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2018 U.S. Go Congress launches in Williamsburg

Sunday July 22, 2018

Heavy daylong rains may have slowed the arrival in Williamsburg, VA of some of the hundreds of go players at the 2018 U.S. Go 2018.07.21_go-congress-fife-drumCongress, but it didn’t dampen their spirits in the slightest, as old friends and new connected and hit the boards. New York City swept DC in the finals of the Pandanet City League — watch for full details soon — and the first round of the 9×9 tournament was held after the opening ceremonies. The U.S. Open commences at 9a sharp Sunday morning;  watch live on Twitch or YouTube and there will also be live pro commentary on KGS.  Plus check out lots of photos and reports on Facebook and Twitter and the free Congress mobile app not only has all the information attendees need  — including latest schedule updates, pairings and more — but a cool social stream as well, where we’ll be posting additional photos and reports, handy for anyone in the world who wants to see what’s going on at this popular event. photo: a fife and drum corps welcomes go players to historic Williamsburg; report/photo by Chris Garlock

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U.S. Go Congress coverage on all platforms

Saturday July 21, 2018

The 34th U.S. Go Congress gets underway this weekend in Williamsburg, VA. Follow all the action on the AGA website, on our2018.07.21_USGC_EJThumbnail Facebook and Twitter pages, in the daily E-Journal and be sure to check out our video broadcasting coverage of all major tournaments, including the 9-round US Masters, Redmond Cup Finals, Pandanet AGA City League Finals and Pair Go Finals, on our official Twitch channel – where the USGC broadcasts will be featured — as well as on our YouTube channel. “This year, we will be mainly focusing on the Twitch chat, so make sure you join the conversation there!” says Stephen Hu. 

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The Power Report (Part 2 of 3): Iyama defends Honinbo title; Fujisawa defends 5thHollyhock Cup

Thursday July 19, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama defends Honinbo title: The fourth game of the 73rdHoninbo best-of-seven title match was held at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture, on June 12 and 13. Yamashita Keigo 9P, the challenger, who had white, 2018.07.19_Honinbo5 Yamashita Kataoka 9P moustache Iyamatook the initiative in the fighting on the first day and went into the second day with a slight advantage. But on the evening of the second day he flinched in the face of an all-out do-or-die challenge by Iyama Yuta (or Honinbo Monyu) and in a flash his lead was upset. He resigned after 189 moves. Iyama had now won three games in a row, so Yamashita faced a kadoban. Incidentally, this is the third year in a row that this hotel was scheduled to host a Honinbo game, but on the previous occasions the match ended before it reached the hotel.
The fifth game was played at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 30 and July 1. Playing white, Iyama secured a resignation after 228 moves and won the match 4-1. As in the previous game, Yamashita played well and seemed to have the initiative in the middle-game fighting on the second day, but when he launched an attack there was a chink in his armor; Iyama seized the opportunity to unleash a fierce counterpunch that Yamashita was unable to handle. He fought on until he ran out of options.
The prize money is 30,000,000 yen (about $278,000). Iyama has now held the Honinbo title for seven years in a row, so he has matched the record of Sakata Eio (16th to 26th terms); his next goals will be the nine-in-a-row posted by Takagawa Shukaku (7th to 15th terms), then Cho Chikun’s record of ten in a row (44th to 53rd). This is Iyama’s 52nd title. He is in fourth place after Cho Chikun (74), Sakata Eio (64), and Kobayashi Koichi (60), but in his tally of big-three titles (19) he is second only to Cho (29). Also, he has won 41 top-seven titles, just behind Cho’s record of 42.
Like the venues for the first and second games, the venue for the fifth game has a connection with the Meiji Restoration 150 years ago. The restoration of imperial rules was made possible by the victory of the clans supporting the restoration over those supporting the Tokugawa shogunate. After an attack by Imperial forces on Edo, the last shogun, Yoshinobu, surrendered in May 1868, but the Aizu clan, which supported the Tokugawas, continued fighting. The imperial army attacked Aizu Wakamatsu in October and the city surrendered in early November. The most famous incident in this part of the war was a mass suicide of 19 teenaged Aizu samurai in the White Tiger Corps when they concluded (prematurely) that their side had lost. This episode has been very popular in literature and film. For details of the war, check out “the Boshin war” in Wikipedia2018.07.19_Hollyhock Fujisawa and for the suicide “the Byakkotai.” The players visited the White Tiger graves to make offerings the day before the game.

Fujisawa defends 5th Hollyhock Cup: The games in the 5th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup best-of-three were held in the space of eight days. The first two games were held in the Konjakutei, a traditional Japanese inn, in Aizu Wakamatsu City in 2018.07.19_Hollyhock3 Xie Redmond referee FujisawaFukushima Prefecture with just one rest day between them; the score was a tie, so the deciding game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo after a break of four days. Xie made a good start in her bid to seek revenge for her loss to Fujisawa last year when she pulled off an upset win in the first game, but Fujisawa fought hard to take the next two games, thus defending her title.
Results
Game 1 (June 15). Xie (W) by resig.
Game 2 (June 17). Fujisawa (W) by resig.
Game 3 (June 22). Fujisawa (B) by resig.
Fujisawa won the inaugural term, so she has now won this title three times. By my count, this is her eighth title. First prize is 7,000,000 yen (close to $65,000).
(Note: Until the third term, this tournament was a knock-out, with the previous winner starting out in the final stage and the final being just one game. Last year the final became a best-of-three, with the winner to defend the title this year. It has taken two years to transform the title to the usual challenger format.)

Tomorrow: Kyo makes good start in Gosei; Kobayashi Koichi wins tournament for senior players; Ryu wins seat in 2018 Samsung Cup; Yamashita leads S League; Cho U keeps lead in Meijin League; Promotions; Obituary: Nishigami Yoshihiko 9P

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Your Move/Readers Write: Treat women players equally

Thursday July 19, 2018

Treat women players equally: “If you have to qualify a sentence with ‘I hope it’s not sexist to say…’, just don’t say it at all,” writes Seth Yoder (7/18 Power Report, Nannami Nao wins Senko Cup). “That qualification is akin to saying, “Not to be racist, but…’” The go world, Yoder continues, “is at a crucial point right now. We can decide whether to make this a welcoming environment for women, or to keep it a snobby, insular boy’s club. Treat women players like they’re people in their own right, instead of always identifying/qualifying them by their relationships with men. Resist that impulse.”
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Go Spotting: “The Passions of the Mind,” and “1636: The Ottoman Onslaught”

Thursday July 19, 2018

Stone’s “Passions of the Mind: In Irving Stone’s biographic novel about Sigmund Freud, “The Passions of the Mind,” there is the following sentence, reports2018.07.11_The_Passions_of_the_Mind David Matson: “Sigmund stayed until one in the morning, playing Japanese Go.” It occurs in Section 9 of Book Two: The Longing Soul.

2018.07.11_1636_The_Ottoman_Onslaught“1636: The Ottoman Onslaught”: “Go is mentioned briefly in ‘1636: The Ottoman Onslaught” by Eric Flint,” writes  Mike Goerss. “The novel is in a series of an alternate history where a small American town finds itself in the middle of Germany in 1632. Third to last page, speaking about fighting the Turks as they invade Austria: ‘It is more like a game of go than chess. . . It is more of a game of position than maneuver.’”

“The Next Move”: “AlphaGo Zero, Google’s experimental AI, exists to play Go. There is no awareness, only intelligence.” So begins John Cooper Hamilton’s “The Next Move,” a very short story about AlphaGo in Daily Science Fiction, sent along by Paul Celmer, who published a non-go story in DSF last July, “Spooky Action at a Distance.”

“The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI”: Maurice Conti’s “The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI” TED talk video mentions AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol, reports Shawn Ray.

 

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Problem of the Week

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Black to play