Following the Seattle Go Center’s lead (Seattle Plans AlphaGo-Lee Sedol Watch Parties 2/25 EJ), the Evanston Go Club will have a watch party for the first game of the Lee Sedol/AlphaGo match. The party will be hosted by club President Mark Rubenstein at his home. The game will be shown on a 55” TV in Rubenstein’s rec room, which also has a pool table and a dartboard. “It should be a lot of fun!” says Rubenstein. “There will be plenty of go sets available for people to follow along with the game, play their own games, or both.” The party will start at 10 PM on Tuesday March 8 at 917 Maple Ave, Evanston Illinois. “This is an historic event for the go world. Come and be part of it! And please bring some liquid libations or munchies to share.” says Rubenstein. Please RSVP to email@example.com.
photo: Evanston Go Club meeting; photo courtesy Mark Rubenstein
The Seattle Go Center is planning to host watching parties for the upcoming AlphaGo-Lee Sedol 9P 5-game match, March 7-15. “We did something similar for the Jubango between Lee Sedol and Gu Li in 2014, although those games were longer,” reports club manager Brian Allen. “It was great fun. You can also play casual games at the same time.”
The first game will happen in Korea on March 9, which will be Tuesday, March 8 Seattle time. “We plan to watch it at the Go Center with our video projector,” says Allen. “The game starts at 8 p.m., and is expected to run 4 or 5 hours. Dennis Wheeler will be the host. Lee Sedol 9P, winner of the Jubango between Lee Sedol and Gu Li, and representing the human race, is confident that he can beat the version of AlphaGo that beat the 2 dan pro Fan Hui in October of last year. The big question is: how much has AlphaGo improved since then?”
Allen sent along the Harry Belafonte version of “John Henry” the “steel-drivin’ man” who so famously took on the steam engine.
Check the Seattle Go Club’s calendar for the dates of the other games, which they’ll also be watching. If other clubs plan similar events, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
photo: Frank Lam and Andrew Jackson (r) following the first Jubango game at the Seattle Go Center; photo by Brian Allen
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Lead shared in Honinbo League: The first game in the fourth round of the 71st Honinbo League was played on January 7, with Ichiriki Ryo 7P (B) beating Yamashita Keigo 9P by 4.5 points. On January 14, Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 7P by resig. This was Motoki’s first loss, so he now shared the lead with Yo; both were on 3-1. On January 21, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ida Atsushi 9P by resig. On January 28, Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Cho U by resig., so he joined Yo and Motoki in the lead. On February 4, Cho U 9P picked up his first win, beating Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resig. with white. On the same day, Motoki Katsuya 7P (B) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resig. On February 11, Takao (B) beat Yamashita by 7.5 points. On February 18, Kono (W)beat Yo by 1.5 points. That game completed the fifth round. At present, Takao and Motoki, both on 4-1, share the lead.
Women’s Meijin League concludes: The final round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was held on January 7. Aoki Kikuyo 8P had already won the league in the fifth round, but she won her final game as well to finish with a perfect score. Results: Aoki (W) beat Fujisawa Rina 3P by resig.; Okuda Aya 3P (B) beat Kato Keiko 6P by resig.; Suzuki Ayumi 6P (B) beat Mannami Nao 3P by 2.5 points. The title match with Xie Yimin will start in March.
“I’m reading ‘When the Emperor was Divine’ by Julie Otsuka, a small book about the forced Japanese internment during the second World War,” writes None Redmond. “At the beginning of the second chapter as the family of three arrive at the desert camp, the boy thinks he sees his father everywhere in a variety of camp activities as well as ‘Playing go with the other men in their floppy straw hats …’ I was reminded of Tom Tamura who I remember telling Peter that he had learned to play go when he was a child in the desert camp. Interesting that as a child Tom had no feeling of the camp’s restriction nor when he was an adult any resentment over his imprisonment. Peter told me that Tom said he had enjoyed being with the other youngsters there, playing football as well as learning to play a little go. It was when we lived in Santa Barbara that Peter and Tom became quite close over the go board.”
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama to challenge for Judan: The new tournament year at the Nihon Ki-in got off to a start on January 7. Most of the interest focussed on the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament. The Judan is the only top-seven title Iyama Yuta doesn’t hold; if he becomes the challenger, he has a chance of achieving a simultaneous grand slam. In his semifinal, Iyama (B) beat Imamura Toshiya 9P by resignation. His opponent in the play-off to decide the challenger to Ida Atsushi will be Yo Seiki (Yu Zhenqi) 7P of the Kansai Ki-in, who won the other semifinal. Yo’s opponent, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B), forfeited the game because of an illegal move; he recaptured a ko immediately, without making a ko threat. (To be precise, Yo’s ko threat was a ko capture in a position that was a double ko; Shida, who was in his last minute of byo-yomi, should have captured the other ko.) Last year Yo lost the play-off to decide the Oza challenger to Iyama, so he was seeking revenge when the play-off (right) was held at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on January 21. Yo (W) took the lead when he cleverly settled a weak group, but winning the first fight is not enough to beat Iyama. The latter subjected Yo to so much pressure that eventually he slipped up in the endgame, letting Iyama stage an upset. Yo resigned after 277 moves. The title match with Ida Atsushi Judan starts on March 8.
Meijin League: The first game of the second round of the 41st Meijin League was played on January 7. Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation. At this point, Ko, on 2-0, took the provisional lead. On January 11, Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and joined Ko in the provisional lead. On January 21, Cho U 9P (B) beat Uchida Shuhei 7P by half a point and Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Hirata Tomoya 7P by resig. On February 4, Takao (B) beat Hane Naoki by resig. On February 11, Cho U (W) beat Ko Iso by resig. Cho and Takao, both on 3-0, share the lead, but Murakawa, who had a bye in the third round, is also undefeated. Cho’s good results in this league are a stark contrast to his bad performance in the Honinbo League.
Tomorrow: Lead shared in Honinbo League; Women’s Meijin League concludes
Three children from North America are being invited to Japan, for international friendship matches. The sponsors of the trip are paying all expenses while in Japan, and a stipend of 100,000 yen (around $893 at press time) for airfare. Fifty-four children under the age of 13, and at least ten kyu, are being invited from ten countries: Japan, China, Korea, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, and the US. The kids will stay at the Maisima Lodge, in Osaka Bay, and will have opportunities for cultural exchanges as well as for playing go. The AGA will select three kids, two from the US and one from Canada, based on participation points earned from attending various AGA events. The matches will be held July 25-28, and AGA Go Camp Director Fernando Rivera will lead the team. All expenses are paid for the kids, but parents who wish to come will need to pay their own travel and lodging expenses. If you are interested in attending, please fill out the form here. Any questions should be addressed to email@example.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Participants at last year’s Life International Go Meeting. The event is sponsored by Life Sports Foundation, and NPO Life Kids Go Club, with the cooperation of the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in.
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
The first game of the 40th Kisei title match was held at the Konjakutei inn in Higashiyama Hot Spring in the city of Aizu-wakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture on January 14 and 15. Defending champion Iyama Yuta (aged 26) drew white in the nigiri to decide the colors. The challenger Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (37) made a positive start, playing aggressively in the opening. The game was decided by a ko fight in which Yamashita sacrificed a group in order to win a ko started after White invaded a black position. Iyama (right) took the lead in this exchange and hung on for a win, rebuffing some do-or-die attacks by Black. Yamashita resigned after 202 moves. In retrospect, the game was a convincing win for Iyama.
The second game was played at the Bokoro inn in the town of Yurihama in Tottori Prefecture on January 28 and 29. Yamashita (W) played cleverly in the early middle game and took the lead. However, he missed a chance to decide the game and then began playing erratically, letting Iyama upset his lead. Iyama later played a thin move that let Yamashita narrow the gap, but the latter slipped up in the endgame. After 273 moves, Iyama won by 2.5 points. Considering his good play in the first part of the game, this was a painful loss for Yamashita.
The third game was also played in Tottori Prefecture after a break of only two days. It’s quite unusual to schedule two two-day games so close together in the same prefecture. The venue was the Kasuitei inn in Kaike Hot Spring in Yonago City. The game started with difficult fighting in the top right corner in which Iyama took the lead. Yamashita attacked fiercely in the middle game, but Iyama fought back strongly and kept his lead. Yamashita resigned after move 200. Like the first game, this was a good win for Iyama.
The fourth game was played at the Hokkaido Hotel in Obihiro City, Hokkaido on February 17 and 18. Playing black, Iyama controlled the flow of the game and took the lead in the middle-game fighting. Yamashita didn’t seem to make any really bad moves, but his attacks were skilfully parried by Iyama. The latter maintained a comfortable lead, so Yamashita resigned after 189 moves. Last year, after losing the first three games, Yamashita was able to fight back and win the next three before losing the seventh game. However, Iyama seems to be in even better form this year and, apart from the second game, dominated the series. After having his winning streak broken at 24 late last year, he has started another, winning seven games in a row. He has also won 16 games in a row in title matches, starting with the third game of the Gosei title match and continuing with the Meijin, Tengen, and Oza matches. This is his fourth Kisei title in a row and his 36th title overall. He is now in seventh place in the all-time list of title winners.
The legendary Lee Sedol, the top go player in the world over the past decade, will take on computer program AlphaGo in a landmark five-match, million-dollar tournament March 9-15. AlphaGo’s 5-game sweep of professional Fan Hui 3P rocked the world in late January (Game Over? AlphaGo Beats Pro 5-0 in Major AI Advance 1/27/2016 EJ)
“Regardless of the result, it will be a meaningful event in baduk (Go) history,” said Lee Sedol (left). “I heard Google DeepMind’s AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win, at least this time.” AlphaGo has been developed by Google DeepMind, whose CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis said “Go is the most profound game that mankind has ever devised. The elegantly simple rules lead to beautiful complexity. Go is a game primarily about intuition and feel rather than brute calculation which is what makes it so hard for computers to play well. We are honoured and excited to be playing this challenge match against Lee Sedol, a true legend of the game, and whether we win or lose, we hope that the match will inspire new interest in go from around the world.”
AlphaGo will play Lee Sedol in a five-game challenge match to be held from Wednesday, March 9 to Tuesday, March 15 in Seoul, South Korea. The games will be even, with $1 million USD in prize money for the winner. If AlphaGo wins, the prize money will be donated to UNICEF, STEM and go charities.
“The whole world is interested in this event as this is the first stage where humans and computers are competing in intelligence,” said Park Chimoon, Vice Chairman of the Korean Baduk Association. “I am proud that this historical stage is baduk (Go). I hope Lee Sedol 9 dan will win this time in order to prove humans’ remarkable intelligence and preserve the mysteries of baduk.”
The first IMSA Elite Mind Games (IEMG) are being held from February 25 to March 3 at the New Century Hotel Huaian, China. A re-branded event of SportAccord World Mind Games, IEMG will feature five mind sports: go, chess, bridge, draughts, and xiangqi. Thirty top players from around the world will be competing for total prize money of 200,000 EUR in three medal events: Men’s Team, Women’s Individual, and Pair. The International Mind Sports Association is organizing the event and Ranka Online will provide full coverage of the event.
- adapted from a report in Ranka Online, which includes the list of players, tournament outline and schedule.
See also Strong North American Go Team Headed for Huai’an for Inaugural IMSA Games.
If you missed the February 14 livestream of “Lee Changho 9p vs Cho Chikun 9p, the LEGENDS OF BADUK FINAL ROUND” you can catch it now on the AGA’s YouTube Channel. Lee Changho plays Cho Chikun (Chihoon), in the last round of the LEGENDS OF BADUK tournament featuring the greatest Korean players of the ’80s and ’90s; Myungwan Kim 9P comments, with Andrew Jackson.
Slate & Shell is having its annual “Dark of Winter” sale. The following books are available at 50% off through February 29: The Meijin’s Retirement Game, Old vs New Fuseki, All About Joseki, Whole Board Thinking in Joseki, Monkey Jump Workshop, Kamakura, The Chinese Opening, 200 Tesuji Problems, and Master Play: The Style of Lee Sedol.
Beomgeun Cho 7D (right) won the 2016 Jujo Ing Cup open section and Ary Cheng 4D won the handicap section. The 24th Jujo Ing Cup tournament was held February 14 at the Hilton Hotel in Chinatown, San Francisco. Jiang ZhuJiu, Rui NaiWei and Jiang MingJiu were all in attendance. “A great time was had by all, but the main topic of discussion always seemed to revert to AlphaGo,” reports organizer and TD Ernest Brown. “Next year’s tournament — the 25th — promises to be a grand affair and we hope to provide free entry to anyone who has participated over the past 25 years.” Click here for complete open section results and handicap section results.
photo by Ernest Brown
Forty-three players from five states competed in the South Central Go Tournament, held in Dallas, Texas February 13th and 14th. Fifteen played in the Open Section (right) and 28 in the Handicap Section. “It went so well we are already thinking of doing something similar next year,” said Tournament Director Kevin Hwang.
In the Open Section, Zelong Dong 7D took first place, Muzhen Ai 5D was second, and Xuyu Xiang 7D took third place. In the Handicap Section (left), Andrew McGowan 1K took first place, Zhiqiang Xiang 1K was second and Billy Maier 4K took third place. “For several players this was a first AGA tournament and for some others marked a return to AGA tournament play after a long interval,” reports Bob Gilman, AGA Central Region Director. photos by Bob Gilman
“In the movie ‘The Warlords,” there are two men playing go and a third discussing it starting at 56:19,” writes Austin Harvey.
For more on this, see our May 23, 2010 post.
In “Seven Common Misconceptions Concerning the History of Go in Ancient China,” go author Peter Shotwell — inspired by the recent popular appearance of several errors and misconceptions concerning the history of early go in China — draws on his previously-published work and adds new material based on recent studies to provide a handy guide for those interested in disseminating the “real story” of the history of go. For example, Shotwell writes that there is “no evidence that Go was ever used for astral divination because this was always done on very dissimilar Shi Ban (“Sky Boards”) and the mysteriously arranged playing surfaces of the dice game Liu Bo (“Six Sticks”).” The January post is available in the the Bob High Memorial Library (click on Appendix IX: Seven Common Misconceptions About Early Go).
Go Journals available: Old American Go Journals from 1974 through 1997 and American Go Yearbooks from 2003 through 2009 are offered free, preferably to a go club, school or non-profit organization. Click here for details and contact information if interested.
The 23rd annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 13th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2016 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Skype will be required this year. Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Raymond Feng 3d (l) competes against Ary Cheng 3d (r) in the Junior Division finals for the Redmond, at the 2015 US Go Congress in St. Paul.
This Sunday morning — February 14 — at 3a PST (6a EST), Myungwan Kim 9P and Andrew Jackson will comment a game from the “Legends of Baduk” league between Lee Changho 9p and Cho Chikun 9p. Watch on YouTube or TwitchTV. Start your Valentine’s Day right!
The Iwamoto North American Foundation on February 8 announced jointly with the Nihon Kiin the establishment of a Go Teachers’ Workshop, to be held in Tokyo in October this year. The workshop is intended for people with interest in facilitating the implementation of go teaching into school or university curriculum. The sponsors will cover most of the expenses for the attendees. Content of the weeklong workshop includes training sessions on go instruction and organization; visits to Japanese educational institutions that have go established in the curriculum; lectures on Japanese go history and culture; group discussions on implementing go education; and pro teaching games. Click here for more details and application procedure.