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Go Spotting: SFO Terminal 2

Wednesday June 20, 2018

Philippe Alexis spotted this recently at an exhibit in Terminal 2 at San Francisco Airport. It’s a Maneki neko pair imitating the2018.06.19_art-at-SFO gods Daikoku and Ebisu playing go. One cat holds a wish-granting mallet and mimics Daikoku; the other holds a sea bream, a symbol of good luck, and mimics Ebisu, two of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune in Japan.

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In Memoriam: Leonard Baum

Tuesday June 19, 2018

Note: We just recently learned of the passing of Lenny Baum last year, hence the belated obit below. Please send us any and all go-related news at journal@usgo.org

Leonard Baum (Lenny, fondly known to many as Opa, and a regular at the annual U.S. Go Congress), died unexpectedly at the2018.06.19_LeonardBaum age of 86 on August 14, 2017 at his home in Princeton, NJ. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude in mathematics, from Harvard University in 1953 and received a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard in 1958. He worked for a couple of years at the University of Chicago before moving to Princeton, NJ to work at the Institute for Defense Analysis – a Defense Department think tank which specialized in cryptography. Lenny’s affiliation with IDA in Princeton spanned 1959 through 1978. He wrote over 100 internal papers there and is responsible for what has become the motto of IDA: “No idea is bad. A bad idea is good. A good idea is terrific.” Lenny’s public scientific legacy includes the Baum-Welch algorithm, which directly enabled the first effective speech recognition systems. Today, 50 years later, this work remains at the center of these systems – while its mathematical and algorithmic descendants and other relatives, have impacted many fields from genomics to weather prediction to finance. After leaving IDA, Lenny teamed up with Jim Simons to apply his mathematical modeling to the financial markets. He retired early, legally blind, seeing with only his rods, having lost all his cones to a dystrophy, but that didn’t stop him from travelling the world over, visiting many exotic places. He continued to trade for himself very successfully, often taking very contrarian positions. An avid go player, deep lover of science and seeker of truth, he continued working on math literally up until his death, spending the night before he died reading new math papers on prime numbers. “His greatest pleasure came from facing an opponent many decades younger – often losing but – like the kindly grandfather he was – enjoying every moment of the encounter,” says Terry Benson. The Leonard Baum Prizes are being established in his memory to encourage inter-generational play. “Lenny became part of the mid-Jersey go scene that flourished in the heady world around Princeton’s Institute for Defense Analysis and Institute for Advanced Study,” Benson added. “His visual affliction forced him to track his head inches over the board but was at least partially suited to go. With only rods and no cones he could see what you need to in go: black and white.”

-  Includes reporting originally published in The New York Times on Aug. 18, 2017. photo by Phil Straus

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N.A. players wanted for 4th Bailing Cup

Tuesday June 19, 2018

The Chinese Weiqi Association invites two men (professional or amateur) from North America to participate in the 4th Bailing Cup Championship. The first three rounds of the tournament will be held between July 24-27 in Beijing, China. (Note that this is during the US Go Congress and it will not be possible to attend both events.) The final will be held sometime in 2019. Full airfare, meals, and accommodations will be provided to participants. If you have any questions, or to apply to participate, please contact tournaments@usgo.org no later than June 30th.

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Categories: China,Main Page
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Go Spotting: “The Row” film

Monday June 18, 2018

“The Row,” a brand-new short film about life and death, prominently features go. The 16-minute film stars Vondie Curtis-Hall as2018.06.19_TheRow-film a prison warden who plays a final game of go with death row inmate Demetrius Grosse. The film is directed by Philiane Phang. “The filmmakers had chosen a game they thought reflected the situation, but wanted help with some equipment, showing the actors how to play the stones and such,” reports AGA president Andy Okun, who is acknowledged in the film credits.  The game depicted was the famous Honinbo Sansa Kashio Rigen triple ko game from 1582, with its suggestion of stalemate and ill fortune. 

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Upcoming Go Events: Evanston and Sacramento

Monday June 18, 2018

June 23: Evanston, IL
Summer Solstice Tournament
Mark Rubenstein mark@evanstongoclub.org 847-869-6020

June 30: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacraento Summer Quarterly Tournament
Willard Haynes willard@emeritus.csus.edu 916-929-6112

Get the latest go events information.

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Problem of the Week

Versatility

White to play