American Go E-Journal

AGA Board Meeting Summary: 10/15/2017

Saturday October 21, 2017

The board was joined by Dave Weimer (director of the 2019 US Go Congress), and a decision was made to put an initial deposit down on conference services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 2019 US Go Congress. Other items of business were that Danny Ko was approved for a two-year term as AGA treasurer, a proposal for a state championship system has been sent out to chapters for feedback, and a FAQ is being developed to address concerns regarding the upcoming ranking certification system. Finally, the board resolved to more greatly involve the membership by posting agendas for monthly board meetings in advance and publicly, as well as publishing summaries of those meetings.

-Samantha Fede, AGA Secretary

Categories: U.S./North America
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Cotsen Open draws top players this weekend

Friday October 20, 2017

Defending champion Mark Lee 7d faces a strong field of top players at this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, including Andrew Lu 7d, 2017.10.20_2016-cotsen-IMG_2019Aaron Ye 7d, Yuefeng Zhao 7d and Vincent Zhuang 7d. Top boards will be broadcast live on KGS starting around 10a PDT on Saturday. The popular annual tournament is also a prelim for the 6th AGA Pro tournament, so competition is expected to be even fiercer than usual. The action takes place at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and includes pro simuls and a pro-pro game.
NOTE: pre-registration has closed but walk-ins on Saturday will be accepted; all players who want to play in the first round must be on line to sign in or register by 9:15a on Saturday. Any questions, email
cotsenopen@gmail.com
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hoto: top board at 2016 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

Self-taught AlphaGo Zero bests all previous versions in record time

Wednesday October 18, 2017

AlphaGo Zero, the latest version of the go-playing AlphaGo AI, defeated all previous versions of AlphaGo in just forty days. More importantly, AlphaGo Zero was taught go’s rules, but given no additional instructions, instead learning the best moves by playing 2017.10.18_alphago-zero-saran-poroongmillions of games against itself. Details of the new program were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

“AlphaGo Zero independently found, used and occasionally transcended many established sequences of moves used by human players,” write the AGA’s Andy Okun and Andrew Jackson in an accompanying article. “In particular, the AI’s opening choices and end-game methods have converged on ours — seeing it arrive at our sequences from first principles suggests that we haven’t been on entirely the wrong track. On the other hand, some of its middle-game judgements are truly mysterious and give observing human players the feeling that they are seeing a strong human play, rather than watching a computer calculate.”

The ability to self-train without human input is a crucial step towards the dream of creating a general AI that can tackle any task, reports Nature. In the nearer-term, though, it could enable programs to take on scientific challenges such as protein folding or materials research, said DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis at a press briefing. “We’re quite excited because we think this is now good enough to make some real progress on some real problems.”

Prof Satinder Singh, a computer scientist at Michigan University, who reviewed the findings for the journal said: “The AI massively outperforms the already superhuman AlphaGo and, in my view, is one of the biggest advances, in terms of applications, for the field of reinforcement learning so far.”
- Chris Garlock; Image credit: Saran_Poroong Getty Images

Read more…

The AI That Has Nothing to Learn From Humans
DeepMind’s Go-playing AI doesn’t need human help to beat us anymore
AlphaGo Zero: Google DeepMind supercomputer learns 3,000 years of human knowledge in 40 days
DeepMind has a bigger plan for its newest Go-playing AI
AI versus AI: Self-Taught AlphaGo Zero Vanquishes Its Predecessor
AlphaGo Zero Goes From Rank Beginner to Grandmaster in Three Days—Without Any Help
‘It’s able to create knowledge itself’: Google unveils AI that learns on its own
DeepMind AlphaGo Zero learns on its own without meatbag intervention
This more powerful version of AlphaGo learns on its own

The Power Report (Part 3 of 3): Record age gap in women’s game; Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup; Tengen title match starts

Wednesday October 18, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Record age gap in women’s game: On October 5, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P played Ueno Asami 1P in the preliminary round of the Women’s Hollyhock Cup. Playing white, Ueno beat Sugiuchi by resig. This game set a record for the biggest gap in a women’s game: Ueno is 15 and Sugiuchi is 90. Go Weekly gave the age gap as 75 years. Sugiuchi was born on March 6, 1927 and Ueno on October 26, 2001, so, to be precise, the difference is 74 years seven months. Sugiuchi is probably2017.10.18_Kiriyama L Mutsuura R Takao the oldest active female professional ever. Her husband, Sugiuchi Masao 9P, is still playing at the age of 96 (he turns 97 on October 20). It’s hard to imagine this is not a record for male professionals.

Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup: The final of the 24th Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect of Buddhism on October 7. Playing in his first big final, Mutsuura Yuta 3P (white, left in photo at right) defeated Takao Shinji Meijin (at right). Takao resigned after 210 moves. Mutsuura is a member of the Nagoya or Central Japan branch 2017.10.18_Tengen1 L Ichiriki R Iyamaof the Nihon Ki-in. He was born on May 1, 1999, so yet another strong teenager has emerged in Japan. At 18 years five months, he is the third-youngest player to win an open title. His success earned him promotion to 7-dan (as of October 8).

Tengen title match starts: The final quarter of the tournament year in Japan features two title matches, the Tengen and the Oza, between Iyama Yuta and Ichiriki Ryo, so in effect they are playing a best-of-ten. Ichiriki is also the favourite to challenge for the Kisei title, so it could become a best-of-17. The first game in the 43rd Tengen title was played at the Hotel Foresta in Toyoda City, Aichi Prefecture, on October 11. Taking black, Iyama (at right, photo at left) played aggressively, but Ichiriki held his own in the fighting. In the end, however, Iyama’s good judgment enabled him to draw ahead. Aiming at an upset, Ichiriki started a ko fight at the end, but Black had more ko threats, so he resigned after 273 moves. The second game will be played on October 27. The first Oza game is scheduled for October 20.

Promotion: To 2-dan: Hoshiai Shiho (30 wins, as of Sept. 26)

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Mutsuura was born in 1999, not 2009.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Cotsen pre-registration deadline Tuesday at midnight PDT

Tuesday October 17, 2017

The deadline for the discounted registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open is midnight PDT Tuesday night; click here now to register.  After that, registration is $25 in cash at the door. Cotsen organizers have just added pro simuls with 2017.10.17_myungwan kimMyungwan Kim 9P and Ahn Dalhoun 9P on Sunday, plus of course the food truck lunch both days (free for pre-registered folks only).  Complete details here. Walk-ins on Saturday will be accepted, but all players who want to play in the first round must be on line to sign in or register by 9:15a on Saturday. Any questions, email  cotsenopen@gmail.com
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hoto: Myungwan Kim 9p at the 2016 Cotsen; photo by Phil Straus

 

The Power Report (Part 2 of 3): Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out; Chinese pair wins world championship; New Honinbo league starts

Tuesday October 17, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out: The first game in the irregular knock-out among the various league winners in the 42nd Kisei tournament was played on October 2. Motoki Katsuya 8P, winner of the C League, beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P, winner of the play-off between the winners of the two B Leagues. Motoki followed up this success by beating the winner of the A League, Takao Shinji Meijin, on October 12. Taking black, Motoki won by resignation. Next, he will meet the second-place-getter in the S League, Yamashita Keigo.

Chinese pair wins world championship: The second part of the Pair Go World Championship 2017 was held at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, on October 5. The winning pair in the Stars Tournament, held at the same venue on August 12 and 13, that is, Xie Yimin 6P and Iyama Yuta 9P, representing Japan, met the reigning Pair Go world champions, Yu Zhiying 5P and Ke Jie 9P of China, in the Masters Match. The Chinese pair earned their title in the Pair Go World Cup 2016 Tokyo. Playing white, Yu and Ke defended their title, forcing Xie and Iyama to resign after 198 moves. Like the final in the August event, the game was played in the Noh Theater in the basement of the hotel.
A unique event, the Go AI Research and Goodwill Game by the Pair Go Format, was held on the previous day. Xie, Iyama and the program DeepZenGo were matched against Yu, Ke and DeepZenGo. To fit the Pair Go format, the human players on each team played as one member of the pair with the AI program; they were free to consult each other and together played every second move for their side. This was a lighthearted event, with the players occasionally bursting into laughter. Xie, of course, could also follow what the Chinese players were saying, which she said made the game even more fun. Just for the record, this game was also won by the Chinese pair.

New Honinbo league starts: The first two games in the 73rd Honinbo League were played on October 5. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P by resig. and Motoki Katsuya 8P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P, also by resig. So far, October has been a good month for Motoki, the previous Honinbo challenger.

Tomorrow: Record age gap in women’s game; Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup; Tengen title match starts

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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The Power Report (Part 1 of 3): Korea stars in Nongshim Cup; 22nd Samsung Cup; Meijin Four: Iyama’s brilliancy

Monday October 16, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.10.16_Nongshim Shin wins 4th game

Korea stars in Nongshim Cup: The opening round of the 19th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Shenyang City in Liaoning Province in China from September 19 to 22. It was a triumph for Shin Minjun 6P (right) of Korea, who won all four games in this round. He showed that there’s more than one strong player named Shin in Korea. He was born on Jan. 11, 1999 in Busan, became a professional in 2012 and reached 4-dan in 2016. In the same year, he won the 4th King of the New Stars title, which earned him promotion to 5-dan. He was promoted to 6-dan earlier this year. In the Korean qualifying tournament to choose the team for this tournament, he defeated his teacher, Lee Sedol. In the first Nongshim game, he defeated the player, Fan Tingyu, who won seven games in a row in the previous Nongshim Cup.
Results:
Game One (Sept. 19). Shin (W) beat Fan Tingyu 9P (China) by 3.5 points.
Game Two (Sept. 20). Shin (B) beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P (Japan) by resig.
Game Three (Sept. 21). Shin (B) beat Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) by resig.
Game Four (Sept. 22). Shin (W) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 7P (Japan) by resig.
Time allowance is one hour per player followed by byo-yomi of one minute per move. The remaining members of the Japanese team are Iyama Yuta, Yamashita Keigo, and Ichiriki Ryo. Round Two will be played in Busan, Korea, in November, and Round Three in Shanghai in February.

22nd Samsung Cup: The second and third rounds of the 22nd Samsung Cup were held at the Samsung Confucian Castle Campus in Daejeon City in Korea on September 25 and 26. Two Japanese representatives, Iyama Yuta and 2017.10.16_Samsung Iyama eliminatedYamashita Keigo, had survived the large-scale opening round, but they were both eliminated in the second round. Iyama (B, at left) was matched against Shin Jinseo 8P of Korea. The game featured fierce fighting from early on. Iyama made an oversight and resigned after 118 moves. Yamashita (black) lost to Tong Mengcheng 6P of China; he resigned after 122 moves. Pairings in the semifinals are Dong vs. Gu Zihao (both of China) and Tang Weixing (China) vs. An Kukhyun (Korea)

Meijin Four: Iyama’s brilliancy
As promised, here is some more detail about the 4th game of the current Meijin title match, played on October 2 and 3. Takao Shinji, the challenger, had black. He slipped up in the opening, neglecting to defend a large group because he overlooked a sequence White had to put it into ko. In effect, he had to give White a free move elsewhere when he played an extra move to secure life. That left him a tempo behind in the game, but he played on tenaciously and succeeded in creating complications by leading the game into a large-scale fight. He then played a clever move with Black 101 that seemed to turn the tables in the fight; if White made the “usual” answer, Black had a clever tesuji with move 16 in an unplayed continuation. “Unplayed,” because Iyama came up with a brilliant counter-intuitive combination that enabled him to capture the key stones in the fight at the cost of a couple of sacrifice stones. That gave him the lead. Takao fought on for another 50 moves or so, but was unable to catch up. Iyama even rubbed salt in the wound by making use of the “sacrifice” stones in a later fight. Takao resigned after White 164. The fifth game is already being played on October 16 and 17. It is Takao’s first kadoban, so the second grand slam in Japanese go could be imminent.

Tomorrow: Motoki does well in Kisei knock-out; Chinese pair wins world championship; New Honinbo league starts

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 11: A calmer game, with hidden reading

Friday October 13, 2017

“This game is a lot calmer than Game 10,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 11. “There’s a lot of 2017.10.13_ag-ag-thumb-11fighting that doesn’t actually come into the game, but I’ll be showing a lot of variations about things that could have happened, so there’s a lot of, you might say, hidden reading. And then there’s a ko at the end, for the life of a group. ”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The Game 11 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

[link]

Cheng Tops Happy Cup

Friday October 13, 2017

Photo Oct 01, 1 42 35 PMMatthew Cheng 5d, age 10,  topped the Tenth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament on Oct. 1st in Cupertino, California. “Forty kids from 5 to 15 gathered together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and played four rounds of 13×13 and 19×19 games,” reports Yanping Zhao, who co-organized the event with Wenguang Wang.  Players earned prize tickets after each round, and then exchanged them for various prizes. “It was our way to ensure a really fun experience for every kid,” reports Zhao.  Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy and at the event’s conclusion, all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party. -Report by Wenguang Wang; photo by Melody Chan: Matthew Cheng is in the blue T-shirt.

Go Spotting: Daniel Kahneman on go and AI

Friday October 13, 2017

Daniel Kahneman, author of the best-selling book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” mentions go in a recent “On Being” interview. “On Being” is a2017.10.09_Daniel-Kahneman-bio Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast hosted by Krista Tippett. “At about 1:25:30, he is in the midst of talking about artificial intelligence when he mentions my favorite game — the ancient board game of go,” writes Howard Cornett in a blog post. “He talks about how he is fascinated by the fact that a computer program has finally beaten professional humans at a game that is based largely on System 1 thinking, or intuition.”

Categories: Go Spotting
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