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“Surrounding Game” screening updates

AGA news - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 16:00

The Evanston Go Club has arranged their very own screening of The Surrounding Game. “It was so easy to set up!” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “I just followed the instructions under the film’s Host A Screening section, and the theater accepted our request. The only requirement is that we have to sell at least 73 tickets by July 5, or the screening will be canceled, in which case all tickets will be refunded.” At presstime 59 tickets still need to be sold; click here for tickets. The movie will be shown Wednesday, July 12, 2017 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Century 12 Theatre, 1715 Maple Ave. Evanston, IL 60201.

“This is Evanston’s main movie theatre, and it’s really nice; stadium seating, free parking, and they sell beer and wine that you can bring into the theatre if you want to,” says Rubenstein. “Tell your friends and family about this unique event. It’s not just for go players; the film was made in order to reach a wider audience and introduce more people to the game. Remember, it won’t happen without your support, so reserve your tickets now!” said Rubenstein. “And for those of you who don’t live in the Chicagoland area and would like to promote the film, check out the website. It’s not often we have the opportunity to reach a mainstream audience like this, so let’s take advantage of it!” For any questions, please contact Mark Rubenstein at mark@evanstongoclub.org or 847-869-6020.

Update: The Surrounding Game will screen July 18 in Lehi, UT at Adobe from 12pm-1:30pm. The address is 3900 Adobe Way, Lehi, UT 84043. Contact: Devin Flake, dflake@adobe.com.

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Lego go set idea seeks support

AGA news - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 19:34

While several different Lego chess sets have been created and marketed in recent years, David Fazekas thinks the Danish plastic brick company is missing a big opportunity. “After Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in 1997 Lego had made several official Lego chess sets,” says Fazekas, promotion executive for the PaGoda Go Association in Hungary. “Now that Deep Mind’s AlphaGo has defeated both Lee Sedol and Ke Jie it’s time for Lego to acknowledge go players with a Lego Go set!” Fazekas has developed a Lego go set prototype and submitted it on the Lego Ideas site, where he needs to gather 10,000 supporters to advance to the next step in the approval process. Thus far he has 754 supporters. “A go Lego set would reach kids in every country,” says Fazekas, “please take a moment to click to show your support for this project.” The word “lego” is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.

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NoVA go class offered for kids

AGA news - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 17:43

Yang Shuang 2P has agreed to teach a two-week afternoon class in the summer camp at McLean High School in Northern Virginia. Camp director Dinny Li welcomes kids to join the go class –likely during 3-4:30pm, for the week of 7/17-7/21 and 7/24-7/28 — contact her at 703-371-3414, hcscamp.va@gmail.com

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Cotsen Open registration now open

AGA news - Thu, 29/06/2017 - 17:00

Registration for the 2017 Cotsen Open is now open. The tournament is set for October 21-22 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. “As always, you get your registration fee back if you show up to both days, lunch is provided by Eric, and masseuses are available,” reports Tournament Organizer Christopher Saenz. “We are also working on getting a screening of the Surrounding Game.”
photo: at the 2016 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

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Pause the Clock: Reflections on Ryan Li’s historic victory

AGA news - Thu, 29/06/2017 - 17:00

by Keith L. Arnold, hka

The American Go Association has come a long way since I first became active in 1985. In those days the place to be was on the East Coast with far more events and tournaments. But now, we have wonderful broadcasts of top professional games, and if you live on the East Coast, as I do, they don’t start until 1:30 in the morning, making the West Coast the place to be. Bleary-eyed bitterness aside, it is a great time to be a Western go fan, with access to world news, live streaming events and global opponents as close as your nearest screen.

Having just finished my Kickstarter download of “The Surrounding Game” documentary, which focuses its wonderful introduction to the world of go on the birth of our professional system, being confronted almost immediately with Ryan Li 1P’s victory over two-time world champion Chen Yaoye 9p last week was pure serendipity. There is a moment in the film where I express my skepticism about our pro system effort. I should explain, as I swallow some crow, that my main objection was always concern that we could not provide our new pros a living. I would sarcastically urge players to “keep your day job” at meetings when the topic came up, but I should confess that I also had concerns about how strong our pros would be.

Now, as we celebrate Ryan’s win, it’s a good time to take a moment to appreciate the route we have taken to get here, and why this is such an amazing accomplishment. Those of us used to the bullet train of the modern internet go world might benefit from a little history from the guy still riding the rusty bus several stops behind.

For decades, American players had no chance to play a professional at all, certainly not in a serious game. Apart from occasional, usually Japanese, pro tours, we could only look at their game records, on paper, received months after the games were played. We studied, and we played as much as we could – usually once a week at our local clubs.

The US Go Congress was the first change. Beginning in 1985, American go players, at least for a week, once a year, could grab a simul or three from professional go players. But this only made the gap seem all the more vast. In 1986 at the first Seattle Go Congress, our strongest player Charles Huh played Sakata 9 dan in a two stone one-on-one exhibition game. Sakata, one of the greatest players in history, was no longer at his peak form, yet Huh was helpless at two stones, and that was with Sakata outside most of the time on smoking breaks.

In the 1990s, Western players started to have chances to play professionals in serious matches during the annual Fujitsu Qualifiers. Still the gap seemed evident – as Michael Redmond 9P played for a decade without a loss to an amateur player. But the 1990s also brought the internet. Access to news, sgfs, opponents and unlimited chances to play began to increase the Western level of play. While I do not mean to diminish the efforts of our early professional teachers — Feng Yun, Yilun Yang, Zhujiu Jiang, Ming-jiu Jiang, James Kerwin and others — the steady shrinking of time and distance provided by the internet has broadened, amplified and, arguably, exceeded their efforts.

More and more opportunities to play pros arrived, and Western players started to win. On the one hand, I do not think this was a matter of percentages — more games does not guarantee more wins — I think we were actually getting stronger. However, the wins were often against non-active pros, certainly not against current top international players.

All that changed last week. In a serious international event, a Western pro defeated, not just a pro, not just a 9 dan, but a 9 dan world champion in his prime. It is an accomplishment for Western go that is simply unequaled. Before this week, I would argue that our greatest accomplishment was Eric Lui’s third place in the World Amateur Championship. We cannot forget the significant accomplishments of Michael Redmond 9P, but because he trained in Japan, I submit that Redmond’s success is the success of a Westerner, not the success of Western go.

Ryan Li 1P, homegrown and homemade, has announced to the world that we are more than a grateful recipient of support and a vacation opportunity; we are now a force to be reckoned with. We also owe an enormous debt of thanks to Myungwan Kim 9 dan.  Without his vision, help and guidance we would not have been able to put Ryan where he clearly deserved to be.

a western pebble
slung across the mighty seas
brings down a champion


photos courtesy Ryan Li

 

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Japanese delegation to conduct workshop at 2017 US Go Congress

AGA news - Wed, 28/06/2017 - 17:00

There will be a 5-day go workshop conducted by the Japanese delegation to the 2017 US Go Congress in San Diego. The Nihon Ki-in is sending Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p (vice chairman of the Nihon Ki-in, director of INAF) and Tsuruta Kazushi 4p to work with 7-10 very strong US and Canadian attendees at the Congress. The target audience are the under-thirty (U30-years-old) North American players ranked 6 dan and above, including AGA professionals.

Either Yamashiro or Tsuruta will play a game against one of the attendees from 1-3 p.m. (SMTThF). Then from 3-4:30 p.m., there will be a game analysis by both Yamashiro and Tsuruta for all workshop attendees.

To register for the workshop, Congress attendees should send an email to the Congress professional coordinator, I-han Lui  ihan.lui@gocongress.org.  If the number of requests becomes too large, priority will be given, in order, to AGA pros, U20 amateurs, and higher-ranked amateurs.

Submitted by Ted Terpstra, Co-Director 2017 US Go Congress – San Diego

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Wednesday is “Big” night at the NGC

AGA news - Wed, 28/06/2017 - 03:12

Since the opening of the National Go Center in Washington, DC May, organizers reports that “we have been very gratified to see the volunteer support for having the National Go Center open Tuesday thru Saturday nights.” And “Now that we have had a little time to be open and get feedback, the top suggestion has been that we pick a single night that everyone is encouraged to come if they can so that no matter what your level, you can always find a good match. Also it should have a time where beginners can come and get dedicated instruction in how to play. And with community turnout, a social time to bring refreshments, plan activities, and see friends.”

With that in mind, Wednesday has been designated the “big” night at the NGC. “We’ll be open longer hours on Wednesdays, from 5-11 PM, with 5-7 a special time for beginners to learn the game with volunteers on hand to teach. Feel free to bring refreshments to share also.”

Friday is “another great night to play with a dedicated group of attendees,” NGC organizers add. “Check the schedule for other nights before you come as our summer schedule is a little less regular.” Details on the NGC’s Facebook page and follow the NGC on Twitter.

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Unique go-themed shirts and hoodies available

AGA news - Mon, 26/06/2017 - 23:07

Shirt designer and “passionate” go player Joel Gabelman has a unique line of go-themed tee-shirts and hoodies available. One in particular — “Eat. Sleep. Play Go. Repeat.” — might be a must-have for anyone planning on attending the upcoming US Go Congress. Gabelman is offering 15% off for customers using the discount code TESUJI.

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Go Spotting: Frederik Pohl’s “The Boy Who Would Live Forever”

AGA news - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 20:00

Mark Stinedurf of the Maui Go Club found a reference to go in the last HeeChee novel by Frederik Pohl, “The Boy Who Would Live Forever,” published in 2004. He was 41 pages into the book and what does Pohl throw in there… a go reference. It was about something one of the prospectors found in an old HeeChee tunnel. Apparently even aliens like go.

- reported by Danny Topp, Maui Go Club

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Slate & Shell offers 50% discount to AGA chapters and go clubs

AGA news - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 19:00

Slate & Shell is offering a special opportunity for US go clubs and AGA chapters to get books for prizes and libraries: 50% off on all Slate & Shell books. Minimum order is ten books. Send an email to customerservice@slateandshell.com for instructions.

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Go Classified: Go teacher needed

AGA news - Sun, 25/06/2017 - 17:59

McLean, VA: Hope Chinese School’s McLean campus is looking for a go instructor for the 6-week summer camp during Jun 28 – Aug 11, 2017. It is a paid position. Contact: 703-371-3414, hcscamp.va@gmail.com. The summer camp has an emphasis on Asian culture, and the camp director Dinny Li hopes the instructor can teach 2 hours in the afternoon, two to four times a week.

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Go Congress Close to Running Out of Rooms at the Resort

AGA news - Fri, 23/06/2017 - 21:08

When the 2017 US Go Congress last year signed its contract with the Town and Country Resort, the committee thought that 200 guaranteed rooms a night was being optimistic, reports Congress Co-Director Ted Terpstra. Now, with more than a month to go before the August 5 arrival date, there are only 25 rooms left at the contracted prices of $135 plus fees and taxes for Garden rooms and $170 for the Royal Palm Tower rooms, respectively.  (These prices are for one or two people in a room; it’s slightly more to have a third or fourth adult in the room. Children are free if they are third or fourth in the room.) When the 25 rooms are booked, rooms the hotel’s available rooms will move to the going public rate, currently $190 for a Garden Room, $198 for a Regency Tower Room and $246 for a royal Palm Tower Room, plus taxes and fees.  If any of the 200 Congress contracted rooms are not booked by July 1, the Congress will have to return them to the hotel’s inventory for letting out at current rates.  June 30 is also the end of the second early bird period. On July 1, registration will go up by $50 and meal plans costs will be increased by about $100 for the breakfast, lunch and dinner plan.  Act now!

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Internet World Amateur Go Tournament now accepting registration

AGA news - Fri, 23/06/2017 - 17:00
The longest-running internet tournament, the 22nd Pandanet Internet World Amateur Go Tournament (IWAG) is now accepting registrations. The free registration requires the player to have an established rank on Pandanet, which is established after playing 20 games there.  Depending on their playing strengths, the players are divided into five groups.  First-round winners are selected from Asia, Americas, and Europe by a 2:1:1 ration to play a knock-out tournament in the higher rounds.  Generous prizes are provided.
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Power Report: Iyama defends Honinbo title; 42nd Kisei S League; Yamashiro reaches 1,200 wins; Aizu Central Hospital final tied

AGA news - Fri, 23/06/2017 - 16:00

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama defends Honinbo title: 
The fourth game of the 72nd Honinbo title match was played at the Sun Great Miyako culture hall in the town of Miyako, Fukuoka Prefecture on June 15 and 16. Taking white, Iyama Yuta (Honinbo Monyu) convincingly outplayed the challenger, Motoki Katsuya 8P, and secured a resignation after 204 moves. Iyama thus won the match 4-0 and defended his title. This is his sixth Honinbo title in a row. Iyama took the lead in the first fight of the game and fended off Motoki’s efforts to catch up. It was a disappointing series for Motoki, who still hasn’t picked up a win over Iyama in any tournament. After the game, Motoki commented; “I felt there was a gap between us. My task now is to try to narrow it as much as I can.” The commentator for the Mainichi Newspaper, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, commented: “This is the best Iyama has playd for several years.” You could say that Motoki was unlucky in running into Iyama in his title-match debut, but then it’s hard not to, with Iyama holding six of the seven big titles. One of the advantages of finishing off the series early for Iyama is that he’ll get extra rest time, though his next big game comes with less than a week’s break: his Gosei defence against Yamashiro Keigo starts on June 22.

42nd Kisei S League: Two games were played in the top Kisei league on June 15. Ichiriki Ryo 7P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo by resig,; Murakawa Daisuke 8P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig. On 2-0, Ichiriki is the only undefeated player. Kono Rin 9P, Yamashita, Murakawa, and Cho U 9P are all on 1-1, and So Yokoku is on 0-2.

Yamashiro reaches 1,200 wins: Yet another player has reached the landmark of 1,200 wins. In a game in Preliminary B of the Ryusei tournament, played on June 12, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (formerly of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in, but now affiliated with the Tokyo headquarters to make it easier to copy with his duties as vice president of the Nihon Ki-in) beat Fukui Masaaki 9P to score his 1,200th win. He has 616 losses and 7 jigos, for a winning percentage of 65.8. He is the eighth player to reach this landmark (four days after Yuki Satoshi); he is 58 years ten months, so it took him 45 years two months.

Aizu Central Hospital final tied: Two games in the best-of-three final of the 4th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup were held in mid-June at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City. On June 16, Fujisawa Rina (B) won the first game by resignation, but in the second game, played two days later, Xie Yimin (right) fought back to win by 4.5 points. That makes a third game necessary; it will be played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on June 23.

Correction
“Hunglong” in my previous report was a mistake for “Huanglong.” I believe that a fussy spell-checker is responsible, but I should have caught it.

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Upcoming Events

Irish Go Association - Thu, 22/06/2017 - 18:48
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Ryan Li 1p upsets Chen Yaoye 9p to move to MLily Final 16

AGA news - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 22:22

American Go Association pro Ryan Li 1p, of Canada, has defeated two-time world champion Chen Yaoye 9p in the second round of the MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament.

Li, who the day before defeated Cheng Honghao 2p in a 363-move game, played as black against Chen. After a fierce middle game fight, Li (left) settled his groups and took a small lead. The two got into a lengthy ko fight but Li held on to win by 2.5 points at the end of the 327-move game (see game record below). The four-and-a-half-hour game was broadcast live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Jennie Shen 2P with Andrew Jackson, and can be viewed here.

The 27-year-old Chen’s accomplishments as a pro include defeating Lee Sedol 9p in the 2013 Chunlan Cup and Ke Jie 9p, the top current player, for the 2016 Bailing Cup, as well as winning 17 other national and continental titles.

Li, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in earth sciences at Yale, became the fourth AGA-certified pro in 2015. He has represented North America several times and scored wins over Asian pros before, including defeating Japan’s young talent, Mutsuura Yuta 2p, in the 2016 IEMG in China.

He will face Li Xuanhao 6p on August 24 in the top 16 of the MLily Cup. The winner receives about US $260,000 USD and the runner up close to $90,000.
- reported by Edward Zhang; editing by Andy Okun, sgf file produced by Myron Souris

download SGF file

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Upcoming Go Events: Mountain View and Boston

AGA news - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 22:52

June 19-23: Mountain View, CA
2017 Summer Go Day Camp
Mingjiu Jiang mingjiu7p@hotmail.com 650-796-1602

June 28: Boston, MA
The Surrounding Game: Boston Premiere
Will Lockhart 917-349-2113

Get the latest go events information.

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MLily: Ryan Li 1p Vs. Chen Yaoye 9p in Second Round; AGA Broadcasts

AGA news - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 21:58

The AGA Broadcast team will provide coverage of two games from Round 2 of the 3rd Lily Cup tomorrow, June 20th, starting at 10:30 p.m. PDT (UTC-7), with commentary by Jennie Shen 2p. Our very own Ryan Li 1p, winning yesterday against Cheng Honghao 2p, now faces world champ Chen Yaoye 9p. Elsewhere in the tournament, Wang Haoyang 6p scored an upset win against Shin Jinseo, the rising Korean phenom, which wins him the chance to play DeepZenGo in round 2.

Join us at http://www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live or http://twitch.tv/usgoweb !

 

The MLily cup is the first traditional tournament in which AI players are seeded just as their human counterparts, and it may also be the last, with Tygem China News reporting that no future Chinese tournaments will allow AI entrants.

 
 
 

Here is Ryan Li’s monster 363(!) move 1st round win over Cheng Honghao 2p:

download SGF file

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Go Congress registration tops 450

AGA news - Sun, 18/06/2017 - 12:53

More than 450 attendees have already registered for this year’s US Go Congress, set for August 5-13 in San Diego at the Town and Country Resort. So far eleven North American-based professional go players have accepted invitations to attend, including Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Cathy Li 1P, Shirley Lin 1P, Jennie Shen 2P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Eric Lui 1P, Ryan Li 1P, Andy Liu 1P and William Shi 1P. “Every afternoon and evening during the Congress — except Wednesday which is a day for sight-seeing — these pros will be lecturing, playing simultaneous exhibitions and analyzing Go Congress players’ games,” reports Congress Co-Director Ted Terpstra. “Multiple sessions will be going on at once, so it may be difficult to go to all of the events that one would like. The complete schedule will be released as soon as it is ready.” In addition to all of the pro events, will be a five-day workshop by noted European-based go teacher In-seong Hwang. Also, foreign professional go players from China, Japan and Korea will be coming to the Congress to teach. More details on them and their lectures will be forthcoming. All of these sessions are included in the price of Congress registration.
photo: main playing area at the 2016 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

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Power Report (2): AlphaGo plays itself; Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match; Yuki wins 1,200 games; 42nd Kisei S League

AGA news - Thu, 15/06/2017 - 14:00

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

AlphaGo plays itself: As already reported in the E-Journal, AlphaGo triumphed at the Future of Go Summit held in China from May 23 to 27. At the end of the summit, the Deep Mind company announced that they were putting up records of 50 games AlphaGo played with itself on their home page. Playing itself is how AlphaGo improves. Apparently it can finish a game in about three seconds, which means it could play about 30,000 games a day. However, the 50 games mentioned above were played more slowly. The development team mentioned that theoretically the current version is about three stones stronger than the version that played Lee Sedol.  This is a detail that it’s better not to dwell on. If interested, you can find the game records here; I looked at Game 1 while confirming the address. It doesn’t look like any game record I’ve seen before.

Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match: The third game of the 72nd Honinbo title match was played at the Shotenzan Kankiin temple in Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, on June 8 and 9. Fighting started early and spread all over the board. The defending champion, Iyama Yuta or Monyu Honinbo, played black and fought with his characteristic shrewdness, securing a resignation after move 137. The challenger, Motoki Katsuya 8P, faces his first kadoban in the fourth game, scheduled for 15 and 16.

Yuki wins 1,200 games: In a game in Preliuminary A of the 43rd Meijin tournament, played on June 8 at the Kansai Ki-in, Yuki Satoshi 9P beat Mine Yasuhiro 4P and became the youngest player to win 1,200 games. He is 45 years three months old, and his winning record is 1,200 wins, 506 losses, two jigo, which gives him an excellent winning record of 70%. Until now, the age record was 48 years seven months, set by Cho Chikun. Yuki became a professional in 1984; he has won 14 titles, including the Tengen and Judan titles once each and the NHK Cup five times. He is the seventh player to reach this landmark. Top is Cho Chikun with 1,503 wins.

42nd Kisei S League: In the first game of the second round, played on June 8, Cho U 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. Both players are now 1-1. Yamashita Keigo 9P and Ichiriki Ryo 7P have one win and Murakawa Daisuke 8P and So Yokoku 9P one loss. Cho and Kono were the players who met in the playoff to decide the challenger in the previous tournament. In the A League, which has seven rounds, the only undefeated player after the completion of Round 4 is Kyo Kagen 4P. On June 1, Kyo (W) beat Takao Shinji Meijin by resig.

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