American Go E-Journal

Evan Lin wins 2020 Globis Cup Qualifier

Monday February 17, 2020

Evan Lin (B) beat Jeremy Chiu (W) by 11.5 points on Sunday, Feb. 16 in the final game of the 2020 Globis Cup Qualifier, to become the North American representative to the 2020 Globis Cup.

In Game #1, Jeremy Chiu (W) beat Willis Huang (B) by resignation. In Game #2, Evan Lin (B) beat Jeremy Chiu (W) by resignation. In Game #3 Jeremy Chiu (B) beat Willis Huang (W) by resignation. In Game #4 Jeremy Chiu (B) beat Evan Lin (W) by 7.5 points.

“Thanks to everyone who participated and to Justin and Paul for their assistance organizing and monitoring,” said TD Jeff Shaevel.

Why does it take so long to get a tournament rated?

Monday February 17, 2020

At the 2019 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock

by Steve Colburn
During last year’s U.S. Go Congress I heard the same question more than a few times. “Why does it take so long to get the tournament I last played in rated?” We’re always trying to get ratings updated more quickly but here’s why that’s often a challenge.

At the end of the tournament the Tournament Director (TD) sends a results file to the AGA, which processes the data. Two of the key things are active membership and game result probability.
An active AGA membership gives you many benefits, among the largest of which is being rated in our system. So the first major check is to see if all player’s AGA memberships are up to date, and expired memberships are the largest reason ratings are delayed. The AGA Membership Manager has been working very well since it was fixed in May 2019, and TDs are no longer able to submit tournament results without all players being AGA members.
The second check, which occurs less frequently but can also slow down updated ratings, is when game result probabilities are suspect, like when it’s reported that a significantly lower-ranked player defeated a stronger player. In such a case, we’ll check in with the TD to see if it’s an error, if someone just had a good — or a bad — day.

Once these two hurdles are cleared, the rest of the process moves fairly quickly and the updated ratings can be posted. Our ultimate goal is for every TD to be able to run tournaments with no issues so that we can process and post updated that same weekend.

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 36: The ladder game

Friday February 14, 2020

Chocolates and flowers are popular Valentine’s Day gifts but what go players really want is another AlphaGo game commentary and Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock deliver with their latest AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo game commentary, Game 36 of the series, going up on the AGA’s YouTube Channel at noon today, a bit earlier than the usual 6p release time.

“The most interesting thing to me about this game is the way AlphaGo handles ladders,” says Redmond. “Earlier versions seemed to have some trouble with them, but not AG and in this game, AlphaGo devises some original ways to handle them.” Redmond poses a number of problems for Garlock to solve, and the Twitch audience — the commentary was originally streamed live on the AGA’s Twitch channel — gets involved. Follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

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Upcoming AGA Board meeting Feb. 23

Thursday February 13, 2020

The AGA Board is meeting on Sunday, February 23rd at 8pm EST.  Topics of discussion include: updates on several on-going projects as well as new domestic and international tournaments, the creation of two new commissions, U.S. Go Congress, staff re-appointments, teaching, the accessibility of board meetings, and access to go clubs.  For more information, you can find the detailed agenda here.
Are you an AGA member interested in listening in to the meeting?  Please contact the Chairperson at lisa.scott@usgo.org for call-in information.
Are you interested in commenting on past board meeting minutes?  You can submit your comments here, and they’ll be available to entire board and relevant officers. Past minutes are available here.

Redmond on AG-AG Game 37 tonight on Twitch

Thursday February 13, 2020

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel tonight at 7p EDT to catch Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock with their latest live game commentary on the AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series. “This is amazing content,” says viewer Funaru, “like the Go TV channel we never got in the West.” Viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the liver commentary.

Go and Math Academy teaches hundreds to play at Art Institute

Tuesday February 11, 2020

On Saturday Feb 8, Xinming Simon Guo – assisted by his wife Joy – Greg Kulevich and Mark Rubenstein taught over 350 new-comers how to play Go at the Chicago Art Institute’s Lunar New Year event. This is the second year that Simon has been invited to teach Go to museum visitors. In addition to Go, the event included Chinese chess, paper cutting, taiko drumming and other activities. 

“Simon has a unique way of teaching Go which enables newcomers of all ages to start playing real Go right away, without any complicated explanations or terminology,” says Rubenstein. “I had known about his method for a long time, but hadn’t tried it myself. I used his method all day, and found that it really simplifies the game for first-timers.”  

“This unique method has been used in many math classrooms in the Chicago area, and it is compatible with different rule sets, which means there is little conflict when players visit a local club and count the score by territory,” says Guo.

Simon Guo is the founder of the Go and Math Academy, and was the AGA’s Teacher of the Year in 2015. He teaches thousands of school students to play Go every year. Visit their local wiki page to find out more information about the Go and Math Academy or check them out on Facebook.

report and photos provided by Mark Rubenstein

Next AGA Board Meeting Sunday 2/23

Monday February 10, 2020

The AGA Board is meeting on Sunday, February 23rd at 8pm EST.  Topics of discussion include: updates on several on-going projects as well as new domestic and international tournaments, the creation of two new commissions, congress, staff reappointments, teaching, the accessibility of board meetings, and access to go clubs.  For more information, you can find the detailed agenda here.

Are you an AGA member interested in listening in to the meeting?  Please contact the Chairperson at lisa.scott@usgo.org for call-in information.
Are you interested in commenting on past board meeting minutes?  You can submit your comments using this form, and they will be available to board members and relevant officers. Past board meeting minutes are available on usgo.org.

Spindrift: Leon Chen 4P’s Original Tsumego now available on OGS

Monday February 10, 2020

Need some fresh life-and-death Go problems for inspiration? Check out Spindrift: Leon Chen 4p’s Original Tsumego, featuring 136 original tsumego puzzles of various levels written in both traditional Chinese and English. It is available for purchase electronically for 10 USD, and accessible after purchase through the buyer’s OGS account. 

This is Hsi “Leon” Chen (陳禧) 4P’s first published tsumego collection of many more to come. Chen – one of Taiwan’s top professional players – has crafted thousands of puzzles and is excited to share his work with Go fans all over the world. “To me, every life-and-death puzzle is a condensed gem discovered by the tsumego creator,” says Chen, “like a precious cloud of spindrift resting on top of a reef rock. Puzzles encapsulate memories; but more importantly, they tell the stories of our times. I can’t call this a valuable gift, but it’s a little something from my heart!”

In addition to the tsumego variations, each puzzle includes a short story written by frequent E-Journal contributor Stephen Hu, who designed the cover and wrote the English language text. “Every original tsumego reminds me of a painting, a song, or perhaps a certain story,” says Hu. “It is the imagination that breaks all bounds; despite the simplicity of Go stones on the wooden board, they are capable of composing melodies that mesmerize. I just wish I could look through the artist’s kaleidoscope, and capture all the vibrance beyond the black and white.”

Interested players can order a copy today or start with a free preview of 5 puzzles.

San Diego tournament ends with pizza and a YLY lecture

Saturday February 8, 2020

Winners in the various sections: Aaron Jones, Evan Tan, Yixian Zhou, Ted Terpstra (President, SDGC), Angel Zhou (Yixian’s daughter)

On Sunday, January 19, 2020, twenty-six players braved the Southern California sunshine and warmth on a “winter’s day” to compete in the San Diego Go Club / Yellow Mountain Imports Go Rating Tournament. Competitors aged from 4 to 74. Yixian Zhou 6d, who bested the handicapped field with a 3-0 record, won a YMI board, stones and bowls. Aaron Jones 9k, Evan Tan 14k, and Angel Zhou 20, all won magnetic go boards furnished by Yellow Mountain Imports for winning their sections.  

After a break for free pizza, most of the players remained at the San Diego Chess Club to hear well-known go lecturer Yilun Yang 7P give the last of his fall/winter classes for the San Diego Go Club.

report and photos by Ted Terpstra

Competitors in the SDGC Rating Tournament

Hajin Lee 4P wins 28th Jujo Ing Cup

Saturday February 8, 2020

The 28th Jiang ZhuJiu Ing Cup was held in San Francisco at the Hotel Kabuki on Sunday February 2, the second year the tournament has been held on Super Bowl Sunday – players were able to watch the game between rounds on a large screen display set up in the hotel lounge. Jiang ZhuJiu 9P and Rui Naiwei 9P made the trip from China to host the event, where 63 players competed in 5 divisions for a total of $3,000 in prizes. The tournament was sponsored by the Ing Foundation of California, and Hajin Lee 4P, who won all four rounds in the Open section, won the grand prize. The tournament was directed by Karoline Li and Julie Burrall. Click Complete results can be found online for both the open and handicap sections. Click here for more tournament photos.

photos by C.O. Armistad
report by Ernest Brown