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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master #5: Strange and wild stuff happening

Sunday February 11, 2018

“There’s some strange stuff in this game, especially in the early part of the game,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his fifth 2018.02.09_zero-master-game5commentary on the AG Zero games. “Then later on things get really exciting, as Zero does some amazing stuff inside Master’s moyo. The sequence that Zero uses to reduce the moyo is quite spectacular.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video 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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Young Player Need for 5th GLOBIS Cup

Wednesday February 7, 2018

The AGA has received an invitation to send a strong US or Canadian player under the age of 20 to the 5th GLOBIS Cup U-20 World Go Championship, to be held April 19-23, 2018, in Tokyo, Japan. The event, sponsored by the GLOBIS Corporation and organized by the Nihon Ki-in, will provide meals and accommodations for the players, as well as an accompanying adult if the player is under 18. Air fare will be borne by the player and any companions. The player must have been under 20 years old on January 1, 2018, and meet the other AGA or CGA eligibility requirements. Any necessary online play-offs will take place before Feb. 20. This is a great opportunity to compete in an international tournament, explore Tokyo, and represent the AGA and CGA. Interested players should respond with their names, best form of contact, and KGS IDs before Feb. 11 to president@usgo.org.

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Upcoming Go Events: Chandler, Plano, San Francisco

Monday February 5, 2018

February 17: Chandler, AZ
2018 Phoenix Chinese Week Go Open
Quan Li gb081449@gmail.com 602-326-7556
William Gundberg bill@azgoclub.org 480-831-5567

February 17-18: Plano, TX
2018 South Central Go Tournament
Bob Gilman bobgilman.aga@gmail.com 505-842-5541
Scott Ellerman dallasgo@gmail.com

February 18: San Francisco, CA
Jujo Ing Cup
Ernest Brown indagoe49@gmail.com 415-606-7641
Michael Bull bull@lmi.net 510-220-0760

Get the latest go events information.

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Redmond Reviews: Michael Redmond 9P vs Kuwabara Shun 1P

Saturday February 3, 2018

Michael Redmond’s video game commentaries return with an exciting game by Redmond against Kuwabara Shun 1P in the 2018.02.03 RedmondReviewsecond round of the Kisei First Tournament. “We get into the avalance joseki and Kuwabara springs a new variation on me and then it gets really messy in the middle game,” says Redmond, hosted by Chris Garlock of the AGA E-Journal. It’s a human-human game, “So there are mistakes,” Redmond laughs. “It’s pretty exciting.” Click here for the video.

 

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Sarah Yu on the IMSA Elite Mind Games

Thursday February 1, 2018

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White: Choi Jeong
Black: Sarah Yu
Commentary: Sarah Yu
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the February 1, 2018 edition of the American Go E-Journal

This exciting game is from the 2017 IMSA Elite Mind Games women’s team tournament.

Already by the 3rd move, Sarah Yu shows her intention to avoid calm and normal go, and then sacrifices stones and starts kos. Her strategy works as she attains a promising position, only to make a slip in time pressure, leading to a complicated winner-take-all ending.

Sarah gives her impressions of this game and her entire experience surrounding the competition: “This game was the last round in women’s team. I truly enjoyed this game, and came to see the difference of skills between myself and my opponent. I am privileged to have become a part of it. And I am honoured to represent North America in this high standard tournament. Overall, I am pleased with the games I played.

“This year’s IEMG was in structure similar to the one in March 2016. For Go this year, both men and women played in team of two. After the team tournament, one would play in individual blitz, and the other player in pair Go.

“Sometimes I found myself asking, what was my role in this? This year, my goal was to enjoy the tournament, the side events, and to connect a little with other players. I am also grateful for the opportunity to open my eyes in other areas, such as tea tasting, calligraphy, and draughts.

“At the closing ceremonies, it was with mixed emotions to see players getting their prizes. My impression is that IMSA and the Chinese organizers have been doing good work together to meet the standard of the tournament, and to host cultural events for entertainment.”

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Power Report: Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; 73rd Honinbo League; 43rd Meijin League; Obituary: Shiraishi Yutaka

Wednesday January 31, 2018

Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei: The challenger to Xie Yimin for the 21st Women’s Kisei title is a new face: 2018.01.31_21fkisei1_05Ueno Asami 1P (right), a 16-year-old who became a professional in 2016. She is the second woman 1-dan to challenge for this title recently (the other was Nyu Eiko 1P, who lost 1-2 to Xie last year). Ueno had a good year last year, scoring 30 wins to 15 losses; this challenge will raise her profile. The first game was played at the Hotel Sun Life Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 19. Taking white, Ueno showed that she was not overawed by the occasion or her opponent, the most successful woman player ever in Japan. She was ready to mix it up in scrappy fighting with Xi and secured the lead with a move that took Xie by surprise. The latter did her best to upset Ueno’s lead, but was thwarted by accurate and feisty play by the challenger. Xie resigned after White 186. The next game will be played on January 29.

73rd Honinbo League: On 3-0, Ida Atsushi 8P has the sole lead in the league. His game against Kobayashi Satoru 9P will be the final game in the fourth round. Ko Iso, on 3-1, is in provisional second place. Results since my last report, are given below.
(Dec. 21) Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.
(Jan. 11) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 9P by resig.
(Jan. 18) Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

43rd Meijin League: The following games have been played in the Meijin League since our last report. The league leader will be the winner of the final game in the second round, between Cho U and Yamashita Keigo, as he will go to 2-0. Everyone else has lost at least one game.
(Dec. 21) Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points.
(Jan. 11) Hane Naoki 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.
(Jan. 18) Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.; Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig.

Promotions
To 2-dan: Nyu Eiko (30 wins, as of December 22)
To 8-dan: Ri Ishu (150 wins, as of January 19)

Obituary: Shiraishi Yutaka
Shiraishi Yutaka, one of the leading players at the Kansai Ki-in, died of a squamous cell cancer of the right upper lobe of the lung on December 10. Shiraishi was born in Ehime Prefecture on January 14, 1941. A disciple of Sekiyama Riichi 9P, he became a professional in 1956 and reached 9-dan in 1973. He won the 9-dan section of the Kisei tournament in 1976 and 1981, won the Pro-Ama Tournament in 1981, and the 37th Kansai Ki-in Number One Position tournament in 1993. He played three times each in the Meijin and Honinbo tournaments. He retired in 2012.

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Redmond videos set to return this week

Wednesday January 31, 2018

The holiday hiatus is over! In a short video  today, Chris Garlock and Michael Redmond 9P confirmed that they’re resuming the popular 2018.01.31_garlock-redmondweekly series of AlphaGo game reviews on the AGA’s YouTube channel. The duo update viewers on their plans for the video commentaries, as well as their ongoing AlphaGo book project. The new series starts this Friday with a Redmond Review of a recent tournament game by Redmond, and the AlphaGo videos resume next week.

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Your Move/Readers Write: “Where’s my Redmond AlphaGo video?”

Friday January 26, 2018

“When will we see the next Michael Redmond/AlphaGo video on YouTube? It’s been more than a month since the last video,” 2018.01.26_Redmond-updatewrites George Shutack.I am huge fan of the video series with Michael Redmond and Chris Garlock,” says Brian Aronson. “I have watched every video, often the night they are posted. I find Michael’s analysis substantially more detailed and understandable than any other commentaries that I have seen, and I appreciate Garlock’s occasional questions when Redmond’s analysis goes over my head. Are you two planning to continue your video series?”

In a word, yes. Redmond and Garlock took a break from the videos over the holidays to recharge and to focus on their AlphaGo book project, “which is coming along very nicely,” says Garlock. More on that soon, he promises. Redmond also took the opportunity to work on sgf commentaries for both Zero and Master games, as well as some of his own recent tournament games, and the two – along with producer Michael Wanek – have returned to the studio to begin production of the new series, which is expected to launch on Friday, February 2, with a sneak peek update from Redmond and Garlock on January 31. “The response to the videos has been quite amazing,” Redmond said. “I’m really pleased that so many go players are enjoying them and look forward to continuing to explore AlphaGo’s exciting games in the months ahead.”

Redmond on AlphaGo Zero vs Master
Redmond on AlphaGo SelfPlay
Redmond’s Reviews

 

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The Power Report: People’s Honor Awards confirmed for Iyama and Habu; Lee Sedol wins World Meijin; Iyama makes good start in Kisei defense

Friday January 26, 2018

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

People’s Honor Awards confirmed for Iyama and Habu: At a cabinet meeting held on January 5, it was officially decided to give People’s Honor Awards to go player Iyama Yuta and shogi player Habu Yoshiharu in recognition of two unprecedented achievements. In Iyama’s case, it was getting a grand slam of the top seven titles for the second time; in Habu’s case, it was qualifying for lifetime titles in all the top seven titles (equivalent to an honorary title in go). As I mentioned in my final report for last year, it was announced that the government was “considering” making these awards, so it has now been confirmed. The awards will be given by the prime minister, Abe Shinzo, in a ceremony at the prime minister’s official residence on February 13. (By the way, so far Iyama has qualified for three honorary titles, the Kisei, Honinbo, and Gosei.)

Lee Sedol wins World Meijin: On January 8 and 9, the Dongjun Pharmaceutical Co. Cup: 5th World Mingren Tournament was held at the Yongji Qiyuan in Baoshan in Yunnan Province. Baoshan is a town very close to the Myanmar border and is famous for its go stones. The Yongji Qiyuan (= Ki-in) is an eight-storey building erected in 2016, so go must be prospering in this area. This is an invitational tournament, pitting the holders of the Meijin (= Mingren in Chinese and Myeongin in Korean) against each other. Iyama Yuta Meijin represented Japan and Lian Xiao Mingren China, but the Korean Myeongin title has been discontinued, so the Korean Baduk Association chose Lee Sedol as its representative. Lee repaid the faith shown in him by winning the mini-tournament.

 The tournament followed the usual “irregular” format for a three-player knockout. After drawing lots, Iyama and Lian were paired to play in the opening round on January 8. Taking white, Lian won this game by resignation. Iyama then played Lee in the second round; taking black, Lee won by resignation, so Iyama took third place. In the final, played on the 10th, Lee beat Lian (Go Weekly does not give the details) and took the first prize of 500,000 yuan (about $31,000). The Legend Pair Go tournament was held as a parallel event. This was won by the Korean pair of Yun Yongmin 3P and Suh Bongsoo 9P. The Japanese pair of Yoshida Mika 8P and Otake Hideo 9P came second.2018.01.26_42kisei1_5

Iyama makes good start in Kisei defense: As usual, the honor of starting the official tournament program in Japan fell to the players competing for the Kisei title, though they beat two women players by just a day. The challenger for the 43rd Kisei title is Ichiriki Ryo 7P, who is making his fourth challenge for a top-seven title. The only way to win one of these titles is to overcome Iyama Yuta, as he holds all of them. So far, Ichiriki has been unsuccessful; his best effort was in the 42nd Tengen title match in 2016, when he won the second game, but he has had no luck since, losing the next two games here, and suffering whitewashes in the 65th Oza and the 43rd Tengen title matches at the end of last year. Since he also lost the final of last year’s NHK Cup (the 64th), that gave him nine successive losses to Iyama. Still, his becoming the challenger for three successive titles shows that he is one of the top players in Japan.

   The top-three title matches, with their eight-hour time allowances spread over two days, are a different world from the other title matches, so such a match represents a new challenge but also a new opportunity. Ichiriki also had a break of seven weeks to prepare, though he may have been distracted by university exams in January.

   The first game was played at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo on January 18 and 19, with Otake Hideo, Hon. Gosei, acting as referee. Ichiriki drew black in the nigiri. In the opening, Iyama went for territory and Ichiriki set up a large moyo. As usual these days, there were some moves influenced by AI go-playing programs, such as a 3-3 invasion by White on move six and a shoulder hit against the lower stone in a knight’s-move corner enclosure by Black with move 13. As usual with top-level games, the play was too complex for an amateur such as myself to follow. To summarize briefly, White invaded Black’s moyo with White 40. He came under severe attack but managed to settle his group in sente, so he was able to expand his territorial moyo at the top. At this point, Iyama had the lead. Ichiriki successfully invaded the top territory and perhaps took over the lead here. However, he later played a move that, in the words of the Go Weekly reporter, “lacked subtlety.” Actually, the three-page report in the go newspaper is a little hard to understand. The headlines on the second and the third pages read, “Iyama’s tenacious upset” and “Ichiriki misses his winning chance” respectively, but they are not concretely explained in the text. That’s why I wrote “perhaps” above. It seems that Ichiriki missed the best move in a center fight that concluded the game. The Yomiuri Newspaper commentator So Yokoku 9P identified Black 203 as “the final losing move.” Black resigned after move 240.

   After the game, Iyama commented: “I thought that if Black played correctly in the center the game was no good for me. It was a tough game, but I was lucky.” Ichiriki: “I didn’t know what was correct in the center. I made mistakes in delicate positions that were fatal.” The next game will be played on January 25 and 26.

Tomorrow: Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; 73rd Honinbo League; Obituary: Shiraishi Yutaka

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AGA City League this weekend

Thursday January 18, 2018

2017.10.03_PANDANETThis weekend is the second round of the Pandanet AGA City League. Watch some of your favorite young pros and many of the strongest players in the US and Canada. Check the schedule to see your favorite team’s matchups! This Sunday LIVE at 3PM, AGA City League and AGA City League (Manual) rooms.

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