American Go E-Journal » 2017 » November

Chinese go authorities ban phones at matches

Sunday November 19, 2017

China’s top authority for the game of go recently announced a ban on phones at go matches in response to the increasing use of artificial2017.11.12_tablet-recording-IMG_8751 intelligence (AI) in the sport. According to a notice released by the Chinese Weiqi Association (CWA) on Tuesday, “during matches, players are not allowed to have or watch mobile phones and any other electronic devices. If they are found with one of the devices, they will be judged losers immediately.” Players are also forbidden from going to their hotel rooms during a break in the matches, unless they have special needs and are accompanied by a judge.

The news has prompted a discussion by the American Go Association’s Board of Directors  about how to address this issue at U.S. go tournaments, where many players now use phones, tablets or laptops to record their games.
- Excerpted/adapted from a report in The Global Times.

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Executive Summary of AGA Board Meeting 11/12/2017

Sunday November 19, 2017

The board discussed the AGA policy for use of computers/electronic devices during tournaments in light of recent advances in Go AI, and moved to form a committee to formulate rules, guidelines, and procedures to ensure fairness while keeping tournaments welcoming. The president’s report included positive feedback on go commentary broadcasts and a potential deal to put go sets on Navy ships. Other business included a status update on the by-law review and ranking system work, as well as how to use the interest in Go AI to expand the AGA and go community in the US.
-Samantha Fede, AGA Secretary

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Categories: U.S./North America
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BGA president Roger Huyshe dies

Thursday November 16, 2017

Roger Huyshe, President of the British Go Association, died unexpectedly on November 13. “Apparently he was out on a bike ride in Derbyshire2017.11.15_Roger Huyshe when he collapsed,” reports Toby Manning. “We do not think it was a traffic accident – and although the air ambulance was called, they could not save him.” Information about funeral arrangements will be posted on the BGA website when available.

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Third Australian Go Congress “best ever”

Wednesday November 15, 2017

The third Australian Go Congress was held September 28 – October 1 at Sydney University. Players ranged from under 10 to over 70 and came 2017.11.15_aussie-congress-groupfrom across Australia, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Poland. “The consensus is that the 2017 Australian Go Congress was the best ever,” reports David Mitchell, General Manager for the Congress. “Everybody had a great time, vying with players from across Australia and around the world.”

The Australian National Championships’ top division attracted very strong players from Korea, China and Poland but in the end it was the Koreans who collected the top honors in a very tight finish. The overall winner was GwangHo Choi 7d (left), second was YoungSam Kim and Namgi Yoon was third, all from Korea and all three with six wins.2017.11.15_Gwangho Choi IMG_0544

Other activities included a screening of “The Surrounding Game” and simuls with Jaeho Yang 9P, Yeon Woo Cho 1Pm and An Younggil 9P, who played over 100 simul games, commented on games and gave lectures “which were appreciated by all,” says Mitchell. “Our thanks to them and the KBA for allowing them to visit our event.”

The Australian Go Congress was founded by Sang-Dae Hahn in 2015 and is supported by the Australian Go Association, the Sydney Go Club and the Sydney University Go Club. Check out a gallery of Congress photos here.

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Upcoming Go Events: New York City

Monday November 13, 2017

November 18: New York City, NY
Gotham Go Tournament
Peter Armenia parmenia@earthlink.net 919-450-8770
Chris Sira cbsira@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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DeepMind has yet to find out how smart its AlphaGo Zero AI could be

Monday November 13, 2017

“Perhaps the most interesting thing about AlphaGo Zero, though, isn’t how fast it was able to do what it did, or with such efficacy, but also that2017.11.12_hassabis-techcrunch it ultimately didn’t even achieve its full potential,” reports TechCrunch. “DeepMind CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis explained on stage at Google’s Go North conference in Toronto that the company actually shut down the experiment before it could determine the upper limits of AlphaGo Zero’s maximum intelligence.”

“We never actually found the limit of how good this version of AlphaGo could get,” he said. “We needed the computers for something else.”

Hassabis said that DeepMind may spin up AlphaGo Zero again in future to find out how much further it can go, though the main benefit of that exercise might be to help teach human AlphaGo players about additional, “alien” moves and stratagems that they can study to improve their own play.

PLUS: The October issue of Games magazine includes “A God of Go: AlphaGo Crosses the Next Frontier of Artificial Intelligence”

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Berlin’s “Go to Innovation” tourney celebrates 20 years with bigger prize pot (and free beer)

Monday November 13, 2017

Perhaps the only go tournament in the world offering free beer, the 20th “Go to Innovation” tournament will be held November 17-19 in Berlin,2017.11.11_go-to-innovation Germany. The 8-round tournament starts Friday with four rounds on Saturday and the final two on Sunday. The free draft beer is not available until noon on Saturday. The top 10 winners will split a prize pool of 4,650€. In addition to the main prizes for the players, there’s a 500€ Omikron Data Quality GmbH prize for the best player, 250€ for the runner-up and 125€ for 3rd-best plus a Jackpot of 500€ for 8 wins. Click here for registration details. Good accommodations near the venue at reasonable prices can be found here or here.

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Life and death on Halloween in Seattle

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Seattle Go Center had eight competitors, all kyu players, in the Contest of Life and Death on Halloween. Halloween Lucy and Nick watchFrank Lam did a great job of curating problems from the Nihon Ki-in that were challenging to our kyu players, and that had a single correct first move. Kyle Burg assisted ably. Lucy Wang won the competition, with 5 out 8 problems solved on the first try.  The prize was a quart of premium ice cream, which Lucy shared.  There was also pumpkin pie.
photo: Lucy Wang and Nick Wilmes watch Zhi Wei Chen try the second set of problems.
- photo/report by Brian Allen

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Go Spotting: Art Institute of Chicago

Sunday November 12, 2017

by Greg KulevichFour Accomplishments

I have searched high and low for any mention of go at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I’ve finally found one (or two). Go is seen being Immortalsplayed in two Chinese scrolls in the new exhibition “As the Story Unrolls.” It’s interesting to note that the board dimensions in these scenes appear to be 25×17. I’m curious if anyone knows if this was just the artist’s choice, or if this was actually the standard size of the time?

If you want to see the scrolls they are at the Art Institute of Chicago in Gallery 134, but time is running out. They are only on view through December 3, 2017.

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Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting
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Boston Winter Open set for December 2

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Boston Winter Open is set for Saturday, December 2 at MIT in Cambridge, MA. The four-round tournament — hosted by MIT, organized by2017.11.11_boston-spring-2017 Cam Wagner and the MIT Go club, the MGA, and The Gojo — is open to up to 80 players, with two divisions, Open and Handicap. Entrants must be AGA 1d+ to play in the Open Division and may opt in on the day of the tournament. Even games with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Anyone can play in the Handicap Division. Games will be handicap – 2 with prizes for 4-0 and 3-1 records. Click here for details and to RSVP.

photo: at the 2017 Boston Spring Open

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