The article asked professional mathematicians what got them started in math. ”There is no better way to train your brain, said one respondent, than the game [of] Go.”
Can you tell who is ahead in the go position that the article displays? (Assume Black to play and a komi of 6.5.) The full article appears here. Thanks to Chris Sira for sending the link.
Incumbent Paul Celmer has been nominated to retain his seat as eastern region representative. No nominations for western or central region candidates have been received yet. Nominations close June 15 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualifications and procedures are here http://www.usgo.org/aga-board-elections.
The 2013 Swiss Go Championship was played in seven leisurely McMahon rounds May 18-21 at Veyrier, near Lake Geneva. Sebastian Koch (3 dan), Felicien Mazille (2 dan), and Sebastian Ott (1 dan) ended with identical 6-1 scores (Koch beat Ott, who beat Mazille, who beat Koch), but Koch was one SOS point ahead of Mazille and Ott, and Mazille was two SOSOS points ahead of Ott, so they finished in order of their ranks. This is Sebastian Koch's fourth Swiss championship, following 1997, 2002, and 2004 (and a near miss in 2009). Sylvain Praz (2 kyu) took 8th place and will represent Switzerland at the World Amateur Go Championship in Sendai, while Sebastaian Ott will play in the Korea Prime Minister Cup. Noted author and translator Monique Golay (7 kyu) took part and finished 19th. Last year's champion Armel-David Wolff, who came in 6th in Amsterdam earlier in May, did not compete, but Amsterdam winner Seok-Bin Cho (8 dan) was on hand to analyze games.
The 34th World Amateur Go Chmpionship will open on August 31 and be held on September 1-4 at the Sendai City Information & Industry Plaza in the AER building in Sendai, Japan. Located next to Sendai Station, AER is a popular commercial complex with many shops and restaurants.
Entry applications from 60 countries and territories have been received so far; a lively tournament is anticipated.
In the past the World Amateur Go Championship has been held in the spring, but this year the schedule was moved back because of the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Thanks to support from all over the world during the past two years, most of the regions hit by the earthquake are now recovering. It is hoped that through the game of go this tournament will give the world proof of the recovery and encourage the local people to press ahead with the long recovery process.
Reigning British Champion, Andrew Kay 4d, and fellow Cambridge University graduate Andrew Simons 4d, have emerged as the finalists for the British Go Championship from this weekend’s Challengers’ League. Simons is the Terry Stacey Grand Prix 2013 title-holder (awarded for best tournament results over the year to the British Go Congress last April). The pair will meet for the best-of-three final at a time and place yet to be fixed, to decide who will take the title of British Champion. As both players intend to travel to Asia over the next three months, the final will probably not take place before August. When it does happen, it is likely to be followed live in the British Room on the KGS go server, with professional commentary.
In the Challengers League, which ran from Friday till Monday, each of the eight most successful players from the Candidates’ Tournament (see the EJ from May 10th), held earlier this month in Edinburgh, played one game against each other, with 1 hour 45 minutes main time each and 15 stones in 5 minutes repeating overtime. Under British Go Association (BGA) rules, the current title-holder was required to play in the Challengers’ League on the same terms as the other seven, and in fact Kay also waived his right to be entered automatically, winning his place at the Candidates’ Tournament as the others did. He said of this decision, “I’m always keen for an opportunity to play a high-level game of go with a reasonably long playing time and I like Edinburgh”. The other six challengers, in order of score, were: Alex Kent 2d, Alex Rix 2d, Des Cann 4d, Boris Mitrovic 2k, Francis Roads 1d, and Tim Hunt 2d.
The Challengers’ League was held in the Nash Room and elsewhere at the International Student House, London and the British Championship 2013 is organized by Jenny Radcliffe on behalf of the BGA. Ms Radcliffe also expressed pride at the excellent showing by Alex Kent, whom she herself taught to play in Durham less than 10 years ago. Click here for full results. -Story and photo by Tony Collman. Photo: Andrew Simons (l) vs. Andrew Kay (r)
An interesting triple ko came up in the most recent Tiger’s Mouth prize tourney. The tourneys are run every month, and are open to youth in the US and Canada. Handicapped, and with prizes in double-digit kyu, single-digit kyu, and dan sections, the tourneys provide challenging games for players of all levels, with prizes courtesy of the AGF. The triple ko came up in a six stone game between Narnian 12k, and Gocookrice 18k, and can be seen in the attached game record. The ruleset was Japanese, which technically means the game should be no result. The players asked the TD to make a ruling, he decided it was a seki, and gave the win to white on territory. How would the triple ko have been resolved in other rule sets? The E-J asked Yilun Yang 7p to weigh in with Chinese rules: “If both players keep taking the ko in this situation, it seems the game should be no-result. Black has to keep capturing, otherwise black loses. Unless one side gives up the ko battle, no one can win, and neither player can give up the ko in this game.”
AGA rules resolve the issue by making full board repetition illegal, which turns this situation into what is called “Super Ko“. AGA Rules Coordinator Terry Benson says: “The main point of AGA rules is that the players have to figure and play it out – not the ref – and we have no null games. A triple ko is going to prohibit the 6th move. So who starts matters. Thus finding a ko threat on move 6 which the opponent answers, would reset the triple ko with the other player to start. I think Ing rules would be the same. This is a fighting ko.” See move 257 to illustrate the options.
E-J Games Editor Myron Souris has a succinct analysis for this situation: “according to AGA rules Black wins the triple ko, no matter who plays first. If Black takes 1st, then 6 moves later White would be forbidden from repeating the position from just before Black’s 1st move. So White dies. And White taking the triple ko 1st is useless, because Black is alive in double ko. With the AGA rules, Terry and the rules committee devised a truly beautiful ruleset: simple, rigorous, and sensible. Numerous people have unfairly criticized the AGA ruleset for being to difficult to apply to these multiple ko situations, e.g., ‘Knowing when a previous board position repeats is too difficult.’ Terry’s analysis exposes that misconception for this game. A few years ago, I found about a dozen pro games (the latest is the infamous 2012 Gu Li vs. Lee Sedol game) ending in triple and quadruple ko, all of which even I could apply the AGA rules to resolve who would have won without too much work. Yes, some contrived multiple ko situations can be extremely difficult to analyze for who wins; however, those situations don’t seem to appear in real games, and in any event, the AGA allows the players to play out the situation themselves.” To sign up for the next Tiger’s Mouth Tourney, on June 15th, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
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The preliminary rounds of the Mlily Cup, a new world go open tournament sponsored by a noted manufacturer of mattresses, pillows, and other bedding supplies, were played at the Chinese Weiqi Association's quarters in Beijing May 21-24 under the auspices of the International Go Federation. The purpose of the preliminary rounds was to select 50 players to join 14 seeds in the main tournament that starts in July. Four of the 50 slots were reserved for female pros, and four were reserved for amateurs.
The amateur slots were contested by sixteen players from China, eight from Korea, three from Japan, two from Chinese Taipei, and one each from Europe and North America. China and Korea chose their participants through national qualifying tournaments. Japan sent in three young players (Yamado Mao, Shimizu Kosuke, Wu Poyi) who are currently studying at the Hong Dojo in Tokyo with hopes of making pro shodan this fall. Chinese Taipei sent junior high-schooler Huang Shih-yuan (a top insei) and the veteran Dr. Chen Shi. The North American player was Toronto University student Ryan Li, winner of the Waterloo Go Tournament in March. Europe was represented by Dr. Manuela ('Manja') Marz, a junior-professor of bioinformatics at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany who made the trip to Beijing accompanied by her three-month-old daughter Larissa.
The victor of Waterloo and the professor of bioinformatics fell in the first round on May 21. In an unusual development, Manja's game was temporarily suspended at move 119 so that she could breastfeed Larissa. Three Korean and five Chinese players also lost, as did both of the players from Chinese Taipei and all three of the Japanese. Hong-sensei spoke with his three pupils by phone afterward. 'They felt as if they had run into a wall,' he said.
The Chinese accordingly outnumbered the Koreans 11-5 in the second round, but the Koreans now stood their ground, even dispatching Wang Chen, one of China's top four amateurs. The other three of the top four (Hu Yuqing, Bai Baoxiang, and Ma Tainfang), together with China's Zhao Yiwu, advanced into the third and final amateur round on May 23, but there disaster awaited them. Jeong Seunghyeon, Lee Changseok, and Oh Jangwook, currently ranked 9th, 12th, and 15th in the Korean insei league, defeated Bai, Zhao, and Ma, respectively, and in a game that may foretell the outcome of this year's World Amateur Championship, Choi Hyeonjae (Korea's amateur Kuksu) defeated China's top-rated Hu Yuqing. Choi, Jeong, Lee, and Oh will return to Beijing for the first round of the main tournament on July 9.
The day after the Korean amateurs' smashing success, Chinese pros closed out the professional preliminary rounds in smashing style themselves, taking 32 of the 42 men's slots (Koreans got the other 10) plus three of the four women's slots. The fourth winning female pro was Australian-born Joanne Missingham, aka Hei Jiajia, who has played for Oceania in the Denso Cup and for Chinese Taipei in the World Mind Games and now gets another chance at a world title.
The fifth annual Kido Cup was held in Hamburg, Germany May 18-20. The three day event, including a main tournament, top group, and kids tournament, has become the largest go event held in Germany. In addition to the tournaments, this year’s Kido Cup also featured numerous side events, including six visiting pros from Korea playing teaching games and giving game reviews. Lukas Podpera 5d was the champion at the main tournament among a field of 198 players. Full main tournament results are available here. Fan Hui 2p, a pro from China living in France since 2000, won the top group with a 6-1 record. Top group results are available here. Arved Pittner 5k from Berlin won the kids tournament. Full results are available here. Story by Jan Engelhardt, photo by Joachim Beggerow.
The preliminary rounds for the first Mlily Cup concluded May 24th, in Beijing, China. The cup is organized by the International Go Federation (IGF) and the China Qiyuan, and sponsored by Hengkang Jiaju Technology Company. The cup is held every other year, thus supplementing the other IGF-organized biannual tournament: the Bailing Cup. With a top prize of RMB 1.8 M (about USD 280K), Mlily ranks near the top of all international titles. Just as in Bailing, the Mlily Cup takes on an ”open” format: All professionals may enter in the preliminary rounds; as may all amateurs after winning online selection tournaments. Ryan Li won the selection tournament from North America, and was the US amateur representative. Jujo (Zhujiu) Jiang 9P entered as an American pro; while Rui Naiwei 9P entered as a Chinese pro. All three lost in the first round. The popular Joanne Missingham 6P(Hei Jia-jia) entered as a Taiwanese pro, and won her section of 11 players, to move on to the main tournament. - Report by Thomas Hsiang. Photo from the Mlily website: Zhang Xuan 8p (l) has been one of the top female players in China. She is married to Chang Hao 9P. Joanne Missingham 6P (r) is leading a new generation of strong young female players; she is representing Taiwian.