With this year’s US Go Congress in Boston on track to be the largest-ever, American Go Association president Andy Okun wants to hear from communities that would like to put on a Congress in the coming years. “We are trying to fix a venue for a California Congress in 2017, but we need to look further ahead, or possibly consider returning to one or two of our successful Congress sites from the past.” Interested chapters should contact Okun at firstname.lastname@example.org; a future Congress organizers meeting will be held in Boston as well.
photo: at the 2015 US Go Congress in Minneapolis/St Paul; photo by Chris Garlock
More pros and their lecture topics have just been announced for this year’s US Go Congress, set for July 30- August 7 in Boston, MA.
Feng Yun 9P will talk about: “Invading,” Jennie Shen 2P will co-host with Myungwan Kim 9P, and they will have a joint session on “AlphaGo 5 games summarized commentary” and William Shi 1P will talk about “Star point josekies and recent developments (strong kyu to weak dan)” and “Avalanche Opening Joseki (lower dan and up)”
UCLA triumphed earlier this month in the Collegiate Go League (CGL) Season Five Championships, defeating U Toronto to claim first place. The winners took home $250 to spend on their club. Although UCLA was unable to overcome Ryan Li 1P on Toronto’s first board, their second and third boards won the day. Cornell University took third place.
YouTube commentary on the final was provided by Gansheng Shi 1P and Michael Gallucci.
At the National Cherry Blossom Festival Sakura Matsuri on April 16. DC area go club volunteers have supported the Sakura Matsuri Go Workshop every year since 1998.
- report/photos by John Goon; collage by Chris Garlock
Eric Zhang 5d swept all four games to win the at the 2016 North Carolina Spring Go tournament “on a beautiful Sunday,” reports Tournament Director Jeff Kuang. A total of 28 players turned out May 15 to enjoy the competition.
Here are the tournament results. Open section: Eric Zhang 5d (4-0), Brian Wu 1d (3-1). 1-7kyu: Daniel Evan 1k (3-1), Adam Bridges 3k (3-1), Bob Bacon 6k (3-1). 8-12kyu: S. Y. Teague 8k (3-0), Alex Kuang 10k (3-1). 14kyu and up: Justin Su 21k (3-1), Ganning Xu 15k (2-1), John Schollenberger 14k (2-2).
photo: Ellen Zeng 10k and William Daland 8k concentrate
What the AI Behind AlphaGo Can Teach Us About Being Human: AJA HUANG DIPS his hand into a wooden bowl of polished black stones and, without looking, thumbs one between his middle and index finger. Peering through wire-rim glasses, he places the black stone on the board, in a mostly empty zone, just below and to the left of a single white stone. In Go parlance it is a “shoulder hit,” in from the side, far away from most of the game’s other action. Across the table, Lee Sedol, the best Go player of the past decade, freezes. He looks at the 37 stones fanned out across the board, then stands up and leaves…Read the rest of Cade Metz’ report in Wired. photo by Geordie Wood
A glimpse inside AlphaGo? “Here’s a picture of the machine Google used in the match against Lee Sedol,” writes Steven Schmeiser. “It turns out that they were using custom designed chips that are optimized for machine learning.”
Google supercharges machine learning tasks with TPU custom chip
Go Commentary: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo – Game 1: If there’s any recent game that needs no introduction, it’s this one. On March 9, 2016, the computer Go program ‘AlphaGo’ defeated Lee Sedol 9p in the first game of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match. Go Game Guru’s Youngil An takes a look at the game.
Lee Sedol overtaxed? In a related story, Gordan Castanza reports that “I just learned from KBS News (Korean Broadcast System) this morning that Lee Sedol has left the Korean Baduk Association over the issue of its imposing a 20% ‘tax’ on him.” Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
Pre-registration for next weekend’s annual Maryland Open has topped 20 and will feature a strong Open section, including Xinying Jiang 7D, Zhaonian Chen 7D, Zhengbokang Tang 7D, Calvin Sun 1P, Shiyao Qiao 1P, Xiaocheng Hu 6D, Willis Huang 6D, Edward Zhang 6D and Justin Teng 6D.
One of the oldest chapters in the American Go Association, the Gilbert W. Rosenthal Memorial Baltimore Go Club has sponsored the Maryland Open go tournament every Memorial Day weekend for 43 years. Details and register here.
photo: at the 2012 MD Open; photo by John Pinkerton
The design committee of the Santa Monica Coffee Cup has finally chosen this year’s theme color, along with the colors for the next two years after. The eponymous “Coffee Cup” to be awarded to the first place winners in each division, as well as the tiles awarded the placers, for the 10th Annual Santa Monica Coffee Cup will be painted “fulvous,” a kind of dark yellow with some brown in it, said tournament organizer and AGA president Andrew Okun. “There were good arguments for mikado and sarcoline, but fulvous won the day.” The 2017 theme color will be something between glaucous and Nattier blue, followed by sang-de-boeuf in 2018.
Oh, and the tournaments itself will be June 11. The three-round AGA-rated go tournament is held, courtesy of owner Pam Stollings, at the UnUrban Coffeehouse in Santa Monica, CA. Check in starting at 9 a.m., rounds at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., prize giving around 5:30 p.m. Prizes will also include coffee, go books, bacon-flavored toothpicks and UnUrban T-shirts. Help is gratefully accepted for setting up and clearing up. Preregistration is essential as the field must be held to 64 players at most. Please register immediately.The 2017 and 2018 tournaments have not had their dates fixed yet, but the organizers will seek to hold them on the usual middle weekend of June. Please contact Okun at email@example.com if you know whether or not “mikado” should be capitalized in the sentence above, or have other questions about the tournament.
The last round of the Pandanet AGA City League is this Sunday, May 22nd. Each of these teams has played six exciting rounds so far with one more and the finals to go. Play starts at 3pm EST/12pm PST on Sunday unless otherwise noted on the schedule pages. Schedules: A League / B League / C League
Vancouver has climbed slightly ahead of Greater Washington in the A League. They are 5-1 each against the rest of the field. With two professionals for each team (Chinese and American professionals), play has shown the strength of their players. Los Angeles has been hot on their heels all year with Boston one game behind them.
Washington DC 2 has taken a commanding lead all year with their undefeated streak. Edmonton has taken one loss this year. We’ll have to see who leads the middle of the pack between Washington DC 1, New Jersey, and San Francisco 1.
The C League is led by Atlanta 2, followed by Boston 3, and Atlanta 1.
The Brooklyn Go Club hosted its annual event at the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom) Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on April 30 and May 1. “A fair amount of interest was sparked by Alphago,” reports Barbara Calhoun.
photo by Calhoun
Tournament details for this year’s US Go Congress — July 30-August 7 in Boston — are still in development, but in addition to the US Open and US Open Masters, players can already look forward to favorites like the Diehard, Lightning, Crazy Go, and Pair Go tournaments. Some new excitement has been added for all levels in the form of Relay Go tournaments, where teams of players will switch off playing games of pair go, with an added element being that the teams that are currently not playing are able to discuss and strategize. One tournament will be open to all, and one will be an exciting US-China team showdown featuring professional and very strong players that promises to be an exciting addition to Go Congress events. A new Evening League will be a week-long ladder tournament, combining elements of the Self-Paired tournament and Midnight Madness and giving players the opportunity to self-pair and play rated games throughout the day. Stay tuned for further updates as we get closer to game-time.
- Karoline Li, EJ Congress Team (if you’re interested in being on this year’s team, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
photo: at the 2015 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock
GO BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: Solid Kaya bowls $160, Two sets of semiprecious stones (yellow and green) $320, 33 English Go books $80, 18 Asian language Go books $50. All prices include free shipping and insurance to the 48 states of the USA. Email email@example.com for complete photos and descriptions. Payment by Paypal only.
(Things got extra busy here at EJ Central and we fell behind a bit in posting your letters and tips; here’s a batch of recent items sent in)
“On page 331 of ‘Caliban’s War’ by James Corey, “It’s like playing Go. It’s all about exerting influence. Controlling the board without occupying it.” - Peter Freedman
“Sam Hinkie, the controversial GM of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76′ers, just announced his resignation with a 13-page letter that references AlphaGo at one point.” Hinkie wrote “Watch what’s happening with the collaboration between IBM’s Watson and M.D. Anderson or
Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo. It won’t be just an ancient board game that’s disrupted. It’s also anything but a game to Lee Sedol.” Here’s a link to the full letter.” - Freeman Ng
“Although this is a chess article — Historical Chess Ratings – dynamically presented — there is also a short film on Go,” writes Michael Bacon.
“I wonder if the journal team can do a bit of digging and find out more information about this display in Italy,” suggests Ramon Mercado.
Myungwan Kim 9p’s upcoming top game broadcasts have been arranged for the next month! These will be broadcast LIVE over the AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels, www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live and www.twitch.tv/usgoweb. All times listed are PST.
5/19, Thurs, 9:00 – 9:45pm, summary of Ing Cup Quarter-final, Ke Jie vs Park Junghwan, plus a teaser of Kim’s upcoming congress lecture on the AlphaGo matches
5/31, Sat, 7:00 – 11pm, LG Cup (round of 16), players not decided
6/9, Thur, 8:00pm – 12:30am(next day), Ing Cup semifinal 1st game, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan
6/11, Sat, 8:00pm – 12:30am(next day), Ing Cup semifinal 2nd game, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan
6/13, Mon, 8:00pm – 12:30am(next day), Ing Cup semifinal 3rd game, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan, only if the score is tied
6/25, Sat, 8:00 – 8:45pm, Ing Cup semi final, review of commentary, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
The first game of the 71st Honinbo title match was played in the Honinbo Shusaku Igo Memorial Hall (right) on the island of Inno-shima (Shusaku’s birthplace) in the city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture on May 9 and 10. This is Iyama Yuta’s first title defence since completing the first-ever Grand Slam of the top seven titles. The challenger is Takao Shinji 9P, who has a bad record against Iyama (13-30 before this match) but who took the Tengen title from him in 2014, thus slowing down his quest for the grand slam. Takao has also been in great form this year and, as of May 3, had 13 wins to one loss.
Takao (left) drew white in the first game. During the middle game, Iyama (right) made a strong attack on a white group; Takao sacrificed it, getting an attack on two black groups as compensation. Later, Takao was able to force Iyama into a large ko fight that could potentially decide the game. Lacking ko threats, Iyama finished off the ko and let Takao revive his dead group. This trade was favorable for Takao. Iyama did his best to catch up, but couldn’t quite manage it. Takao likes to build thickness and in this case his thickness did him in good stead in the endgame. Iyama resigned after White 244. This was Takao’s first win against Iyama after a string of seven losses.
This is just one loss, so, my headline notwithstanding, Iyama will not yet be too worried. The second game will be played on May 23 and 24.
“There were 31 excited third through fifth grade participants at an elementary school tourney in Prince William County of Northern Virginia,” reports organizer Garrett Smith. “The two elementary schools, Neabsco and King, faced off on May 5th. Even though the Lions out numbered the Stars by more than two to one, the Stars carried the day. Both schools have had year-long, before school go clubs generously supported by the the American Go Foundation,” adds Smith. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Garret Smith