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

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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Yuan Zhou 7d wins DC Fall Open; Redmond inaugurates EJ broadcast center at NGC

Saturday September 8, 2018

Yuan Zhou 7d won the 2018 DC Fall Open, held on September 8 at the National Go Center in Washington, DC. The 4-round 2018.09.08_yuan-zhou-winnertournament was one of a series of events held at the NGC featuring Michael Redmond 9P, thanks to the support of the Nihon Ki-In and the Iwamoto North America Foundation. On Friday, Redmond visited Great Falls and Fox Mill Elementary Schools, Japanese language immersion 2018.09.08_redmond-commentaryelementary schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, to students to go and its culture and to share his story about becoming a professional player. Friday night he and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock did an AlphaGo game commentary at the NGC and then on Saturday the two inaugurated the brand-new NGC E-Journal broadcast center with live commentaries on Twitch from the top board at the Fall Open (click here to check them out), watched by viewers around the world. Redmond will review game records at 11a Sunday at a special brunch on Sunday morning (register here; email sgf game records to journal@usgo.org).

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Brand-new E-Journal broadcast facility to launch for Redmond National Go Center visit

Monday September 3, 2018

With Michael Redmond 9P’s visit to the National Go Center less than a week away, preparations for a dedicated broadcast 2018.09.03_NGC-studioroom at the NGC reached a fever pitch last weekend. After live Twitch broadcasts at the recent US Go Congress attracted audiences of over 12,000, E-Journal broadcast team members Nathan Epstein, Joel Cahalan and Jeff Fitzgerald – who worked with director Stephen Hu — enlisted the E-Journal and the NGC to see if a year-round home could be found for the E-Journal’s broadcasting efforts. “We really upped our broadcasting capabilities at the Congress,” Epstein said. “Having a dedicated space will allow us to continue to develop that outreach capability.” Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa added that “The National Go Center is excited to support this outreach by the E-Journal and the AGA,” with the donated space at the Center.

This Saturday’s tournament at the NGC will mark the launch of the new E-Journal broadcast facility, as Redmond teams up with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock for live-streaming game commentary on the tournament top board. “We are absolutely thrilled that Michael Redmond – who was here last year when we opened the National Go Center 2018.09.03_NGC-framing– is returning to help us launch this exciting new venture,” said Khalsa. “We deeply appreciate the ongoing support by the Nihon Ki-In and the Iwamoto North America Foundation, who are sponsoring this visit by Redmond.”

Pre-register for the 4-round AGA-rated tournament here and get a 20% discount on the registration fee. “With fun prizes including cash prizes in the top section and Michael and Chris commenting, it should be a great event,” said Khalsa.

“Special thanks to the team that spent so much of last weekend making this broadcast room a reality,” Khalsa added.

photos: (right) Khalsa and Garlock test out new EJ broadcast facility; (left) Epstein, Garlock and Cahalan framing ceiling supports for cameras and lights; photos by Epstein (right) and Gurujeet Khalsa

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Michael Redmond coming to National Go Center next weekend

Friday August 31, 2018

Michael Redmond 9P is coming to the National Go Center in Washington DC September 7-9. The teaching visit by the popular American-born pro is being 2018.08.31_redmondsponsored by the Nihon Ki-In in association with the Iwamoto North America Foundation. The main public events are an AlphaGo game analysis Friday night, a tournament Saturday and game reviews on Sunday. To guarantee a seat in the 4-round tournament — which has cash prizes in the open section – pre-register here and get a 20% discount off the tournament fee. Redmond and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will be doing live game commentaries on Twitch on Saturday from the NGC’s brand-new broadcasting facility. Friday night Redmond and Garlock will do a live AlphaGo game analysis at the NGC, which will also be broadcast on Twitch. On Sunday, Redmond will do game reviews of select games from the previous day’s tournament. Other activities include a visit to two Japanese language immersion schools in Fairfax County and a visit to the satellite NOVA Go Club in Arlington; stay tuned for more details soon.

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Local Ning Shao wins 4th annual Cincy Go Tournament

Tuesday August 28, 2018

On August 11, about 40 go players gathered in Mason, Ohio, for the 4th annual Cincy/Tri-state go tournament.  The tournament’s impact reached beyond Ohio and neighboring states like Kentucky and Indiana, as passionate go players 2018.08.28 cincy-tourneytraveled from Wisconsin and Tennessee to the south-western corner of Ohio.

Local resident Ning Shao won the tournament champion by defeating Shawn Ray 4D from Tennessee. “This is the first time in the past four years that a local go player won the title,” reports local organizer Frank Luo. Since no youth played in the dan level open division, Shawn Ray also won a trophy. In order to encourage participation, trophies have always been awarded to both adult and youth winners in each division in the 4-year history of this tournament. Other winners of the tournament include: Matthew Qiu (9K, youth division B), a Mason Middle School student; Wilson Parks (6K, Division B) from Middle Tennessee Go Club; Kyler Huang (18K, Division C) a UC Berkeley student and Cincinnati resident; and Manny Jauregui (18K, youth Division C) from Cleveland, Ohio.

During the main 4-round tournament, a fun-mini-game tournament was also held in the middle of the day, attracting seven local young players. Both William Xiang (9 years old) and Ethan Tu (10 Years old) achieved four wins. Although no trophy was awarded for winners, every kids left with a medal and a go-themed T-shirt designed by Claire Meng, a local high school student.

photos courtesy Frank Luo

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Mingjiu Jiang defeats Andy Liu to take second N.A. slot at Tianfu Cup

Sunday August 26, 2018

In the final round of the Tianfu Cup Preliminary, Friday night on KGS, Mingjiu Jiang 7P defeated Andy Liu 1P to be the second North American representative. Jiang will join Eric Lui 1P the end of next month in China for the first Tianfu Cup. “Thanks to all the participants who have played this week,” said  Tianfu Cup Preliminary Tournament Director Jeff Shaevel: Dalhoon Ahn 9P, Feng Yun 9P, Ming-jiu Jiang 7P, Andy Liu 1P, Eric Lui 1P, Huiren Yang 1P, Ryan Li 1P, and Stephanie Yin 1P.

Click here for the crosstab, including game records.

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Ming-jiu Jiang 7P vs. Andy Liu 1P Friday night for 2nd berth in Tiangfu Cup

Friday August 24, 2018

Over 100 people watched online Thursday night as Ming-jiu Jiang 7P eliminated Ryan Li 1P in the 4th round of the Tiangfu Cup Preliminary. Jiang will play Andy Liu 1P Friday night at 7p — also on KGS — in the final game. The winner will be the second North American representative to the Tiangfu Cup, joining Eric Lui, who secured the first spot earlier in the week.
- Jeff Shaevel, Tiangfu Cup Preliminary Tournament Director

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