Newsletter 218: May 2016
Contributions for the Newsletter are always welcome, both from our members and others. We ask that they be Go-related and “newsy". The place for debate and general discussion is currently Gotalk; however, an introduction to a new topic is fine in the Newsletter. Instructions: Please use plain text not file-attachments. Keep it brief, and give web-links and contact details. It's good to include pictures. If they are on the internet, send me the URL. If not, attach the picture files to your email. Send your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive by the first day of the month.
Contributions to the British Go Journal are also welcome from players of all grades, see British Go Journal Article Guidelines and contact email@example.com The next Journal copy-date is Monday 30 May 2016
Jil Segerman, Newsletter Editor
Pandanet Go European Team Championship
The British team moved up to a creditable fifth postion in the B-League by scoring their fourth win of the season. The time it was against Switzerland.
The British Go Association has a new President
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.
Liverpool Go Seminar:
On 19th April there was a seminar arranged by the Department of Computer Science at Liverpool University on AlphaGo, delivered by Dr Marc Lanctot of DeepMind. Here is Pat Ridley's report.
There isn't a Go Club in Liverpool at the moment, something of an anomaly for city the size of Liverpool with two universities and many students from the Far East. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity to find a group of interested people that might form the nucleus of one. With the agreement of the lecturer and the organiser (Prof. Karl Tuys), I had taken around 30 Play Go booklets and 50 Play Go trifolds - all I could get hold of at short notice. The lecturer introduced me at the start of the seminar and pointed out the handouts, and they they were all taken. I had placed a sheet in each book plus around 15 spares with info and URLs for the BGA, Chester Go Club and Manchester Go Club, with contact details. These all went. I placed a couple of copies of a sheet for people to put their names and emails addresses if they were interested in playing Go in Liverpool. One disappeared, probably taken in error, and the other had just one name on it. I had taken a board and stones and spent about 20 minutes with that person after the seminar, showing him how to play.
I had expected the seminar to talk rather more generally about machine intelligence and self-learning systems using AlphaGo as an example, but actually it really did focus entirely on how AlphaGo works (similar to the one delivered by Lucas Baker before the recent British Go Congress in Sheffield, and I think I recognised some of the slides). The lecturer was very friendly and helpful (I spent another 10 minutes or so chatting with him after the seminar). He is plainly hoping that DeepMind will continue to develop AlphaGo, and apparently there is now a group of around a dozen DeepMind programmers playing Go at lunchtimes.
Prof Tuys told me later that the seminar had been attended by about 140 people - much more interest than anyone had expected, He had received lots of positive feedback on the talk and some of his machine learning students are interested in learning to play Go. Who knows, but maybe sometime in the not too distant future we will be able to announce the announcement of a new Go club in Liverpool.
Alpha Go in the media
There are over 100 links on http://www.britgo.org/history/media If you know of any others we could add please tell us using the contact link on http://www.britgo.org/committee/online
British Museum Visit
Toby Manning writes: We are members of the British Korean Society. They are organising a tour of the Korean artefacts of the British Museum, please see below, on 20 May. If anyone is interested in going, please contact the BKS direct, quoting the BGA.
Two special-interest tournaments
British Pair Go Championships Pair Go is played by teams of two partners - a male and a female player - the "Mixed Doubles" of Go. The 2016 tournament is on Saturday 4th June, in Hatfield. If you don't have a partner, the Pair Go organiser may be able to find one for you.
Pictured here are Alison Bexfield & Simon Bexfield in their Japanese kimonos, 2015 winners of the "Best Dressed" Prize
UK Go Challenge The UK Go Challenge is for UK schools and youth clubs. If you enter for 2016, we will send you your tournament pack, so that you can run your heat at your own school or youth club, played on 13x13 boards, before the end of June. The venue of the finals has not yet been announced, yet, but it is likely to be held on Sunday 3rd July. All under-18s are welcome at the finals, even if they have not played in a heat, Full details including how to enter are here.
Pictured is the 2016 logo, with caption by Elom Willson from London.
A boring but important request from our Membership Secretary; please inform the BGA if you change your contact email address; log in on the user page and follow the "Edit" link.
Liverpool Japan Day: Volunteers wanted
Saturday 20th August. Japan Society North West are organising another Japan Day, from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, and the BGA will be demonstrating Go to many dozens of new players all day, on 2 stalls. If you're interested in helping us, you are most welcome, & please let Helen or Martin Harvey know, on jm.harvey@ntlworld dot com.
The event is a showcase for everything relating to Japanese culture, both traditional and modern. It is held once every two years, and alternates between Manchester and Liverpool. It is a free public event. The venue affords everybody lots of space. There will be taiko drumming, Japanese folk songs and koto music-playing, martial arts demonstrations. Watch a demonstration of kimono dressing and try on a yukata! Also there are displays of bonsai trees, Japanese swords and armour. Venue: Liverpool Guild of Students, 160 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5TR
Roger Huyshe writes : Now that I have taken on extra Go duties, I do need to relinquish the running of the bookstall. If anyone is interested in taking this on please contact me. You would run it in your own way, see for free many current and new books, have access to trade prices and provide a useful service to members.
On-line League: Postponed till September
Organiser John Collins writes:
It has been decided to postpone the start of the next season of the online league to September. To register a team for the league just email onlineleague AT britgo.org giving names, email addresses where possible (these won't be published, just for sending auto-reminders of games) and ranks of the players. Remember that there are prizes of vouchers at Guo Juan's Internet Go school which can be spent on group classes on KGS or the her ever-increasing library of lectures and training problems.
- Bracknell: Sunday 22nd May, Wokingham
- Scottish Open: Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th May, Glasgow
- British Pair Go Championships: Saturday 4th June, Hatfield
- Durham: Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th June
- Welsh Open: Saturday 18th June - Sunday 19th June, Barmouth
- Arundel: Saturday 20th August
- Liverpool Japan Day: Saturday 20th August
- Mind Sports Olympiad, London: Sunday 21st – Monday 29th August, London. MSO 9x9 and MSO Small Board Sunday 28th August; MSO Open Monday 29th August
- Northern: Sunday 4th September, Manchester
- Cornwall: Saturday 10th - Sunday 11th September, Penzance
- Sheffield: Sunday 9th October (provisional)
- Wessex: Sunday 30th October (provisional)
- Three Peaks: Saturday 5th - Sunday 6th November, Ingleton
If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.