American Go E-Journal

“Play Games. Heal Kids.”

Wednesday December 7, 2016

Every Friday night at around 7pm EST, Skatmaker invites some friends from the local go community to his apartment to 2016.12.06_Extra Life  Play Games. Heal Kids.stream on a real board to Twitch.tv. The recurring cast on stream includes Skatmaker (40k), Devin Fraze (1D), and Thomas Cummings (~15k).

As of November, Skatmaker has been a participant in a charity event known as Extra-Life, which aims to bring together people and their love of games in order to raise money to help children facing life-threatening illnesses. “With the proceeds benefiting Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, these kids can get the medical care and attention they need at little to no cost to their families,” says Skatmaker.

Skatmaker and company have raised nearly $300 so far. The charity streams will continue throughout December, until Extra-Life 2016 ends.

Skatmaker’s Twitch channel Skatmaker’s Extra-Life page

photo from the Extra Life “Play Games. Heal Kids.” video

Categories: U.S./North America
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Ke Jie 9P Evens Score Against Tuo Jiaxi 9P in Samsung Final; Game 3 Decider Wednesday at 8p PST

Wednesday December 7, 2016

Ke Jie 9P evened the score in the Samsung Cup final Tuesday, defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9p to take the match to a Game 3 decider Wednesday night. Stephanie Yin 1P will be commenting the game, starting at 8p PST on the AGA’s YouTube and 2016.12.07_samsung-game2Twitch channels. Myungwan Kim 9p’s AGA YouTube commentary on Game 2 has been posted.

Categories: Korea
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Drake Hands Schmidt the Reins for Portland Tournament

Tuesday December 6, 2016

After running the annual Portland, Oregon tournament for more than ten years, Peter Drake has retired as tournament 2016.12.06_portland-group_photo4director, and AGA Treasurer Roy Schmidt has agreed to take over the reins.

Drake, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Lewis & Clark College, researched computer go since arriving in 2002. With the success of AlphaGo, he is moving on to other topics. “It would have been nice if I had had a paper on the cover of Nature,” he joked, “but at least I was cited, so I’ve made some contribution to the downfall of humanity.” He said that he will certainly continue playing, but now it’s purely for enjoyment and not directly part of his work.
This year’s tournament, held October 15-16 at the scenic college, involved 23 players from around the Pacific Northwest. Stormy weather outside echoed the intense battles on the boards.
2016.12.06_portland-kidsShohei Jinno 6D won the top division, winning all five of his rounds. The next three bands were won respectively by Eugene Zhang 2D, Gordon Castanza 9k, and Olin Waxler 28k. With a 5-0 record, Waxler also won the prize for best youth player. April Hersey 11k, a former president of the Lewis & Clark Go Club, won the prize for best female player.
Thanks to generous donations, there were enough prizes that everyone could take home something. The first prizes snapped up were a hardbound copy of Relentless: Lee Sedol vs Gu Li and a nice pair of wooden bowls.

photos: (top right) group photo; (bottom left) Olin Waxler vs April Hersey
Editor’s note: we apologize for the delay in posting this report; Peter Drake sent it in promptly in October but we somehow overlooked it.  
Categories: U.S./North America
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Mason Go Club Hosts Second Tourney on Thanksgiving Weekend

Tuesday December 6, 2016

The Mason Go Club of Ohio hosted its second annual go tournament on November 26. This year, in order to encourage 2016.12.06_Mason Go Club-tourneyparticipation, adults and youth were rewarded separately in each of the three divisions.  In Division A, John Davis (5D) of Louisville, Kentucky won adult first place and visiting student Binyun Wang (5D) from China won youth first place.  Winners in other divisions include Jerry Qiu (youth Division B), Chris Martin (adult division B), Yeming You (youth division C) and George Meng (adult division C).

The event reached its climax when younger players from the local school go class joined the tournament in the afternoon, playing some fun mini games. Those younger kids weren’t quite ready for a full tournament, but they were encouraged to participate in the event. The youngest player was 5 years old, Zach Li.
The event was generously sponsored by the Confucius Institute of Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. The 2017 event is tentatively scheduled for August of next year, according to event organizer Frank Luo.
photos/collage by Frank Luo

Cuba to Host International Conference of Mind Sports in May 2017

Tuesday December 6, 2016

With Cuba in world headlines in the wake of the death of Fidel Castro comes the news that the island nation will host a 2016.11.30_cuba-conferenceInternational Conference of Mind Sports in May 2017. The event runs May 3-6 and is hosted by the University of Camagüey and the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation. There will be a go competition in addition to the presentation of scientific papers. Those interested in attending may contact the program organizing committee President, Dr. C. Lázaro A. Bueno Pérez, at lazaro.bueno@reduc.edu.cu. The University has asked Michelle Cohen’s travel agency to facilitate travel for the conference; details on her website here  and a brochure on the conference is here.”

“This will be a great opportunity to play go at an international event and to see something of Cuba,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Executive VP who traveled to Cuba in 2013 and 2015. ” I enjoyed seeing Camaguey on my 2015 trip. Regulations on travel to Cuba by US citizens have liberalized but are still complex. I would recommend checking the status of these regulations sometime next year after it has become clear what the next administration will be doing as regards Cuba travel.”

Categories: Latin America
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Tuo Jiaxi 9P Wins Samsung Cup Game 1; Game 2 Tuesday at 8p PST

Tuesday December 6, 2016

Tuo Jiaxi 9p won the first game in the best-of-three Samsung Cup final against Ke Jie 9p. Stephanie Yin 1p’s AGA YouTube commentary on Monday night’s game has now been posted. Myungwan Kim 9p will be providing commentary on2016.12.06_samsung-game-1 Game 2 on Tuesday, starting at 8p PST on the AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels.

Categories: Computer Go/AI
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AlphaGo a Finalist for Science “Breakthrough of the Year”

Tuesday December 6, 2016

AlphaGo is a People’s Choice finalist for Science’s “Breakthrough of the Year.” The stunning win by the go AI over Lee Sedol earlier this year was a top choice in the first round of voting as one of the most momentous scientific developments of2016.12.06_AlphaGo-Lee-Sedol-game-3-game-over-.03.13 the year.

“We’ve just finished one round of voting with more than 11,000 votes tallied,” say Science editors, who will also release their list of top picks later this month. “Now it’s time to make your voice heard again. Choose your winner  from among the five finalists. Cast your vote today, and check back on December 22 to see how your choice stacks up against ours.”

Categories: Computer Go/AI
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Samsung Cup Finals on AGA’s YouTube This Week

Monday December 5, 2016

The AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels will cover the Samsung Cup finals this week. Coverage of the match between world2016.12.05_samsung-final #1 Ke Jie 9p and Tuo Jiaxi 9p will start at 8p PST, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Dec. 5-7th). This week a new professional will join the AGA team: Stephanie Yin 1p. Yin will comment on the first game on Monday and the final game on Wednesday (if the match goes all three games). Myungwan Kim 9p will be providing commentary on the second game on Tuesday.

Categories: Korea
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Kim Sooyoung and Park Jongwook of Korea Win Amateur Pair Go Championship

Sunday December 4, 2016

A Korean pair won this year’s 27th International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo, besting a Taiwanese team in the 2016.12.04_us-pairfinals.  Kim Sooyoung and Park Jongwook of Korea beat Pai Shin-Hui and Huang Wei of Taiwan.  Pai and Huang had paved the way, however, by beating a strong Chinese pair in round one of the 32-pair five round event.  The US team of Jeremy Chiu and Gabriella Su (right) ended with a solid 3-2 record, losing in rounds one and three to a Japanese pair and the team from China, but beating Germany and Austria before facing a strong Russian pair, Grigorii Fionin and Elvina Kalsberg, also 2-2, in the final round.  In the 3rd edition of the World Students Pair Go Championship, North American pair Amira Song of Canada and Andrew Zalesak of North Carolina went 1-3, beating the Mexican pair but failing to beat the percentages in their other games against a Japanese pair and not one, but two, Korean university pairs.  A Japanese pair took first.
- report by Andy Okun (standing in photo); photo by Thomas Hsiang

Categories: Japan,Pair Go
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AlphaGo a Top Contender for “Breakthrough of the Year”

Saturday December 3, 2016

AlphaGo is a top contender for the 2016 “Breakthrough of the Year” in Science’s annual survey of momentous scientific 2016.12.03_ai-ups-gamediscoveries, developments, or trends. Voting continues through Sunday, December 4; click here to vote. At 14%, “AI Ups its Game” is second only to “Human embryos in a dish,” with 20% response, narrowly leading “Ripples in spacetime” with 13%. After voting closes on Sunday, a second round of voting will be conducted with the 5 finalists to pick the official winner, and the People’s Choice selection, along with Science editors’ pick, will be announced on December 22.

 

Categories: Computer Go/AI
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