American Go E-Journal » Search Results » game of life

Power Report (2 of 2): Ueno to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Awards for Iyama and Habu; World Go Championship 2018

Tuesday December 19, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal21fkisei_challenger Ueno

Ueno to challenge for Women’s Kisei:
A fresh face will be challenging Xie Yimin for the 21st Women’s Kisei title early next year. The play-off to decide the challenger was held in the Ryusei TV studio located in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on December 11. Ueno Asami 1P (right), 21 fkisei Okudawho is aged 16 and who qualified as a pro last year, beat Okuda Aya 3P (left); Ueno had black and secured a resignation after 199 moves. She will be just 16 years two months when the title match starts on January 19 and will be the youngest challenger ever. She lowered the record of Nyu Eiko, set last year, by about a year.

Awards for Iyama and Habu: A government spokesman announced last week that the Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, was considering giving People’s Honor Awards to the top go and shogi players Iyama Yuta and Habu Yoshiharu. Going by the timing, it would seem the idea was sparked by a recent achievement of Habu. Earlier this month, he won the Ryuo tournament for the seventh time and so qualified for the title of Eternal Ryuo (also translated as “Lifetime Ryuo”). The wording sounds grander, but this seems to be the equivalent of the “honorary” titles in go. The point was that Habu has qualified for the “eternal” title in all of the top seven shogi titles, an unprecedented feat. The reason for also giving a People’s Honor Award to Iyama was his success in achieving a grand slam of the top seven go titles for the second time.

Iyama (aged 28) and Habu (aged 47) will be the first board-game players (or mind-sport athletes, if you prefer) to win this award. Previously, it has been given to 23 individual athletes in various sports, actors, singers, composers, etc., and to all the members of the women’s soccer team that won the World Cup in 2011. The wording that the government is “considering” making these awards may seem a little funny, but surely the Prime Minister won’t change his mind. An official announcement is expected to follow within the year. The story was the lead-off article on the front page of the December 13 morning Yomiuri Newspaper and also featured on the front page of the afternoon edition. The criterion for the awards is: a person with conspicuous achievements who is widely loved and respected by the people and who have given bright hope to society.(Conditions for the shogi “eternal” title seem slightly easier for some of the titles than for honorary titles in go. They range from five cumulative wins to five wins in a row or ten cumulative wins, the latter being the condition in go. There are actually five variations in the conditions.)

World Go Championship 2018: The Nihon Ki-in has announced that this tournament will be held in March next year. It’s actually the second time: the 1st World Go Championship was held in March last year, but the next one is not being called the “2nd.” Last year, four “players” took part, one of them being the AI program DeepZenGo. First place was taken by Park Junghwan of Korea, 2nd by Mi Yuting of China, 3rd by DeepZenGo, and 4th by Iyama Yuta. Next year, six players will take part: two from Japan, two from Korea, one from China, and one from Chinese Taipei. Note that Korea is not being favored over China. As host country, Japan gets two slots (the host country gets more seats in many international tournaments); Korea gets two because the previous winner, Park, is seeded (as in the TV Asia tournament). The other participants will be: Iyama Yuta and the winner of a qualifying tournament open to the top four place-getters (after Iyama) in the prize-money rankings for Japan; Shin Jinseo 8P for Korea; Ke Jie for China; and Wang Yuanjun 8P for Chinese Taipei. The time allowance will be three hours per player, with the last five minutes being allotted to byo-yomi. Games will start at 10:30 a.m. and there will be no break for lunch. Prizes are: 1st, \20,0000,000 (about $182,000); 2nd, \5,000,000; 3rd & 4th, \2,50,000; 5th & 6th, \1,000,000. Park and Iyama will be seeded into the second round.

Share

Go miscellany Year End Edition (bonus)

Thursday December 14, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never made it into the E-Journal.

New adds to Kiseido’s year-end sale: Kiseido has added a few more items to their year-end sale of go books and go2017.12.14-stop-go-murder equipment, including the 2018 Ukiyo-e Calendar , shell & slate go stones, a new original ukiyo-e print and of course go books.

Stop, Go Murder: A story about murder, the game of go, and the role of happenstance in shaping our lives. Introduces Steven Crane, a homicide detective who has come to see his life, including his current case, as a deceiving game of go. A first novel  — available on Amazon — from Paul Freeman, the former mayor of Laguna Beach, CA, who is available for book signings and other go club functions: call Ken Levine at (818) 414-6002. Bulk club discounts are available.

 

Share

Go miscellany Year End Edition (1 of 3)

Monday December 11, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.11-legend-5-rings-l5c05_ide_tadaji_artmade it into the E-Journal.

Legend of the Five Rings: Fantasy Flight Games publishes a card game called “Legend of the Five Rings” which takes inspiration from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean history and legend. A short story posted to FFG’s website contains an image of a gentleman engaged in an interesting game of go while holding a white stone correctly. The short story, itself, contains a discussion between two characters about Shogi, with a passing comment that one prefers the “purity” of go.
- Joe Marino

Atari origins: “Started in 1972, Atari was named by one of its founders, Nolan Bushnell, for a move in the ancient Asian game of Go. ‘Atari was what you said to your opponent if you put their stones in jeopardy, kind of like check in chess,’ Mr. Bushnell explained in an interview. ‘I just thought it was a cool word and a cool name.’ From Atari (Remember It?), a New Console With Old Games, in The New York Times 11/24/2017
Bushnell gave the keynote address at the 2012 Go Congress.
- Ted Terpstra

Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself? As machine learning becomes more powerful, the field’s researchers increasingly find themselves unable to account for what their algorithms know — or how they know it.
- From The New York Times, 11/21/2017

Share

Danny Ko takes over from Roy Schmidt as AGA Treasurer

Wednesday December 6, 2017

After nearly seven years as Treasurer for the American Go Association, Roy Schmidt (right) has passed the ledgers to Daniel Daehyuk2017.12.06_Roy-Schmidt Ko.

Both urge anyone sending paper correspondence — especially membership forms and checks — to use the new address: Treasurer, AGA, PO Box 3678, Gardena, CA  90247.

“Organizers, if you have a supply of membership forms printed for use at 2017.12.06_Daniel-Daehyuk-KOyour next tournament, you can still use them,” says Ko (left), “but make sure to mail them to the new address to avoid a delay in rating your event.  Revised forms are already available on the AGA website for download.

“If tournament participants see organizers using a form with the Portland address at the bottom, ask if they are aware of the change of address, and point them to the AGA website for current contact information,” Ko adds.

Schmidt began playing go in Taiwan in the mid 1970s. “I became an honorary life member of the Taiwan Go Association as appreciation for a translation of the Ing rules.  In 1976 I was the referee for a Telex match between Taiwan and the USA using Ing rules for the first time internationally. Keeping it in the family, I married a go friend’s sister.” After years of organizing local clubs and tournaments back in the States, Bob Barber nominated Schmidt for the AGA Board.  After four years on the board he took a break and then returned as Treasurer. “Back to local now, I am directing a tournament in Portland in January,” Schmidt says.

Danny Ko learned go at the age of five from his parents in Korea and started actively playing at the age of 15 at local go clubs in his hometown. “After finishing the mandatory military service in Korea, I moved to the US in 1998 for my college education.  Since then I have casually played go in local Korean Go clubs in the LA area. In 2006, I have joined American Go Association (AGA) and started playing at AGA tournaments. After playing in numerous domestic and international events for many years, I have decided to contribute to the American go community in different way.”

“We are extremely fortunate to have had such dedicated, responsible and diligent volunteers take on the critical role of Treasurer,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “Both deserve the thanks and appreciation of every AGA member, to which I add my own, along with best wishes for Roy and anticipation of great work in the future with Danny.”

 

 

 

Share

The Power Report: Obituary: Sugiuchi Masao; Nongshim Cup 2nd Stage dominated by China; Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title

Sunday December 3, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.22_sugiuchiforever

Obituary: Sugiuchi Masao
I very much regret having to report the death of Sugiuchi Masao, a player who was a part of 20th-century go history who remained active well into the 21st century, when he acquired new fans as the oldest active professional go player ever.

2017.12.03-SugiuchiSugiuchi died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital on November 21. He was born in what is now Miyako-no-jo City in Miyazaki Prefecture on October 20, 1920. As a child, he showed talent at go and in 1933 came to Tokyo to become a disciple of Inoue Ichiro 5P. He became professional 1-dan in 1937, but lost about three years of his career to military service during the war. When he returned to the go world in 1946, he became one of the leaders of the younger generation, along with players like Sakata Eio and Fujisawa Hideyuki (Shuko). The peak of his career came when he challenged Takagawa Kaku (Honinbo Shukaku) for the 9th and 13th Honinbo titles in 1954 and 1958; he lost both matches 2-4. He won the Rapid Go Meijin tournament in 1959 and the 7th Igo Championship in 1963. He played in the Honinbo League seven times and in the (Yomiuri) Meijin league five times. He received a decoration from the Japanese government in 1992, and the Nihon Ki-in awarded him the Okura Prize in 2004. His lifetime record was 883 wins, 677 losses, 12 jigo, and two no result. He also served as a director of the Nihon Ki-in, including a term as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Many decades ago, Sugiuchi acquired the nickname of “the god of Go, ” perhaps for his quiet, self-effacing demeanor and his dedication to the game. In his 90s, he became one of the understated wonders of the go world. Although the Nihon Ki-in had introduced a retirement system, which enabled some players to retire as young as in their 50s, he kept playing. His last official game was played on November 2, so his active go career extends to 80 years. This is a record, as is remaining active until the age of 97. He is survived by his wife Kazuko 8P, who is still active at the age of 90, a record for women players. She is now the oldest active professional at the Nihon Ki-in. Her career has lasted 75 years, so she might break her husband’s record. (By the way, a game Sugiuchi played at the age of 95 with the 15-year-old Onishi Ryuhei, then 1P, set a record for the biggest age gap between the players.)

Nongshim Cup 2nd Stage dominated by China: The first round of the 19th Nongshim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in2017.12.03-Dang (L) beats Shin Shenyang City in China from September 19 to 22. It was dominated by Shin Minjun 6P of Korea, who won all four games. In the second round, held in Busan in Korea, he extended his winning streak to six games, but then Dang Yifei of China took over and won the remaining games in the round. Results follow.
Game 5 (Nov. 24). Shin (W) beat Chen Yaoye 9P (China) by 4.5 points.
Game 6 (Nov. 25). Shin (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P (Japan) by resig.
Game 7 (Nov. 26). Dang Yifei 9D (China) (W) beat Shin by resig.
Game 8 (Nov. 27). Dang (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P (Japan) by resig.
Game 9 (Nov. 28). Dang (B) beat Kim Myounghoon 5P (Korea) by resig.
The final round will be held in Shanghai and will start on February 26. Players remaining are Iyama Yuta for Japan, who will appear in Game 10), Dang and Ke Jie for China, and Kim Jiseok, Shin Jinseo, and Park Junghwan for Korea. Based on players remaining, Korea has an advantage, but someone has to stop Dang.

Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title: The fifth game of the 36th Women’s Honinbo title match was held in the Special2017.12.03_Xie left wins #5 hon05_06 Playing Room on the 7th floor of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 29. Playing black, Xie Yimin (left) defeated the defending champion Fujisawa Rina by 8.5 titles and regained the title she lost to her last year. She was very relieved to be able to end the year on a good note. In the last year or so, Fujisawa had dominated the women’s titles, winning four to Xie’s one, but this win restored her to her familiar position of multiple title-holder (she already held the Women’s Kisei). Fujisawa is left with the Women’s Hollyhock Cup (sponsored by the Aizu Central Hospital), the Women’s Meijin, and the Senko Cup. This is the ninth time Xie has won the Women’s Honinbo. She and Kusunoki Mitsuko are the only players who have made two comebacks. This is Xie’s 27th title.

Share

Go Spotting: Japanese firefighting jacket

Tuesday November 7, 2017

This 19th-century Japanese firefighting jacket is in the collection at the Seattle Art Museum. “The jacket tells a story from the life of Minamoto2017.11.07_firemans-coat-go-spider-1080px no Yorimitsu (948–1021), a warrior-hero,” according to a recent post on the museum’s blog. “The story is as follows: Yorimitsu was sick, and was resting in bed. He was visited by a priest—but the priest was actually a giant spider (tsuchigumo) in disguise! Yorimitsu, being very clever, sees through the disguise, and attacks the spider with his sword, wounding him. Yorimitsu’s four attendants, called the Four Heavenly Kings, were playing a game of go while guarding him, and leapt up to track the spider back to his den.

This narrative was popular in theatrical productions, and there was a song in Noh theatre specifically about tsuchigumo, the intimidating earth spider. The story appears frequently in woodblock prints in the nineteenth century as well. The jacket shows the moment when the go game was abandoned, with tsuchigumo retreating back to his web. So great was the hurried effort to find the spider that the attendants left behind their personal effects, scattering go pieces in their haste.”

Thanks to Steve Jones for passing this along.

Share
Categories: Uncategorized
Share

The Power Report (Part 1 of 3): Korea stars in Nongshim Cup; 22nd Samsung Cup; Meijin Four: Iyama’s brilliancy

Monday October 16, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.10.16_Nongshim Shin wins 4th game

Korea stars in Nongshim Cup: The opening round of the 19th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Shenyang City in Liaoning Province in China from September 19 to 22. It was a triumph for Shin Minjun 6P (right) of Korea, who won all four games in this round. He showed that there’s more than one strong player named Shin in Korea. He was born on Jan. 11, 1999 in Busan, became a professional in 2012 and reached 4-dan in 2016. In the same year, he won the 4th King of the New Stars title, which earned him promotion to 5-dan. He was promoted to 6-dan earlier this year. In the Korean qualifying tournament to choose the team for this tournament, he defeated his teacher, Lee Sedol. In the first Nongshim game, he defeated the player, Fan Tingyu, who won seven games in a row in the previous Nongshim Cup.
Results:
Game One (Sept. 19). Shin (W) beat Fan Tingyu 9P (China) by 3.5 points.
Game Two (Sept. 20). Shin (B) beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P (Japan) by resig.
Game Three (Sept. 21). Shin (B) beat Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) by resig.
Game Four (Sept. 22). Shin (W) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 7P (Japan) by resig.
Time allowance is one hour per player followed by byo-yomi of one minute per move. The remaining members of the Japanese team are Iyama Yuta, Yamashita Keigo, and Ichiriki Ryo. Round Two will be played in Busan, Korea, in November, and Round Three in Shanghai in February.

22nd Samsung Cup: The second and third rounds of the 22nd Samsung Cup were held at the Samsung Confucian Castle Campus in Daejeon City in Korea on September 25 and 26. Two Japanese representatives, Iyama Yuta and 2017.10.16_Samsung Iyama eliminatedYamashita Keigo, had survived the large-scale opening round, but they were both eliminated in the second round. Iyama (B, at left) was matched against Shin Jinseo 8P of Korea. The game featured fierce fighting from early on. Iyama made an oversight and resigned after 118 moves. Yamashita (black) lost to Tong Mengcheng 6P of China; he resigned after 122 moves. Pairings in the semifinals are Dong vs. Gu Zihao (both of China) and Tang Weixing (China) vs. An Kukhyun (Korea)

Meijin Four: Iyama’s brilliancy
As promised, here is some more detail about the 4th game of the current Meijin title match, played on October 2 and 3. Takao Shinji, the challenger, had black. He slipped up in the opening, neglecting to defend a large group because he overlooked a sequence White had to put it into ko. In effect, he had to give White a free move elsewhere when he played an extra move to secure life. That left him a tempo behind in the game, but he played on tenaciously and succeeded in creating complications by leading the game into a large-scale fight. He then played a clever move with Black 101 that seemed to turn the tables in the fight; if White made the “usual” answer, Black had a clever tesuji with move 16 in an unplayed continuation. “Unplayed,” because Iyama came up with a brilliant counter-intuitive combination that enabled him to capture the key stones in the fight at the cost of a couple of sacrifice stones. That gave him the lead. Takao fought on for another 50 moves or so, but was unable to catch up. Iyama even rubbed salt in the wound by making use of the “sacrifice” stones in a later fight. Takao resigned after White 164. The fifth game is already being played on October 16 and 17. It is Takao’s first kadoban, so the second grand slam in Japanese go could be imminent.

Tomorrow: Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out; Chinese pair wins world championship; New Honinbo league starts

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

Kai Fugami wins 22nd Anniversary Tournament in Seattle

Wednesday October 11, 2017

Kai FugamiThe Seattle Go Center 22nd Anniversary Tournament attracted 40 players on Oct. 1.  They used newly refinished go boards, and enjoyed pizza provided by the AGA Rewards program. The tournament went smoothly, despite the good-sized crowd, and it has already been rated by the AGA.

The Open Section filled up with eight players. The winner was Kai Fugami, playing his first tournament at the Go Center. Kai grew up in Japan, and for a while he was an insei with the Kansai Ki-in. He is a 8-dan amateur in Japan. Kai’s dad grew up in Seattle, and Kai’s family has now moved to Bellingham.  Kai is in college now.

Second place in the Open Section went to Alex (Xinlei) Liu. He is currently an AGA 7 dan. Alex won the Go Center Spring Tournament this year, and placed second to Yue Zhang last year in the Anniversary Tournament. Third place went to Yichen Li, who currently has an AGA 6 dan rating.

The Children’s Prize went to Austen Li, who won all his games in the Handicapped Section. He also placed first in the Double Digit Kyu Player Group. Young Amy Ling placed second in this group.

Go Center Instructor Larry Eclipse won the Middle Group of the Handicapped Section, with volunteer Christian De Oro taking second, and Thursday afternoon manager Nathan Saritzky taking third.

The Upper Group of the Handicapped Section extended up to 2 dan. It was won by Brendan Roof, who selected both volumes of Cho Chikun’s “All About Life and Death” for his prize.  The books were donated to the Go Center. Former Board member Dan (Denga) Tang placed second.

Friends of the Seattle Go Center should note that the Anniversary Party will held on Sunday, October 15, starting at 4 p.m.
photo: Kai Fugami during one of his games.  Photo/Report by Brian Allen

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Evanston go club featured in magazine

Sunday October 1, 2017

The Evanston Go Club is featured in a feature article in the September issue of Chicagoly Magazine. “I’ve known the author, Alan Henry, for 2017.10.01_evanston-gomany years.” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “He’s always wanted to do an article about go, and he hit a home run with this one!”
Henry interviewed Rubenstein and other club members for the article, which covers everything from the history of the game all the way up through AlphaGo.
“If you can get your hands on a physical copy, it’s worth it.” said Rubenstein. “It looks even better on the printed page, and there are some things that aren’t in the online version. Kudos to Alan and everyone at Chicagoly Magazine for putting together one of the best articles about go I’ve ever read!”
Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

The Power Report (1): Hsieh and Iyama pair win Pair Go tournament; Ichiriki wins Kisei S League; Youngest member ever of Honinbo League

Wednesday September 6, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.09.06_pair-go

Hsieh and Iyama pair win Pair Go tournament: The Pair Go World Championship Stars Tournament 2017 was held at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, on August 12 and 13 and was won by the pair of Hsieh Yimin and Iyama Yuta, representing Japan. In a sense, this tournament is a successor to the Pair Go World Cup 2016 Tokyo, which was held in Shibuya last year and was a great success with go fans. It is actually in two parts. The first part, the Stars Tournament, was a mini-knockout tournament in which two pairs from Japan and one each from Korea and Chinese Taipei took part. The winners are to play the winning pair from last year’s World Cup in the second part of the tournament, called the Masters Match, in October.

The luck of the draw saw the two teams from Japan play each other in the first round. The pair of Hsieh Yimin 6P (spelling is a mixture of two romanization systems but follows the Nihon Ki-in HP) and Iyama Yuta 9P (B) beat the pair of Fujisawa Rina 3Pand Hane Naoki 9P by resig. In the other first-round game, Choi Jeong 7-dan and Park Jeonghwan 9-dan (W) from Korea beat Hei Jia-jia 7P (also known as Joanne Missingham) and Chen Shih-yuan 9P of Chinese Taipei by resig. In the final, Hsieh and Iyama (B) beat Choi and Park by resig. First prize was ten million yen. Hsieh and Iyama will meet the World Cup-winning pair of Yu Zhiying 5P and Ke Jie 9P in the Masters Match. Hei and Chen (B) beat Fujisawa and Hane by 5.5 points in the play-off for 3rd place.

Like last year, a competition in solving life-and-death problems was also held. The four human pairs competed against the Pandanet life-and-death AI program Panda Sensei in solving five problems. The time allowed for the super-difficult problems was ten minutes each. Panda Sensei won easily, like last year, with four correct solutions in the fastest time. Choe and Park came second, with one correct solution, and Hsieh and Iyama third (they solved the same problem, but the Korea pair was a little faster). What is notable, however, is that Panda Sensei was unable to solve one problem.

(Even in Japan, some fans commented that the winning team above is only half Japanese, as Hsieh is Taiwanese, but it has long been established that players can represent the country of their professional affiliation.)

Ichiriki wins Kisei S League: Two games in the S League of the 42nd Kisei tournament were held on August 10. Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Cho U 9P, also by resig. As a result, there were four players on 2-2, namely, 2017.09.06_Honinbo league Kyo left Shibano rightKono, Yamashita, Murakawa, and Cho U, which meant that Ichiriki Ryo 7P, on 4-0, became unbeatable with one round still to be played. The other league member is So Yokoku 9P, who is on 0-4. Ichiriki secures a place in the play-off to decide the challenger; he needs only one game in the best-of-three, so he has a good chance of meeting Iyama in the title match.

Youngest member ever of Honinbo League: The four vacant places in the 73rd Honinbo League have been decided. Two of the final play-offs were held on August 17. In one, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Terayama Rei 5P by resig.; in the other, Ida Atsushi 8P (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P by half a point. Kobayashi will play in his fifth Honinbo League and Ida in his fourth.
The third place was decided on August 31. Playing black, Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 2.5 points. This will be Yo’s fourth Honinbo League.
The last place was decided on September 4, when Shibano Toramaru 7P (right) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 4P (game details not yet available to me). At 17 years nine months, Shibano is the youngest player to win a seat in the Honinbo League. He has been a pro for three years exactly, so he is also the quickest. (The record for all leagues is held by Ichiriki Ryo, who got into the Kisei League aged 16 years nine months. The new league starts in October; many fans will be looking forward to Shibano’s debut, as he is not only the strongest high-teen player in Japan but also has an aggressive, individualistic style.
Tomorrow: Xie to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Ichiriki to challenge for Oza and Tengen; DeepZenGo wins computer tournament

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share