole Pruitt, “including Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian.We’re excited to share this extra material with all of you next month!”

February 24th will see KGS host the stars of the film as they play simultaneously against the online community.  Plans are for AGA commentators, including Michael Wanek, Will Lockhart and Andrew Jackson, to follow the action in a live-stream on the AGA YouTube channel.

The pending world-wide release will not preclude current offerings. For example, clubs or individuals will still be able to purchase the screening pack which, among other benefits, includes an official license to host a public screening of the film as many times as you want, to include including selling tickets.

To keep abreast of all things Surrounding Game, click here.

- edited by Charles “Doc” Sade

Categories: Go News,World
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Power Report: Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; 73rd Honinbo League; 43rd Meijin League; Obituary: Shiraishi Yutaka

Wednesday January 31, 2018

Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei: The challenger to Xie Yimin for the 21st Women’s Kisei title is a new face: 2018.01.31_21fkisei1_05Ueno Asami 1P (right), a 16-year-old who became a professional in 2016. She is the second woman 1-dan to challenge for this title recently (the other was Nyu Eiko 1P, who lost 1-2 to Xie last year). Ueno had a good year last year, scoring 30 wins to 15 losses; this challenge will raise her profile. The first game was played at the Hotel Sun Life Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 19. Taking white, Ueno showed that she was not overawed by the occasion or her opponent, the most successful woman player ever in Japan. She was ready to mix it up in scrappy fighting with Xi and secured the lead with a move that took Xie by surprise. The latter did her best to upset Ueno’s lead, but was thwarted by accurate and feisty play by the challenger. Xie resigned after White 186. The next game will be played on January 29.

73rd Honinbo League: On 3-0, Ida Atsushi 8P has the sole lead in the league. His game against Kobayashi Satoru 9P will be the final game in the fourth round. Ko Iso, on 3-1, is in provisional second place. Results since my last report, are given below.
(Dec. 21) Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.
(Jan. 11) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 9P by resig.
(Jan. 18) Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

43rd Meijin League: The following games have been played in the Meijin League since our last report. The league leader will be the winner of the final game in the second round, between Cho U and Yamashita Keigo, as he will go to 2-0. Everyone else has lost at least one game.
(Dec. 21) Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points.
(Jan. 11) Hane Naoki 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.
(Jan. 18) Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.; Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig.

Promotions
To 2-dan: Nyu Eiko (30 wins, as of December 22)
To 8-dan: Ri Ishu (150 wins, as of January 19)

Obituary: Shiraishi Yutaka
Shiraishi Yutaka, one of the leading players at the Kansai Ki-in, died of a squamous cell cancer of the right upper lobe of the lung on December 10. Shiraishi was born in Ehime Prefecture on January 14, 1941. A disciple of Sekiyama Riichi 9P, he became a professional in 1956 and reached 9-dan in 1973. He won the 9-dan section of the Kisei tournament in 1976 and 1981, won the Pro-Ama Tournament in 1981, and the 37th Kansai Ki-in Number One Position tournament in 1993. He played three times each in the Meijin and Honinbo tournaments. He retired in 2012.

Redmond videos set to return this week

Wednesday January 31, 2018

The holiday hiatus is over! In a short video  today, Chris Garlock and Michael Redmond 9P confirmed that they’re resuming the popular 2018.01.31_garlock-redmondweekly series of AlphaGo game reviews on the AGA’s YouTube channel. The duo update viewers on their plans for the video commentaries, as well as their ongoing AlphaGo book project. The new series starts this Friday with a Redmond Review of a recent tournament game by Redmond, and the AlphaGo videos resume next week.

Your Move/Readers Write: “Where’s my Redmond AlphaGo video?”

Friday January 26, 2018

“When will we see the next Michael Redmond/AlphaGo video on YouTube? It’s been more than a month since the last video,” 2018.01.26_Redmond-updatewrites George Shutack.I am huge fan of the video series with Michael Redmond and Chris Garlock,” says Brian Aronson. “I have watched every video, often the night they are posted. I find Michael’s analysis substantially more detailed and understandable than any other commentaries that I have seen, and I appreciate Garlock’s occasional questions when Redmond’s analysis goes over my head. Are you two planning to continue your video series?”

In a word, yes. Redmond and Garlock took a break from the videos over the holidays to recharge and to focus on their AlphaGo book project, “which is coming along very nicely,” says Garlock. More on that soon, he promises. Redmond also took the opportunity to work on sgf commentaries for both Zero and Master games, as well as some of his own recent tournament games, and the two – along with producer Michael Wanek – have returned to the studio to begin production of the new series, which is expected to launch on Friday, February 2, with a sneak peek update from Redmond and Garlock on January 31. “The response to the videos has been quite amazing,” Redmond said. “I’m really pleased that so many go players are enjoying them and look forward to continuing to explore AlphaGo’s exciting games in the months ahead.”

Redmond on AlphaGo Zero vs Master
Redmond on AlphaGo SelfPlay
Redmond’s Reviews

 

The Power Report: People’s Honor Awards confirmed for Iyama and Habu; Lee Sedol wins World Meijin; Iyama makes good start in Kisei defense

Friday January 26, 2018

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

People’s Honor Awards confirmed for Iyama and Habu: At a cabinet meeting held on January 5, it was officially decided to give People’s Honor Awards to go player Iyama Yuta and shogi player Habu Yoshiharu in recognition of two unprecedented achievements. In Iyama’s case, it was getting a grand slam of the top seven titles for the second time; in Habu’s case, it was qualifying for lifetime titles in all the top seven titles (equivalent to an honorary title in go). As I mentioned in my final report for last year, it was announced that the government was “considering” making these awards, so it has now been confirmed. The awards will be given by the prime minister, Abe Shinzo, in a ceremony at the prime minister’s official residence on February 13. (By the way, so far Iyama has qualified for three honorary titles, the Kisei, Honinbo, and Gosei.)

Lee Sedol wins World Meijin: On January 8 and 9, the Dongjun Pharmaceutical Co. Cup: 5th World Mingren Tournament was held at the Yongji Qiyuan in Baoshan in Yunnan Province. Baoshan is a town very close to the Myanmar border and is famous for its go stones. The Yongji Qiyuan (= Ki-in) is an eight-storey building erected in 2016, so go must be prospering in this area. This is an invitational tournament, pitting the holders of the Meijin (= Mingren in Chinese and Myeongin in Korean) against each other. Iyama Yuta Meijin represented Japan and Lian Xiao Mingren China, but the Korean Myeongin title has been discontinued, so the Korean Baduk Association chose Lee Sedol as its representative. Lee repaid the faith shown in him by winning the mini-tournament.

 The tournament followed the usual “irregular” format for a three-player knockout. After drawing lots, Iyama and Lian were paired to play in the opening round on January 8. Taking white, Lian won this game by resignation. Iyama then played Lee in the second round; taking black, Lee won by resignation, so Iyama took third place. In the final, played on the 10th, Lee beat Lian (Go Weekly does not give the details) and took the first prize of 500,000 yuan (about $31,000). The Legend Pair Go tournament was held as a parallel event. This was won by the Korean pair of Yun Yongmin 3P and Suh Bongsoo 9P. The Japanese pair of Yoshida Mika 8P and Otake Hideo 9P came second.2018.01.26_42kisei1_5

Iyama makes good start in Kisei defense: As usual, the honor of starting the official tournament program in Japan fell to the players competing for the Kisei title, though they beat two women players by just a day. The challenger for the 43rd Kisei title is Ichiriki Ryo 7P, who is making his fourth challenge for a top-seven title. The only way to win one of these titles is to overcome Iyama Yuta, as he holds all of them. So far, Ichiriki has been unsuccessful; his best effort was in the 42nd Tengen title match in 2016, when he won the second game, but he has had no luck since, losing the next two games here, and suffering whitewashes in the 65th Oza and the 43rd Tengen title matches at the end of last year. Since he also lost the final of last year’s NHK Cup (the 64th), that gave him nine successive losses to Iyama. Still, his becoming the challenger for three successive titles shows that he is one of the top players in Japan.

   The top-three title matches, with their eight-hour time allowances spread over two days, are a different world from the other title matches, so such a match represents a new challenge but also a new opportunity. Ichiriki also had a break of seven weeks to prepare, though he may have been distracted by university exams in January.

   The first game was played at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo on January 18 and 19, with Otake Hideo, Hon. Gosei, acting as referee. Ichiriki drew black in the nigiri. In the opening, Iyama went for territory and Ichiriki set up a large moyo. As usual these days, there were some moves influenced by AI go-playing programs, such as a 3-3 invasion by White on move six and a shoulder hit against the lower stone in a knight’s-move corner enclosure by Black with move 13. As usual with top-level games, the play was too complex for an amateur such as myself to follow. To summarize briefly, White invaded Black’s moyo with White 40. He came under severe attack but managed to settle his group in sente, so he was able to expand his territorial moyo at the top. At this point, Iyama had the lead. Ichiriki successfully invaded the top territory and perhaps took over the lead here. However, he later played a move that, in the words of the Go Weekly reporter, “lacked subtlety.” Actually, the three-page report in the go newspaper is a little hard to understand. The headlines on the second and the third pages read, “Iyama’s tenacious upset” and “Ichiriki misses his winning chance” respectively, but they are not concretely explained in the text. That’s why I wrote “perhaps” above. It seems that Ichiriki missed the best move in a center fight that concluded the game. The Yomiuri Newspaper commentator So Yokoku 9P identified Black 203 as “the final losing move.” Black resigned after move 240.

   After the game, Iyama commented: “I thought that if Black played correctly in the center the game was no good for me. It was a tough game, but I was lucky.” Ichiriki: “I didn’t know what was correct in the center. I made mistakes in delicate positions that were fatal.” The next game will be played on January 25 and 26.

Tomorrow: Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; 73rd Honinbo League; Obituary: Shiraishi Yutaka

AGA City League this weekend

Thursday January 18, 2018

2017.10.03_PANDANETThis weekend is the second round of the Pandanet AGA City League. Watch some of your favorite young pros and many of the strongest players in the US and Canada. Check the schedule to see your favorite team’s matchups! This Sunday LIVE at 3PM, AGA City League and AGA City League (Manual) rooms.

Go Spotting: “Counterpart”

Thursday January 18, 2018

In the opening montage of “Counterpart”, a new sci-fi thriller television series on Starz, “there is part of a stylized go board grid2018.01.07_counterpart with black and white stones appearing on it,” reports Joe Maia. “I’m guessing this might suggest that go will appear regularly, though briefly if the first episode is any guide, on the show.” 

An espionage, sci-fi thriller with a metaphysical twist, “Counterpart” tells the story of Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons), a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency who is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret, when he discovers the agency he works for is guarding a secret: a crossing to a parallel dimension. Through Howard and his “counterpart” on the other side, the show navigates themes of identity, idealism, what ifs, and lost love. Check out a trailer here.

“In the first scene, Simmons is is sitting outside with another man, with an almost finished go game in front of them,” says Maia. “They talk about other things, and make only a mention or two about the game. Later in the episode, Simmons is again seated across from the same man, again with an almost finished go game in front of them. I was interrupted so I was unable to watch the last 20 minutes of the episode, so I do not know if there were additional scenes with go in them. I could not tell if the games looked real or not. The camera angle did not allow a full view of the board.”

“Counterpart” premieres on Starz on January 21.

Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
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Gordon Marsh wins Portland tournament

Tuesday January 16, 2018

Gordon Marsh 1-dan won last weekend’s Portland Tournament, sweeping all five games. Twenty-one players ranging from 6-2018.01.14_portland-tourneydan to 13-kyu participated in the event, held at the University of Portland, Oregon on January 13th and 14th, reports TD Roy Schmidt. Three players tied for second place with 4-1 records: Jim Levenick 2d, Peter Drake 5k and Noah Balena-Doss 1. Masaya Kittaka 1k picked up a special goban prize for best performance by a newcomer.
photo (l-r): Kittaka, Levenick, Marsh, Drake, Balena-Doss, and TD Roy Schmidt. 

The Shanghai Restoration Project’s “AlphaGo” single

Sunday January 14, 2018

The advent of AlphaGo has inspired…well, many things. Chief among them, of course, is self-reflection among serious go players:2018.01.11_Alpha Go-SRP What is it like to be superseded by artificial intelligence? Conversely, what can AlphaGo teach us about being human? Google’s AI inspired a movie, a belief that future health care will be better, endless cartoons and the belief that soon Al will be able to create knowledge itself. But music? It seems so. The Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP), a contemporary electronic music duo of Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan, recently dropped their new album R.U.R., with a single entitled “Alpha Go.” The group tells the E-Journal that R.U.R. explores a world in where robots have supplanted the extinct human civilization that predated them. ‘Alpha Go,’ the musicians say, is both “a tribute and an elegy” to Ke Jie’s defeat by the Google AI; it mixes in human elements with decidedly artificial ones. The tune is an airy, abstract melody. It’s evenly paced but turns on a dime, delivered by Yunfan ‘s vocals, which are digitally manipulated. Both musicians played go growing up, with Ms. Sun playing briefly for her school team. The cover art for the album is currently on display at NYC’s Society Of Illustrators until Jan 27 as part of the Illustrators 60 exhibition. “Alpha Go” can be listened to on YouTube or the SRP website.
Charles “Doc” Sade, with thanks to Santana Afton for the tip

2018 Australian Go Congress set for September

Saturday January 13, 2018

For those making 2018 go travel plans, our friends Down Under have just launched the 2018 Australian Go Congress2018.01.07-australia-congress website and Facebook page. The Congress will be held at the University of Sydney, Australia between September 27th and 30th 2018. “Please note some details are yet to be finalized but the rooms are booked, we have at least two pro teachers and we already have registrations,” report Congress organizers.

 

Categories: Australia,Main Page
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