American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

Newcomer Alan Ai wins San Diego Go Club’s “Back-to-School” Tournament

Tuesday October 2, 2018

Thirty-seven players showed up last Sunday to take part in the San Diego Go Club’s “Back-to-School” Tournament.2018.10.02_SanDiegoOpen.players
A new resident to the area, Alan Ai (7.2-dan) won the Open section with a 3-0 record over a strong field including two 6-dans and a 5-dan. “The last time Ai was seen in San Diego, he took second place in the 2017 Redmond Cup at the U.S. Go Congress here,” reports San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra. “He is now enrolled at UCSD, so hopefully, he will become a familiar face at San  Diego Go Club events.” The club was honored to have two Chinese pros who now live in Southern California stop by to watch the competition: Hai Li and Weihan Hua, who is the president of the UCSD Go Club.
Players going 3-0 in the Handicap Sections were Seowoo Wang (2.5-dan) in the 3D-5K bracket, Warren Andrews (6.7-Kyu) in the 5K-10K bracket, Tony 2018.10.02_SanDiego-Handicap.playersMorgan Yang (12-Kyu) in the 10K-20K bracket, and Eric Green Yang (25-Kyu) and Andy Shunwei Zhou (20-Kyu) in the 20K-30K bracket.
The tournament was held at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park, which will also be the site for the 2018 California State Go Championship. The first annual event will be a 5-round tournament to be held on the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 24&25. Free registration for the California Championship is now open here.
photos by Henry You
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First Texas State Championship set for Oct 20-21 in Austin

Saturday September 29, 2018

The first Texas State Championship will be held October 20-21 in Austin, Texas. The tournament is part of the new system of state championships being developed by the American Go Association.

The Texas tournament — a five round Swiss format — is open to any player who is an AGA member and residing in Texas. The winner will be awarded a State Championship trophy, and have their name engraved on a separate perennial trophy that will be passed from year to year with winners names engraved. In addition, there will be other prizes awarded.
“In addition to the State Championship tournament (which will NOT be handicapped), we will in parallel run a handicap tournament for others wishing to play in a tournament but NOT compete for the Texas State Champion title,” reports Bart Jacob. Click here for details and here to register.
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10/1 deadline for pro or amateur tepresentative for Bingsheng Cup

Friday September 28, 2018

The 8th Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup, a women’s weiqi tournament, is seeking a representative from North America, all expenses covered. The tournament will be held October 30-November 5 in Suzhou, China. Professional and amateur women interested in representing North America in this event should send an e-mail to tournaments@usgo.org. Please reply no later than Monday, October 1st, so that we may run a preliminary tournament among the interested players prior to the registration deadline.
- Jeff Shaevel, AGA National Tournament Coordinator 
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How to get to the top boards at the Cotsen Open

Monday September 24, 2018

What’s the fastest way to the top boards at the upcoming Cotsen Open? Volunteer as a game recorder! No previous 2018.09.22_cotsen-2016-IMG_2015experience necessary but you do need a laptop with KGS on it and must be available all day Saturday and/or Sunday, October 13/14 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Free E-Journal caps and lunch for all game recorders, plus credit in all our coverage. Email journal@usgo.org ASAP if interested.

photo: top-board game recording at 2016 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

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DC Fall Open commentaries posted

Saturday September 22, 2018

Michael Redmond 9Ps commentaries — with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock — on the recent DC Fall Open are 2018.09.22_Fall-Open-commentaries-2now posted on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Originally broadcast live on 2018.09.22_Fall-Open-commentaries-3Twitch on September 8 from the E-Journal’s new broadcast studio at the National Go Center, the commentaries cover all four Board 1 games, and there’s also an interview  with the tournament’s winner, Yuan Zhou.

The commentaries were produced by Nathan Epstein, with special thanks to Keith Arnold, Joel Cahalan, Nate Eagle, Jeff Fitzgerald, Stephen Hu, Gurujeet Khalsa and Gary Smith.

 

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Capture go app for iPhone

Thursday September 20, 2018

Image-1There is a new capture go app for Apple devices, designed for the very young.  “I created this app for my six-year-old grandson who was showing interest in my go playing, but was not yet mature enough to understand ko fights, trade-offs, and sacrifice,” says developer Tim Hoel.  The app walks users through rules and basic concepts, all with spoken narration.  Beginners can see examples of how situations play out, and then find solutions themselves. Simple lessons build from there, of which there are several, and then you can play against the computer.  It has three difficulty levels, so players can move up against the machine.  At level three, it is smart enough to occasionally catch even an experienced player.  Level one stays easy enough to keep young kids from getting frustrated.  Lessons can be reviewed at any point, and the rules are printed out in a separate tab as well. As this is capture go, and not regular go, one has to keep playing until one or more stones  are captured.  Passing is not an option, which means you will need to fill in your own eye if there are no other moves. Young players likely won’t make it to this point anytime soon, but when they do, it is arguable they are ready for full go. “Capture Go is a great way to get started because the rules are a little simpler and the goal is easy to understand, but it still teaches a lot about recognizing liberties, contact fights, forcing sequences, and planning ahead,” adds Hoel.  iPhone and iPad users can find the free app in the App Store, there is no Android version. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

 

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AGA chapters reaping rewards of building membership

Monday September 17, 2018

AGA chapters have been accumulating “tons of points” since the launch of the Chapter Reward Points program, reports Steve Colburn. The program operates similarly to an airlines or credit card rewards program; chapters are awarded points when AGA members affiliated with that chapter do things that earn points – sign up as full members of the AGA, play rated games, etc  – which can then be used by chapters to get reimbursed for activities related to the promotion of American go. “For example, if you have 35,000 points, that covers your chapter membership for the year,” Colburn says. Click here for program details, including that the formula for calculating point awards gives a bonus award to small and medium chapters to encourage their growth.  “I hope that your local chapter can benefit from this program,” Colburn added.

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NC championship set for Sept 22

Sunday September 16, 2018

The North Carolina State Go Champion will be determined in a day-long tournament on September 22 at Umstead State Park in north Raleigh. Competitors from across the state will vie for the title, with prizes and trophies awarded in multiple divisions. The State Go Champion wins a cash prize along with a trophy. All AGA members are eligible to play. However, to be awarded the title of “North Carolina State Champion” you must be an amateur go player who resides in North Carolina at least 50% of the year. Students are eligible.

PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for first round pairing and an early start. To participate in the first round you must register before 8:00 PM Friday, September 21st. This is an AGA rated tournament; you must be an AGA member to play. Register here.

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ICYMI: Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA; Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted; Summer of Outreach in Seattle; Janice Kim in NM; Kissinger on AI and go:

Sunday September 16, 2018

Sometimes folks send in reports late, sometimes those reports just get lost in the EJ in-box, but eventually we do catch up…

Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA: The Penn Go Society had the2018.09.16 PA state championship distinction of holding the first tournament under the new AGA State Championship system. Held April 28-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, more than 40 players attended the event at the Wharton Center for Student Life. In the Dan division, Chase Fu came in first and Ethan Wang and Yu Liang tied for second. In the Kyu division, Alexander Qi took first and Jino Choung and Evan Springer tied for second. $1000 in cash prizes were distributed.  “The Penn Go Society looks forward to next years state championship and looks forward to seeing other states join this system,” said Benjamin Sauerhaft Coplon.

Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted: The crosstab for the 2018 Tianfu Cup Preliminary is now up, and includes the game records. Thanks to TD Jeff Shaevel, Steve Colburn, Dennis Wheeler and Todd Heidenreich for their work getting this done.

Summer of Outreach in Seattle: July was busy for the Seattle Go Center outreach crew, with events on three weekends.  July 1, players from Seattle Go Center and South Sound Go Club staffed a table at the Seattle Storm women’s professional basketball game during the Storm’s “Japan Night” event, and introduced the game to approximately 50 young sports enthusiasts. The following weekend, July 7 and 8, we were at the two-day “Japan Fair” in Bellevue, WA, where Dave Snow’s collection of Hikaru no Go hangings attracted attention from young adults who were in middle school when HnG was new.

2018.09.16-Bart-Jacob-05-01Bart plays go in Cape Town: “While on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa, I was able to stop by the Cape Town Go Club and play a few games,” writes Bart Jacob. “I am on the right side of picture, along with Christian, Sam, Chris and Michael from Cape Town.”

Janice Kim in NM: On September 1, Janice Kim 3p, offered game reviews for players in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In commenting on game records brought in by local area players, she introduced her overall thoughts about how to play and how to study. She said that she finds players in the US are strong in the opening game but tend to be relatively weak at life and death. She stressed the importance of being able to visualize a sequence in your head. As an exercise, she put up a common joseki on a board, then took it off and asked one of the players to put it up using only black stones. Here’s an example (right). She said that in playing a game she looks for an “I win” move. To find such a move, you must have a good assessment of the overall game status, i.e., you must count. If you judge that you are ahead, the next step is to ask yourself, “How can I possibly lose this game?” and then to take the necessary steps to lock it up. If you judge that you’re behind, “agitate.” You must take risks. “If you lose, it doesn’t matter whether you lose by a half point or twenty.”
- Bob Gilman, Albuquerque Go Club

Kissinger on AI and go: “AlphaGo defeated the world Go champions by making strategically unprecedented moves—moves that humans had not conceived and have not yet successfully learned to overcome,” wrote HENRY A. KISSINGER in “How the Enlightenment Ends” in the June Atlantic. “Are these moves beyond the capacity of the human brain?” Before AI began to play Go, “the game had varied, layered purposes,” Kissinger continues. “A player sought not only to win, but also to learn new strategies potentially applicable to other of life’s dimensions. For its part, by contrast, AI knows only one purpose: to win. It “learns” not conceptually but mathematically, by marginal adjustments to its algorithms. So in learning to win Go by playing it differently than humans do, AI has changed both the game’s nature and its impact. Does this single-minded insistence on prevailing characterize all AI?” And, reflecting on AlphaGo Zero’s mastery of the game on its own, Kissinger wonders “What will be the impact on human cognition generally? What is the role of ethics in this process?”

 

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Cotsen Open website back up; pre-register for full benefits

Saturday September 15, 2018

The website for the 2018 Cotsen Open is back up. The tournament is on October 13th-14th; pre-registration will close on2018.08.01-cotsen-open Tuesday, October 9th, at 11:59pm. Day-of registration will also be available for $25. Pre-registration comes with benefits, including $20 entry fee and free food truck lunch on both days. As always, everyone who pre-registers and plays in all 5 of their matches has their full entry fee refunded. Also on tap: the Kogi food truck both Saturday and Sunday and Yilun Yang will do his pro game on Sunday.

 

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