American Go E-Journal » Columns

AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 13: The large knight’s move enclosure workout

Sunday October 29, 2017

“This is a very different game, in that there are three corner enclosures,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-2017.10.27_AG-13AlphaGo Game 13. “Black isn’t playing a kakari, which is different from what human players do now. So we’re going to have kind of a workout in how to deal with the large knight’s move enclosure.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The Game 13 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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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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The Power Report (Part 2 of 3): Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out; Chinese pair wins world championship; New Honinbo league starts

Tuesday October 17, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out: The first game in the irregular knock-out among the various league winners in the 42nd Kisei tournament was played on October 2. Motoki Katsuya 8P, winner of the C League, beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P, winner of the play-off between the winners of the two B Leagues. Motoki followed up this success by beating the winner of the A League, Takao Shinji Meijin, on October 12. Taking black, Motoki won by resignation. Next, he will meet the second-place-getter in the S League, Yamashita Keigo.

Chinese pair wins world championship: The second part of the Pair Go World Championship 2017 was held at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, on October 5. The winning pair in the Stars Tournament, held at the same venue on August 12 and 13, that is, Xie Yimin 6P and Iyama Yuta 9P, representing Japan, met the reigning Pair Go world champions, Yu Zhiying 5P and Ke Jie 9P of China, in the Masters Match. The Chinese pair earned their title in the Pair Go World Cup 2016 Tokyo. Playing white, Yu and Ke defended their title, forcing Xie and Iyama to resign after 198 moves. Like the final in the August event, the game was played in the Noh Theater in the basement of the hotel.
A unique event, the Go AI Research and Goodwill Game by the Pair Go Format, was held on the previous day. Xie, Iyama and the program DeepZenGo were matched against Yu, Ke and DeepZenGo. To fit the Pair Go format, the human players on each team played as one member of the pair with the AI program; they were free to consult each other and together played every second move for their side. This was a lighthearted event, with the players occasionally bursting into laughter. Xie, of course, could also follow what the Chinese players were saying, which she said made the game even more fun. Just for the record, this game was also won by the Chinese pair.

New Honinbo league starts: The first two games in the 73rd Honinbo League were played on October 5. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P by resig. and Motoki Katsuya 8P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P, also by resig. So far, October has been a good month for Motoki, the previous Honinbo challenger.

Tomorrow: Record age gap in women’s game; Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup; Tengen title match starts

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The Power Report (Part 1 of 3): Korea stars in Nongshim Cup; 22nd Samsung Cup; Meijin Four: Iyama’s brilliancy

Monday October 16, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.10.16_Nongshim Shin wins 4th game

Korea stars in Nongshim Cup: The opening round of the 19th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Shenyang City in Liaoning Province in China from September 19 to 22. It was a triumph for Shin Minjun 6P (right) of Korea, who won all four games in this round. He showed that there’s more than one strong player named Shin in Korea. He was born on Jan. 11, 1999 in Busan, became a professional in 2012 and reached 4-dan in 2016. In the same year, he won the 4th King of the New Stars title, which earned him promotion to 5-dan. He was promoted to 6-dan earlier this year. In the Korean qualifying tournament to choose the team for this tournament, he defeated his teacher, Lee Sedol. In the first Nongshim game, he defeated the player, Fan Tingyu, who won seven games in a row in the previous Nongshim Cup.
Results:
Game One (Sept. 19). Shin (W) beat Fan Tingyu 9P (China) by 3.5 points.
Game Two (Sept. 20). Shin (B) beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P (Japan) by resig.
Game Three (Sept. 21). Shin (B) beat Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) by resig.
Game Four (Sept. 22). Shin (W) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 7P (Japan) by resig.
Time allowance is one hour per player followed by byo-yomi of one minute per move. The remaining members of the Japanese team are Iyama Yuta, Yamashita Keigo, and Ichiriki Ryo. Round Two will be played in Busan, Korea, in November, and Round Three in Shanghai in February.

22nd Samsung Cup: The second and third rounds of the 22nd Samsung Cup were held at the Samsung Confucian Castle Campus in Daejeon City in Korea on September 25 and 26. Two Japanese representatives, Iyama Yuta and 2017.10.16_Samsung Iyama eliminatedYamashita Keigo, had survived the large-scale opening round, but they were both eliminated in the second round. Iyama (B, at left) was matched against Shin Jinseo 8P of Korea. The game featured fierce fighting from early on. Iyama made an oversight and resigned after 118 moves. Yamashita (black) lost to Tong Mengcheng 6P of China; he resigned after 122 moves. Pairings in the semifinals are Dong vs. Gu Zihao (both of China) and Tang Weixing (China) vs. An Kukhyun (Korea)

Meijin Four: Iyama’s brilliancy
As promised, here is some more detail about the 4th game of the current Meijin title match, played on October 2 and 3. Takao Shinji, the challenger, had black. He slipped up in the opening, neglecting to defend a large group because he overlooked a sequence White had to put it into ko. In effect, he had to give White a free move elsewhere when he played an extra move to secure life. That left him a tempo behind in the game, but he played on tenaciously and succeeded in creating complications by leading the game into a large-scale fight. He then played a clever move with Black 101 that seemed to turn the tables in the fight; if White made the “usual” answer, Black had a clever tesuji with move 16 in an unplayed continuation. “Unplayed,” because Iyama came up with a brilliant counter-intuitive combination that enabled him to capture the key stones in the fight at the cost of a couple of sacrifice stones. That gave him the lead. Takao fought on for another 50 moves or so, but was unable to catch up. Iyama even rubbed salt in the wound by making use of the “sacrifice” stones in a later fight. Takao resigned after White 164. The fifth game is already being played on October 16 and 17. It is Takao’s first kadoban, so the second grand slam in Japanese go could be imminent.

Tomorrow: Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out; Chinese pair wins world championship; New Honinbo league starts

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 11: A calmer game, with hidden reading

Friday October 13, 2017

“This game is a lot calmer than Game 10,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 11. “There’s a lot of 2017.10.13_ag-ag-thumb-11fighting that doesn’t actually come into the game, but I’ll be showing a lot of variations about things that could have happened, so there’s a lot of, you might say, hidden reading. And then there’s a ko at the end, for the life of a group. ”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The Game 11 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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Redmond AlphaGo Q&A released

Wednesday October 11, 2017

Michael Redmond’s series of commentaries on the fascinating AlphaGo-AlphaGo games has proven extremely popular, with nearly 90,0002017.10.11_ag-ag-thumb-qa views so far, and lots of comments from viewers. Today Redmond, along with host Chris Garlock, releases his first Q&A video, responding to some of those questions. “It’s been a wonderful challenge, not only trying to understand these complex, historic games, but figuring out how to explain them,” says Redmond, “so the response to the videos has been quite gratifying and we’re pleased to acknowledge and respond in this new series of Q&A videos.”

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 10 (Part 2): An unexpected trade and a 10-group battle

Saturday October 7, 2017

Part 2 of the Game 10 commentary begins at move 113. “At this point, the game looked ready for a peaceful endgame, with White in the lead.”2017.10.07_AlphaGo vs. Alphago Game 10-part2 2017.10.07_ag-ag-thumb-10bsays Michael Redmond 9p in his commentary. “By move 121, however, White has given away about 20 points, an unexpected trade that transforms the game radically. Back in a wildly dangerous middle game, complications that arise from a fight in the center will put ten groups in danger.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. (For Part 1, click here for the video commentary and here for the sgf file).

“Looking forward to these every week,” Leo Dorst commented on Part 1, echoing the sentiments of many viewers. “Such a great way to start the weekend after a late Friday night at the Amsterdam Go Club. Rereading my old Go World magazines I see Michael moving to Japan. If he had not done so and trained there, we might not now have these wonderful commentaries. Sometimes the world just makes sense…” Watch for a Q&A video here next week with Redmond in which he responds to selected comments.

The Game 10 videos are produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 10 (Part 1): An unusual pincer and a new move

Friday October 6, 2017

“This game is like two games in one, and it starts with an unusual pincer by black and then a new move by white,” says Michael Redmond 9p in 2017.10.06_ag-ag-thumb-10ahis game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 10. “Then there’s a series of fights that goes in a circle around the board, each one contained but each quite exciting.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The game is so complex that the commentary is being released in two parts; Part 1 goes through move 112 and Part 2, which will be released Saturday, October 7 at 6p EDT, contains the remainder of the commentary. Enjoy!

The Game 10 videos are produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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The Power Report: Iyama takes lead in Meijin title match; Fujisawa Rina does well in Gosei; Xie makes good start in Women’s Honinbo; Shibano wins King of the New Stars

Wednesday October 4, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.10.03_Meijin 3 Iyama Cho U Takao

Iyama takes lead in Meijin title match: The third game of the 42nd Meijin title match between Takao Shinji Meijin and Iyama Yuta was held at the Kiyomi Mountain Villa: Hana-jukai, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture on September 21 and 222017.10.03_Meijin4 Iyama02. The match was level at 1-all, so this was a key game: the winner would gain momentum, and the loser would come under pressure. Fighting started early in the top right corner, but Iyama, who had black, surprised the players following the game with a tenuki with 17. After playing just two moves in the bottom left corner, he came back to the first fight. The spectators (via a TV monitor) couldn’t work out the point of the two moves in the bottom left, but, after some hard thought, Cho U 9P, the Asahi Newspaper commentator on the game, worked out that Iyama’s aim was to prevent Takao from playing a sequence that ended up in a ladder if Black kept playing the most aggressive moves. His moves at 17 and 19 acted as a ladder breaker. Takao modified his play and ended up taking profit in the top right while giving Iyama influence.

Both sides continued to play aggressively, making the game one complicated fight after another. After a ko fight won by Takao in the bottom left, he invaded Black’s bottom right territory and succeeded in living after fighting a number of kos. Again, Iyama took compensation with outside influence. More fighting followed, and up to move 145 the game was played at a very high level, with neither side making a mistake and the players agreeing in their analysis, but with 146 Takao made a slack move. It was slack presumably because it was purely territorial, saving some cut-off stones. Instead, he should have reinforced his sole remaining weak group. By harassing it, Iyama was able to expand his centre moyo, and there was no way for Takao to reduce it sufficiently. He resigned after Black 241. After the game, Takao commented that he was not too worried about falling behind because he felt he was playing well – putting aside just one move.2017.10.03_Fujisawa Rina

The fourth game was played at the Inn Kaiseki Notoya in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on October 2 and 3. Taking white, Iyama secured a resignation after 164 moves. I will give some more details about the game when available. Takao faces his first kadoban on October 16 and 17.

Fujisawa Rina does well in Gosei tournament: The first ambition of young players is to reach the Main Tournament of the top seven tournaments. This is the final section of a tournament that either produces a challenger or provides entry into leagues. Usually, it more or less means reaching the best 16 or the best 32, but the number may vary. In the previous Judan tournament it was the best 16, but in the previous Gosei tournament the best 29. These are all knock-outs, so in the Gosei some players were seeded into the second round. Historically, women players have not done very well gaining entry to main tournaments, with eight women achieving this goal nine times. (For those interested, the list goes: Honda Sachiko, Kobayashi Reiko, Kusunoki Teruko, Ogawa Tomoko, Yos2017.10.03_Xie wins WomHon1hida Mika, Kobayashi Izumi twice, Kato Keiko, and Kuwabara Yoko.) In a game played on September 21, Fujisawa Rina 3P (right) became the ninth woman, reaching the Main Tournament of the Gosei tournament. The last time this happened was nine years ago (Kato and Kuwabara both qualified in the Tengen). None of her predecessors won a game, so Fujisawa has a chance to set a record for women.2017.10.03_Shibano beats Son

Xie makes good start in Women’s Honinbo: The first game of the 36th Women’s Honinbo title match, in which Xie Yimin (left) is challenging Fujisawa Rina, was held at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture on September 27. Taking black, Xie secured a resignation after 257 moves.

Shibano wins King of the New Stars: The second game of the 42nd King of the New Stars title was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on October 2. Shibano Toramaru 7P (black) beat Son Makoto 5P by resig. Often success in this junior tournament is a good omen for future success, but in Shibano’s case that success is already coming. As described in recent reports, he won the Ryusei title and a seat in the new Honinbo League. Since the Ryusei win earned him promotion to 7-dan (if he hadn’t won it, he would have got the promotion from his Honinbo success), he is not eligible to play in the King of the New Stars tournament again. First prize is worth two million yen (a little over $18,000).

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 9: A trade and the ko that didn’t happen

Friday September 29, 2017

“In this game there’s a big fight on the left side involving a ko and a trade,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 9. “Then there’s another ko that doesn’t happen.”   2017.09.29_ag-ag-thumb-9

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

Stay tuned for a special video coming soon in which Redmond responds to viewer questions on the AlphaGo-AlphaGo games so far. And Redmond’s Game 10 commentary is coming too, “an outstanding game, a very complicated game that was keeping me up at night trying to understand it. If you’re a serious go player, this game is going to have an impact.”

The Game 9 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

 

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