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Updated: 5 weeks 1 day ago

Go Spotting: Buzzfeed’s “10 Awesome Board Games” and Bananya

Tue, 13/09/2016 - 17:00

Buzzfeed’s “10 Awesome Board Games”: Go made Buzzfeed’s list of “10 Awesome Board Games You Probably Haven’t Heard Of” back in 2012. It came in at #6, behind Eureka, The Settlers of Catan, Dominion, Diplomacy and Say Anything, but it did beat out Agricola, Wits & Wagers, Puerto Rico and Betrayal at House on the Hill. “While ‘Go’ is, in essence, two players just taking turns laying stones on a grid,” says BuzzFeed, the level of depth to the game is actually astounding.
photo: Luis de Bethencourt / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: luisbg; thanks to Joshua Guarino for passing this along. 


Bananya: In the current season of the anime series “Bananya,” the main character is seen watching TV during Episode 3 with one of the channels being a televised go game, reports Grant Farmer. “Bananya watches the game for about 12 seconds and, as a cat who lives in a banana, does not understand the game,” says Farmer. “The nature documentary style narrator of Bananya asserts it was a good move, but admits to not actually knowing.” 



DeepMind Publishes AlphaGo-Lee Sedol Commentaries After “Exhaustive Analysis”

Tue, 13/09/2016 - 03:05

DeepMind has just published extensive new commentaries on the historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, played earlier this year in Seoul. Fan Hui 2P, who first faced AlphaGo in October 2015, has teamed up with Gu Li 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p to conduct “exhaustive analysis” not only of the five games between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol, but of three games AlphaGo played against itself shortly before the match. The commentaries provide both analysis of the moves as well as insight into AlphaGo — and its team — behind the scenes, including the AI’s realtime assessments and tidbits such as “it is clear from AlphaGo’s data that it prefers White.” For anyone who watched the games in March, these commentaries provide a fascinating opportunity to see them with a fresh eye.

“We found its ideas both exciting and inspiring, and it became clear to us that AlphaGo represents not only a scientific and technological advancement, but also a milestone in human understanding of Go,” says Fan. “Unconstrained by human biases, and free to experiment with radical new approaches, AlphaGo has demonstrated great open-mindedness and invigorated the game with creative new strategies…AlphaGo has created a unique and extremely powerful approach to the game of Go.

Noting that “no one strategy can guarantee a player’s success,” Fan adds that “learning from these games is sure to have a positive, enlightening impact on one’s Go strength and style.”
- Chris Garlock. With Michael Redmond 9P, Garlock co-hosted DeepMind’s English game commentaries on the AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match. 


Qingbo Zhang 5D Tops NOVA Back-to-School Tourney

Tue, 13/09/2016 - 02:21
Qingbo Zhang 5D topped the NOVA Back-to-School tournament, which was held on Saturday, September 10 at George Mason Law School in Arlington VA. Twenty players participated. The winners were: First place: Qingbo Zhang, 5D, 4-0; Diego Pierrottot, 4K, 3-1 and John Launchbury, 4K, 3-1 (tied); Patrick Sun, 5K, 3-1; Sarah Crites, 10K, 4-0; and Betsy Small, 12K, 4-0. Second place: Frederick Bao, 4D, 2-2; Zhao Zhao, 5K, 2-2; Anderson Barreal, 8K, 2-2; and Robert Cole, 12K, 2-2. photo: the three 4-0 winners (l-r): Qingbo Zhang, Betsy Small, and Sarah Crites.
- report/photo by Allan Abramson

Upcoming Go Events: Livermore, Sacramento, Toronto, Raleigh

Mon, 12/09/2016 - 20:34

September 17: Livermore, CA
Vintage Go, 2016
Lynda LoDestro 925-422-6780

September 17: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Fall Quarterly
Willard Haynes 916-929-6112

September 17: Toronto, Canada
Toronto Go Open (Fall 2016)
Johnny Lau 416-392-6874

September 25: Raleigh, NC
16th Annual Triangle Memorial Go Tournament
Bob Bacon 919-732-5184

Get the latest go events information.


The Traveling Board: Bart Jacob finds a Go Kaisho in Tokyo

Mon, 12/09/2016 - 17:00

While in Tokyo recently on business, Bart Jacob found his way to “this very nice Go Kaisho near my hotel in Nihonbashi” where he played a couple of games with Soma-san (right). “I believe the street is shin-ohashi, near the suitengumae station and a short walk from the Royal Park Hotel.”

On his last day in Tokyo, Jacob found “very nice boards, stones and bowls” at Nakamura Goban Ten. “One special board sold for around $100,000 (Yes..that is USD). Others were in the 10,000 range. I was going to buy a set of slate and she’ll stones for $300…but they only took cash.” Store details: TEL03-3351-5360, 東京都港区新橋4丁目31-7, TOKYOTO NINATOKU SHINBASHI 4-31-7


N.A. Student Pair Wanted to Play in World Students Pair Go Championship

Thu, 08/09/2016 - 02:32

The AGA is seeking a student pair to represent the USA and Canada in the 3rd World Students Pair Go Championship. This event, which features exclusively college/university/graduate students, will be hosted in Japan at the same time as the International Amateur Pair Go Championship from December 2nd to December 7th of this year. To be eligible to compete, a pair of players must meet the following requirements: One male, one female player per pair; Must be current college/university/graduate students (no high school students); Under the age of 30; Must not be a student in a professional go organization (i.e. no insei); Must be an American / Canadian citizen. Note – the players will be responsible for paying 50% of the cost of round-trip airfare to and from Tokyo, Japan. The rest of the costs (lodging and meals) will be provided by the Japan Pair Go Association. There will be an online qualifier to determine the North American representatives on September 17th. Interested players should contact and, or immediately.


Go Classified: Go Players Wanted in Manassas, Delaware and Tennessee

Wed, 07/09/2016 - 17:00

Manassas VA players wanted: Beginning player looking for others to learn from and to play with in the Manassas VA area. Please contact Bill at

Delaware Go Players Wanted: Southern Delaware area; email

Players Wanted — Northeast Tennessee: I am looking for people to play in person in northeast Tenn. My rank is 5 kyu on KGS, and I live in Johnson City. I might be open to teaching someone new but would prefer someone close to my rank. Please contact Tom at, and we can play on a weeknight or on weekends at a cafe or restaurant.



Linden Chiu Tops Bay Area Tourney

Tue, 30/08/2016 - 00:23

The Bay Area Go Players Association held its quarterly tournament at the Japan Center in San Francisco on July 23. Thirty-three players from 7d to 24k competed in four divisions.
The winners:
Division 1: 1st- Linden Chiu 3d; 2nd- Eric Lee 6d
Division 2: 1st- Tai-An Cha 4k; 2nd- Eric Branlund 1k
Division 3: 1st- Steven Chen 7k; 2nd- Srjdan Krstic 6k
Division 4: 1st- James Bennett 18k; 2nd- B Byrne 13k
- report/photos by Steven Burrall


Go Classified: Go Stones Wanted

Tue, 30/08/2016 - 00:15

Looking to acquire a modest set of slate and shell stones to pass on to my son (who has finally become interested in the game after 34 years). Any orphan sets out there that need a good new home? Will pay (but not looking for $$$$). Contact Terry Benson


Dai Junfu Prevails in 2016 French Open Championship

Mon, 29/08/2016 - 22:00

The French Open Championship took place from August 26-28 in Grenoble. Motoki Noguchi, the 2015 champion, defended his title against a slew of tough opponents, including Dai Junfu, Thomas Debarre, and Tanguy Le Calvé. The tournament was held this year at the Minatec campus in Grenoble.

It was a vintage year with 32 participants, a number not seen since 2009, and a large number of dan players. The first day offered few surprises, with the top eight players (5-dan and above) alone ending unbeaten, thus promising a interesting fight for the second day.

The first big upset was scored by Tanguy Le Calvé, who beat Motoki Noguchi in the fourth round after a fierce game. In the fifth round the game between the only two undefeated players, Dai Junfu and Tanguy Le Calvé, took place. Despite some good resistance, Tanguy could not avoid defeat, and it was only Dai who ended the second day unbeaten.

Of course the championship was not yet finished, and Dai (right) had more work to do on the third day, beating Motoki Noguchi and Rémi Campagnie, before becoming the 2016 French Open Champion. At the same time, Tanguy confirmed his good form by beating Thomas Debarre by half a point. So in the end Tanguy took second place, ahead of his two unhappy opponents Thomas Debarre and Motoki Noguchi.

After taking into withdrawals, the eight players qualified for the French Amateur Championship are Antoine Fenech, Louis Dumont, Dai Junfu, Jérôme Salignon, Baptiste Noir, Jean-Loup Naddef, Denis Karadaban and Tanguy Le Calvé.

Thanks to everyone who helped organize the event. All the games which were broadcast on the server OGS (this was a first for us, and a success – there were more than 400 spectators for the game of Dai against Thomas) can be found here, you can also find photos here.

- Ian Davis, adapted from the original report by Simon Billouet in Revue Française de Go


Upcoming Go Events: Atlanta and Littleton

Mon, 29/08/2016 - 20:42

September 10: Atlanta, GA
6th Annual Emory University Chinese Student/Scholar GO Tournament
Jeff Kerlagon 770-992-0308

September 10: Littleton, CO
Go Seminar – 7 Dan Kellin Pelrine at the Columbine Library
Jordan Hagen 303-507-6483

Get the latest go events information.


Amsterdam’s Schaak en Go winkel het Paard Passes the Torch

Sun, 28/08/2016 - 19:24

When a player passes in go it’s an indication that the game is over. In Peter Zandveld’s case, he’s just marking the beginning of a new era for Schaak en Go winkel het Paard, the Amsterdam games shop specializing in go, chess, bridge, backgammon, puzzles and other games. Zandveld (right) started the shop — whose name translates as “Chess and Go Shop Keima” nearly 30 years ago with Marianne Diederen and Marieke Diederen, Marianne’s eldest daughter, will carry it on. Zandveld and Diederen built Schaak en Go winkel het Paard into “one of the largest game and thinking sport stores in the world,” the company wrote in an email earlier this month. “Peter’s knowledge and expertise of go books has been of immeasurable value to the world of go. It is not an exaggeration to say that without him there would not be as many great go books available.” Zandveld has decided that he wants to spend more time with his family, his job at the RIVM, the EGCC board and his huge stamp collection. “Maybe he will even have time to play some serious go,” het Paard’s email added. “I hope to help Peter decide to attend  the US Go Congress in 2017,” Marianne Diederen told the E-Journal.


Free Go Seminar Set for Sept. 10 in Littleton, CO

Sun, 28/08/2016 - 19:15

Attachments and how to improve will be the main topics at the September 10 go seminar in Littleton, Colorado, led by Kellin Pelrine 7 Dan (right). The first half of the seminar — which runs 2-4:30 at the Columbine library — will discuss attachments, particularly isolated ones used in the opening and early middle game to create forcing moves and toeholds in new areas rather than ones that defend or expand from existing stones. The second half — after a brief pizza break — will be about ideas on how to improve, illustrated in the context of a game review, and the seminar will conclude with a Q&A. There’s no charge to attend, but please RSVP to “I look forward to seeing you there!” says Pelrine.


The Power Report: Ichiriki grabs share of Kisei S League lead; Oza challenger: Takao or Yo; New Honinbo League; Start of new Women’s Meijin League; One thousand wins to Hikosaka; Tengen challenger: Yamashita or Ichiriki; Veterans dominate Agon Kiriyama Cu

Sun, 28/08/2016 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki grabs share of Kisei S League lead: A key game was played in the Kisei S League on August 18. Playing white, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (right) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. In the third round, Kono had taken the sole lead, but this win gave Ichiriki a share of the lead. It also helped out Murakawa Daisuke 8P, who had shared the lead with Kono in the second round. All three are on 3-1.

Oza challenger: Takao or Yo: Takao Shinji is doing badly in the Kisei S League, but he is doing well in other tournaments. Besides becoming the Meijin challenger, he has also reached the play-off to decide the challenger for the 64th Oza title. In the semifinal, held on August 15, Takao (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. His opponent in the play-off is Yo Seiki 7P, who beat Yamashita Keigo in the other semifinal, held on August 18. Taking white, Yo won by resig. If anything, Yo will be more determined to win the play-off than Takao, as he has missed a number of opportunities recently. Last year he lost the Oza play-off to Iyama Yuta, who went on to take the title. Yo also lost this year’s Judan play-off to Iyama, giving the latter his chance to try for a grand slam. Yo will be hoping for third time lucky.

New Honinbo League: Two of the four vacant seats in the 72nd Honinbo League have been decided. On August 18, Ko Iso (W) beat Tsuruyama Atsushi 7P by resig.; on August 25, Yuki Satoshi 9P (B) beat Cho Sonjin 9P by resig.

Start of new Women’s Meijin League: The first round in the 29th Women’s Meijin League has been completed and one game in the second round has been played. Results are given below.
(August 11) Fujisawa Rina 3P (B) beat Sakakibara Fumiko 6P by 19.5 points.
(August 18) Aoki Kikuyo 8P (B) beat Ishii Akane 2P by resig.; Okuda Aya 3P (B) beat Kato Keiko 6P by resig.
(August 25) Fujisawa Rina (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7P by resig. For the time being, Fujisawa has the sole lead on 2-0.

One thousand wins to Hikosaka: On August 18, Hikosaka Naoto 9P (right) became the 19th Nihon Ki-in player to reach the landmark of 1,000 wins. He had 544 losses, 3 jigos, and 1 no-result for a winning percentage of 64.8. At 54 years 5 months, Hikosaka is the 10th oldest to reach this mark. It took him 40 years 4 months, which is the 10th quickest. His winning percentage is the 10th highest.  Hikosaka won the Judan title in 1998 and came fourth in the 11th Fujitsu Cup in the same year. He has played in the three leagues once each.

Tengen challenger: Yamashita or Ichiriki: The semifinals in the 42nd Tengen tournament were held on August 22. Yamashita Keigo (B) beat Kyo Kagen 4P by resig. and Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke, also by resig.

Veterans dominate Agon Kiriyama Cup: The go press in Japan has been making much of a number of strong teenagers who have emerged in the last couple of years. However, the older generation is not moving aside graciously for them. The line-up in the 23rd Agon Kiriyama Cup semifinals illustrates this. The pairings are: Cho Chikun (aged 60) v. Takao Shinji (aged 39) and Yamashita Keigo (aged 37) v. Kono Rin (aged 35). That’s an average age of nearly 43. It’s hard to imagine this happening in Korea or China. The semifinals were played on August 25. Cho (W) beat Murakawa by resig. and Kono (W) beat Yamashita by 1.5 points.


Go Classified: Weekend players wanted near Stafford, VA

Sun, 28/08/2016 - 17:00

Weekend players wanted near Stafford, VA: I am a stuck-in-the-upper-kyus player who wants to start growing again. I prefer in-person matches, but I only have time on the weekends due to work and school. If you are looking for even games, looking for a teacher/stepping stone, or are willing to teach me, please let me know! I can bring three 19×19 go sets and one reversible 9×9/13×13 board to play in public places or in someone’s home. Please contact me at


2016 US Go Congress Tourney Reports Posted; Game records wanted

Sat, 27/08/2016 - 22:57

Final tournament winner reports for the 2016 US Go Congress are now available online. Reported tournaments include the US Open, US Open Masters Division, NAMT and Evening League, as well as the Senior Cup, Women’s Tournament, Lightning Tournament, Die Hard, Redmond Cup, Under 16 Girls’ Championship, and Adult/Youth Pair Go. Note that these are winner report, not crosstabs. Click here for the US Open crosstab and the US Open Masters Division crosstab. If you’d like your sgf game record(s) added to the crosstab, send to us at
photo: 2016 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock


SmartGo’s Kierulf on the US Go Congress and his new app

Sat, 27/08/2016 - 22:57

SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf recently published a nice post-Go Congress blog post. In it you’ll find out why Kierulf will be bringing a a 9.7″ iPad to the next Congress instead of his 12.9″ iPad Pro, gives shout-outs to Brady Daniels for making a good case about why you should come to the next Go Congress and Kevin Hwang’s Go Talk about “What did you like most about the Go Congress?” both of which he says “clearly show that people are a main feature of the annual Go Congress.” Kierulf also reports that he just launched a new app for Othello, “a game that go is often confused with.” SmartOthello is written in Swift, Apple’s new programming language, “and is the first step in a redesign of my go apps,” Kierulf tells the E-Journal. “Most of the E-Journal readers are probably not interested in Othello/Reversi, but many might be interested to see the direction of the SmartGo apps.”
photo: Kierulf at the 2016 US Go Congress with Yasuko Imamura, a go instructor and SmartGo user from Kyoto


Go Spotting: The Japanese Miracle Men, My Golden Days & Dragon Inn

Sat, 27/08/2016 - 22:56

Ralph Hewins’ The Japanese Miracle Men (1967) provides portraits of the most influential Japanese tycoons of the post-war period, “and for several of them it is highlighted that they were keen go players,” writes Erwin Gerstorfer. “Some of them even having the highest amateur Dan level of that time.” Among the go-playing tycoons behind the economic rise of Japan after World War II were Taizō Ishizaka and oil magnate Taro Yamashita. In the book, Ishizaka, who was president of the Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations and promoted go internationally, relates his go experience and his success in business, Gerstorfer says.

“Recently saw the films My Golden Days (2015) and Dragon Inn (1967, left) at the Cleveland Cinematheque,” writes Steve Zilber. “The first has the boyfriend starting to teach his new girl friend how to play (just a few seconds) and the second has two Chinese soldiers playing before they’re attacked (again, just a few seconds). Zilber is president of the Cleveland Go Club.


American Yunguseng Dojang Autumn Class Registration Now Open

Fri, 26/08/2016 - 22:29

Registration is now open for the American Yunguseng Dojang’s 16th season of on-line classes, taught by former Korean insei and top-ranked player on the European rating list Inseong Hwang. The program contains five games of league play and analysis of all games, three lectures with interesting topics such as opening theory, local techniques, and evaluation, and a weekly highlights video.

The past three seasons had seven leagues with 42 players, but with 43 members already registered, the upcoming season is expected to open the biggest number of leagues ever. The best player each month get’s a month’s free tuition; click here for current standings.

This season kicks off September 5; register now and get free access to the recorded lesson videos until the season begins.
photo: Yunguseng members meet each other in this year US Congress in Boston and show off their member fans.


AGA Broadcast Friday Night: Ke Jie 9p vs Won Sungjin 9p in Bailing Cup

Fri, 26/08/2016 - 01:07
Myungwan Kim 9p and the AGA’s Andrew Jackson will commentate the first game in the Bailing Cup semi-finals this Friday, August 26, starting at 10:30p (PDT). Friday’s game will be the first game of a best-of-three match featuring Ke Jie 9p versus Won Sungjin 9p. watch the action live on the AGA’s YouTube channel or Twitch. Ke Jie 9p, one of the strongest players in the world at the moment, is known for his intense fighting and this match is sure to be exciting.
- Michael Wanek