American Go E-Journal

World #1 Ke Jie 9P to take on AlphaGo in China

Monday April 10, 2017

Barely a year after AlphaGo bested Lee Sedol 9P in Seoul, the go-playing AI program has set the global go community abuzz again with plans for a new match, this time against Ke Jie 9P, the top player in the world.

From May 23-27, DeepMind will collaborate with the China Go Association and Chinese Government to bring AlphaGo, 2017.04.10_Ke-JieChina’s top go players, and leading A.I. experts from Google and China together in Wuzhen, one of the country’s most beautiful water towns, for the “Future of Go Summit.”

“Instead of diminishing the game, as some feared, artificial intelligence (A.I.) has actually made human players stronger and more creative,” said DeepMind in its announcement. “It’s humbling to see how pros and amateurs alike, who have pored over every detail of AlphaGo’s innovative game play, have actually learned new knowledge and strategies about perhaps the most studied and contemplated game in history.”

“AlphaGo’s play makes us feel free, that no move is impossible. Now everyone is trying to play in a style that hasn’t been tried before,” said Zhou Ruiyang 9P.

The summit will feature a variety of game formats involving AlphaGo and top Chinese players, specifically designed to explore the mysteries of the game together. The games will include “Pair Go,” a game where one Chinese pro will play against another…except they will both have their own AlphaGo teammate, alternating moves, to take the concept of ‘learning together’ quite literally. “Team Go” — A game between AlphaGo and a five-player team consisting of China’s top pro players, working together to test AlphaGo’s creativity and adaptability to their combined style.

Of course, the centerpiece of the event will be a classic one-on-one 3-game match between AlphaGo and the world’s number one player, Ke Jie 9P, to push AlphaGo to its limits. Interspersed with the games will be a forum on the “Future of A.I.”

Meanwhile, the American Go Association’s video commentaries on the January AlphaGo/Master games continue. Nine commentaries have been posted so far, by Michael Redmond 9P (hosted by Chris Garlock) and Jennie Shen 2P (hosted by Andrew Jackson), with new posts — and new pros — planned for each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

photo: Ke Jie [far right], along with Nie Weiping [next to Ke Jie], Fan Hui [standing] and Gu Li [far left], replays the opening moves of one of AlphaGo’s games with Lee Sedol from memory to explain the beauty of its moves to Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a visit he made to Nie Weiping’s Go school in Beijing last year.


School Team Tourney Deadline April 12th

Monday April 10, 2017

Registration for the STT has been extended to 9 PM ( EST) Wednesday, April 12th. The Tournament will take place on April 15th and April 22nd, at 1PM and 4PM EST both days.  “This is the final opportunity to bring glory to your school this year,” says Brandon Ho, American Go Honor Society Co-President. Rules can be found here, register here.

U.S. Go Congress registration opens

Sunday April 9, 2017

Registration for the 2017 U.S. Go Congress 2017.04.08_town-country-resortin San Diego is now open. The largest annual go activity in the United States — last year 650 attended in Boston — the Congress runs August 5-12 this year. Events include the US Open, the largest annual go tournament in the US, professional lectures and game analysis, continuous self-paired games, and all kinds of go-related activities from morning to midnight.

The 2017 Congress will be held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, California, which is right in the center of town. “The venue for go tournaments, lectures and game analyses, as well as hotel rooms and meals are all within a short walk of each other, no streets to cross,” says Congress Director Ted Terpstra.

Lodging reservations most be done through the Town and Country Resort hotel via a link on the AGA page, not through the AGA. A special rate is available that 2017.04.08_town-country-resortway and is good for three days before and after the Congress for those who want to extend their stay in San Diego. Details on Congress costs are here.

For those who select one of the meal packages, their food will be served on-site at the convention center under the supervision of the executive chef. Meal plan details are here.

The Town and Country Resort is an 46-acre oasis near most of the tourist attractions in town. It is a quick ten-minute drive from downtown, the airport, the Pacific Ocean beaches, Seaworld, the zoo, Balboa Park and many other sights. People staying there have use of the three swimming pools and the gym. The Town and Country Resort has its own trolley stop and is contiguous to a bus terminal, an upscale mall and a golf course.

“The San Diego Go Club is happy to welcome everyone and look forward to hosting a great US Go Congress,” says Terpstra.

AGA Master Review Series: Game 15; Master vs. Park Jungwhan 9P

Thursday April 6, 2017

In the latest video commentary in the AGA’s Master Review series, Michael Redmond 9P, hosted by Chris Garlock, takes a 2017.04.06_AGA Master Review Series, Game 15look at a game between Master and Park Jungwhan.


The top Korean player is usually placed second to Ke Jie in the world ranking systems. “In this game Master shows some very strong fighting on the lower side,” says Redmond.

Chiang Tops Enlighten Tourney

Thursday April 6, 2017

17309197_118437642024158_2315142002940725631_nAnthony Chiang 6d took top honors at the Enlighten Youth Go Tournament on March 20th in San Jose, CA. The tournament attracted more than 80 young players and is the largest youth go tournament in the Bay Area. Players were separated into 14 groups according to their level, and Chiang took first place in group A with 3 wins. Winners got trophies and various prizes. Every player in the 13×13 board section won trophies as well. Complete results are here, photos are available here. -Report by tournament organizer Wenguang Wang. Photo by Yu Hsiu Chiou.

Sedgwick Kids Discover Go

Wednesday April 5, 2017

17499502_10212273359852978_3716404628605044121_nThe VMware Go Club and Santa Clara Youth Go Club presented a  “Learn to Play Go” session for 120+ third-graders at Sedgwick Elementary School in Cupertino, CA, on March 28th, reports organizer Wenguang Wang. “As in previous years, the school invited many presenters to teach kids various kinds of fun activities, such as fencing, YoYo, robots, and yoga. Volunteers Hongya Qu, Yi Luo, and myself presented the go lesson. Students learned the rules and played a few games on 9×9 boards. They enjoyed the session, especially those who won,” reports Wang. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Wenguang Wang.


National Go Center’s wish list as grand opening approaches

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Construction on the new National Go Center in Washington DC is almost done and plans for the Center’s grand opening April2017.04.04_ngc-measuring 28-30 are underway, reports Center Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa.

“Local volunteers and generous contributors have already stepped up to help make the Center a warm and welcoming place,” says Khalsa. “But there are a lot of items 2017.04.02-Fujisawa Shuko artworkthe NGC could use from supportive donors.” These include office desk(s) and chairs, a sofa and loveseat(s), side tables, kitchen utensils and equipment, coffee maker, framed go-themed pictures and artwork, computers, cameras for broadcasting, monitors, 2- inch table boards, and stones in wooden bowls. Email

Fred Baldwin and Keith Arnold have donated go books and magazines for the Center’s library, which will be housed in teak bookcases donated by former AGA President Allan Abramson. Ron Snyder has donated a beautifully crafted Ing table. And Thomas Hsiang is contributing a special piece of calligraphy (left) by legendary go player Fujisawa Shuko that the Nihon Kiin originally donated to the New York Go Center. photo: measuring space for tables at the NGC; photo by Chris Garlock
Update: This post has been updated to reflect that the Ing table is being donated by Ron Snyder. 

Categories: U.S./North America

Nihon Ki-in Pro visits Seattle Go Center

Monday April 3, 2017

Bian Wenkai 2P, a young pro from the Nihon Ki-in, visited the Seattle Go Center from March 23 to March 28.  Originally from Shanghai, Mr. Bian is fluent in Japanese and Chinese, and also speaks some English.  Bian Wenkai at Seattle Go Center - before gamesA friendly and generous teacher, Bian Sensei visited the McDonald International School Go Club, the Zoka Coffeehouse group, and played against a team of players at Nick Sibicky’s  DDK Class at the Seattle Go Center.  He gave a lecture on Sunday afternoon, replaying an old game that he lost by a half point, and a more recent tournament game that he won.  He also played simultaneous games four times at the Go Center. Forty-nine people visited the Go Center during the Tuesday when Bian Wenkai was there.  Report and photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S./North America

Upcoming Go Events: Boulder, Syracuse, and Cambridge

Monday April 3, 2017

April 8: Boulder, CO
Colorado Spring Go Tournament
Eric Wainwright 303-506-8846

April 8: Syracuse, NY
10th Salt City Go Tournament
Richard Moseson 315-682-7720

April 9: Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Go Association Spring Handicap Tournament
Eva Casey 617-666-8934
David Kahn 617-571-1421

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar

New AlphaGo doc premieres at NYC Tribeca filmfest

Saturday April 1, 2017

Man is pitted against machine as the DeepMind AI takes on go grandmaster Lee Sedol in ALPHAGO, a brand-new 2017.04.01AlphaGo-2017 Tribeca Film Festivaldocumentary that will have its world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca film festival in New York City later this month. Director Greg Kohs’ absorbing documentary chronicles Google’s DeepMind team as it prepares to test the limits of its rapidly-evolving AI technology. Kohs and his team were on hand last year in Seoul to document the historic battle with more at stake than the million dollar prize, and the film “reveals as much about the workings of the human mind as it does the future of AI.” ALPHAGO screens April 21, 23, 24 and 26; click here for details and tickets.