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Updated: 54 min 19 sec ago

Tightened Procedures for Unaccompanied Kids at Go Congress

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

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

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

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

Mark Lee Sweeps Southern Cal Go Championship

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

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

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.

Categories: World news

AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol: Match schedule and details

Tue, 08/03/2016 - 08:47

The much anticipated five game match between Lee Sedol 9P and Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo begins this week, on Wednesday, March 9 (March 8 for American viewers). Here is the match schedule, along with details of how you can watch and timezone conversions, courtesy Go Game Guru.
The first game in the Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Tuesday, March 8, 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

Humanity the winner at Deep Mind Challenge Match, Google Chief Says

Tue, 08/03/2016 - 05:39

“The winner here, no matter who wins, is humanity,” said Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt at Tuesday’s press conference launching the Google Deep Mind Challenge Match between Google’s AlphaGo and world champion Lee Sedol 9P. Alphabet is the parent company of Google. Hundreds of journalists crowded into the 6th-floor ballroom at the Four Seasons in downtown Seoul. Camera flashes exploded as Schmidt took the stage to proclaim that “This is a great day for humanity. Humans will be smarter, the world will be a better place.” Deep Mind CEO Demis Hassabis called go “The most elegant game humans have ever invented.” Hassabis, a go player himself, noted that because of go’s complexity, “It’s been a longstanding challenge for the AI community to master this game.” Lee Sedol, who a few weeks ago confidently predicted he would defeat AlphaGo, adopted a more circumspect approach this time. “Playing against a machine is very different from an actual human opponent,” the world’s Number 1 told the BBC. “Normally, you can sense your opponent’s breathing, their energy. And lots of times you make decisions which are dependent on the physical reactions of the person you’re playing against. With a machine, you can’t do that.” Indeed, asked about AlphaGo’s strengths, Hassabis sais that “AlphaGo will never get tired and it won’t be intimidated, unlike a human opponent.” Even so, Hassabis said, “We’re many decades away from a real human AI; we’re still playing games.” And Sedol turned a bit philosophical at the end of the press conference, quietly saying that “If I get defeated it might be negative for go, but it is inevitable in this modern life. But it won’t destroy the value of go itself.”
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; photo: (l-r): Hassabis, Lee & Schmidt

Categories: World news

Redmond Cup Deadline March 13th

Tue, 08/03/2016 - 01:38

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 may be expanded to include ranks down to 5 kyu if there are not enough players.   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. 

Categories: World news

Waxler Wins Chess and Go Tourney in Portland

Tue, 08/03/2016 - 01:27

Twenty children competed in a three schools chess and go tournament in Portland, OR, on February 27th, reports organizer Peter Freedman. The prize for  first place  was a $25 gift certificate from Guardian Games, second place a $20 gift certificate, and 3rd place a $15 gift certificate.  Go results: First place – again – Olin Waxler, Beverly Cleary 4-0; 2nd place, Tommy Flynn, Beverly Cleary, 3-1; 3rd place, Luke Halpern, Irvington, 3-1. Four players had 2-2 records: Scout Imboden, Mason Bonner, Kahlial Lofquist, and Diego Hernandez. Diego and Ben Kunze were playing in a Go tournament for the first time. Chess results: Sam Plager, Irvington, 1st place: Aiden Harris, Richmond, 2nd place, and Mason Buchanan, Irvington, 3rd place. - story and photo by Peter Freedman:Olin Waxler (l) playing Tommy Flynn (r)

Categories: World news

Artem Kachanovskyi Prevails in Third European Pro Qualification Tournament

Mon, 07/03/2016 - 22:12

Artem Kachanovskyi (right) prevailed over fellow Ukrainian Andrii Kravets in the final of the third European Pro Qualification tournament to become Europe’s latest professional. Sixteen players competed on the weekend of March 5-6 in Baden-Baden to become the next EGF professional. The tournament featured a double elimination to determine a final eight, who ten competed in knockout rounds. The tournament started well for French players Thomas Debarre and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaïzi, who beat respectively Andrii Kravets (Ukraine) and Jan Hora (Czechia), and then Juri Kuronen (Finland) and Csaba Mero (Hungary), advancing to the quarterfinals. Tanguy Le Calvé (France), who lost to Lukáš Podpera (Czechia), entered the repechage, where he could again hold his head high after wins over Lukas Krämer  (Germany) and Juri Kuronen (Finland).

On Saturday afternoon, the quarter-finals saw Debarre lose to Kravets in a repeat match and Tanguy fall to Kachanovskyi. Debarre beat Viktor Lin (Austria) but then on Sunday morning he lost in the semi-finals to Kravets. The two Ukrainians then met in the final where Kachanovskyi emerged as champion.

Kachanovskyi lives in Kyiv, Ukraine started playing when he was just 6 or 7, studying mostly on his own. He’s long dreamed of becoming a professional. “I read many books that were describing not only the games, but how professionals think and some details of their living. That was inspiring.” Now, having finished university, “I’ll have more free time” to play go, he says, though since he works as a programmer, “it’s not so easy to play online each day, after staring almost all the day into a monitor. I think I’ll pay more attention to reviewing pro games on a board, maybe playing online on weekends.”

Full results can be found on the EGF website, along with player bios and tournament photos.

Based on an article in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet, posted by Ian Davis and edited by Chris Garlock; photos by Harry van der Krogt 

Categories: World news