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
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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.
After four rounds in the AGA City League, Canwa Vancouver 1 is leading the A League. Hot on their heels are Seattle 1 and Greater
Washington with one match behind. May’s final matches will decide which two teams will meet at the Pandanet City League Finals in New York City at the US Go Congress. Chicago is leading the B League with NY City their only contender. Can Raleigh take down Chicago in their match up in just a few weeks? The teams in the C League were closer matched before this round. Now Katy TX 1 has come way out ahead in their matches. Katy TX 2 and Memphis are in the 2-3 seed respectively. With three more rounds to go the lineup could change a lot before the end. See right for an exciting 4th-round game between Eric Lui (W, Greater Washington) vs Bill Lin (B, Canwa Vancouver 1) from the A League. See below for complete 4th-round results.
- Steve Colburn, TD
A League: Los Angeles Def Toronto (3-0), Seattle 1 def Boston (2-1), Canwa Vancouver 1 def Greater Washington (2-1)
B League: Washington DC 1 def NC Raleigh (2-1), Chicago def San Francisco 1 (2-1), New York City def Washington DC 2 (3-0)
C League: West Tennessee/Memphis def Katy TX 2 (2-1), Brentwood/Nashville def Seattle 2 (3-0), Katy TX 1 def Lincoln (2-1)
Still in progress: Central New York/Syracuse vs Canwa Vancouver 2 (0-2)
Photographer (and former AGA president) Phil Straus has just posted an album of 28 high-resolution photos from the April 27-28 Washington Open Baduk Championships, which includes portraits of many of the players and dignitaries in attendance. The photos may be freely used but must credit Straus.
photo: Baltimore Go Club organizer Keith Arnold (left) gets a lesson; photo by Phil Straus
Lithuania: Andrius Petrauskas 3d took the Vilniaus Taure on April 27 while Vladas Zaleskas 2d came in second and Ernestas Romeika 1d placed third. Turkey: The 3. Adana Go Tournament finished on April 20 with Cagdas Yeloglu 2d in first, Ertug Akkol 1d (left) in second, and Eren Kurter 2d in third. UK: Paul Taylor 2d bested Alistair Wall 2d at the Welwyn Garden City Go Tournament on April 26. Francis Roads 2d 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
The Amsterdam Go Club and European Go Centre will host the 43rd Amsterdam International Go Tournament May 29-June 1 at the European Go Cultural Centre. In addition to the main tournament, there will also be two deciding rounds of the CEGO EGF Pro Qualification Tournament for the first EGF professional go player, the Batavia Blitz Tournament, the DNM Rapid Tournament, and the Kunwa Children’s Tournament. The Rapid Tournament is open to main tournament players for a reduced price or for players who would like to only play a one day tournament. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five players and special small money prizes for players with four to six wins. Players must register before May 25 or will be required to pay a late registration fee. For more information or to register, please visit the official Amsterdam International Go Tournament page.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of the Amsterdam International Go Tournament
The School Team Tournament drew 84 kids and teens, reports organizer Calvin Sun 1P. Held on KGS, March 22 and 29, the event is organized by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) every year. “28 teams of three competed in four divisions to claim the title of best youth team in North America,” said Sun, “ranks ranged from 25k to 6d.” Top honors in the Varsity division went to Diamond Bar High School, CA. “I want to thank AGHS and our tournament organizers for running such an amazing event,” said team leader Yunxuan Li 6d. “It was very fun and exciting to compete with other go clubs throughout North America. Our club started this school year (see E-J 11-5-13) and I was pretty surprised that we won the tournament after such a short time period. We got lucky in a lot of our games. This is a great event for our youth players and it is really wonderful to see new clubs playing in it and enjoying it every year.”
The Junior Varsity division was topped by reigning champions, Cary Christian School, from North Carolina, who have fielded multiple teams for the past several year, often winning one or more divisions. “The kids really enjoyed it,” said Team Advisor Jeff Kuang, “especially, the kids in CCS Team one (who took first place). They learned not only go skills but also online playing experience and etiquette.” Another new team, David Douglas High School, from Portland, OR, took top honors in the Intermediate division. “It was a very pleasant surprise,” said club president Andrew Nguy 19k, “it was our first tournament, and none of us really expected to even place, much less win first.” Rounding out the winners list in the Novice division was a team from CNY Chinese School in Manlius New York, which was coached by the 2013 AGF Teacher of the Year Richard Moseson. “This was my first online tournament,” said 8-year-old Liya Luk, who played first board. “I liked it because it lasted two Saturdays, so our team could prepare in between the Saturdays. I had lots of fun doing the tournament.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Youth from Mexico City competed from the public library. Avila’s students from multiple locations, fielded five teams.
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by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Kono and Yuki Secure Kisei League Places: The remaining two vacant seats in the 39th Kisei Leagues were decided on April 21. In the play-offs, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. and Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resig. Kono (right) has made an immediate comeback after being eliminated in the previous league; this will be his 7th Kisei league in a row. He has kept his seat in the Honinbo League and is playing in the current Meijin League, so he is one of only two players (the other is Yamashita Keigo) to be a member of all three leagues. Yuki will be playing in his ninth Kisei league and reappears after a five-year gap; he made an unsuccessful challenge for the 29th Kisei title. Incidentally, he played this game three days after losing the Judan title, so it seems he has not been crushed by this reverse.
Japanese Team Plays in Chinese League: This year, too, a Japanese team competed in the Chinese league. Known as the China-Japan Friendship team, it was composed of Ida Atsushi 8P, Yo Seiki 7P, Yo Chito 2P, and Kyo Kagen 2P; apart from Ida, these players were all born in Taiwan. The team played in the C League and took 5th place out of 22 teams. The league was held in Hangzhou City from April 21 to 29; the Japanese team scored two wins, four draws, and one loss, giving it eight points (out of a possible 14). The top three teams are promoted to the B League. Ida, who will launch his challenge to Iyama Yuta for the Honinbo title in mid-May, scored 4-3, Yo Seiki 2-5, Yo Chito 3-4, and Kyo an impressive 7-0.
Yamashita Keeps Sole Lead in Meijin League: With a win over Ryu Shikun 9P on May 1, Yamashita Keigo (left) remained the only undefeated player in the 39th Meijin League. He is now 5-0. Ryu’s loss meant that he dropped out of second place. Cho U 9P has won his fourth game and, with 3-1, is now in sole second place. Yamashita is the favorite, but he also led the Honinbo League throughout only to stumble right at the end.
(April 14) Yamashita (W) beat Kono Rin 90 by 3.5 points.
(April 24) Cho U (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by 2.5 points.
(May 1) Yamashita (W) beat Ryu by resig.; Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.