American Go E-Journal » Columns

The Power Report: Murakawa to challenge for Judan; Park wins NY’s Cup; Honinbo League; Meijin League: Iyama falters

Friday February 22, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.02.22_57judan Murakawa

Murakawa to challenge for Judan: 
The play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta for the 57th Judan title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on January 31. It matched Takao Shinji 9P, who was aiming at a comeback as Judan after a gap of four years, and Murakawa Daisuke 8P (right) of the Kansai Ki-in, who was aiming at making his second successive challenge. The two players seemed to be evenly matched, as past results were 6-6. Murakawa drew black in the nigiri and won the game by resignation after 173 moves. He will be hoping to improve on his performance last year, when he was unable to take a game off the titleholder. He did beat Iyama 3-2 in the 62nd Oza, which so far is the only top-seven title he has won. He commented that his style has changed since last year, through his study of AI go. The title match starts on March 5.

Park wins NY’s Cup: The 7th CCTV New Year’s Cup is an invitational tournament 2019.02.22_Shibano (R) loses to Parkfounded by the Chinese TV channel to commemorate the Chinese New Year. This year the world’s number one and number two, Park Junghwan 9P of Korea and Ke Jie 9P of China, were joined by Shibano Toramaru 7P of Japan, who was standing in for Iyama Yuta, who was too busy with title games to take part. The tournament is an irregular knockout, with the players drawing lots to decide who plays in the first game. The loser of that game meets the third player, with the winner going on to the final. The loser of the second game is the only one who doesn’t get two chances. Park, who in recent months, has regained his former position as the world’s top-rated player, stumbled in the opening game but resurfaced in the final and took revenge. Games are played by the NHK format, and first prize is 800,000 yuan (about $118,000). Park also won this tournament last year.
(Jan. 31) Ke (B) beat Park by 1.5 points.2019.02.22-honinbo-league
(Feb. 1) Park (B) beat Shibano by resig.
(Feb. 2) Park (B) beat Ke by 7.5 points.

Honinbo League: No one has an unbeaten record in the 74th Honinbo League, so six of the eight players are probably still in contention. Having played one more game and scored 4-1, Ichiriki Ryo 8P is doing well, but of the three players on 3-1, two are ranked higher than he is. Those two, Yo Seiki 8P and Shibano Toramaru 7P, will clash in the 6th round in March.
Most recent result:
(Jan. 31) Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by resig.2019.02.22-meijin-league

Meijin League: Iyama falters: With only two and a half rounds out of nine in the 44th Meijin League played, it’s early days yet, but it’s beginning to look tough for Iyama Yuta to become the challenger. In his third game, with new star Shibano Toramaru, he suffered his second loss. One consolation for him, though, is that only one player is undefeated. That’s Kono Rin, who will play Suzuki Shinji in his third-round game. If the other members of the league cooperate by beating each other, Iyama may yet have a chance.
Recent results:
(Feb. 7) Shibano Toramaru 7P (W) beat Iyama Yuta by 1.5 points; Hane Naoki 9P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point.

Share

The Power Report: Kisei: Yamashita evens score, Iyama takes lead again; Fujisawa Rina attains historic goal; World Go Championship preliminaries; Ueno Asami defends Women’s Kisei

Monday February 18, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.02.18_43kisei2 Yamashita

Kisei: Yamashita evens score, Iyama takes lead again: The second game of the 43rd Kisei title match was played at Yumeminato Tower in Sakaiminato City, Tottori Prefecture, on January 21 and 22. The name of the tower translates as Dream Port Tower; it is a sightseeing facility with an observation deck (details can be found on the Net under the English or the Japanese name). The key to this game was the opening: Yamashita Keigo (right), who had white, took advantage of a slack move by Iyama Kisei to seize the lead and was able to rebuff Iyama’s attempts to get back into the game. Black resigned after 164 moves. It’s unusual for Iyama, who usually starts slowly and carefully, to fall behind on the first day.
The third game was played at the Olive Bay Hotel in the city of Saikai in Nagasaki Prefecture on February 2 and 3. Taking white, Iyama won by resignation after 252 moves. Iyama seemed to take an edge in the opening; Yamashita attacked aggressively, but Iyama kept control of the game. Yamashita eventually managed to start a large ko, but didn’t have enough ko threats to win it.
The fourth game was played at the Former Tanaka Residence in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, on February 13 and 14. The venue is a house with a Western wing built in 1921 and a Japanese wing built in 1934. It was designated a cultural treasure in 2006. Taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 183 moves. Yamashita will face his first kadoban in the fifth game, scheduled for February 27 and 28.

Fujisawa Rina attains historic goal: Fujisawa Rina reached a goal that has long been a target for women players. In a 2019.02.18_Fujisawa Maingame in the first round of the main tournament (a knockout) of the 45th Tengen title, played on January 21, she became the first woman professional to win a game in the final section of a top-seven title. Playing white, she beat Takahashi Masumi 3-dan by resig. Starting with Honda Sachiko in 1979, ten women players had reached the final section, called “the main tournament,” a total of 12 times, but had lost in the first round each time. For Fujisawa, the 13th time was “third time lucky”; she had reached the main tournament in the 43rd and 44th Gosei tournaments. Four more wins and she will be the challenger. Incidentally, the number of seats in the main tournament varies according to the tournament from 16 to “around 32” (which means that some players may be seeded into the second round of the knockout).

World Go Championship preliminaries:  The international preliminaries for the thirdWorld Go Championship were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo from January 25 to 29. Eight-nine players vied for the three seats in the eight-player main tournament that were at stake.
The senior preliminary was won by Yu Chang-hyeok 9P of Korea, who beat Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan) in the final. Incidentally, Jimmy Cha (Cha Minsu) played in this preliminary; as far as I know, this is his first international appearance for some time. The gener2019.02.18_Ueno defends WKiseial preliminary was split into two sections, both of which were won by Chinese players: Jiang Weijie 9P and Liao Yuanhe 7P. The eight-player tournament will start on March 18.

Ueno Asami defends Women’s Kisei: As the current women’s number one, Fujisawa Rina looked like a tough challenger for the 17-year-old Ueno Asami (left), but the titleholder had other ideas. The second game of the 22nd Women’s Kisei title match was held in the Ryusei Studio at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on January 28. Taking black, Ueno forced Fujisawa to resign after 243 moves. The game featured fierce fighting from start to finish, but Ueno showed that her surprise victory in this title last year was no fluke. Xie Yimin is still going strong, so the Japanese women’s go world looks like entering a period of three strong rivals.

Tomorrow: Murakawa to challenge for Judan…

Share

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 28 (Part 2): So many possibilities

Saturday February 9, 2019

Michael Redmond 9p and the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock return with the exciting second half of the 28th game  of the 2019.02.08_AG28-thumbnailAlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games.

2019.02.08_AG28-thumbnail-redmond-garlock“There’s all these possibilities,” says Redmond, teasing Garlock “You’ve probably forgotten all the different variations we looked at.” Viewer crass syzygy says “Really beautiful variations. Mind blowing,” while Philippe Fanaro says that “‘That’s the good side of dying’ is the highlight of this series.”

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining  today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

[link]

 

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Even the Gray Lady and her pundits know about Go

Tuesday February 5, 2019

by Terry Benson

In an Op-Ed in The New York Times on Wednesday Jan 30th, columnist Thomas Friedman noted the success of AlphaGo and correctly reported on AlphaZero learning from itself in declaring that the word for the year should be “deep.”  Computers are taking us “deep” and in Friedman’s opinion our institutions are not prepared for it.

Go players were shocked by AlphaGo’s success – we were toppled off the mountain – and we are trying to process what we’ve learned about Go.  What happens when machines can run – not faster – but longer processing years of experience in hours and finding deep patterns – one thing we’ve always considered the essence of being human and of our very human game?

For Friedman, the power of AI machines in the hands of “bad actors” (as he characterizes some whole governments) by going “deep” is scary.

Go players know to look at the whole board and see the flow of the stones. We lose if we get caught paying attention only to our own corner or blindly following our opponent – a crafty machine – around the board.  How can we go as deep?  How can we see what the machines cannot? In game terms, how can we keep control of the evaluating function: our right to decide what is important for people, what should be known, what should be shared, and who will be in control of the machines.

It’s too late to pull the pull.  It’s not possible to put this new genie back in the bottle.  The ancient warning is the same: be careful what you wish for.

Benson, president of the American Go Foundation, is a former president of the American Go Association and former editor of the American Go Journal.
The E-Journal welcomes your thoughts and comments about the game of go and all things related. Email us at journal@usgo.org

Share

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 28 (Part 1): Who’s zooming who?

Sunday February 3, 2019

In their latest in the popular video commentary series, Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, 2019.02.01 AG-AG-28review the first half of the 28th game of the AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. The 50-game series was published by Deepmind after AlphaGo’s victory over world champion Ke Jie 9p in May 2017.

2019.02.01 AG-AG-28-redmond-garlock“There’s a lot packed into this game,” says Redmond. “We start with a slightly confusing fight on the lower side, things slow down for a bit, then there are all these weak groups and it gets a bit confusing to tell who’s attacking and who’s in trouble, so it’s a pretty interesting middle game.” “Buckle your seatbelts!” adds Garlock. Part 2 will be published next Friday, February 8.

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

[link]

 

Share

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 27: That kind of a game

Sunday January 27, 2019

2019.01.27_AG-27-thumbnailMichael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, continue their popular series with a review of the 27th game of the AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. The 50-game series was published by Deepmind after AlphaGo’s victory over world champion Ke Jie 9p in May 2017.

2019.01.27_AG-27-thumbnail-redmondThis game features two of the AG 3-3 invasions, a symmetrical shape and then “group after group appear on the upper side, right next to each other, and we’re going to have fun counting the number of groups,” says Redmond. “So it’s going to be that kind of a game.”

“Simply astounding game,” writes GerSHAK. “One of my favourites so far. Incredible detective work from Michael. Thank you so much.” Adds Rory Mitchell: “Wow! Just…wow!”

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

[link]

 

 

 

Share

The Power Report (4/4): Ishida Yoshio scores 1100th win; 2018 stats and recent promotions

Wednesday January 23, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ishida Yoshio scores 1100th win: In a game in Preliminary C of the 45th Gosei tournament, Ishida Yoshio 9P (also known as 24th Honinbo Shuho) (W) beat Tsurumaru Keiichi 7P by resignation. This was his 1100th official win (to 692 losses and one no-result). He is the 15th player to reach this landmark.

Promotion: To 4-dan: (Ms.) Okuda Aya (50 wins, as of January 18)

2018 statistics: Here are some of the statistics for last year.
Most wins: 1. Shibano Toramaru 7P (second year in a row): 46 wins, 23 losses; 2. Ichiriki Ryo 8P, (Ms.) Fujisawa Rina 4P: 43-23; 4. Fujita Akihiko 6P: 41-8; Onishi Ryuhei 3P: 41-11; 6. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 40-23
7. Mutsuura Yuta 7P: 37-18; 8. Koike Yoshihiro 3P: 36-12; 9. Seki Kotaro 2P: 35-15; (Ms.) Ueno Asami 2P: 35-20; (Ms.) Nyu Eiko 2P: 35-23; Iyama Yuta: 35-26; 13. Kyo Kagen Gosei: 32-13; Kono Rin 9P: 32-16; 15. Hane Naoki 9P: 30-17
Best winning percentage: 1. Fujita Akihiko: 83.67%; 2. Onishi Ryuhei: 78.85%; 3. Koike Yoshihiro: 75%
Most successive wins: 1. Koike Yoshihiro: 19; 2. Seki Kotaro: 15; 3. Onishi Ruhei: 14

Promotions based on 2018 prize-winnings
These promotions are based on the prize-winnings list, but note that there may be players who won more but were promoted by other means, that is, cumulative wins or entering a league, etc. Only prize money for the top seven titles is counted. One 6-dan is promoted, accompanied by two each from the lower ranks. Promotions take effect as of January 1, 2019.
To 7-dan: Fujita Akihiko
To 6-dan: Tsuruta Kazushi, Adachi Toshimasa
To 5-dan: Yo Chito, Ito Masashi
To 4-dan: Onishi Ryuhei, Koike Yoshihiro
To 3-dan: Otake Yu, Hirose Yuichi
To 2-dan: Shibano Ryunosuke (older brother of Toramaru), (Ms.) Kaneko Maki

Share

The Power Report (3/4): Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; Xie to challenge for Women’s Meijin

Tuesday January 22, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.01.20 Ueno left

Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei: The first game in the 22nd Women’s Kisei title match was held at the Hotel Sunlife Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 17. The defending champion Ueno Asami (W, at left in photo) beat Fujisawa Rina by 2.5 points after a marathon 310 moves. The challenger took the lead in territory early on, but 2019.01.20 Xie WMeijinUeno attacked tenaciously and finally overhauled Fujisawa in the endgame. The second game will be held on January 28.

Xie to challenge for Women’s Meijin: Xie Yimin 6P (left) may be titleless for the first time in over a decade, but you can’t keep her out of the action. In the play-off to decide the challenger for the 31stWomen’s Meijin title, she beat Koyama Terumi 6P by resignation after 179 moves. She will challenge Fujisawa Rina for the title. Koyama, who has won this title four times, was hoping to play in her first title match for 13 years.
Tomorrow: Ishida Yoshio scores 1100th win; 2018 stats and recent promotions

Share

The Power Report (2/4): League updates; Judan challenger

Monday January 21, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.01.20 Honinbo league

Honinbo League: The fourth round of the 74th Honinbo League has been completed. Instead of one player breaking clear, the position has become complicated, with four players sharing the lead. On January 7, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by half a point. That improved Yamashita’s score to 2-2, so he is still in the running to win the league (he’s also helped by his number one ranking). Anzai goes to 0-4, so he looks unlikely to retain his league seat. However, the narrow margin shows that he is not being outclassed. In the second game, played on January 10, Yo Seiki 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. Yo and Hane are now both on 3-1. The only undefeated player at this point was Ichiriki Ryo 8P, who was on 3-0. On January 17, he played Shibano Toramaru 7P; taking white, the latter beat him by resignation, so both went to 3-1. On the same day, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resignation. Kono improved to 2-2, but Ko went down to 0-4. Ko also looks like losing his place, but being ranked number two gives him a slight advantage over Anzai.

Meijin League: Two games in the second round of the 44thMeijin League were played on January 10. Kono Rin 9P (B) beat2019.01.20 Meijin league Mutsuura Yuta 7P by resig. and Shibano Toramaru 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points. Two more games were played on January 17, and one of them could have a big effect on the league. Suzuki Shinji 7P (B) beat the favorite, Iyama Yuta, by half a point. In the other game, Son Makoto 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation. On 2-0, Kono is the provisional leader.

 

 

Judan challenger: Murakawa or Takao: The first semifinal of the 57th Judan tournament was played on December 27, with Takao Shinji 9P (W) beating Yamashita Keigo 9P by 2.5 points. The second was held on January 7. Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Onishi Ryuhei 4P by resig.
Tomorrow: Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; Xie to challenge for Women’s Meijin

 

Share

The Power Report (1/4): Chen Yaoye wins 1st Tianfu Cup; Iyama makes good start in Kisei

Sunday January 20, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Chen Yaoye wins 1st Tianfu Cup: The semifinals of the 1st Tianfu Cup were held on December 21 and the best-of-three final on December 23, 25, and 26. In one semifinal, Chen Yaoye 9P of China (W) defeated Park Junghwan 9P of Korea by resig. In the other, Shin Jinseo 9P of Korea (B) beat Jiang Weijie 9P of China by resig. In the first game of the final, Chen (W) won by resig.; in the second, Shin (W) won by 2.5 points. In the deciding game, Chen (B) won by resig. Chen, who turned 29 on December 16, won his third international title; Shin missed the chance to take his first. First prize is 2,000,000 yuan (about $292,000).

Iyama makes good start in Kisei: The first game of the 43rd2019.01.20 Yamashita 1st move in Kisei Kisei best-of-seven title match was held at the familiar venue of the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo in Bunkyo Ward on January 10 and 11. It featured a familiar pairing: Yamashita Keigo challenging Iyama Yuta Kisei for the fourth time, including three times in a row from 2014 to 2016. Iyama has held this title for six years in a row; Yamashita (at right in photo, making the first move) has won it five times, including four years in a row. Besides that, Iyama has made one unsuccessful challenge and Yamashita has made unsuccessful challenges to Hane Naoki 9P and Cho U 9P.
Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. Yamashita started out by taking the lead in territory, then fell behind, and then upset Iyama’s lead. However, Yamashita apparently thought he was still behind, so he started a risky fight and perished. He resigned after 172 moves. If he had played more peacefully, he would have had a good chance of winning.
The second game will be played on January 21 and 22.

Tomorrow: League updates; Judan challenger

Share