Over 500 hundred fans watched online Friday morning as the opening round began for the second AGA Pro Qualification tournament. The games are being held at the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles, and broadcast online on KGS. Games began at 9:30 am (PST) Friday, January 3. Players who lose in the first round will still have a second chance to continue on into Round Two in this double elimination knockout event. Round Two started at 4:30 pm (PST) today (Jan. 3).
Round 1 results: Eric Lui defeated Daniel Gourdeau (W+12.5); Jianing Gan defeated Ryan Li (W+r); Bill Lin defeated Ben Lockhart (W+14.5); Calvin Sun defeated Andrew Lu (B+1.5).
Before the games started, each player was given a portable go set from the Korea Baduk Association (KBA). The winner will not only be certified as the AGA’s third professional player, but will also win a $1,500 cash prize, and each finalist will receive $800.
Jeff Shaevel is the tournament director, Myungwan Kim the referee, and the E-Journal’s game recording team includes Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows, Dennis Wheeler and Joe Cepiel. Also on hand are AGA president Andy Okun and Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra.
- report by Dennis Wheeler
At least seven out-of-town players are coming to the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament in Seattle. “Registration is on the morning of the tournament, Sunday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m., so we don’t know about everybody who is coming,” reports manager Brian Allen. “But we expect the open section to be very competitive.” Xingshuo Liu, 7d and Ran Yan, 6d are traveling to the games for a second year. A young Chinese pro, Ximeng Yu (Simon), 1P, who is now a local college student is also probably coming. ”We also have five amateur dan level players who are visiting from China. Their instructor, Xiaomin Yao, 4P, will provide game analysis. Ms. Yao was a colleague of Guo Juan and Yilun Yang when they lived in China and this is her first trip to the United States.” Photo: Xingshuo Liu (far left) and Ran Yan (far right) at the 2013 Jin Chen Tournament. photo by Brian Allen
Starting this Friday, eight young North American go players will battle it out to be the next American go professional (8 Young North Americans Want To Be Next AGA Pro 11/21/2013 EJ). The second AGA Pro Certification Tournament will take place January 3-7 in Los Angeles and the E-Journal will broadcast top-board games live on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. Click here for the schedule and pairings.
Two teams representing the ancient British universities of Oxford and Cambridge met over the board on the evening of Monday, December 30 as a side event to the London Open, with neither coming out on top. The two rounds constituting the match, in which each team fielded two alumni and two students of their respective universities, were both drawn 2-2. Accordingly, all players shared the champagne earmarked for the winners as well as each taking a £40 cash prize and the team sweaters worn during play. Both teams also took away a set each of the five-volume Learn To Play Go series of books by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun.
Playing for Oxford were alumni Matthew Macfadyen 6d and Alex Rix 2d and students Jiang Junnun 4d and Stephane Thao 4k (who was given three stones) and for Cambridge, alumni Andrew Simons 4d and Chris Bryant 1d and students “Tony” Lou Yusiang 5d and Jamie Taylor 1d. Rix and Lou were the only players to win both their games. Games were half-hour main time, plus five minutes Milton Keynes overtime then five minutes sudden death.
The match, which was broadcast live on the WBaduk site with the help of four volunteer BGA game recorders, was the first in what it is hoped will be an annual event, the WBaduk Varsity Match, and was sponsored by WBaduk — a South Korean government-backed website for the promotion of go worldwide — and organized in cooperation with the British Go Association (BGA). As well as the prizes, the sponsors also donated magnetic go sets, beginners’ books and T-shirts to both universities’ go clubs. The total budget for the event was $5,300. Organization on the ground was by Toby Manning of the BGA and Lee Semi, wife of London Open guest, top European-rated Korean player Hwang In-Seong, on behalf of WBaduk. For further details, including player profiles and game results, visit WBaduk’s event page.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos – top: Tony Lou Yusiang (Cambridge, on the left) v Matthew Macfadyen; bottom: Andrew Simons (Cambridge, on the left) v Jiang Junnun. Banner graphic courtesy of WBaduk.
What better way to wish our membership a happy new year, than to remind them of the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in January. It will be taking place on January the 18th during the Top 8 tournament. Due to the ongoing strategic repositioning of the executive membership, this year all of the top posts are up for grabs. You are therefore very much encouraged to turn up and take part in the meeting to shape the Irish Go Association.
Date: Saturday 18th January Time: 5:30pm Place: Leeson Lounge (148 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4)
The following positions are open for election (incumbent in brackets)
President (Rory Wales, who is standing down)
Secretary (Eoghan Barry, resigned due to relocation)
Treasurer (Acting – Rory Wales, not restanding)
Committee Member (Noel Mitchell, Arthur Cater, Justyna Kleczar, Ian Davis (webmaster), James Hutchinson, John Gibson, Rich Brennan)
The following motions are known
Motion 1, proposed by Ian Davis: The current selection process for the Top 8 is proving overly complex to administer (multiple emails & delays etc).For reference we currently have: (1)The Top 8 is composed of the four top finishers from the previous year who intend participating in the current championship and four additional qualifiers. (2)The four additional qualifiers are determined by the Irish Ladder tournament (3)Where a player qualifies for, but is unable to take part in the Top 8, then the next player in line from the same qualification route will be chosen to take his place. I propose to change this as follows (1) The four top finishers in the Top 8 from the previous year earn the right to a qualification spot in the current Top 8, which they may accept or decline. (2) The remaining places are filled from the Irish Ladder tournament
“The kids at our school, Gimnasio de Go, had a very busy December with three tournaments at different places,” reports Mexico City organizer Siddhartha Avila. ”On December 4th Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ran the El otro Tesuji tournament organized by college and high school students. We sent four elementary school representatives, Paula Corona, Valeria Gonzalez, Mariana García and Omar Zavala-who got 3rd place, pictures here. On December 7th, our group played in the Biblioteca de México, Torneo de Go 2013, a children’s tournament organized by myself, in collaboration with Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos, a library where we are offering free go workshops on Saturdays. Winners report: 1st place: Fernanda; 2nd place: Diego Alí and Akira; 3rd place: Naohmi and Kairi. Pictures here. Finally, on December 13th, we played in the Torneo de Go Invierno 2013, this was our winter elementary school go tournament, which was divided in two brackets.” Winners report: 20kyu-25kyu division: 1st place: Sebastián; 2nd place: Marcos; 3rd place: Diego Alí; 10kyu-19kyu division: 1st place: Omar; 2nd place: Diego Armando; 3rd place: Valeria, pictures here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila: At Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos
Get the latest go events information.
Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 British Open, which will take place the weekend of March 1-2 2014 as part of the British Go Congress (BGC) 2014 in the south-coast resort town of Bognor Regis*. It is the central event of the BGC which opens on Friday February 28 with the British Lightning (also an open** event) and takes in the British Go Association (BGA) AGM on the Saturday evening (members only), wrapping up with a teaching session on Monday March 3. Click here to enter the British Open.
The BGC will run alongside the European Youth Go Championship (EYGC). This year the winner in the Under-20 category will gain a place in the new GLOBIS Cup World Youth Go Championship (see Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney, EJ 11/30), to be held in Japan on 8 – 11 May 2014. Please note that the EYGC venue providers, Butlins, withdrew the original date offered which we reported earlier (2014 European Youth Go Championship Venue Set, EJ 7/16).
Click here for full details of all these events.
Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-J. Photo courtesy of BGA website.
*The title Regis (“of the King”) was granted to the town in 1929 by King George V after he spent time convalescing nearby the year before. The King’s famous last words, unprintable here, also concerned Bognor.
**Entrants should, however, be members of their national go association.
Go/English Teachers Wanted: large boarding school in China seeks teachers to teach go and basic English to children at the Century School in Shouguang, Shandong Province (about 4 hours by bus south of Beijing). Grades 3-6; 2 classes of 1.5 hours/week using simple English. Playing strength should be about 1 dan. 6 hours of teacher training will be provided via SKYPE and all teaching materials including lessons, problem sheets will be available on line. Schedule: Sept 1 2014 to June 30 2015; several holidays including 4 paid weeks at Spring Festival. Salary: About $1000 US/month including return airfare and travel cost from Beijing. Accommodation provided: Private staff room with kitchenette, TV, bathroom, water cooler, laptop and more. Meals – 3 meals/day for about $5.00/day or less at school dining hall. Minimum English teaching experience necessary, and knowing Chinese is not required, but you should like teaching. A knowledge of basic English grammar is useful. Email Chuck@kakari.com for more info.
The 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games in Retrospect The short story of the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games is that Beijing treated the 150 competing mind athletes to a week of good food, good weather, and warm accommodations, and China took the lion's share of the medals. There was no mistaking the look of joy on the faces of China's Wang Chenxing and Zhou Ruiyang when they won the pair go tournament, adding gold medals to the silver medals they had already won in women's individual and men's team competition. China's bridge, chess, and xiangqi players also did well, so China can be very happy with the outcome of the Games. But so can many other countries: Korea for the gold medal won by its men's go team; Chinese Taipei for its silver and bronze medals in go; Russia for the numerous medals won by its chess and draughts players; even countries such as the Ivory Coast, Latvia, and Vietnam, whose players captured medals in draughts and xiangqi. The grand tally can be found here.
It was encouraging that although the North American go contingent finished nearly winless, it took evident satisfaction in having played well against professional opponents--and having beaten one of them. Europe's performance was also encouraging. European players finished only fifth in men's team, women's individual, and pair competition, but they trounced the North Americans, they nearly beat the spirited team from Chinese Taipei, and in that match Ilya Shikshin overcame a strong Asian pro, after defeating some strong Asian amateurs earlier this year. European go may now be near the level of go in Chinese Taipei one generation ago. It has a group of strong and dedicated young players, and its future looks bright.
Coming at the end of a year dominated by Chinese professional go players, the Korean men's team's gold medal was particularly exciting. The Koreans carried the momentum of that triumph into the new World Team Championship held in Guangzhou the week afterward. Fielding a team consisting of top medalists at the SportAccord World Mind Games this year and last year, they triumphed once again, beating Chinese teams three times. An interesting year lies ahead, and its climax will come at the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing.
- James Davies
The Winter BIBA (Blackie’s International Baduk Academy) Baduk Camp in Hawaii has a few slots open, reports Diana Koszegi 1P. Koszegi and Kim Seung-jun 9P are hosting the 6-day event February 7-12 on Kauai Island. The daily schedule includes golf and sightseeing during the days and go in the evenings. The $1,500 cost covers accommodation, meals, on-island transportation and the go study fee; participants must cover their own travel costs to Kauai. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The AGA’s crackerjack web team has been as busy as elves with updates to the usgo.org website. Here are a few highlights to check out over the upcoming holidays. The new “Learn To Play” page is a great intro for absolute beginners. All the tournament pages have been updated, especially the calendar — which has a much cleaner, more accessible look – but also the pages for major tournaments and championships, tournament resources and tournament crosstabs, which includes crosstabs for major events from 2008-2013. The “Fun and Miscellaneous” page has some great new stuff, including links to History and Culture, Go Around The World, Learn Overview, and Rules of Go. The ratings page now includes a tournament ratings status page. And following on the heels of the just-concluded SportAccord World Mind Games, there’s now a handy chart showing the International Go Federation’s global relationships and events. Greg Smith heads up the AGA’s website team, which includes Roger Schrag and Tom Hodges, with support by Karoline Burrall, Jason Preuss, Jonathan Bresler, Paul Barchilon, Roy Laird, Terry Benson and Thomas Hsiang. There are a few spots available on the team for qualified and committed volunteers: email email@example.com for details.
The British Go Association will host the 2014 European Youth Go Championship in conjunction with the British Go Congress from February 28 through March 3 in Bognor Regis, a resort town on England’s south coast. The EYGC will be split into three age groups: under 12, under 16, and under 20. The British Go Congress will include a lightning tournament, the British Open, a teaching event, and pair go. British Go Association (BGA) members can enjoy discounts for all British Go Congress events. Discounted rates on accommodations are available for all players who make reservations through the official EYGC website. To register for either tournament or for more information including a full schedule, prizes, and the latest news, please visit the official European Youth Go Championship home page.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of British Go Association
Austria: The Austrian Women’s Championship finished on December 21 in Go7 with Katrin Unger 5k in first, Lisa Mayer 6k (left) in second, and Chuandi Zhou 6k in third. Hungary: Pal Balogh 6d took the Hungarian Championship Final on December 15 in Budapest. Behind him were Dominik Boviz 4d and Peter Marko 4d. Serbia: Also on December 15, Nikola Mitic 5d bested Dusan Mitic 6d at the 39th Serbian Championship in Kragujevac while Dejan Krstic 4d placed 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 fifth season of the British Online League was won by Edinburgh’s first team for the second year running with fellow Scots, Glasgow, winning the second division, and earning promotion to the first next year. Their place in the second division will be taken by the demoted Central London Go Club’s B-team, where they will be joined by third division winners Milton Keynes, while Edinburgh’s second team move down into the third division.
The league was organised on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) by John Collins, who also captained the St Albans Kyus, winners of the Wooden Spoon, and was played in the British Room on KGS. Registrations are now being taken for the sixth season, expected to start at the beginning of March 2014. Click here for full league standings.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Martha McGill, Edinburgh first team captain, courtesy of BGA website.
Upgo.info to Crowdsource Game Play Globally: “Upgo.info is angel funding meets go tournaments meets Mechanical Turk,” explains one upgo founder. “A start-up is only as strong as its best go player,” says another. Video explains how the site will “use the latest in big-data technology,” maximize the untapped strength of Japanese retirees and “crowdsource game play” globally.
Thanks to David Doshay for passing this along.
Weichi in Age of Wushu: Go plays a key role in Age of Wushu, a popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), reports Taylor Litteral. “Age of Wushu takes place in ancient China during a time period where martial arts legends are born,” says Litteral. “Weiqi — or go — stakes its claim as being one of the four cultural life skills which is advanced by answering go problems, and Age of Wushu players can even play weiqi against each other.” In the picture an npc (non-player character) tells the player about weiqi.
China Adopting Go to Foreign Policy Strategy? “China is playing the classic game of weiqi, wherein it slowly expands influence through steps that are not a threshold to violence and do not trigger a forcible response,” says Douglas Paal, director of the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, in a recent Bloomberg news report about how “China Adopts Board-Game Strategy to Blunt U.S. Pivot to Asia.” The foreign policy strategy emerging from China’s new leadership “may include a series of incremental steps calibrated to blunt U.S. influence across Asia and sow doubt about America’s commitment to its allies in the region,” the report suggests.
Thanks to Chris Roose for passing this along.
A team of researchers from UCLA and Osaka University are developing a way to learn go with “augmented reality” goggles. Players using an actual physical board will “see” highlights on certain intersections as the game proceeds in real time. Check out the Youtube video to see how it’s supposed to work. The authors – S. P. Chuang at UCLA and Kikoshi Kiyokawa and Taruo Takemura at Osaka University – believe many beginners get discouraged because it is hard to apply lessons from books on the real board in actual play. On the other hand, computer play lacks the aesthetics of placing real stones on a real board, which also deepens the learning process. ARGO aims to integrate the best aspects of “real” and “virtual” experience. The video illustrates four functions. “Fuseki Tutor” uses Kombilo to search a database of 80,000 professional games, identify moves that pros have used, and “project” them onto the board, while “Joseki Tutor” uses Kogo’s Joseki Dictionary in a similar way. As play moves into the middle game phase, “Go Engine” mode allows the player to connect with an open-source program such as GNUGO or Fuego for next-move recommendations. ARGO can also attempt to count the game and provide estimates of the current “score.” The authors also claim that ARGO enables online play with a real board by transmitting the player’s next move to the server.
At first glance, ARGO appears to set forth on a potentially promising path. We’ve all encountered and experienced “bewildered beginner syndrome,” in which new players have no idea what to do next. A few recommendations can help to move the game along so that protracted helplessness does not become part of the experience. In years to come, players may look back on ARGO’s little green dots as we now recall Pong and the Commodore 64 — quaint relics of a primitive era. One can easily imagine color-coding good moves, best moves, pitfalls, trick moves and so on. Future players may “right-click” on recommended moves view possible outcomes while a narrator talks them through each variation. For now, ARGO is probably mostly of benefit to new players by providing them with specific options to think about. Cynics may say that ARGO also makes it easier for players to “cheat” with a program that is stronger than they are, especially online, but anyone with two computers can do that already.
Unfortunately, the 60 MB download does not seem to include easy instructions; and of course one would need a pair of AR goggles. Nothing has been posted or revised for several months and we were unable to reach the developers for comment, so it is hard to know whether this project will move forward or remain “vaporware” for now .Visit Chuang’s Github site for the latest information.
- Roy Laird
Chinese-American physicist Anthony Zee mentions go in his book Fearful Symmetry:The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics. First published in 1986, the book is an attempt to explain to the layman how modern physics strives to produce the simplest possible explanation of nature and describes the rallying cry of fundamental physicists as, “Let us worry about beauty first, and truth will take care of itself!”. At page 16 (2007 edition) he writes:
“It is easy to produce complicated behaviour with a complicated design. As children, when we take apart a complicated mechanical toy, we expect to find a maze of cogs and wheels hidden inside. The American game of football is my favourite sport to watch, because of the variety of behaviour exhibited. But the complex repertoire is the direct result of probably the most complicated set of rules in sports. Similarly, the complexity of chess is generated by its rather complicated rules. Nature, whose complexity emerges from simplicity, is cleverer. One might say that the workings of the universe are are more like the oriental game of Go than chess or football. The rules of Go can be stated simply and yet give rise to complex patterns. The eminent physicist Shelley Glashow has likened contemporary physicists to kibitzers at a game whose rules they do not know. But by watching long and hard, the kibitzers begin to guess what the rules might be.”
The book’s title is, of course, a reference to William Blake’s poem, The Tyger.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Thanks to spotter Pat Ridley, editor of the British Go Journal. Photo: cover of 1999 edition, courtesy of Princeton University Press.
The US team has advanced from the preliminary tournament in first Zhu Gang Cup World Team Go Championship, which runs December 19-26 in Guangzhou, China. “Mingjiu Jiang 7P led the effort with a perfect 3-0 performance on Board 1,” reports fellow team-mate Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 8D. The sixteen teams in the final tournament have been finalized and includes many of the best players in the world, including Gu Li, Chen Yaoye, Lee Changho, and Park Jungwan.