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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 24: More human?

Saturday November 17, 2018

“It could be that the way humans play go is changing, but in this game AlphaGo plays a lot of moves that human players are2018.11.16 AG24 playing these days,” says Michael Redmond 9P in the latest installment of his game commentaries with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “There’s a lot of fighting, as usual, but the territory is balanced and right up into the endgame there are groups whose life and death status is ambiguous,” Redmond says. “That affects the way the endgame is played, which makes it really interesting.”

Thanks to NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa for technical support, Jeff Fitzgerald for camera, lighting and sound; produced by Nathan Epstein and Michael Wanek.

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Charles French – 1928-2018: a personal good-bye

Friday November 16, 2018

by Keith Arnold2018.11.15-charles-french-IMG_2297

I loved Charles French.  That is a term I do not throw around much, but I loved Charles French,who passed away, age 90 on November 13.  All of us, who can remember the time before a stroke severely limited his tournament, workshop and Congress attendance, will recall him fondly.

Charley found go as a chess player fairly early in his life, but never truly got to play until he found the AGA in his retirement. His enthusiasm for the game was perhaps the greatest I have ever witnessed, and he played with a glee that would rival any child.

He also played at a pace rivaled only by a glacier.  His determination and concentration were amazing and he played with deliberate joy, outlasting if not outplaying you.  Indeed, his motionless pose before the go board became a thing of legend, immortalized by me in my poem “Charley at the Ban.”

He was an inveterate tournament goer and congress attendee.  Charley ran a go club from his home in Pennsylvania for many years and, with skills from his work as Treasurer of  the Philadelphia Gas Works, he patiently sorted out some long neglected tax issues for the AGA back in the 1990s. He was a favorite student of Jujo Jiang, who unfailingly asked about him long after he stopped holding his Cleveland Workshops.  He reached 2 kyu, a respectable achievement for a man who started playing in retirement. The AGA database shows 522 games and 108 tournaments, but many of his games were too early for the database to capture.

Charley was a wonderful man, a gentleman of the last century in every good way, and perhaps a few of the bad, that term implies.  He was unfailingly courteous, polite, generous and kind. He loved family and children and above all a good joke and a laugh. Charley also appreciated women, a handsome man, he enjoyed attention, and yes,  to be waited upon, but was always thankful and full of praise for the efforts of others.

Probably because he loved my wife, we spent many, many July weekends at his home on the Jersey Shore.  These were truly some of the favorite times of my life, well fed and taken care of by his wife Addie, and the only price of admission endless games (and with Charley games were endless)  in the sun on the deck. And “Uncle Charley’s” delight and joy in the arrival of our daughter is something I will always remember and appreciate.

stalwart opponent
always, now forever, I
await your next move

 

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The Power Report: Samsung Cup update; Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record; Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge; New Faces in Meijin League

Wednesday November 14, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea: 
The best-of-three semifinals for the 23rd Samsung Cup were held at a Samsung Research Center in Taejeon City, Korea. Results were as follows:
(Game 1, Nov. 5) Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Xie Erhao 9P (China) by resig.; Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) (W) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.
(Game 2, Nov. 6) Xie (W) beat Ke by 1.5 points; Ahn (B) beat Tang by resig.
(Game 3, Nov. 7) Ke (W) beat Xie by resig.
Ke and Ahn will meet in the best-of-three final on December, 3, 4 and 5. Ke will be vying for his sixth international title; Ahn will be making his debut in an international final.

Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was 2018.11.14_kisei43 Yamashita L Kono Rheld at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 9. It featured Yamashita Keigo 9P (left), winner of the S League, and Kono Rin 9P, who was second in the S League but who earned his seat in the play-off by defeating Onishi Ryuhei 3P in the final knockout tournament. Taking white, Yamashita beat Kono by resignation. Although the final is called a “best-of-three,” this was enough for Yamashita to win it, as the S League winner starts with a one-game advantage. Unusually for a big game, this also marked a landmark in Yamashita’s career: his 1,000thwin. He was the 24thplayer in Japan to reach this mark and, at 25 years seven months, the fastest. He broke the record set by Yuki Satoshi 9P of the Kansai Ki-in of 27 years one month.

The title match with Iyama Yuta will start on January 10. The Kisei will be a familiar arena for Yamashita, as he held the title for one term in 2003 (the 27thKisei) and for four years in a row from 2006 to 2009 (30thto 33rd). He also made three unsuccessful challenges in a row to Iyama Yuta: he lost the 38thto 40thtitle matches (2014 to 2016) 2-4, 3-4, and 0-4 in sequence. This may be a good time to challenge Iyama, as he seems a little vulnerable recently. First, though, Yamashita has to try to win the Tengen title match between the two that is now tied 1-1. A win here would give him a good springboard for the new year.

Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge: The second game of the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match2018.11.14_37fhon2 Fujisawa L Xie R was held at the headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Playing white, Fujisawa Rina (left) forced the title-holder Xie Yimin to resign after 212 moves. Fujisawa also won the first game, so she needs just one more win to take the title. The third game will be held on November 24.

New Faces in Meijin League: The final play-offs for the three vacant seats in the 44thMeijin League were all held on November 8 but at three different locations. At the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. At the Nagoya branch, Suzuki Shinji 7P (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 7P by half a point. At the Kansai Ki-in, Son Makoto 6P (B) beat Fujii Shuya 7P (a member of the Kansai Ki-in) by resig. All three players will be making their league debuts. Son also earned a promotion to 7-dan, dated as of the following day. Matsuura’s win was his eighth and Son’s his seventh in ongoing streaks.

Promotion: To 4-dan: Mannami Nao (50 wins, as of Nov. 9)

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Michael Chen 8D tops Gotham Go Tournament

Wednesday November 14, 2018

An undefeated Michael Chen 8D took top honors in the Gotham Go Tournament on November 10 in New York City. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATournament Director David Gleckle directed his first tournament with his assistants Ying and Sichen, and organizer Peter Armenia extended special “Thanks to my wife Gretchen for managing all the food and drinks.”

Results:

Open Division:
1: Michael Chen (undefeated) 8d
2: Peixuan Wang 8d
3: Jing Guo 6d

Dan Division:
1: Patrick Zhao 3d
2: Alexander Qi 2d
3: Niel Ni 1d

1-4k Division:
1: Jino Chang 2k
3: Ted Lin 2k
3: Jason Chimon 1k

5-9k Division:
1: Andy Segal 5k
2: Luke Kuo 9k
3: Jeffrey Losapio 5k

DDK Division:
1: Alex Fan-cui 10k
2: Zhiyong Huang 15k
3: Ashley Qi 15k

And winning the drawing for the special Manhattan Go Board was Patrick Zhao.

 

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California State Go Championship set for Nov. 24-25 in San Diego

Wednesday November 14, 2018

On the weekend after Thanksgiving, Saturday and Sunday, November 24 & 25, the San Diego Go Club will host the first annual California State Go Championship. The 5-round tournament will include an Open Section and Handicap Sections, and the best record in the Open by a California resident or student will earn the title of 2018 California State Champion, win cash and a trophy and have her or his name engraved on a permanent champion plaque. A total of $600 and trophies will be awarded for the best results in the various sections. AGA membership is required. Pre-registration by 11:59 p.m. Thanksgiving Day is required to play in Round 1. The site for the competition is the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park.

In conjunction with the Open Championship, the SDGC is hosting the 2018 13×13 State Go Championship. This competition will be 5-round, 30-minute games, intended for 20-Kyu to 30-Kyu players and beginners. The best boy and girl will be declared the 13×13 California State Champions and win appropriate trophies. The site is the same as the Open State Championship. Pre-registration by 11/23, 11:59 p.m. is required to play in Round 1 but walk-ins can play in later rounds. AGA membership is required but the California Go Association will have Chinese professional Hai Li rate the games for it. Players in this tournament can choose to play in the first three rounds of the AGA-rated 19×19 State championship on Saturday and take byes for rounds 4 & 5 on Sunday.

Register here for both tournaments.

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Problem of the Week

Tesuji Twist

Black to play