American Go E-Journal

Ke Jie and Shi Yue Proceed to 2015 Samsung Cup Final

Sunday November 8, 2015

Ke Jie 9p will face Shi Yue 9p in the 2015 Samsung Cup finals. As previously reported (Ke Jie Wins Samsung Cup Semifinal 11/3 EJ), Ke — the2015.11.08_Ke-Jie-Shi-Yue-2015-Samsung-Cupnew #1 in China and ranked #2 in the world in Dr Bai Taeil’s rating system — defeated Lee Sedol 9p 2-0 in the semi-finals last week. Shi Yue 9p — #2 in China — lost the first game in his semi against Tang Weixing 9p but came back to win the next two games. Click here for GoGameGuru’s complete report, including comments by Younggil An 8P, game records and photos.
- photo: Ke Jie 9p (left) and Shi Yue 9p

Categories: China,World

Your Move/Readers Write: Facebook’s Go Study Not Deep Enough; More Levels in Go Than Poker?; Excellent Live Streaming

Sunday November 8, 2015

Facebook’s Go Study Not Deep Enough: “Only good moves? Did anyone tell Facebook that they will lose their first 1000 games?” wonders Chris Uzal (Facebook Tackles Go With “Deep Learning” AI 11/7 EJ) “This is what happens when you think the world can function great with only a “like” button but the sky is full of frowny faces if you have a “dislike” button. I don’t think Facebook is psychologically equipped to play go2015.11.08_WSJ-poker let alone research the game. In their world, missclicks and undos are part of the game. The only people who lose are not friends with their friends. They would possibly learn more by studying moral hazard.”

More Levels in Go Than Poker? “Christopher F. Chabris, whom I know from chess, has written an article for the WSJ (Could an Amateur Win the World Series of Poker?) in which he writes ‘In the Asian game of Go, there may be even more levels.’ I thought he should have written ‘…there are even more levels,’ in lieu of ‘may be.’ What say you?”
- Michael Bacon; photo courtesy John Locher/Associated Press

Excellent Live Streaming: “Thank you so much for this live streaming,” Fabio G. Moreno from Bogotá, Colombia, posted on Facebook after last week’s Ke Jie-Lee Sedol streaming on the AGA’s YouTube channel. “Andrew and Myungwan did excellent work. I think is great contribution for the spread of go in the world to make this excellent live streaming in English and open access (to) this level of tournament, like the Samsung Cup, and a game in the semi-finals. Was great.”

We love to hear from our readers! Let us know what you like or dislike, love or hate; email us at or post on our Facebook page!

Categories: U.S./North America

Free Beer at Berlin’s “Go to Innovation”

Sunday November 8, 2015

No free massages or tacos (a la the Cotsen Open) but next weekend’s 18th “Go to Innovation” tournament  in Berlin does offer free draught beer SONY DSCin the cafeteria starting at noon on Saturday. Ting Li 1P, Pavol Lisy 1P and Ilya Shikshin are among the players slated to compete for over 3,000€ in prizes including a 500€ Omikron Data Quality GmbH-Prize for the best female gamer and a 500€ Jackpot for 8 wins.
- photo from the 15th Go to Innovation; Jaromir Sir

Categories: Europe

Facebook Tackles Go With “Deep Learning” AI

Saturday November 7, 2015

Researchers at Facebook are now tackling go with an increasingly important form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning, Wired 2015.11.07_Wired_logomagazine reported earlier this week.

2015.11.07_Facebook_logo“Facebook is using similar technology to recognize a promising Go move—to visually understand whether it will be successful, kind of like a human would,” writes Cade Metz. “Researchers are feeding images of Go moves into a deep learning neural network so that it can learn what a successful move looks like,” as opposed to using brute computing power to analyze the many possible outcomes of every possible move.

Though this system is only about two or three months old, Facebook CTO Mike “Schrep” Schroepfer told reporters at Facebook’s California headquarters last week, it can already beat systems built solely with more traditional AI techniques. The company’s go work—which Schrep described as “super early”—demonstrates why deep learning is so powerful and how it can continue to push the boundaries of what machines can do, Metz reported.

Categories: U.S./North America

 AGA’s YouTube Channel Takes Off

Saturday November 7, 2015

If you missed Myungwan Kim 9P’s livestream commentaries earlier this week on the two semi-final Samsung Cup games between Lee Sedol and2015.11.07_Official AGA Youtube Channel Ke Jie, you can now watch them at your leisure on the AGA’s YouTube Channel. With nearly 2,000 subscribers, the channel has really taken off this year, broadcasting live from the US Go Congress, the Chang Qi Cup and the Cotsen Open, attracting thousands of viewers who either watched live or later at their convenience. The channel has also become the place to find go players on YouTube, from gamer Dwyrin — whose videos have been viewed more than 5 million times — to Haylee (professional Hajin Lee), Nick Sibicky, Shawn Ray, Andrew Jackson and more, each of whom have been developing their own styles and attracting fans and subscribers. “I love your extremely positive personality!” one viewer told Haylee. “It makes your videos really enjoyable. Thank you for these amazing videos.”


Go Growing in Russia as Organizers Prepare to Host European Go Congress

Saturday November 7, 2015

With go growing more and more popular in Russia, game organizers held a press conference October 22 in Moscow on the eve of the 21st edition2015.11.07_Moscow-press-conf of the Cup of the Ambassador of Japan, the oldest go tournament in the country. New clubs are opening up, the number of players is increasing and notable international competitions are taking place, the organizers reported. Russia will host the 60th Polymetal European Go Congress next year in Saint-Petersburg.

In another major development, the National non-Olympic Sports Committee and the Russian Go Federation signed an official contract assuring the Committee’s support for developing this intellectual sport in Russia. Moreover, go is officially included in the list of sports by the Ministry of Sports of Russian Federation.

“The number of Russian athletes taking part in international go competitions grew by 70% since 2012,” said Boris Grishin, deputy director for the Summer Athletics Development department at the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation. “Go is successfully developing in Russia and the results of which are noted by our European colleagues,” said Maxim Volkov, the president of the Russian Go Federation.
- Ludmila Nemchinova

Categories: Russia

Player Sought for Li Min Cup Selection Tournament

Friday November 6, 2015

The American Go Association will hold online playoffs for a North American rep to the 2015 Li Min Cup.  The playoffs will be held the weekend of November 14-15; the Li Min Cup will be held from November 27th to December 3rd in Hangzhou, China. The American Go Association is looking for one player to represent North America. The Li Min tournament will be a single-knockout format; food and accommodation will be provided and players will also be provided with 10,000 RMB as travel allowance.

Online playoff eligibility: Players must be born after January 1, 1992 and have US or Canadian citizenship. US players must have 1 year continuous membership in AGA and have been resident in the US for 6 of the last 12 months. Players must be able to play in the online selection games.

Due to the last minute nature of this invitation, players must either have China visa already or be able to obtain one in time to play in the tournament on November 27.

Interested players must email by this coming Monday, November 9th.

Ke Jie Wins Samsung Cup Semifinal

Tuesday November 3, 2015


Ke Jie 9p beat Lee Sedol 9p by resignation, a second win in two days to win the 2015 Samsung Cup semifinal.  The much anticipated contest between the young Chinese star, #2 in the world, and Korean great Lee, secures for Ke a spot in the Samsung final match with its prize of approximately $300,000 first prize.

The match was the subject of a live streaming commentary Tuesday night by Myungwan Kim 9p. Kim’s in-depth analysis of the game, anchored by E-Journal broadcaster Andrew Jackson 4d, was followed by nearly 150 players on the AGA’s YouTube channel despite extending beyond midnight on the East Coast. “I love the sound the commentary makes as it sails way over my head,” said Cement12293. “We’re living in the future: live pro go commentary in English!” said joby morey. The game was also broadcast on KGS.

In addition to Myungwan Kim in Los Angeles and Andrew Jackson in Seattle, the AGA’s E-Journal broadcast team included Dennis Wheeler (also in Seattle) and Steve Colburn in Rochester, New York. Xiaocheng Hu did the graphics for the video stream.
- Chris Garlock

Categories: Korea

Ichiriki Ryo Wins First Three Games at 17th Nongshim Cup

Tuesday November 3, 2015

Ichiriki Ryo 7p, the first player from team Japan, won three games in the first round of the 17th Nongshim Cup, played October 20-23 in 2015.11.03_Ichiriki-Ryo-Nongshim-CupChongqing, China. Ichiriki Ryo defeated Baek Chanhee 1p, Fan Yunruo 4p and Min Sangyoun 4p consecutively, an impressive performance and hopeful news for team Japan. Even though Ichiriki (right) lost to Wu Guangya 6p in the fourth game, he’s already done very well for Japan. Ichiriki was also the first player to step up to the plate at the 16th Nongshim Cup in 2014, where he defeated Byun Sangil 4p and lost to Tuo Jiaxi 9p. Over the last decade or so, Team Japan sometimes struggled in the Nongshim Cup. However, they’re off to an excellent start this year, due to Ichiriki’s excellent performance.
- Go Game Guru; click here for their complete report

Categories: China,Japan

Grenoble 1 Retains French Team Championship

Tuesday November 3, 2015

The French Team Championships took place October 24-25 in Lans-en Vercors, near Grenoble, France. Would the defending champions, Grenoble 1,2015.11.03_Lyon-Team maintain their title by defeating the 13 challengers? Grenoble 1 had added Motoki Noguchi — who was unavailable last year — to their squad as a replacement for Denis Karadaban, who is studying in Korea. Logically they were in an excellent position to keep their title, their mean rank of 6 dan being three ranks above their nearest rivals. We note however, the increase in the number of teams with a mean rank of 2 to 3 dan, presented serious challengers for the podium places in Rennes, Lyon, Jussieu, Grenoble 2 and 3.
The first round passed without surprise for the strongest teams. In the closest matches Lyon bested La Rochelle and Toulouse beat Antony. In the second round, the surprises began. Suddenly, Grenoble 1 lost on boards 3 and 4, Toru Imamura-Cornuejols (4d) and Simon Billouet (4d) lost respectively to Louis Meckes (1d) and Robin Chauvin (1k), so  Lyon grabbed a draw. Similarly between Toulouse 1 and Rennes 1, Benjamin Papazoglou (5d) lost to Li Haohan (3d) and Fabien Masson (1d) to Xavier Bonnefond (1k). Thus the top 2 seeds, the 2015.11.03_Zoe Constans-artreigning champions and vice champions, got off to a rotten start. It was Grenoble 2 who took the lead in as they disposed of Jussieu – would they manage to upstage their club mates Grenoble 1? 
On Sunday morning, Grenoble 1 regained their form with a 4-0 whitewash Toulouse 1. Rennes 1 overcame the obstacle of Jussieu with a 3-1 victory. Once again Lyon grabbed a draw, but this time with Grenoble 2. Before the last round then, the battle for the title was unclear: three teams had 5 points (Rennes 1, Grenoble 1 and 2), and none had played the other. Would we see a tie? The draw for the final round set Grenoble 1 against Grenoble 2 and Rennes 1 against Grenoble 3. Rennes 1 won 3-1 (Thibaud Naegele dropping a point against Chen Longteng) while Grenoble 1 also won 3-1 (Toru dropping the point to Xiao Chunyang).
Grenoble 1 and Rennes 1 were then tied for first place with 7 points; but the title stays with Grenoble 1 though, because they had 1 extra board win (13 to Rennes’s 12). Picking up third spot were the brave team from Lyon. Full results can be seen for team and individual games.
- Ian Davis, based on an original article in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet; photo by Olivier Dulac; artwork by Zoé Constans
Categories: Europe