GoClubsOnline (GCOL) is offering six unlimited club memberships to celebrate GCOL’s status as the first pairings software to be certified as AGA compliant. To qualify, go clubs must be holding — or plan to hold — tournaments in the near future, says GCOL’s Robert Cordingley. The memberships will be free for the first six months. Visit GCOL’s Overview web page to learn more about their comprehensive web-based system, including membership management, on-line tournament registration and check-in capabilities. Contact Cordingley at email@example.com to apply or for more information. “When applying, please include some details about the club and tournament plan,” adds Cordingley.
The AGA is seeking volunteers to help develop and implement a regular process for pairings certification to expand beyond this first certification. Any interested players or programmers should contact Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall Li at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People play go all over the world every day, but Saturday, September 13 will be different. That’s the day Go Game Guru is inviting local go organizers to participate in the launch of the first-ever Learn Go Week. “Every Go player knows that stones work better when they work together,” says GGG’s David Ormerud. “Right now we’re all doing our own things, within our own communities. We’re spread out thinly, all over the world. But if we work together, we can all be part of something bigger.” And while September 13 is the focus of the event, local organizers can also plan an event during the following week. Go Game Guru will support local efforts with adaptable go brochures, posters, checklists and information for running an event, including logistical support, inexpensive go sets, and printable go boards for organizers. While not an official IGF activity, IGF board members expressed support for the idea at last Saturday’s IGF meeting. “I think it’s a tremendously exciting idea and could be a great publicity opportunity for local chapters and clubs across the United States,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun at the World Amateur Go Championship in Korea. World Day events for a wide range of causes and activities have enjoyed various levels of popularity in recent years, generating public and media interest. “The AGA urges participation in Learn Go Week and will support our chapters in their efforts, as well as publicizing participation.”
Croatia: Zoran Mutabzija 5d took the 2014 Croatian Open Go Championship on July 13 in Gorica. Daniel Zrno 2k was second and Mladen Smud 1k placed third. Germany: Also on July 13, the Deutsche Damen-Go-Meisterschaft finished in Kassel with Manja Marz 3d (left) in first, Kirsten Hartmann 1k in second, and Vivian Scheuplein 1k in third. Czech Republic: Ondrej Silt 6d bested Mateusz Surma 6d at the 13th Moyo Open Tournament in Pardubice while Remi Campagnie 5d came in 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 European Go Federation, French Go Federation, and Go Seigen Club of Toulouse will host the 2014 European Student Go Championship on September 27 and 28 in Balma, France. Any university student under age 30 that is a citizen of an EGF country is welcome to enter free of charge. The champion will receive EGF sponsorship to participate in the Ing Foundation 2015 Student event at Shanghai including travel (750 EU for plane tickets) and all local costs. Players who register will also enjoy talks by 2013 European Go Champion Fan Hui 2d. To register or for more information including a full schedule and accommodations, visit the official European Student Go Championship website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
“I said for decades that I did not think I would ever be beaten by a computer playing go,” writes Phil Straus 2D in response to Go Spotting: IEEE Spectrum 7/16 EJ. “I was wrong. I was first beaten by a computer program on KGS sometime in the last two years. Laurence Sigmond and I watched Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at the Philadelphia Convention Center in 1997. To pass the time between moves we, of course, brought a go board. I showed the go board to Hans Berliner, one of the iconic chess programmers. He looked at it, and just shook his head. He said ‘maybe in 20 years.’ I was even more pessimistic. Go looked impossible in 1997. We were both wrong.”
Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. photo: Rémi Coulom and Crazy Stone. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED
With the American Go Association committed to establishing parallel AGA ratings for games played on-line, the AGA is seeking volunteers to implement the new system. “This is an exciting and historic development,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Director for the Central Region. AGA ratings now are limited to in-person games, and those ratings will not be affected. “This is a great project for an entry-level programmer looking for something to put on their resume,” says Andrew Jackson, AGA Operations Vice President, who estimates it will take “a few months of nights and/or weekends for an experienced python programmer.” Mentoring is available. Reply here if interested.
Human go players will undoubtedly find the graphic for “Go-bot, Go” annoying, but the article in the July issue of IEEE Spectrum is an excellent exploration of computer go-playing by Jonathan Schaeffer, Martin Müller and Akihiro Kishimoto, who developed Fuego, which in 2009 defeated a world-class human go player in a no-handicap game for the first time in history. In the online version, AIs Have Mastered Chess. Will Go Be Next?, the Schaffer, Muller and Kishimoto explain how “a know-nothing machine that based its decisions on random choices and statistics” triumphed.
IEEE photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Stylist: Dominique Baynes
“I am tentatively planning to attend the 16th Ibero-American Go Tournament in Quito, Ecuador this October and wonder whether there may be other AGA members who might also be interested in making the trip,” Bob Gilman writes. “There is information about the tournament here and a form to indicate interest and get additional information here. If your Spanish is as bad as mine, Google translate can help you understand these pages.” Email Gilman at email@example.com if interested.
In a related note for our Spanish-language readers (or those interested in reaching them), our July 13 Prisoners in Cuba Learning Go post has been picked up by El Latino Digital – Reclusos en Cuba aprenden GO – thanks to Chris Uzal.
Nearly 30 professional go players are expected to attend this year’s US Go Congress, August 9-17 in New York City. Ranging in strength from 9-dan to 1-dan, the professionals come from Japan, Korea and China, as well as the United States; click here for the list, which does not yet include the Kansai Ki-in pros, Maeda Ryo 6P, Mariko Deguchi 1P, and newly-minted pro Francis Meyer 1P (right). A major attraction at the annual Congress, the professionals will give lectures and play simuls; the tentative Congress schedule has been posted here. Reminder that late fees for Congress registration will go up after July 15.