Obama Played Go in College

President Barack Obama learned go in college, reports American Go Association President Andy Okun. In a brief conversation in the meet-and-greet line at a recent 2015.10.19-ObamaBoardbyPeterArmeniafundraiser in California, Okun says he mentioned his position with the AGA and Obama responded, “I learned to play go in college from a guy named Tim” adding that “Tim was a go master.” He asked a nearby aide if the aide had ever played go (he hadn’t), noting that “It’s a very complicated game … non-linear.” As quickly as it started, the discussion ended and staff moved Okun and his son out of the room.

Obama presented then-Chinese President Hu Jintao with an American-made go board and glass bowls (also American-made) during a visit in 2010 (Go Community To Attend White House Event Welcoming Chinese President  1/17/2011). 

photo of go board made by Frank Salantrie by Salantrie

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Chess and Go in Portland and Beyond

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 3.32.36 PMLast month, a new Chess and Go in the Schools program was launched in Portland, Oregon. Over 100 children signed up in 3 different elementary schools, and 10 more children were placed on a waiting list. All children will learn both chess (from Fritz Balwit) and Go (from Peter Freedman), and then play either, or both games. The program’s first tournament for the year is scheduled for October 24th.

“The program’s continued success has sparked an effort by the AGF, with assistance from the SF Ing Foundation, as well as funds from a private donor, in hopes of spreading interest in chess and go to other schools,” says Freedman. “Start up funds will help organizers get off the ground, but the program is self-supporting, generating revenue to pay teachers, buy club T shirts, run tournaments with trophies, provide snacks, and purchase equipment. Projects in two cities are currently underway, with a possible third in the works.” For more information contact: Peter Freedman at: pleefreedman1@comcast.net. -Story by Amy Su, Picture by Peter Freedman: Kids learning both games in Portland.

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San Diego Fall Go Soiree Attracts a Crowd

The fifth annual Fall Go Soiree at the home of San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra drew over 35 go players. Players from the SD Go Club, 2015.10.18_San-Diego-1UCSD Go Club, SDSU Go Club, Carlsbad Coastal Go Club and even the Santa Monica Go Club came together for a day of self-paired games. After five hours of playing go, the crowd took a pizza break (funded by the AGA rewards program) and then continued into the night with more games and analysis.

A new group of UCSD freshmen, including Weihan Huai, a 2P from China, provided challenges for the old-timers. Every flat service in the house was covered by go boards and bowls as more and more players arrived. Players ranged in age for 10 to 70 and in ratings from 30K to 2P with a large contingent of dan players.
– photo by Jenna Jansen

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Your Move/Readers Write: Go Book Found; E-Journal Archives

Go Book Found: In response to a recent query, Richard Bozulich writes that “The book this gentleman is most likely saw was The Go Player’s 2015.10.18_go-players-almanacAlmanac 2001published by Kiseido.

E-Journal Archives: “Are old ejournal email attachments available in an archival area?” wonders Richard Solberg. “I am interested in looking at some of these in my studies.”
The general EJ archives are in two locations: the 2008-2015 archive is here, while older E-Journals — 2004-2008 — are here. Neither archive includes member’s edition content.


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Sundays are for Football and Go

11844960_1067672023244765_869077691211333092_oThis Sunday, October 18th starts the fourth year of the Pandanet AGA City League. Make sure to follow your local and favorite teams throughout the year. We’ve already had one game early this week and it was exciting to start off the year. For those who have followed in the past we have expanded the leagues and there are now eight teams for the A and B leagues. Also starting this year is video reviews from online commentators like Hajin Lee and Andrew Jackson. The first round will be commented by Xiaocheng-Stephen Hu/xhu98. Worried you’re going to miss football while watching the games? Download the Android and iOS app for Pandanet. Look in the AGA City League and AGA City League (Manual) rooms.
– Steve Colburn, League Coordinatorpandalogo-4885cf7392ac5bc75a68d553b7287b04

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Cao-Fenech Three-Peat French Pair Go Champs

This year, the French Pair Go Championship took place in Strasbourg on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of October. Fourteen pairs were2015.10.17_French-Pair-champs present. Would the pair of Nyoshi Cao and Antoine Fenech, reigning national champions for the past two years, be able to add to their tally? Many pairs were hoping to claim their title: Monique Berreby and Olivier Clergue, Marie-Claire Chaine and Farid Ben Malek, and Zhao Pei and Baptiste Noir.

After a fierce competition, Cao-Fenech met Pei-Noir in the grand final (right). After a difficult opening, Nyoshi and Antoine headed into a thunderous endgame and ate a big group to clinch as 3-time champions. In second place, there was a tie between Zhao Pei-Baptiste Noir, Laura Lebastard-Jérôme Salignon and Charlotte Vielfaure-Thomas Debarre.

This year, Dominique Cornuejols and Denis Karadaban will represent France at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship.

– Ian Davis, based on the original article in the Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet

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Go Commentary: Zen vs Franz-Josef Dickhut – 2nd Codecentric Go Challenge, Game 1

The 2nd Codecentric Go Challenge began on October 3, 2015, with the computer Go program Zen challenging 11 time German Go champion Franz-Josef Dickhut (aka FJ) in the first game of a best of five match.

The Codecentric Go Challenge

The Codecentric Go Challenge is an annual best of five match between a top computer Go program and a top amateur Go player.

The Codecentric logo.

The Codecentric logo.

The first iteration of the tournament was held in 2014 and the event is sponsored by Codecentric – an IT consulting company based in Germany.

In 2014, Dickhut defeated CrazyStone (another top Go AI) with a 3-1 score, after losing the first game.

This year, he’s facing CrazyStone’s rival, Zen.

Team DeepZen

Zen is the brainchild of two people – Yoji Ojima and Hideki Kato – who together form Team DeepZen, based in Japan.

For this match, Zen19 is using a parallelized implementation of its code, developed by Hideki. This means that it can efficiently carry out many calculations simultaneously (in parallel) when it has access to a computer cluster (multiple computers at once). This version of Zen is stronger than the commercial version when clustered.


Zen is running on a four PC cluster consisting of:

  • a dual 12-core Xeon E5-2690 v3 at 2.6 GHz, with 32 GB RAM,
  • a dual 10-core Xeon E5-2690 v2 at 3 GHz, with 32 GB RAM,
  • a dual 6-core Xeon X5680 at 3.5 GHz, with 8 GB RAM, and
  • an 8-core Core i7 5960X at 3 GHz, with 16 GB RAM.

And Dickhut is running on a human brain 😉

Read an interview with both teams

For more information about the match and to read an interview with both teams, please visit the Codecentric website.

Game 2 schedule

The next game will be played this weekend, on Saturday October 17, at 2:00 PM German time. That’s Saturday, 17 October at:

  • 5:00 AM US Pacific Daylight Time
  • 8:00 AM US Eastern Daylight Time
  • 12:00 PM UTC
  • 2:00 PM Central European Summer Time
  • 9:00 PM Japanese Standard Time, and
  • 11:00 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

You can watch the game on the KGS Go Server (look for the game between fj and Zen19S).

More information about the match schedule is available here.

Let’s have a look at the game!

Commented game record

Zen vs Franz-Josef Dickhut

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The Power Report (2): Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2014.10.13_WomHon1 Rina right

Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense: The first game of the 34th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture on October 8. It matches the 17-year-old titleholder Fujisawa Rina (right) against Xie Yimin, who held this title for six years in a row. This is the first title match between the two, and it gives us some insight into what the next five years will look like. If Xie can win, the age of Xie, who now holds two titles, may continue. If Fujisawa wins, she may displace Xie from the top position. At the party on the eve of the game, Fujisawa commented that playing a match with Xie had been one of her goals. Perhaps she didn’t expect to play her first match with her as the defending champion. Xie, who will be 26 on November 16, commented that this was her first match with a younger player. Taking white, Fujisawa beat Xie by 2.5 points after 290 moves. The game was decided by a ko fight in the endgame. The second game will be played on October 18.

Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on October 8, Suzuki Ayumi 6P (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. As the previous challenger, Suzuki is the number one-ranked player in the league, but this is her first win after two losses. Chinen has already suffered four losses, so she 2015.10.13_22agon_finalis teetering on the edge of demotion. Joint leaders are Fujisawa Rina and Aoki Kikuyo 8P on 2-0.

To 2-dan: Shibano Toramaru (aged 16) (30 wins; promoted as of Oct. 9)

Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title: The final of the 22nd Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect in Kyoto on October 10. Iyama Yuta (left), playing black, beat Kyo Kagen 3P by resig. after 187 moves. This is the fourth time Iyama has won this title, which matches Cho U’s record. The play-off between the Japanese and Chinese titleholders will be held in China on December 25.

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Cotsen Update: 90 registered; Volunteers needed (free pizza & caps!)

Over 90 players have already pre-registered for this year’s Cotsen Open, coming up October 24-25 at the LA Center Studios in Los Angeles, CA.2015.10.13_Komodo Truck The popular tournament features a free food truck lunch on both days: Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ  on Sunday. The $20 entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds.

Volunteers are wanted to help set up on Friday and record top-board games during the tournament. “Free pizza for helping set up the tournament space on Friday, October 23,” promises Tournament Organizer Samantha Davis. Email her at CotsenOpen@gmail.com

If interested in recording/broadcasting for the E-Journal (free EJ caps!); email journal@usgo.org


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