The Evanston Go Club taught go on May 17 and 18 to over a hundred enthusiastic attendees at Anime Central (ACen), the largest annual anime convention in the midwest. “We taught non-stop for 13 hours on Friday, and 11 hours on Saturday,” reported tired but happy club president Mark Rubenstein. The two-day event ended with a 9×9 tournament for beginners, with 20 participants. Everyone who participated received a 9×9 starter set and a copy of The Way To Go.
“This is our favorite event of the year!” said Rubenstein. “This is our 10th year at ACen, and it was a blast! Most people stay for perhaps an hour. We teach them the basics, and they play a few games. There’s a lot to do at ACen, and go is a very small part of it. But some of them can’t get enough go, and spend the better part of the weekend with us!”
“Last year there were 25,000 attendees at ACen, and everyone gets along.” said Rubenstein. “I’ve never seen any kind of tension or altercation in all these years. These kids all accept and enjoy each others’ passions and differences without judgement. The world at large could learn a lot from them.”
Rubenstein extended “special thanks to the tireless Lee Huynh for his enthusiastic help all weekend.” Visit the club’s website for more photos.
- photos courtesy Mark Rubenstein
The Chinese School at Chapel Hill Team won the 2014 Team Tournament and Changlong Wu 7d once again topped the Individual Competition in the 2014 Carolina Spring Go Tournament. The 11th annual tournament, held in Raleigh on May 11th, was organized by the Cary Go Club and the Chinese-American Friendship Association of North Carolina, and attracted over 20 go players with a wide range of ages. Owen Chen directed.
As expected, the team competition generated a lot of excitement, with youth players eagerly checking the scoreboard during the breaks between rounds. In the end, the defending champion, the team from the Chinese School at Chapel Hill, won the title with all members winning their individual competition sections. “That this year’s team, comprised of Andrew Zhang, Colin Zhang and their teacher Changlong Wu, were completely different people from those of last year’s team demonstrated the depth of the pool of go talent at the Chinese School of Chapel Hill,” reports Feng Ye of the Cary Go Club.
In the individual competition, Changlong Wu 7d, the highest-ranked player, defended his championship with a perfect score of 4-0, without much surprise. “We were happy to see a new face to AGA, Mr. Hanbo Zhang,” adds Feng Ye. “He took second place by beating two five-dans and one four-dan, losing only to Wu.”
Besides being on the winning team, Andrew Zhang 9k won Section A (9k-1d) with a score of 3-1. Alvin Chen 10k won Section B (15k-10k) with a score of 3-1, and the runner up in this section is Steven Manning 11k, with the same score of 3-1. Another member of team competition winning team, Colin Zhang 17k, topped Section C (30k-16k) with a perfect score of 4-0. Alex Kuang 16k won the 2nd place in this section.
photo: the Chinese School at Chapel Hill team, with TD Owen Chen at right
Ukraine: The Victory’s Day Tournament finished May 11 in Odesa with Yevhen Kolodin 5k in first, Valerii Liverinov 1k in second, and Oleh Folomiiev 12k in third. Norway: Also on May 11, Jakob Bing 3d took the Oslo Open while Paal Sannes 3d placed second and Micael Svensson 2d came in third. Serbia: Nikola Mitic 5d (left) bested Dusan Mitic 6d at the 17th Serbia International Cup on May 11 in Nis. Mijodrag Stankovic 5d was third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
Wien 2014, Vienna’s annual international go tournament, will be held June 20-22 at the Vienna Waldorf school. The top ten players will receive cash prizes with additional cash prizes for the best female player and the best player under 18. Book prizes will be awarded to players with 4 or 5 wins. Discounted fees are available for group rooms at the Jugendgästehaus Hütteldorf youth hostel (500 meters from the playing site) for players who register before May 21. In addition to the main tournament, Wien 2014 will be the final stage of the European Professional Qualification and a bonus point tournament, in which top players can accumulate bonus points used as qualification for future higher-level tournaments. There will also be a free tour of the city on Friday evening. To register or for more information, please visit the official Wien 2014 website.
The Russian Go Federation will host this year’s European Women’s Go Championship in Kazan on June 27 through June 29. European Go Federation players are welcome regardless of title or rank and there is no limit to the number of participants per country. However, one representative from each country (EGF rank 5k or stronger) will have compensation for travel expenses and free accommodation at Hotel Regatta. In addition to the main tournament, this year’s EWGC is a qualification event for the SporAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. To register or for more information, please visit the official EWGC 2014 website.
The fourth annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament – or YKNOT 4 — will take place on KGS on June 21st, 22nd, and 28th. The YKNOT is a national online tournament sponsored by Young Kwon, a former US Open Champion. With a total prize purse of nearly $3,000, the YKNOT is one of the largest western online go tournaments and is open to all levels. Any AGA member resident in the US for 6 out of the last 12 months or any AGA life member regardless of residency, can compete for free. Registration is FREE; click here to register for the tournament. Registration will close at midnight on Friday, June 20th. Once a week beginning Friday, May 23, the “See Who’s Playing” document will be updated with current tournament registrants. If you would prefer not to be listed in this document prior to the tournament, please indicate this by email to the Tournament Director. Stay tuned for more tournament details.
The first online North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2014 season will be held on June 7-8. The tournament has been dubbed “Age of the Fabulist” by organizer Karoline Burrall, “to celebrate the birth of Jean de la Fontaine (right), a French author of fables, or a fabulist, on June 8, 1621.” Click here for details and schedule, as well as the link to registration, or click here to register directly. Players must be eligible for NAMT and register by Wednesday June 4th 2014. All participants will earn points towards NAMT qualification, which this year means eligibility for the 9-round US Invitational event at the US Go Congress. NAMT qualified players are eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes at this tournament. Click here to see current NAMT points standings. “Players may wish to keep in mind the proverb from one of de la Fontaine’s fables, Burrall suggests. “’En toute chose il faut considérer la fin,’ or “In all things, one must consider the end.” It is not known whether Mr. de la Fontaine was a go player.
Play in the fifth round of the AGA City League is set for this Saturday, May 17, to determine which two teams will meet at the Pandanet City League Finals in New York City at the US Go Congress. As previously reported (Canwa Vancouver 1, Chicago & Katy TX 1 Lead AGA City League After 4th Round 5/7 EJ), Canwa Vancouver 1 is leading the A League, with Seattle 1 and Greater Washington hot on their heels. Chicago is leading the B League with NY City their only contender and Katy TX 1 leads the C League.
Catch the action live on game day at 3p EST on Pandanet using the new GoPanda2 software. Games will be played in the AGA City League room. See below for current standings.
“Rémi Coulom is sitting in a rolling desk chair, hunched over a battered Macbook laptop, hoping it will do something no machine has ever done.” So begins Alan Levinovitz’s thorough report on the current state of computer go in Wired Magazine – The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win – published May 12. Levinovitz covered this year’s UEC Cup, the computer Go tournament held each March that rewards two finalists with matches against a “Go sage” in the Densei-sen, or machine-versus-man matches. The Wired report covers the history of computer go, name-checking Einstein, Turing and Nash, includes an excellent explanation of the game’s branching problem and explains how the development of Monte Carlo Tree Search enabled the latest breakthroughs in computer go, in which Coulom’s Crazy Stone program won the first Densei-sen last year against Japanese professional Yoshio “The Computer” Ishida. American-born pro Michael Redmond — a regular EJ contributor — makes an appearance in the report as the commentator at the UEC Cup. Levinovitz does a good job demystifying computer go, as well, writing that the view that go is “the final bastion of human dominance over computers” is “deeply misguided.” Levinovitz points out that “computers can’t ‘win’ at anything, not until they can experience real joy in victory and sadness in defeat, a programming challenge that makes Go look like tic-tac-toe. Computer Go matches aren’t the brain’s last stand. Rather, they help show just how far machines have to go before achieving something akin to true human intelligence.”
photo: Remi Coulom (left) and his computer program, Crazy Stone, take on grandmaster Norimoto Yoda. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED. Thanks to the many EJ readers who quickly spotted this report and passed it along.
The answer to this week’s quiz is not in the title of the four cartoons listed in this week’s quiz; actually, the title of our piece of New York Go history, is referenced in one of these shows: “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Still a tough one, but I hope this helps. Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA
This study comes from Xuan Xuan QiJing, a 14th century work, which may be the most copied problem set in go. Black plays. The odd nature of the correct move sequence may throw off some stronger players, so that weaker players may actually find the solution faster! Click here to see the solution.
A new problem appears every Monday morning. And for archived problems click here.
- Myron Souris, POTW Editor
The US Go Congress has a brand-new logo (right), and to celebrate, organizers are holding a contest. The logo was designed by Michael Samuel, a go player and graphic designer whose work includes logos for The History Channel, Sears, Hillary Clinton, and both the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center. The logo features a classic go problem in which the enclosed white stone must escape: all registered players who submit a complete and correct solution to the problem will be entered into a pool, “and one lucky player will win $50 off their Go Congress registration fee,” says Congress Director Matthew Hershberger. Solutions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of May. “At first glance it may seem impossible, but don’t give up!” Hershberger adds.
Evanston Boosts Tourney Turn-Out: The Evanston Go Club held its regular quarterly tournament on May 10, with 22 players attending. Players ranged from beginner to 6 dan. Albert Yen took the dan prize with a 4-0 record, Nathan Chan dominated the single-digit kyu division with a 4-1 record, and new-comer Mary Skolnik, playing in her first tournament, won the double-digit kyus at 4-1. “We tried something a little different this time.”, said TD Mark Rubenstein. “In an effort to get more participants, we offered free attendance to anyone who had not been to one of our tournaments in the last 16 months. And in an effort to boost attendance at our weekly club, we also offered free entry to anyone who came to three club meetings before the tournament. Of the 22 players, 9 were first-time attendees, so we think we are onto something. Since there was less money available prizes, books were given instead. Many thanks to Bob Barber for donating the entire 6-volume set of Yilun Yang’s Workshop Lectures series.”
photo: Albert Yen, 6 dan plays teaching games with Teddy Garrison and Emily No, both 25k.
Austin Hosts May Tourney: Sixteen players participated in the “May…you win” tournament held in Austin, TX on May 10th. Players came from as far away as Houston and Dallas to participate in this 4-round handicap tournament held at Great Hall Games, which hosts the Austin Go Club every Tuesday night. Gift certificates were awarded to 5 players who each had 3 wins: Michael Ruiz 1K (3-0); John Zhang 4D (3-1); Andy Olsen 3D (3-1); JT Jackson 8K (3-1); Kyle Highful 13K (3-1).
LICENSE TO FILL the US Open Field. Respondents were evenly split between Tacoma ’05, Lancaster ’07, and Washington ’09 but Lancaster is the correct response with 379 players in the US Open field, second was Washington with 364. Lisa Scott explained her reasons for her correct answer: “I had expected Portland, since Portland had the largest number of registered people in total, but Lancaster was a close second.” While overall attendance has been somewhat lower, the percentage of non-players has gone up of late, explaining the “ancient” leader. Last year’s Congress had an open field of 285. So, the gauntlet is thrown down for New York to make us proud. Congrats to this week’s winner, Steven Burrall of Elk Grove, CA, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.
This Week’s Quiz: This week’s quiz focuses on the proud history of the beginnings of go in New York City, but your only clue is that the particular history I have in mind is referenced in what old television cartoon show? Is it “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”? Your quizmaster remains convinced that the players of this fascinating game are up for the most obscure challenge and while I really hope someone impresses me with the correct answer, please feel free to make up something creative for me to share. Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA
Get the latest go events information.
There will again be a Go tournament in Belfast this August.
The venue is the same as last year, Belfast Boat Club, and we are having a weekend event, August 30th and 31st. You can find full details on the tournament page.
Please pre-register for the event as numbers will be limited.
Entries not in before August 25th will incur a late entry fee.
See all of you there!
Four American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, including the three regional seats and the At-Large seat. Broad authority for organizational decisions and management throughout the year resides with the AGA Board, which selects the President. The current terms of office expire this September. Nominations may be made by full AGA members for the At-Large seat and the regional seat in which the member resides and must be received by June 15. Nominations and questions must be emailed to email@example.com. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.
The Candidates’ Tournament, first stage in the British Championship, was held over the bank holiday weekend, Saturday May 3 – Monday May 5, with Ge Bei 6d (right) of no club winning all six rounds. Ge has previously been British Champion two years running after displacing longtime champ Matthew Macfadyen 6d in 2006. Reigning champion Andrew Kay 5d – who once again this year waived his right to bypass this event – placed second, losing only to Ge. The top eight will now contest a Challengers’ League, to be played next bank holiday weekend in London, to decide the two finalists. The other six challengers are: Alex Kent 2d, Boris Mitrovic 2d, Sandy Taylor 2d, Des Cann 5d, Tim Hunt 3d and Bruno Poltronieri 3d. Alistair Wall 4d is reserve. The event was organized by Bruno Poltronieri on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) at Warwick University in the Midlands of England. Click here for full results.
The Bar-Low Tournament, traditionally held the same weekend, was also played at Warwick alongside the Candidates’ on Sunday May 4 and was won by Chris Volk 1k of Reading, with Ben Ellis 3k of Milton Keynes runner-up. Click here for full results.
Click here to see Tanaka Kiyohiko’s (placed 10=) photo journal of the Candidates’ Tournament.
Following the successful hosting of the 19th European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) in Bognor Regis, England earlier this year – but with only seven British youths actually entering – the British Go Association has undertaken to assemble and train up a UK Junior Go Squad to take to next year’s EYGC in Zandvoort in the Netherlands (Holland). Alison Bexfield 1d (left), who runs the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club and has two go-playing daughters of her own, is heading up the initiative which aims to get as many young players as possible to 20k or better in time for the EYGC. It launched on bank holiday Monday May 5 with an event at the Mrs Howard Memorial Hall in Letchworth, attended by 16 youngsters aged from around eight or nine to 16. They were split into four coaching groups with Matt Selby 4k and Natasha Regan 1k, who are the parents of Oscar Selby 7k, and Paul Smith 1d, the father of Edmund Smith 13k, also coaching. In addition, five rounds of the UK Go Challenge were held over the course of the day. Bexfield told the E-Journal, “Everybody enjoyed the day and all are looking forward to the next [which is yet to be announced].”
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo: Alison Bexfield plays Francis Roads at the recent Welwyn Garden City Tournament.
“About 300 years after the Japanese poet Basho wrote his famous book ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North‘ a woman named Lesley Downer wrote an account of her own 1989 journey following in Basho’s footsteps,” writes None Redmond. “It was called ‘On the Narrow Road‘ and halfway through she is as far north as Basho went and watching the river Mogami. She writes ‘At Goten the river narrowed and frothed. With the help of a little imagination the rocks could have been flat and evenly spaced enough to be Go-ten, the counters you use for playing Go.’”
“It’s a good book,” Redmond adds. “I am fascinated by her travels and envy her her knowledge of the Japanese language.”
In this May 6 report, the BBC’s China Editor Carrie Gracie speaks with political analyst Deng Yuwen about “what an ancient Chinese game can tell us about China’s current political landscape,” where an epic power struggle is under way.
Thanks to David Saunders for sending this along.