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AGA Board Meeting Summary: 10/15/2017

Saturday October 21, 2017

The board was joined by Dave Weimer (director of the 2019 US Go Congress), and a decision was made to put an initial deposit down on conference services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 2019 US Go Congress. Other items of business were that Danny Ko was approved for a two-year term as AGA treasurer, a proposal for a state championship system has been sent out to chapters for feedback, and a FAQ is being developed to address concerns regarding the upcoming ranking certification system. Finally, the board resolved to more greatly involve the membership by posting agendas for monthly board meetings in advance and publicly, as well as publishing summaries of those meetings.

-Samantha Fede, AGA Secretary

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Cotsen Open draws top players this weekend

Friday October 20, 2017

Defending champion Mark Lee 7d faces a strong field of top players at this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, including Andrew Lu 7d, 2017.10.20_2016-cotsen-IMG_2019Aaron Ye 7d, Yuefeng Zhao 7d and Vincent Zhuang 7d. Top boards will be broadcast live on KGS starting around 10a PDT on Saturday. The popular annual tournament is also a prelim for the 6th AGA Pro tournament, so competition is expected to be even fiercer than usual. The action takes place at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and includes pro simuls and a pro-pro game.
NOTE: pre-registration has closed but walk-ins on Saturday will be accepted; all players who want to play in the first round must be on line to sign in or register by 9:15a on Saturday. Any questions, email
cotsenopen@gmail.com
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hoto: top board at 2016 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

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Self-taught AlphaGo Zero bests all previous versions in record time

Wednesday October 18, 2017

AlphaGo Zero, the latest version of the go-playing AlphaGo AI, defeated all previous versions of AlphaGo in just forty days. More importantly, AlphaGo Zero was taught go’s rules, but given no additional instructions, instead learning the best moves by playing 2017.10.18_alphago-zero-saran-poroongmillions of games against itself. Details of the new program were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

“AlphaGo Zero independently found, used and occasionally transcended many established sequences of moves used by human players,” write the AGA’s Andy Okun and Andrew Jackson in an accompanying article. “In particular, the AI’s opening choices and end-game methods have converged on ours — seeing it arrive at our sequences from first principles suggests that we haven’t been on entirely the wrong track. On the other hand, some of its middle-game judgements are truly mysterious and give observing human players the feeling that they are seeing a strong human play, rather than watching a computer calculate.”

The ability to self-train without human input is a crucial step towards the dream of creating a general AI that can tackle any task, reports Nature. In the nearer-term, though, it could enable programs to take on scientific challenges such as protein folding or materials research, said DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis at a press briefing. “We’re quite excited because we think this is now good enough to make some real progress on some real problems.”

Prof Satinder Singh, a computer scientist at Michigan University, who reviewed the findings for the journal said: “The AI massively outperforms the already superhuman AlphaGo and, in my view, is one of the biggest advances, in terms of applications, for the field of reinforcement learning so far.”
- Chris Garlock; Image credit: Saran_Poroong Getty Images

Read more…
DeepMind’s Go-playing AI doesn’t need human help to beat us anymore
AlphaGo Zero: Google DeepMind supercomputer learns 3,000 years of human knowledge in 40 days
DeepMind has a bigger plan for its newest Go-playing AI
AI versus AI: Self-Taught AlphaGo Zero Vanquishes Its Predecessor
AlphaGo Zero Goes From Rank Beginner to Grandmaster in Three Days—Without Any Help
‘It’s able to create knowledge itself’: Google unveils AI that learns on its own
DeepMind AlphaGo Zero learns on its own without meatbag intervention
This more powerful version of AlphaGo learns on its own

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The Power Report (Part 3 of 3): Record age gap in women’s game; Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup; Tengen title match starts

Wednesday October 18, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Record age gap in women’s game: On October 5, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P played Ueno Asami 1P in the preliminary round of the Women’s Hollyhock Cup. Playing white, Ueno beat Sugiuchi by resig. This game set a record for the biggest gap in a women’s game: Ueno is 15 and Sugiuchi is 90. Go Weekly gave the age gap as 75 years. Sugiuchi was born on March 6, 1927 and Ueno on October 26, 2001, so, to be precise, the difference is 74 years seven months. Sugiuchi is probably2017.10.18_Kiriyama L Mutsuura R Takao the oldest active female professional ever. Her husband, Sugiuchi Masao 9P, is still playing at the age of 96 (he turns 97 on October 20). It’s hard to imagine this is not a record for male professionals.

Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup: The final of the 24th Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect of Buddhism on October 7. Playing in his first big final, Mutsuura Yuta 3P (white, left in photo at right) defeated Takao Shinji Meijin (at right). Takao resigned after 210 moves. Mutsuura is a member of the Nagoya or Central Japan branch 2017.10.18_Tengen1 L Ichiriki R Iyamaof the Nihon Ki-in. He was born on May 1, 1999, so yet another strong teenager has emerged in Japan. At 18 years five months, he is the third-youngest player to win an open title. His success earned him promotion to 7-dan (as of October 8).

Tengen title match starts: The final quarter of the tournament year in Japan features two title matches, the Tengen and the Oza, between Iyama Yuta and Ichiriki Ryo, so in effect they are playing a best-of-ten. Ichiriki is also the favourite to challenge for the Kisei title, so it could become a best-of-17. The first game in the 43rd Tengen title was played at the Hotel Foresta in Toyoda City, Aichi Prefecture, on October 11. Taking black, Iyama (at right, photo at left) played aggressively, but Ichiriki held his own in the fighting. In the end, however, Iyama’s good judgment enabled him to draw ahead. Aiming at an upset, Ichiriki started a ko fight at the end, but Black had more ko threats, so he resigned after 273 moves. The second game will be played on October 27. The first Oza game is scheduled for October 20.

Promotion: To 2-dan: Hoshiai Shiho (30 wins, as of Sept. 26)

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Mutsuura was born in 1999, not 2009.

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Cotsen pre-registration deadline Tuesday at midnight PDT

Tuesday October 17, 2017

The deadline for the discounted registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open is midnight PDT Tuesday night; click here now to register.  After that, registration is $25 in cash at the door. Cotsen organizers have just added pro simuls with 2017.10.17_myungwan kimMyungwan Kim 9P and Ahn Dalhoun 9P on Sunday, plus of course the food truck lunch both days (free for pre-registered folks only).  Complete details here. Walk-ins on Saturday will be accepted, but all players who want to play in the first round must be on line to sign in or register by 9:15a on Saturday. Any questions, email  cotsenopen@gmail.com
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hoto: Myungwan Kim 9p at the 2016 Cotsen; photo by Phil Straus

 

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Problem of the Week

Standard Corner

Black to play