World news

The Power Report: Okura Prizes for Pair Go founders; 49th Kido Prizes; Xie makes good start in Women’s Meijin defence; Kono wins first game in Meijin League; International tournaments

AGA news - Thu, 10/03/2016 - 15:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Okura Prizes for Pair Go founders: The Okura Prizes are awarded to persons, amateur or professional, from Japan or overseas, who have contributed to spreading go. The winners of the 45th Okura Prizes were announced on January 19. The six prize winners included Ando Takeo 7P and the founders of Pair Go, Taki Hisao and Hiroko (right, with Thomas Hsiang)

49th Kido Prizes: Though the magazine Kido is defunct, the Kido Prizes for the outstanding Nihon Ki-in players of the previous year are still awarded. The 49th Prizes were announced in the February 22 issue of Go Weekly. They went as follows: Most Outstanding Player: Iyama Yuta, Sextuple Crown; Outstanding Player: Ida Atsushi Judan; New Face: Kyo Kagen, King of the New Stars; Women’s Prize: Xie Yimin; International Prize: Ichiriki Ryo 7P; Most Wins: Iyama Yuta & Kyo Kagen (41 wins); Best Winning Percentage: Shibano Toramaru 2P (81.25%, 39 wins, 9 losses); Most Successive Wins: Iyama Yuta (24); Most Games Played: Yamashita Keigo (60).

Xie makes good start in Women’s Meijin defence: The first game of the 28th Women’s Meijin title match was held in the Arisu-kan, a building in the grounds of Heian Women’s University in Kyoto on February 28. Taking black, Xie beat Aoki Kikuyo 8P by resignation.

Meijin League: Kono wins first game
The third round of the 41st Meijin League was completed on February 25 when Kono Rin 9P (W) defeated league newcomer Uchida Shuhei 7P by resignation. Kono had a bye in the first round and lost in the second, so this is his first win.

International tournaments
4th CCTV New Year’s Cup: This tournament is organized by the CCTV station in Beijing to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This year it was held from February 9 to 11, with one player each from China, Korea, and Japan taking part. China was represented by Ko Jie, who tops the Chinese ranking system by a comfortable margin, Korea by Lee Se-dol, who is the top player so far of the 21st century, and Japan by Ichiriki Ryo 7P, who was invited in recognition of his win in the 1st Globis Cup and his three successive wins in the second round of the current Nong Shim Cup. The format is the same as the NHK Cup (30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time to be used in one-minute units). After drawing lots, Lee was seeded into the second round. In the opening game Ko Jie (B) beat Ichiriki by resig. In the second round, Lee (B) beat Ichiriki by resig. In the final, Ko beat Lee (I don’t have details).
2016 Four Cities New Stars Tournament: This team tournament for young players (age limit 25) was held at the Korean Kiwon in Seoul from February 19 to 21. Presumably the cities were Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo, and Taipei, but the report in Go Weekly lists countries rather than cities. The teams are made up of eight players, including two female players, so it’s quite a large-scale tournament. The result was that Korea and China tied for first with two wins and one draw each, but China took precedence thanks to its higher number of individual wins (19 to Korea’s 16). With one win (ten individual wins), Japan came third, and Chinese Taipei came fourth with no wins (three individual wins). The best performance for Japan was posted by Kyo Kagen 3P, who won his three games.
Tomorrow: Iyama’s new record for prize money & other go stats

Categories: World news

AlphaGo Scores Another Win to Go Up 2-0 Against Lee Sedol in DeepMind Challenge Match

AGA news - Thu, 10/03/2016 - 11:41

AlphaGo posted a second straight win against Lee Sedol 9P on Thursday in Seoul. “Yesterday I was surprised but today it’s more than that — I am speechless,” said Lee in the post-game press conference. “I admit that it was a very clear loss on my part. From the very beginning of the game I did not feel like there was a point that I was leading.” DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis was “speechless” too. “I think it’s testament to Lee Sedol’s incredible skills,” he said. “We’re very pleased that AlphaGo played some quite surprising and beautiful moves, according to the commentators, which was amazing to see.”

The complex, tense game ran nearly five hours and appeared to offer validation of AlphaGo’s evaluative ability, the main roadblock to proficiency for previous go programs. Hassabis said that AlphaGo was confident in victory from the midway point of the game, even though the professional commentators couldn’t tell which player was ahead.

Lee, the winner of 18 world championships, must now win all three remaining games to win the million-dollar prize.

Click here for the Game 2 commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. The third game in the 5-game Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Saturday, March 12, (Friday night 8p PST, 11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with commentary by Redmond and Garlock.
photo courtesy Handout/Getty Images 

Categories: World news

Evanston Go Club watches historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match

AGA news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 21:54

The Evanston Go Club hosted a watch party for the first Alpha Go-Lee Sedol game at the home of club president Mark Rubenstein on Tuesday night. “We all feel like we’ve been part of go history tonight,” said Rubenstein. “It’s an incredible achievement, one which most of us thought was many years away, if at all. I’m stunned, and a little sad. I always liked being able to say that computers couldn’t beat the strongest humans. It’s a new world!” Watching the game were Nathan Chan, Jeff Pratt, Moon Ki Cho, and Scott Ogawa.
- photo by Mark Rubenstein

The second game in the Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Wednesday, March 9, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.

Categories: World news

The Power Report: Xie defends Women’s Kisei; Ishii Kunio wins 1,000th game

AGA news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 21:40

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Xie defends Women’s Kisei: The challenger for the 19th DoCoMo Cup Women’s Kisei title was Yoshihara Yukari 6P, who held this title for three years in a row before losing it to Xie in 2010. The opening game of the title match was held at the Hotel Sun Life Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture on January 21. It was a very exciting contest, with the lead switching back and forth, but Xie (right) managed to pull ahead by half a point in the endgame. The second game was held at the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo on February 1. It was another close game, but Xie, playing black, won by 2.5 points. Xie thus defended the Women’s Kisei title with straight wins and maintained her triple crown. She has now held this title for four years in a row and six times overall and has extended her tally of titles to 22.

Ishii Kunio wins 1,000th game: Ishii Kunio 9P, best known these days as the teacher of Iyama Yuta, has won his thousandth game. He reached the landmark with a win over Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P in the preliminary round of the Masters Cup. His record is 1,000 wins, 603 losses, 1 jigo. He is the 18th player at the Nihon Ki-in to win a thousand games and, at 74 years three months, is the oldest; he is in his 59th year as a pro. He is also the first such member of the Kansai branch of the Nihon Ki-in. He commented that while he regrets not having won a title, in a way he is proud of the fact that he is the first such player to reach this mark.
When asked which was his most memorable game, Ishii answered in detail. ‘I guess my win over Lee Chang-ho [in the 2001 Fujitsu Cup]. Besides that, I have strong memories of my win on white with no komi in the rating tournament over Ishida Yoshio 7P when he held the Honinbo title. Ishida was probably not psyched up for the game. The game when I beat Fujisawa Shuko to win a place in the Honinbo League; the game when I beat Rin Kaiho in the main section of the Judan tournament when he was Meijin. Sakata Eio Sensei stood and watched the whole game. When it was over, he said: “I’m astonished, really astonished. What was your name?” This is still a vivid memory. They are not counted among the thousand, but I also have vivid memories of the best-of-three match with Nie Weiping in the Japan-China go Exchange when I played as a substitute for Kobayashi Koichi and won 2-1.’ Ishii also mentioned that his only form of study is looking at Iyama’s games.

Promotions
To 9-dan: Nakane Naoyuki (200 wins) (as of Feb. 19)
To 6-dan: Takemiya Yoko (as of Feb. 16), Kanai Tenpei (as of Feb. 23) (90 wins)
To 5-dan: Ando Kazushige (as of Feb. 5), Inagaki Yo (as of Feb. 19) (70 wins)
To 3-dan: Tsuneishi Takashi (40 wins, as of Feb. 5)

Promotions based on prize money
The annual promotions based on prize-money earnings for the previous year were announced in the February 8 issue of Go Weekly. They are listed below.
To 7-dan: Ms. Suzuki Ayumi
To 6-dan: Muramatsu Hiroki, Suzuki Shinji
To 5-dan: Yanagisawa Satoshi, Fujita Akihiko
To 4-dan: Ito Masashi, Numadate Sakiya
To 3-dan: Yo Chito, Koyama Kuya
To 2-dan: Sotoyanagi Sebun, Cho Zuiketsu
Tomorrow: Okura Prizes for Pair Go founders; 49th Kido Prizes; Xie makes good start in Women’s Meijin defence; Kono wins first game in Meijin League; International tournaments

Categories: World news

Go Spotting: History Channel’s “Art of War”

AGA news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 18:00

Peter Shotwell just caught one of the History Channel’s two-hour “Art of War” series devoted to the teachings of Sun Tzu’s book by the same name. A professor from the Military College of Canada and several very knowledgeable authors began with a vivid in-depth discussion of Sun’s classical war and life ideas. This is followed by the Vietnam interplay between chess-thinking American bombing, battle strategies left over from WWII vs. the evolving Sun- and go-like Vietnamese strategies and use of spies that culminated in the Tet Offensive and its complicated aftermath. Finishing it was a highly innovative discussion of the clash of the two kinds of thinking during the Battle of Gettysburg and the World War II invasion of Normandy. It’s now on You Tube, and all the material plus a discussion of the role of language and the use of the “36 Strategies” is available in Appendix VIII of Shotwell’s “Speculations” article in the Bob High e-Library.

Categories: World news

Tightened Procedures for Unaccompanied Kids at Go Congress

AGA news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 17:30

At the insistence of staff counsel at Boston University, the US Go Congress and AGA this year will be instituting tougher procedures for the appointment of guardians for under-18s staying at BU for the Go Congress without parents, AGA President Andy Okun told the EJ. “It is more involved than in previous years, which is regrettable, but campuses and their lawyers are feeling some pressure in the wake of the Penn State scandal. More vigilance in this area seems to be both inevitable and a good thing, and this is just the year we have to start.” If under-18s are staying in campus housing without a parent or formal legal guardian with them, a parent will have to sign a waiver and appoint an onsite guardian, as has been necessary since 2011. That guardian will have to be staying in the same housing and be attending Congress in the same time period, as always. The new requirement is that the guardian will also have to undergo a database background check by a third party service hired by AGA, as well as a brief online training in the protection of minors. AGA will charge the parents $25 for the background check, although the actual cost will vary and likely be more. The BU policy doesn’t apply to kids who are not staying in campus housing; for them, Congress will ask parents to sign a form as in prior years, but without the need for background check or training. Congress this year has booked some rooms at a hotel near the campus and other housing options are available around Boston. Questions about the policy can be addressed to president@usgo.org or director@gocongress.org. The forms will be ready within the next week or so, Okun said.

Categories: World news

Artem Kachanovskyii is the 5th EGF Professional

European Go Federation - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 11:56
Artem Kachanovskyi made it to be the 5th EGF Professional and the only one certified by EGF in 2016. Artem won all his 5 games in the 3rd European Professional Qualification.Artem will become 1 dan Professional officially on 1st of April 2016. There will be a small ceremony at the Grand Slam in Berlin at end of April. In 2017, EGF will certify 1 professional again.
Categories: World news

AlphaGo Defeats Lee Sedol in First Game of Historic “Man vs Machine” Showdown

AGA news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 11:33

AlphaGo scored a stunning win against Lee Sedol 9P in the first game of the historic match between Google Deep Mind’s AI and the world’s top professional go player, forcing Lee to resign in just 186 moves. “#AlphaGo WINS!!!! We landed it on the moon,” tweeted DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis after the game. “So proud of the team!! Respect to the amazing Lee Sedol too.” At a jam-packed post-game press conference, Lee admitted “I was so surprised. Actually, I never imagined that I would lose. It’s so shocking.” Cho Hanseung 9p said that “AlphaGo is much stronger than before, when it played against Fan Hui 2p!” Click here to see the English game commentary by Michael Redmond 9P with Chris Garlock on the Google Deepmind YouTube Channel.

The match began on Wednesday, March 9, at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Seoul, Korea. Lee is playing for one million dollars and, perhaps more importantly, the pride of countless humans around the world who don’t yet wish to see computers triumph in the ancient board game go. DeepMind, on the other hand, seek to test the abilities of their machine and make another step along the road towards a general purpose learning algorithm.

Game two of the match is scheduled to take place Thursday March 10 (local time; see below for US details) and Lee said “I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Includes reporting by Go Game Guru; click here for their full report, photos and a game record.
The second game in the Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Wednesday, March 9, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.

 

Categories: World news

Google DeepMind Challenge Broadcast Update

AGA news - Wed, 09/03/2016 - 03:15

In addition to the live commentary by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on the first AlphaGo-Lee Sedol game (starting at 8p PST tonight), Myungwan Kim 9p will offer commentary on the AGA YouTube channel and Twitch, starting at 9p PST tonight. Kim’s commentary will be targeted for high level players. “Michael and Chris will be hosting DeepMind’s official broadcast for the wide audience attracted to this historic game, so we really wanted to go deep on the variations and complexities that might show up,” said co-host Andrew Jackson.

Categories: World news

MinGyu Oh and Nicholas Dang Win 2016 Confucius Cup

Irish Go Association - Tue, 08/03/2016 - 21:01

A report containing results, photos, and game records is available here.

Categories: World news

Mark Lee Sweeps Southern Cal Go Championship

AGA news - Tue, 08/03/2016 - 19:35

Mark Lee swept the Southern Cal Go Championship, held March 5-6 in Anaheim, just down the road from Disneyland at the Ramada Plaza, where the ownder provided free space for the tournament. A total of 71 players competed in the tournament, which was directed by Kevin Chao.

Tournament results
Open Section Champion: Mark Lee (5-0); 2nd place Evan Cho (4-1); 3rd place Danny Ko (3-2); 4th place Yunxuan Li (3-2); 5th place Vincent Zhuang (3-2)
Dan Handicap section: 1st place James Lou (4-1), 2nd place Howard Zhou (4-1); 3rd place Brandon Zhou (3-2)
High Kyu Section: 1st place Sungkyun Kim (4-1) ; 2nd place Cody Frias (4-1); 3rd place Josiah Frias (4-1)
Mid Kyu Section: 1st place Greg Kulevich (4-1); 2nd place Derek Su (4-1); 3rd place Tony Koslow (4-1)
Low Kyu Section: 1st place Constantine Kopylov (5-0); 2nd place Lujia Chen (5-0); 3rd place Lucia Moscola (3-2)
- reported by Kevin Chao; photo: Open section winner Mark Lee

Categories: World news

Myungwan Kim 9P plans live AlphaGo-Lee Sedol commentary Friday night at LA Korean Cultural Center

AGA news - Tue, 08/03/2016 - 19:34

Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live commentary this Friday night on the third game in this week’s DeepMind AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol 9P match. LA-area fans can watch in person at the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles starting at 7p. The Lee Sedol/AlphaGo challenge match is being held March 9-15 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, and all five of the matches will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Kim, a professional Korean 9-dan player, lives and teaches in Los Angeles. The event is free but registration is required as seating is limited; click here to register.

Categories: World news

Registrations Being Accepted for NJ Open and Philly Open

AGA news - Tue, 08/03/2016 - 19:32

East Coast go players will want to mark their calendars for two upcoming events, the New Jersey Open March 19-20 in Princeton, NJ and the Philadelphia Spring Open on Saturday, April 30th.

“To register for the Philadelphia Open — or for more information — email hh96@optonline.net.

Preregistration is required for the New Jersey Open; click here to register (If you register and cannot play, your fees will be refunded as long as you let organizers know by March 17th that you aren’t coming). The New Jersey Open is organized by the Princeton Go Club and supported by the Feng Yun Go School. The tournament began at Bell Labs, migrated to Rutgers University and then Princeton, and for the past 27 years has been organized by Rick Mott (a Princeton alumnus) and Paul Matthews (a Stanford alumnus and former Bell Labs research scientist). The AGA itself began with people from Bell Labs (West Street, New York City), “so the New Jersey Open is not only a great regional tournament but also a connection to American go history,” notes Matthews.

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