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Elwyn Berlekamp, game theorist and coding pioneer, dies at 78

Tuesday April 23, 2019

Elwyn Berlekamp, a UC Berkeley mathematician and game theorist whose error-correcting codes allowed spacecraft from 2019.04.23-berlekamp-games3-750Voyager to the Hubble Space Telescope to send accurate, detailed and beautiful images back to Earth, died April 9 at his home in Piedmont, California, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.

A professor emeritus of mathematics and of electrical engineering and computer sciences, Berlekamp was 78.
One of his passions was the Asian game of Go, which he analyzed in the book Mathematical Go — one of the rare books on Go to be translated from English into Japanese, rather than vice versa. He focused on Go’s endgame, said mathematician and colleague David Eisenbud, and once challenged a top Japanese Go master to a series of endgames selected by Berlekamp. He beat the Go master in seven straight games, playing both sides of the board — white and black. “It was mathematics against intuition, and mathematics won,” said Eisenbud, director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). “It was an impressive demonstration of which he was very proud.”
- excerpted from Berkeley News; read more about Berlekamp here.
photo: Berlekamp playing the game Amazons with Georg Menz in 2015. Menz was that year’s Berlekamp Postdoctoral Fellow at MSRI. (Photo courtesy of David Eisenbud)

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Upcoming Go Events: Evanston, Palo Alto, Stony Brook, and Seattle

Monday April 22, 2019

May 4: Evanston, IL
May The Fourth Be With You – Evanston Go Club Tournament
Mark Rubenstein mark@evanstongoclub.org 847-869-6020

May 4: Palo Alto, CA
South Bay Go Tournament
Michael Kokosenski mountainviewgoclub@gmail.com 951-961-1248

May 4: Stony Brook, NY
Stony Brook 2019 Sakura Matsuri Go Tournament
Tzu Hung Jeffery Yeh tzuhungjeffer.yeh@stonybrook.edu 253-218-9272
Rohith Rokkam rohith.rokkam@stonybrook.edu 516-506-1196

May 5: Seattle, WA
Seattle Spring Tournament 2019
Mike Malveaux programs@seattlego.org 206-545-1424

Get the latest go events information.

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Mateusz Surma defeats William Shi, notching third win for EGF team

Sunday April 21, 2019

Mateusz Surma seems unstoppable. In the third round of the Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship, played on April 21 on KGS, Surma defeated AGA pro William Shi, extending his winning streak to three games. Surma defeated Calvin Sun 1P in the second round and Andy Liu 1P in the first round.2019.04.21_Arizona Go Club Pizza party 3
The critical fight in the game with Shi began in the opening on the lower side, as Surma (white) attacked Shi’s weak group in the lower-left corner. Black’ move 51, an attachment at H3, was an intuitive shape point, but a better choice would have been to attach on the other side at K3. This mistake created a weak and heavy black group in the center. White capitalized on attacking this group, and black was unable to recover.
The April 14 game with Sun started with a modern joseki in the upper right corner. Surma (black) built thickness towards the center, while Sun claimed some territory. As Sun moved to the lower side to reduce Surma’s influence, Surma started a complicated fight in the lower-left corner. The local fight spread quickly into the center. Surma used his thickness on the right side to attack white’s center groups. With two groups weak and floating, Sun couldn’t hold the territorial balance. He attempted to catch up, but in the process, lost a group and was forced to resign.

In the next round, Eric Lui will attempt to snap Surma’s winning streak; the game is set for May 5, starting at 14:00 US Eastern Time. The game will be played on KGS and live-streamed on Twitch.
photo: Round 1 watch party at the Arizona Go Club; photo courtesy William Gundberg
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National Go Center takes game to DC Sakuri Matsuri festival

Sunday April 21, 2019

Saturday, April 13 “was a beautiful day on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC for the annual Sakuri Matsuri festival.” 2019.04.21 DC Sakura Matsurireports National Go Center Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa. The 15 volunteers from the NGC were busy from the time the gates opened until they closed, teaching and sharing go. Hundreds of festival-goers stopped by to sit and learn the rules and play their first game. The local go community has been teaching at the Sakuri Matsuri for over 15 years. “A big thanks to all our volunteers” says Khalsa, “and we look forward to being back again to enjoy the entertainment, food, culture, and fellowship of this great event.”
photo courtesy Gurujeet Khalsa

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2019 US Go Congress College Scholarship Application Now Open

Friday April 19, 2019

57226489_1325562057596081_3899342546807029760_nUniversity students can apply for a $200 AGF scholarship to the 35th US Go Congress in Wisconsin, Madison held July 13-20. Applicants must be aged 26 or younger and actively enrolled in college (rising students starting in Fall 2019 and recent graduates in Spring 2019 are also eligible). Both undergraduate and graduate students may apply. After filling out the application, applicants should email proof of enrollment to youth@usgo.org and the application will be reviewed within three days. If approved, additional instructions will then be sent on claiming the scholarship. Interested applicants should not register for the US Go Congress until his or her application status has been received. There are a total of 25 scholarships available first-come first-serve with 20 allotted to US students and 5 for Canada/Mexico students, so apply soon to claim one! - Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator.  Photo: University of Maryland Go Club by Jack de la Beaujardiere

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Problem of the Week

Classic Corner

Black to play