British Go Journal 176, including a short story by author Bill Brakes, is now available online to members at http://www.britgo.org/bgj/bgj176
British Go Journal 175, including a report on the AlphaGo v Lee Sedol match, is now available online to members at http://www.britgo.org/bgj/bgj175
At the AGM on 2nd April in Sheffield, Jon Diamond retired as President after 7 years and Roger Huyshe (pictured) was elected unanimously to replace him.
Jonathan Chin and Toby Manning were re-elected as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Brian Brunswick also retired after 10 years as a Council member, as did Donald Campbell; John Collins, Jonathan Green, Matt Marsh and Andrew Russell were elected to Council.
It was reported at the AGM that the membership had increased in the last year to 441, the first time we'd seen an increase for a number of years. The AlphaGo match didn't seem to have a significant impact on membership yet.
British Go Journal 174, including the full report on the AlphaGo v Fan Hui match is now available online to members at http://www.britgo.org/bgj/bgj174
We're still getting additional media coverage of this match - see http://www.britgo.org/history/media for the latest.
We've issued the following Press Release today (27th January 2016):
A computer program developed by Google DeepMind (AlphaGo) to play the Oriental game of Go has beaten the three-times European Go Champion and Chinese professional Fan Hui (shown on the right in the photo, courtesy of Google DeepMind). This is the first time that a Go-professional has lost such a match, and not only that, by a clean sweep in all 5 games. This signifies a major step forward in one of the great challenges in the development of artificial intelligence - that of game-playing.
These findings were reported in a peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal Nature: Silver D. et al. Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search.
An interesting article from <re/code> by Mark Bergen:
"When the world’s smartest researchers train computers to become smarter, they like to use games. Go, the two-player board game born in China more than two millennia ago, remains the nut that machines still can’t crack.
Enter Google’s nerds. Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence savant behind Google DeepMind, hinted in a video interview that his secretive team has cracked Go."
Reading Go Club player Alexei Likhtman, 44, died yesterday whilst in the USA.
Alexei, a Physics professor at Reading University, was in Baltimore for a conference. On Sunday 11th October he was exploring the Appalachian Trail in Maryland and was taking photographs at a beauty spot called Annapolis Rock. It seems he was jumping from rock to rock with a camera and tripod when at about 10:45 he tripped and fell 50 feet. Despite the efforts of other hikers and paramedics he died at the scene.
Alexei had moved to the UK from Moscow and had been at Leeds University from 1999 to 2007, before moving to Reading. He was a keen member of Reading Go Club when not travelling and had played at Bracknell and Maidenhead Tournaments. He last played a tournament at 9k, though he was still improving quickly.
Photos by Tom Coulthard, Alice Ambrose-Thurman and Chizu Kobayashi
On Saturday 11th October Durham Go Club ran a teaching event at Durham Oriental Museum, as part of their Festival of Japan - celebrating the teaching of Japanese at the University of Durham. The Japanese Embassy kindly sponsored Chizu Kobayashi-san, a 5d Japanese professional, to come to Durham to assist with this.
Kobayashi-san taught a range of people, from some of our stronger club dan players to complete beginners. We had around 20 club members turn out for the event to teach members of the public - most of whom had never come across Go before.
As part of its Festival of Japan, Durham Oriental Museum are running a Go teaching event with Durham Go Club on Saturday 11th October 1pm-5pm. The Japanese Embassy have organised for 5d pro Chizu Kobayashi to come, and the event is free and open to all.