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AlphaGo a Top Contender for “Breakthrough of the Year”

Saturday December 3, 2016

AlphaGo is a top contender for the 2016 “Breakthrough of the Year” in Science’s annual survey of momentous scientific 2016.12.03_ai-ups-gamediscoveries, developments, or trends. Voting continues through Sunday, December 4; click here to vote. At 14%, “AI Ups its Game” is second only to “Human embryos in a dish,” with 20% response, narrowly leading “Ripples in spacetime” with 13%. After voting closes on Sunday, a second round of voting will be conducted with the 5 finalists to pick the official winner, and the People’s Choice selection, along with Science editors’ pick, will be announced on December 22.

 

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Maui Go Club Hosts First Rating Tourney

Saturday December 3, 2016

The Maui Go Club held its first rating tournament on November 19 in Wailuku HI. Five members participated in five rounds2016.12.03_maui-go-clubof play where the ranks of many of the players was formally set for the first time. Play strengths ranged from 13k to 5k. “Not too bad for a club that was only formed in 2015,” reports Danny Topp. The number of AGA members also increased from one to five as a result of holding the tournament.
photo (sitting l-r) Danny Topp and Jason Coughlin; (standing l-r): Ruby Truly, Ty Nakama, Andrew Walker and Konoa Stevens

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Nihon Kiin Announces New World Championship Will Include AI Program DeepZenGo

Wednesday November 30, 2016

The Nihon Kiin on Tuesday announced a new World Championship tournament that will include top professional players 2016.11.30_iyama-41meijin7_10and a strong AI program, to be held in Osaka in March 2017. The tournament is sponsored by NTT Docomo, Mitsui Sumimoto, Daiwa Securities, Hankyu Inc. and Nikkei Inc., and is organized by the Nihon Kiin. With a top prize of \30M (about $270K) and runner-up prize of \10M, the tournament has one of the highest prize structures among go championships.

2016.11.30_deepzengoFrom March 20-24, three top players from Japan, China, and Korea will join DeepZenGo in a four-round round-robin tournament at Nihon Kiin’s Kansai branch office. Additional playoff will be held in case of ties.

Iyama Yuta (right) has been chosen as the Japanese representative. The ‘seven-crown champion’ who holds all the major Japanese pro titles, Iyama said that he was honored to be chosen and this would be the first time in a long while that he could play in an international tournament without conflicts with the tight domestic competition schedule. He promised to do his best to get good results for Japan. Chinese and Korean representatives will be determined soon.

DeepZenGo was chosen to represent AI. Hideki Kato, DeepZen’s author, expressed gratitude to the great effort and support of the organizers and promised that DeepZenGo would work hard to improve in the next few month to achieve a good result in the tournament.
- Thomas Hsiang

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The Traveling Board: Go and the Family Robot

Tuesday November 29, 2016

By Lisa Schrag

Photo1We got a glimpse of the future when our good friend Matsumoto Mamoru recently had us as guests in his home near Osaka, Japan. His family robot, Pepper, entertained us with conversation and song. Then Pepper politely looked on while Matsumoto and Roger played a few games of go.

Matsumoto — who attends the U.S. Go Congress most years — also took Roger to play at the Kansai office of the Nihon Ki-in one afternoon. There were 25-30 people there that day, and Roger met some very nice local players.

Photo2While in Tokyo, we had the pleasure of a nice visit and dinner with go teacher Kazunari Furuyama, author of the E-Journal “Lessons with Kaz” series.

Thanks to the game of go, we have made some wonderful friends in the beautiful country of Japan. This was our third trip, and we visited several small towns, did a four-day pilgrimage walk, and learned about the rich history of Japan. But most of all, we enjoyed spending time with our Japanese friends. And Roger was lucky to get in some go games along the way!

Roger Schrag is a co-founder and past president of Bay Area Go Players Association. Photos by Lisa Schrag.

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Latest Attempt to Create International Map of Go Clubs

Tuesday November 29, 2016

There have been a number of attempts to create an international map of go clubs, so that instead of each country maintaining a separate map, there can be one reliable map of go clubs which transcends national boundaries.2016.10.156_Go clubs

One such project is being developed by a member of the German Go Federation (Deutsche Go-Bund). It is open-source and based on free data (OpenStreetMap and umap), so even if the creator were to disappear, it could be taken over and continued with minimal effort, and it would never incur licensing costs of any kind.

The database is currently located hereand the map (which is updated regularly from the database, and therefore
doesn’t include recently-added clubs) is here. The source code is at GitHub here  and here.

The map can be freely embedded on any website, and a few regional, local and national sites are already using it to display their country’s clubs, but at the moment, although European and South American coverage is quite good, the coverage of US clubs is rather sparse, and the Far East isn’t really covered at all.

You can look for your local club by sorting the list here (for example by ZIP code), and if your club is not there, you can add it here. Clubs can be added, removed and edited by all users of the site, and registration is free, but requires authentication via a third-party account: at the moment, GitHub, Google, Facebook and VK are supported.

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Problem of the Week

Connections

Black to play