News aggregator

Updates: East Bay Go Club formed; Australian Go Congress set; Kiseido sale on go books

AGA news - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 14:00

East Bay Go Club formed: The East Bay Go Club has just formed and meets Thursdays from 6:30PM to 9PM “at the beautiful new Games of Berkeley” at 2510 Durant Ave. (near Telegraph Ave), reports Chris Russell. More details on the club’s website.

Australian Go Congress set: The Australian Go Congress is coming up September 28 – October 1 in Sydney. The third such event includes the 2017 Australian National Championships and has an iPhone/iPad-friendly site.

Kiseido sale on go books: Kiseido is having a sale of all English-language go books ordered through their book page. Recent and recommended books include The Basics of Life and Death, Handicap-Go and the Sanrensei Opening and An Encyclopedia of Go Principles. The sale runs through August 31.

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Yang Shuang 2P a hit at Northern VA summer camp

AGA news - Sun, 23/07/2017 - 15:15

Yang Shuang 2P’s go class has been a big hit among kids attending the Hope Chinese School’s summer camp in Northern Virginia. In the first week of the 10-day program, two dozen students learned the basic s of the game, including liberties, how to capture, snap-backs, ladders, the double-atari, and life and death. Yang’s interactive teaching style has been effective at getting all the students involved, said camp director Dinny Li. “I am a bit surprised at how well kids respond to abstract go concepts taught by Ms. Yang,’ Li said. A leader at the Hope Chinese School and an advocate of go, Ms. Li thinks summer camp is a great place for kids to learn go.

Yang cofounded a go school in Shenyang, China over a decade ago. She has taught all levels, and will host a simul this Wednesday, July 26, 8p at the National Go Center in DC. She will also visit the NOVA Go Club next Monday, July 31, 7p in Arlington, VA and will be at the upcoming US Go Congress — August 5-12 — in San Diego.

The Hope Chinese School will continue offer afternoon go classes at the school’s summer camp August 14-25, where other Chinese arts will be offered, including fine art, music, kungfu. Contact 703-371-3414hcscamp.va@gmail.com

- reported by Edward Zhang

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Go Spotting: AlphaGo and Beyond; Robopocalypse Now? Kubo and the Two Strings

AGA news - Sun, 23/07/2017 - 14:58

AlphaGo and Beyond: The national security blog Lawfare last month posted an article called “AlphaGo and Beyond: The Chinese Military Looks to Future ‘Intelligentized’ Warfare,” reports Kyle Highful. “Among other things, this article discusses alleged Chinese censorship of AlphaGo’s match with Ke Jie, recent advances in American and Chinese artificial intelligence, and possible military implications of AI breakthroughs like AlphaGo.”

Robopocalypse Now? The 2017 Summer issue of “The Bent” has an article titled “Robopocalypse Now?” that includes several paragraphs on AlphaGo as an example of the recent progress in Artificial Intelligence, reports Jeff Newmiller. The Bent is the official news magazine of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. “The title was a bit of fluff… the conclusion of the article is that AI is more likely to yield surprise responses to unexpected input than to purposely mislead us.”

Kubo and the Two Strings: “Last weekend I watched the movie Kubo and the Two Strings (right), released in 2016 by Laika Entertainment and currently available on Netflix,” writes Alicia Seifrid. “It is a stop-motion fantasy film set in feudal Japan.  Early in the film, the main character Kubo goes into the village, and you see the villagers going about their everyday lives, including two men playing go.  Thanks as ever for sharing so much enjoyable and interesting go news!”

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Report from the World Youth Goe Championship

AGA news - Thu, 20/07/2017 - 03:06

In the second round of the World Youth Goe Championship, Gabriella Su defeated Andrey Mramorov 4dan from Russia and Frederick Bao defeated Ahn Dongkyeong 5dan from Korea. The 34th edition of the World Youth Goe Championship is being held in in Chiangmai, Thailand. The tournament includes 22 players from more than 10 countries and runs from July 18th to July 22nd. This year’s participants from America include Gabriella Su 6dan for the senior division and Frederick Bao 5dan and Nina Oliver 15kyu for the junior division. The team is being led by Mingjiu Jiang 7p.

photos courtesy Mingjiu Jiang

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Xu Zao 7d tops Bay Area summer tourney

AGA news - Thu, 20/07/2017 - 02:57
The Bay Area Go Players tournament in San Francisco July 8 attracted a record 46 players ranging from 20k to 7d. In the 1d-7d band Xu Zao 7d took first place while Matthew Cheng 5d was second.
Other results:
4k-1k: 1st Xiaofei Long 2k, 2nd Yunyen Lee 2k 8k-5k: 1st Shanthanu Bhardwaj 5k, 2nd Hyun Yong Jin 5k
20k-9k: Tie for 1st between Casey Dahlin 10k and Steven Whitney 15k

photo: An Weiqi 4d (left) is matched against Matthew Cheng 5d (right); report by Steve Burrall; photos by Jay Chan
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The Power Report (3): Fujii Sota sets new record

AGA news - Wed, 19/07/2017 - 14:00

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Fujii Sota sets new record
In my report at the end of May, I took the liberty of writing about a shogi debutant who was making waves. First he set a record by becoming the youngest player, at 14 years two months, to qualify as a shogi professional. That earned him some attention in the media, but the attention became a media frenzy when he started playing games and didn’t lose. I wrote the previous report when he reached 19 successive wins, the seventh-best in shogi. On June 28, he matched the previous record of 28, set in 1987, then on June 29 he broke it, scoring his 29th win over the only other teenaged shogi professional, Masuda Yashiro 4P (aged 19), who won the King of the New Stars title last year. By this time, the media had become obsessed with Fujii. A hundred reporters turned up at the Shogi Hall to see the above-mentioned games start. Throughout the day (both games lasted over 11 hours), TV provided a stream of updates. The game was the lead-off item on news programs, even while it was still in progress and they switched to live coverage when it ended. The daytime “wide shows,” usually devoted to colorful crimes and scandals, hired shogi professionals to give commentaries. (Newspapers printed extras for both the 28th and 29th games. There were also two Net broadcasts, with a combined audience of 11 million.) It felt as if the whole nation shared the disappointment when Fujii finally suffered a loss in his 30th game.

Fujii’s success sparked a shogi boom, especially among young children, who flocked to join shogi classes. Go has never experienced coverage like this, and apparently it surpasses the media attention earned by Habu Yoshiharu’s Grand Slam on 1996 (as in go, a simultaneous grand slam has been achieved only once).

Fujii was born on July 19, 2002, so he turns 15 next month. The previous record for a debutant was 11 successive wins. Before Fujii go has the upper hand, with Hiroe Hiroyuki 9P winning his first 12 games in 1983 (he was 16). He is followed by Yoda Norimoto (aged 11) and Mizokami Tomochika 9P (aged 15), and Ida Atsushi 8P, all with 11 (they were all 1-dan, of course). By coincidence, Fujii’s new record of 29 successive wins is the same as the go record, set by Sakata Eio in 1963-64. The content is not the same, however. The average rank of Fujii’s opponents was 5.77 (by the way, the win over Habu Yoshiharu I mentioned in my previous report was not part of the streak; it may have been an unofficial game, but I can’t find it). Sakata’s opponents included the elite of the contemporary go world.

I’m not trying to carp about Fujii’s record. As a go player, I followed the Fujii saga with amazement and the purest envy. As far as I know, Iyama’s grand slam last year, garnered just a minute or two on the news.

Closing note: One program has a segment devoted to shogi terms that had passed into general speech and threw in a few go terms for good luck. Unfortunately, their diagram for “dame” (in the sense of worthless points) was completely wrong.

photo (top right): Fuji playing Kato Hifumi, at 77, the oldest active shogi player. First game of the winning streak. Kato retired around the time Fujii set his record. Out with the old, in with the new. He was the previous youngest shogi pro.

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Match Result

Online League Updates - Wed, 19/07/2017 - 13:00
Match now completed between Manchester and Tiger's Mouth in Division 2. The winner of the match was Tiger's Mouth.

The Power Report (2): Komatsu wins Samsung seat; Fujisawa wins Senko Cup; 42nd Kisei tournament; Yoda scores 1,100 wins

AGA news - Tue, 18/07/2017 - 14:00

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Komatsu wins Samsung seat: The international preliminary tournament for the 22nd Samsung Cup was held in Korea from June 28 to July 3. Twenty-seven players from Japan took part in the various categories. The only successful player was Komatsu Hideki 9P (right), who scored five successive wins in the Senior division and gained a seat in the main tournament. He was also successful in the preliminary in 2012 and 2013. The main tournament begins on September 5. Seeded for Japan are Iyama Yuta and Yamashita Keigo.

Fujisawa wins Senko Cup: The semifinals in the 2nd Senko Cup were played in Akekure (Dawn and Dusk), a high-class Japanese inn, on July 14. Xie Yimin (B) beat Nyu Eiko 1P by 4.5 points and Fujisawa Rina (W, left) beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by 3.5 points. The final was played on July 16 at the same venue. Taking white, Fujisawa Rina made a blunder, but she fought on and recovered and in the end won by 2.5 points. She won this title for the first time and now has four women’s titles. Overall, she has now won six titles and is still only 18 (her birthday is on September 18).

42nd Kisei tournament: The first game in the third round of the S League was played on July 6. Cho U 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point. The other two games were played on July 13. Kono Rin 9P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig. and Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig. After three rounds, Ichiriki, as the only undefeated player, has the sole lead. Two players are on 2-1: (in order of rank) Kono and Cho U. Yamashita and Murakawa are on 1-2 and So is on 0-3. In a game in the A League, played on June 29, Yoda Yorimoto (W) beat Kyo Kagen by 2.5 points (see next item). Kyo still has the provisional lead on 5-1, but he has the lowest rank, that is, equal 7th in an eight-player league. Yoda and Takao Shinji Meijin are tied on 4-1 and, being more highly ranked, are threats to Kyo. Cho Chikun on 4-2 is also theoretically in the running for first place.

Yoda scores 1,100 wins: The above win against Kyo was Yoda’s 1,100th as a pro. He has 572 losses, two jigos, two no-results. He is the 12th Nihon Ki-in player to reach this landmark, and his winning percentage of 65 is the 6th best. At 51 years four months, he is the third youngest, and, at 37 years two months, the 4th quickest.

Promotion
To 8-dan: Kanagawa Masaki (150 wins, as of June 20)

Tomorrow: Fujii Sota sets new record

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Eric Lui 1P Sweeps Summer Sizzler

AGA news - Mon, 17/07/2017 - 15:58

“When we renamed this annual event from Congress Tune-up to Summer Sizzler, we weren’t thinking it would be quite so literal,” reports TD Gurujeet Khalsa. “However, with one of the two roof AC units going out just previous to the tournament and DC temperatures approaching 100 degrees, not all of the heat was over the Go board. Still, with fans and plenty of bottled water on ice, an enthusiastic crowd of 47 players had a great time and many stayed for the DC premiere of The Surrounding Game in the evening.” Players made the trip from as far as North Carolina and Michigan for the event.

photo (right): watching the live stream of Board 1; photo by Nate Eagle.

Eric Lui 1P, the local AGA pro, continued his unbeaten streak in events at the National Go Center taking overall first place at 4-0. Justin Teng 6D took second place in the top section with a 3-1 record. Other winners were: Gu Zhenying 5D (2-2), Qingbo Zhang 5D (2-2), Yanqing Sun 3D (3-1), Joel Cahalan 2D (3-1), Ryan Hunter 1D (3-1), Nate Eagle 1K (3-1), Adam Bridges 3K (3-1), Austin Robinson 4K (4-0), Tevis Tsai 7K (4-0), Joon Lee 9K (3-1), James Liu 10K (4-0), Deirdre Golash 11K (3-1), and Erik Fagerstrom 27K (3-1).

photo (left): Enjoying The Surrounding Game on Saturday evening; photo by Nate Eagle.

Special thanks to Nathan Epstein who live streamed the games on the top board from the National Go Center’s Facebook page.

 

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The Power Report (1): Iyama makes good start in Gosei defence; Fujisawa Rins wins Aizu Central Hospital Cup; 42nd Meijin League

AGA news - Mon, 17/07/2017 - 15:47

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama makes good start in Gosei defence: The first game of the 42nd Gosei best-of-five title match was held at the Matsushima Ichi-no-bo, a mixed Japanese- and Western-style hotel in Matsushima Town in Miyagi Prefecture on June 22. It was one of the events celebrating the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Kahoku Shinpo, a Sendai newspaper belonging to the Newspaper Go Federation, a group of regional newspapers that sponsor the tournament. Taking white, Iyama Yuta (right) held the initiative for much of the game and forced the challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P to resign after 190 moves. This is a good start to Iyama’s attempt to win his sixth successive Gosei title.
The second game will be held on July 19. The gap of four weeks was obviously left to fit in some Honinbo games; by finishing off that title match with straight wins, Iyama earned himself some valuable rest time (each two-day game takes four days when travel time is included).

Fujisawa Rins wins Aizu Central Hospital Cup: Fujisawa Rina 3-dan won the third game of the 4th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup title match to take the title for the second time. Winning it this year shows good timing, as the title has just switched to the challenger system. Fujisawa will meet a challenger in title match next year instead of starting out in the final knockout section of the tournament. The third game was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on June 23. Xie Yimin drew black in the nigiri. Xie set up a large moyo, and when Fujisawa set out to reduce it, her invading group came under severe attack. This fight was so big that it decided the game. When Fujisawa cleverly made life for her group, Xie had to resign just 120 moves into the game. This match was a clash between the two players holding all the women’s titles. Xie held the Senko Cup, the Women’s Kisei, and this title, while Fujisawa held the Women’s Meijin and Honinbo titles. With this win, giving her three titles to Xie’s two, Fujisawa established herself as the top woman player.
Prize money for the women’ titles is: Senko Cup: 8,000,000 yen; Hollyhock Cup: 7,000,000; Women’s Honinbo: 5,500,000; Women’s Kisei: 5,000,000; Women’s Meijin: 3,500,000.

42nd Meijin League: In a game held on June 22, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 4.5 points. This took Cho’s score to 3-4; as he is ranked #4, his chances of retaining his league seat have improved. On July 10, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. and Yo Seiki 7P (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by resig. As he has a bye in the final rounds, Yamashita has finished his games; on 5-3 he is sure of retaining his place but has no chance of challenging. Yo has improved his score to 3-4, after starting with three losses; his last game is against Iyama Yuta – if he wins that, he has a chance of keeping his place. League leader is Iyama on 6-0, two wins clear of the field.
On July 6, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resignation. Hane is on 2-5, so this win may have come too late for him to retain his seat. Kono Rin is 3-4, so he has a better chance.

Tomorrow: Komatsu wins Samsung seat; Fujisawa wins Senko Cup; 42nd Kisei tournament; Yoda scores 1,100 wins

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Cho, Coplon and Cornett tie to top Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament

AGA news - Fri, 14/07/2017 - 21:22

What do a 5-dan, a 5-kyu and a 12-kyu have in common? They all tied for first at the recent Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament in Boston. David Cho 5D, Benjamin Coplon 5k and Howard Cornett 12k were all 4-0 at the July 9 tournament, organized as usual by the Massachusetts Go Association. “Charles Chapple, the English Teacher from Franklin High School in Franklin NH, who had come with five students to the MGA’s Spring Tournament, was back with student Miriam Fallahi, despite it being summer vacation,” reports TD Eva Casey.
photo (l-r): Coplon, Cho and Cornett. Click here for more photos.

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New York City, 1977: black and white in the dark

AGA news - Thu, 13/07/2017 - 10:00

by Terry Benson

Forty years ago today, I was staring down intently at my go board on the second floor of the Zen Oriental Book Store in midtown Manhattan when all the lights snapped off. “The breaker blew,” said a player, intent on his own game.  I looked up from my game, over the board, past my opponent and out the windowed front onto a completely darkened West 57th street. It was the 1977 New York blackout.

Of course, being go players, we kept playing.   Our wonderful waitress/hostess Kazuko calmly brought out candles. The tea was still warm. There were little Japanese cakes and games to play.

Eventually, though, we all headed out into the city. Riding my bike past the rioting and looting on Broadway was surreal, like simultaneously watching and being in a movie. We all made it home safely that night and to this day we remember holding off the world’s chaos  – for a little while anyway – with go.

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Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Championship free registration ends July 17

AGA news - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:48
Free registration for the Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Championship ends July 17. This is the world’s longest-standing internet tournament, and players are grouped by their playing strengths and regions of residence in the preliminary round.  Generous prizes are provided for final finishers in all playing bands.  The first round will start July 24.
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Nat’l Go Center hosts Summer Sizzler tourney and “Surrounding Game” this weekend

AGA news - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 13:30

The temperature is definitely sizzling in DC. Unless you are enjoying the area beaches, the place to be on July 15 to get out of the heat is at the Summer Sizzler tournament at the National Go Center. This is a 4-round AGA-rated tournament with prizes for all divisions. Doors open at 8:30 with first round at 9:00 AM. The at-the-door fee is $20/adult and $15/youth, but you can save 20% by pre-registering now online. Pre-register here.

The NGC is hosting the DC Premiere of “The Surrounding Game” at 7:30 PM on July 15, with a second showing at 1 PM on July 16. If you come to the Summer Sizzler tourney on the 15th, there will be time to get dinner at one of the many area restaurants and get back for the showing. and the Center will be open after for those who want to play some more go. No spoilers, but some local luminaries appear in the film as well.

Register for the Saturday night premiere here, or the Sunday afternoon showing here.

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Upcoming Go Events: Washington DC

AGA news - Mon, 10/07/2017 - 21:00

July 15: Washington DC
National Go Center – Congress Tuneup
Gary Smith gary@novagoclub.org 703-254-6429

Get the latest go events information.

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EGF Pro Surma wins Samsung spot

AGA news - Sun, 09/07/2017 - 19:56

European Go Federation pro Mateusz Surma 1p beat a strong field of players from outside the main go countries to win the Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters World Division and a spot in the main tournament.  The 12-player event, which took place at the Korea Baduk Association headquarter in Seoul’s brooding summer weather of heat, humidity and rain, included contenders from North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asian countries other than Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.  For the first time, the World Division welcomed pros certified by the EGF and AGA, including Surma.  Surma received a bye in the first round, defeated fellow European Artem Kachanovskyi 1p in the second round and Canadian Gansheng Shi 1p in the semifinals.  Shi had a bye and beat a Thai player in the second round to advance to the semifinals. In the final, Surma faced the surprise winner of the other side of the table, Victor (Guang) Chow 7d of South Africa.  Chow, an active Internet player of long standing, had played in all the Samsung Worlds starting in 2014 without much success, but this year beat Canada’s Ryan Li 1p in round one, Israel’s Ali Jabarin 1p in round two and US player Eric Lui 1p in round three. Lui had beaten a Vietnamese amateur in round one and Pavol Lisy 1p of Russia in round two before facing Chow.  In the final match, according to Shi, Chow established an early lead but fell behind after making a big blunder. Surma will return in September for the main Samsung Cup tournament.
- Andy Okun

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AGA Board election: Important notice for Chapters

AGA news - Sun, 09/07/2017 - 17:48
All current chapters should have received your chapter vote count via the agachapters list, reports Arnold Eudel. There are many chapters with recently expired chapter memberships that may not have been included. “Please check your chapter status and individual memberships and vote count,” Eudel urges. “Elections are running late so please do so ASAP and inform elections@usgo.org when completed.”
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Victor Chow’s games from the 2017 Samsung Cup

South Africa* - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:17
Victor Chow shares his recent games in the 2017 Samsung Cup, along with some commentary on each one. 2017SumsungCupWDRound1VChow-RyanLi 2017SumsungCupWDRound2VChow-AJarbalin 2017SumsungCupWDRound3Elu-VChow 2017SumsungCupWDRound4MSurma-VChow

Slate & Shell to cease distribution of print books; will continue to release e-books

AGA news - Mon, 03/07/2017 - 23:52

Longtime go publisher Slate & Shell has announced that it is ceasing distribution of print books. “Our books will continue to be available in either print, through Amazon, or as e-books, through SmartGo,” said publishers Bill Cobb and Laurie Crammond. “There will continue to be new SmartGo e-books, and we will also do on-demand print books that can be ordered from Amazon—including a number of currently out of print books,” Cobb tells the E-Journal. “The next (new e-book) will be Yuan Zhou’s analysis of the AlphaGo-Ke Jie match.” The effective date for ending distribution is August 1. Until then, all of Slate & Shell’s books are marked down at least 50%, “most more, some much more,” added Cobb and Crammond. Orders must be received by August 1. “Please note that if you order several books, it would be wise to request priority shipping as the books have a greater chance of arriving in good condition,” S&S said in their announcement.

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Researchers in China use appreciation of go to develop accurate chemical model

AGA news - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 17:00

Zeolites, porous aluminosilicate minerals, are a key catalyst for industrial use due to their unique structure. As a result of their porous nature, these minerals aid chemical reactions involving molecules directly bordering the zeolites, but carbon deposits can have a negative effect on surrounding molecules. As a result, models of Zeolites in 2d space behave similarly to some aspects of go, because the spaces bordering carbon deposits essentially act as liberties do in go. When an area of the model becomes completely surrounded by carbon deposits, those areas are inaccessible, despite not having carbon deposits themselves. Inspired by AlphaGo’s matches with Lee Sedol, Chemical Engineer Fei Wei and a team from Tsinghua University developed a detailed model that not only accurately described experimental results, but also allowed the team to predict the optimal acid density of a particular type of zeolite. A catalysis expert, Bert Weckhuysen, called the model “interesting and elegant” and added that he “directly see[s] a lot of potential applications.”
- edited by Noah Doss, based on an article in Chemistry World, sent along by Simon Guo

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