UK Youth Team Fights Hard, But Loses To Israel: The BGA UK Youth team lost 1-4 to Israel on Sat, 13 Dec 2014, in the European Youth Go Team Championship. They currently rank 10th place overall out of the 13 teams, with 2 rounds left to play.The next round, Czechia vs. United Kingdom, will take place on Saturday, January 17th, 2015.
Joe Cai Sparkles at Christmas in Edinburgh: The Edinburgh Christmas tournament saw a total of 25 players. Tongzhou (Joe) Cai (3d Glasgow) won all four of his games and co-organiser Boris Mitrovic, Alistair Wall, Niall Paterson, Baron Hasslinger, and Greg Cox each took home a prize for three wins.
- compiled/edited by Amy Su, based on reports on the BGA website
Gato Go: “This photo (left) is from the Facebook page of one of the Ecuadorian players I met in Quito,” writes Bob Gilman.
In a surprise victory, Murakawa Daisuke 8P defeated Iyama Yuta 9P on December 16 to win the 62nd Oza. The Oza is Murakawa’s first major title. This is the first time a player from the Kansai Kiin has won the Oza since Hashimoto Shoji 9P did so 33 years ago in 1981. The final game was played in Toba, Mie Prefecture, Japan. The upset attracted a lot of attention in Japan, because former Oza Iyama Yuta currently dominates the domestic Japanese go scene.
- excerpted from Go Game Guru; click here for the full report, including game records.
A new go school in Singapore welcomes students from the United States. The Go Academy offers a wide range of classes, from a 1-day introduction to kyu and dan intensive camps, reports Director Daniel Chan. More info available on Facebook.
“It’s interesting to read about the work of University of Edinburgh to use machine learning to improve the level of playing in computers, (Scottish Neural Network Takes Computer Go to Next Level 12/16/2014 EJ)” writes Nin Lei, Distinguished Engineer and CTO, Analytics and Big Data, STG IBM Systems and Technology Group. “However, the title in their article creates an impression that their research is creating a program that can beat the best human players. If their probability of guessing their next move is only 44%, then their chance of guessing it wrong is 56%. In a sequence of 10 moves, the chance of getting the complete sequence correctly is 0.44 ** 10, which is a very small number.” Noting that checkers “has been solved via machine learning,” Lei says that “it appears it is promising for go as well.” But because machine learning predicates that there is a pattern in the underlying data set, Lei warns that “it could be so complex that machine learning can only attain a certain level of accuracy. It seems to me a program needs to have very high level of accuracy before it can play a good game at strong human level.” Lei also says that “Since machine learning is based on pattern recognition, I wonder if a professional can trick the program by using moves that may not be optimally locally but will create patterns that the program has not seen before. I applaud the work they are doing,” Lei concludes. “It is innovative by using a different approach than the existing strong computer programs. It will be interesting to find out if someday they can come up with an algorithm that can improve the accuracy significantly.”
12/22: the chance of getting the complete sequence correctly has been corrected to 0.44 ** 10 (from 0.56).
Another series of classic go books has just been released by BadukTV, reports Shawn Ray (Clossius). The first set of four books was “The Profound and Mysterious,” a life-and-death exercise book written between 1347 and 1349, during the Yuan dynasty. The second and just-released series is “The Art of Closing,” a 6-book set filled with ancient problems put together by previous masters and translated by Cho Hye-yeon. “It is a level below that of ‘The Profound and Mysterious’ so players 5-kyu and stronger should be able to benefit greatly from it,” Ray tells the E-Journal. “Though I think anyone can take a lesson or two from it.” Click here to buy both as a bundle of all 10 of the books. For more info e-mail Ray at Clossius.ShawnRay@gmail.com
China won the SportAccord World Mind Games Pair Go Event to complete their sweep of gold medals in the 4th annual event, which wrapped up on December 17 in Beijing, China.
Russia emerged as the SAWMG’s big winners overall this year, as their players took home a total of six gold, five silver and one bronze medal. In total, 150 players from 37 countries took part in the 2014 World Mind Games. There were 14 disciplines across five sports, with 24 medal rounds contested. Click here for full results.
photo: China’s Pair Go Team, Yu and Mi
Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (BIBA) has just announced their Winter BIBA Camp in Hawaii. The camp runs January 29 through February 4 on Kauai Island and will be led by Kim Seung-jun (Blackie) 9P and Koszegi Diana 1P. The cost is 1800 for 6 nights and 7 days, and includes accommodation, meals, renting cars, basic sightseeing programs and study fee. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to register.
“One of the last bastions of human mastery over computers is about to fall to the relentless onslaught of machine learning algorithms,” according to a December 15 report in the MIT Technology review. Why Neural Networks Look Set to Thrash the Best Human Go Players for the First Time reviews the work of Christopher Clark and Amos Storkey at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, who “have applied the same machine learning techniques that have transformed face recognition algorithms to the problem of finding the next move in a game of Go.”
“The question that these guys have trained a deep convolutional neural network to answer is: given a snapshot of a game between two Go experts, is it possible to predict the next move in the game?…Clark and Storkey used over 160,000 games between experts to generate a database of 16.5 million positions along with their next move. They used almost 15 million of these position-move pairs to train an eight-layer convolutional neural network to recognize which move these expert players made next…the trained network was able to predict the next move up to 44 percent of the time, ‘surpassing previous state of the art on this task by significant margins.’”
After just a few days training, Clark and Storkey’s neural network beat GNU Go almost 90 percent of the time in a run of 200 games, but against Fuego 1.1, it fared less well, winning only just over 10 percent of its games.
“There is no suggestion from Clark and Storkey that this approach will beat the best Go players in the world,” the report concludes. “But surely, it is only a matter of time before even Go players will have to bow to their computerized overlords.”
Thanks to John Goon for passing this along.
China has swept the SportAccord 2014 World Mind Games go competition, winning gold in the men’s team and women’s individual events. Tuo Jiaxi, Mi Yuting and Shi Yue (right) easily dispatched the US team in the final match to clinch their gold medals.
More SAWMG coverage:
Of love of Go, wine and Hollywood (Interview with France’s Fan Hui 2P)
Final Rounds: Gold Medals for China (Ranka)
Women’s Final: Yu Zhiying vs Kim Chaeyoung (Ranka)
Pair Go Begins (Ranka)
Mind Sports at Beijing Schools (Ranka)
Game Records-Men (Pandanet)
Game Records-Women (Pandanet)
Game Records-Pair (Pandanet)
Andrew Kay Top Teacher in South London: The second South London kyu players’ teaching day and tournament took place at the Croydon Quaker Meeting House, where nineteen students were taught in the morning by Andrew Kay, Alex Rix, Tim Hunt and Alison Bexfield. In the afternoon there was a three round tournament. Kay won the teachers’ tournament with three wins.
UK Stays Second in C-League: UK remains second behind Bulgaria in the C-League. Bulgaria has won two more boards than the UK. The match against Ireland ended 3:1 and links to the games can be found on the main PGETC page.
- compiled/edited by Amy Su, based on reports on the BGA website
Go makes an appearance in the Netflix series “Borgia,” which is not to be confused with the similar series “The Borgias.” In the 29th minute of the third episode (“1497″) of the third season, Cesare Borgia , the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503), uses “the game of strategy from the Orient, go,” to give a plan for his conquest of northern Italian states. He uses a thick go board with legs and colored glass beads to demonstrate his point. “The goal is to add as few men as possible; out-thinking your opponent rather than out-fighting him.” The winner does not eradicate his opponent, but rather entices him to surrender.
- Ted Terpstra, based on a tip from Mark Gilston
Jian Xiao 4D (left) took the annual NOVA Slate & Shell Open on December 13 with a 4-0 record in a field of 18 players. “Bill Cobb of Slate & Shell generously donated books as prizes for the event,” reports TD Gurujeet Khalsa. Other undefeated players were Gurujeet Khalsa 6K at 3-0 and Deirdre Golash 12K with a 4-0 score.
photo at right: Bill Cobb, with S&S prizes; photos courtesy Gurujeet Khalsa
by James Davies, Ranka Online
As noted in yesterday’s report, the US team beat Europe in the SportAccord World Mind Games Round 3 team match on December 13; click here for Ranka’s details on that match, and here for the interview with Danny Ko, one of the victorious American players.
Round 4 action on December 14 began with two games that would draw the line between the medal winners and non-winners in the women’s section. Both players from Chinese Taipei came up short: Joanne Missingham lost in just 111 moves to Kim Chaeyoung (Korea), while Cathy Chang narrowly lost to famed veteran Rui Naiwei of China; click here for the game commentary. In the afternoon, Rui Naiwei lost by half a point to Kim Chaeyoung who now goes on to play Yu Zhiying for the gold medal.
Chinese Taipei got off to a good start in the fourth round of the men’s team when Lin Li-Hsiang defeated eighteen-year old Chinese superstar Mi Yuting. Chinese Taipei’s upset hopes were dampened, however, when their leading player Chen Shih-Iuan lost a tightly fought game to China’s leading player Shi Yue on board one, and were then dashed when Tuo Jiaxi convincingly defeated Chang Che-Hao on board three. China now has four straight wins, and their remaining match is against North America. While China was struggling past Chinese Taipei, the North American team lost to the Korean team 0-3, so China’s chances of completing a clean sweep of all their matches when they play North America appear quite good.
Europe had no better luck against Japan than North America had against Korea. The Europeans fought hard, but Yuki Satoshi beat Fan Hui by a comfortable 7.5 points, Ida Atsushi beat Aleksandr Dinershteyn by a 14.5 points, and Seto Taiki beat Ilya Shikshin by resignation. Edited from longer reports on Ranka Online. Click here for the complete report on Round 4.
photo: Huiren Yang (left) playing Alexandr Dinershteyn; photo by Ivan Vigano
Game records are available on go4go.net; click here for latest SAWMG results.
by James Davies, Ranka Online
Update: The US team beat Europe in the team match on December 13; see report and links below for details.
The morning event on the second day of the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 12 was the second round of the women’s double knockout. The outcome was victory for both Chinese and both Koreans. Choi Jeong needed less than two hours to defeat Natalia Kovaleva by a wide margin. In a somewhat closer game China’s rookie King Yu Zhiying defeated Japan’s Women’s Honinbo Fujisawa Rina. Japan’s Okuda Aya then bowed in resignation to China’s Rui Naiwei after a long ko fight, and Joanne Missingham (right), trailing by a fraction of a stone with only two one-point moves left to play, resigned to Kim Chaeyoung.
In the men’s team matches, Korea’s Kang Dongyoon fell to China’s Tuo Jiaxi on Board 3, followed by Korean youngster Na Hyun’s loss to Mi Yuting of China, clinching the round for China. Park Younghoon saved face for Korea by playing to a narrow but secure victory over China’s top rated Shi Yue.
The Chinese women did equally well in round 3 of the women’s competition in the afternoon, with Yu Zhiying prevailing over Choi Jeong and Rui Naiwei defeating Kim Chaeyoung by the same fractional margin by which Kim had won in the morning. Four games were also played in the losers’ bracket, with good results for Chinese Taipei and mixed results for the rest of the world: Fujisawa Rina defeated Natalia Kovaleva; Joanne Missingham defeated Okuda Aya; Chinese Taipei’s Cathy Chang defeated North America’s Irene Sha; and in an all-Russian game, Svetlana Shikshina defeated Dina Burdakova. The losers of these four games have now been eliminated. Only the two Chinese players remain undefeated, and they will meet each other in round 4.
Preliminary Round 4 results from play on December 13: Joanne Missingham d. Jeong Choi of South Korea, Svetlana Shikshina of Russia lost to Chang Kai-Hsin and Yu Zhiying beat seasoned campaigner Rui Naiwei. In the men’s team event, China beat Japan across two boards, with Tuo Jiaxi and Yue Shi winning for China while Atsushi Ida won for Japan. The USA men’s team beat Europe across two boards, Huren Yang 1P beating Alexandr Dinershteyn 3P and Danny Ko 7D beating Ilya Shikshin 7D, while Fan Hui 2P defeated Mingjiu Jiang 7P. Click here for results and here for an interview with Missingham.
Game records — including Round 3 — are available on go4go.net.
Click here for Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the Fujisawa Rina vs Yu Zhiying Round 2 match.
Click here for Ranka’s interview with Hua Xueming, China’s non-playing team captain
photo by Ivan Vigano
China’s defending champion Tang Weixing 9p faced off against Korea’s secret weapon Kim Jiseok 9p (left) at the 2014 Samsung Cup finals on December 9 and 10 in Xi’an. Though Tang had a previous win and the home field advantage, Kim’s individual performance this year in international tournaments has been almost flawless with 15 wins and only 1 defeat. The result? Kim delighted Korean fans by defeating Tang 2-0 and giving Korea its first major international title since Lee Sedol 9p won the Samsung Cup in 2012. For more information about this year’s tournament including photos, game records, and preliminary commentary by An Younggil 8d, please visit Go Game Guru.
–Younggil An, from a longer article on Go Game Guru; photo courtesy Go Game Guru. Edited by Annalia Linnan.
Russia: The Championship of Karelia finished on December 7 in Petrozavodsk with Vladimir Shvecov 3d in first, Dimitrij Kornev 4d in second, and Dmitrij Konovalov 2d in third. Romania: Mircea Nitu 11k (left) took the 2nd VolGo Cup on December 6 in Voluntary. Behind him were Sebastian State 11k in second and George Gigoi 14k in third. Lithuania: Also on December 7, Giedrius Tumelis 2d bested Andrius Petrauskas 3d at the Lithuanian Go Championship in Vilnius while Ernestas Romeika 1d 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
by James Davies, Ranka Online
The first round of go competition at the 4th SportAccord World Mind Games on December 11 featured an epic encounter between the Korean and Japanese men’s teams, and a historic victory for a Russian woman. The Japan-Korea men’s match was close on all three boards. Yuki Satoshi (right) of Japan defeated Korea’s Park Younghun in a prolonged struggle on board one. In the battle between two young players on board two, Japan’s Ida Atsushi, 20, overplayed his advantage against Na Hyun, 19, by starting an unnecessary ko fight, in the course of which Na was able to revive his dead group and evened the score in the match at 1-1. All now depended on the outcome of the game between Seto Taiki of Japan and Korea’s Kang Dongyoon on board three, and the people following the action on the monitor screens in the adjoining room were held in suspense down to practically the last move, but after a grueling five and a half hours, Kang came up the winner by 4.5 points.
Meanwhile, the Chinese team of Shi Yue, Mi Yuting, and Tuo Jiaxi was dealing unmercifully with the European team of Fan Hui, Aleksandr Dinershteyn, and Ilya Shikshin. European stones died en masse on all three boards. The team from Chinese Taipei also blanked the North American team 3-0, although the game between Chen Shih-Iuan and Jiang Mingjiu on board one was quite close. Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva defeated Chinese Taipei’s Cathy Chang in the women’s individual competition.
- adapted from a longer report on Ranka Online; photo by Ivan Vigano
The fourth SportAccord World Mind Games officially opened at an evening ceremony held on December 10 in the banquet hall of the V-Continent Beijing Parkview Wuzhou hotel near the Beijing International Conference Center, which is the competition venue. Thirty go players representing the best of China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea will compete with each other December 11-17, rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best bridge, chess, draughts, and xiangqi players. Counting all five disciplines, there are 150 contestants, drawn from nearly forty countries and territories on six continents. Click here for Ranka Online’s reports on the SAWMG’s Opening ceremony and draw and Players Converge on Beijing for the 4th SportAccord WorldMind Games.
Michael Redmond 9P’s gives a commentary (right) on the Round 1 game between France’s Fan Hui 2P and China’s Shi Yue 9P. “Shi Yue showed powerful fighting, starting with a center-oriented opening that developed into a big fight,” says Redmond. “Two early mistakes on Fan Hui’s part made this fight difficult for him.” Redmond also noted that “In the 1st round for women, Europe played well, got only one win out of it.”
Click on another insightful Redmond commentary, Dinershteyn-MiYuting_annotated.sgf, for an incredible game, in which Black opens with a 5-7 point play in each corner for his 1st four moves!
Click below for other first-round games:
photo: EGF President Martin Stiassny (above right) drawing for the European team
- based on reporting by James Davies on Ranka Online; edited by Chris Garlock with technical assistance by Myron Souris
Andrew Kay Holds British Championship: November 29, Andrew Kay defeated Alex Kent to retain the British Championship by three games to nil. The game will be made available shortly, with commentary from Matthew Macfadyen.
Local Winner at Warwick: The Coventry Tournament at the University of Warwick had a local winner for the second year in a row. Philip Leung (5d) took first at the tournament organized by former winner Bruno Poltronieri. Second was Wu Ruizhu (5d) also from Warwick and third was Alison Bexfield from Letchworth. 32 players took part.
UK Youth Go team triumphs over Italy: The UK Youth Go team is one of 13 teams signed up to the European Youth Go Team Championship 2014/15. In the second round of matches, the UK team beat Italy on Sat. 29th November. Congratulations to the team for their 4-1 win, which places the UK currently 6th out of the 13 teams taking part. The next round is scheduled for Saturday 13 December.
Race for 2014 Youth Grand Prix reaches final month: December – the final month of the 2014 Youth Grand Prix. The three winners, who will receive cash prizes of either £50, £30 and £20, are predicted to be among four talented youths. There are still 3 tournaments in UK, with plenty of opportunities for other players to rise to the top.
- compiled/edited by Amy Su, based on reports on the BGA website