Computer Go


Computer Go activities at EGC 2012 will mainly take place on Tuesday, July 31st and Wednesday, August 1. The following activities with computer bots will be organized by Ingo Althöfer:

  • Exhibition games will be played between strong humans and bots, who will qualify for this in KGS bot tournaments in April (for 13x13), June (for 9x9), and July (19x19). July 31st: 14:30-15:30 9x9 motoki vs computer, game 1, 16:00-17:00 9x9 motoki vs computer, game 2; August 1st, 14:30-15:30 13x13 motoki vs. computer, 16:00-18:00 19x19 *some professional* vs computer.
  • In the evening computer scientist and go programmer Petr Baudis gives a talk on current developments in computer go. (In March, Petr's bot Pachi was able to beat the top program Zen twice in a slow KGS bot tournament.)

During the congress a novelty will take place: exhibition games in Rengo, where each team consists of one human player and one bot. We will even try the case where the same bot is used on both sides. Volunteers (of all strengths) are welcome.


On Tuesday, two Go games on 9x9 board were played between Motoki Noguchi (6 Dan, Japan) and the computer program Zen. Komi was set to 7.0. Zen won both games. This was different to the European Go Congress 2011 in Bordeaux, where Zen lost two games against Motoki Noguchi, at that time with Komi set to 7.5.

On Wednesday, Motoki Noguchi (6d) played against bot Zen on 13x13 two times (Chinese rules, komi 7.5). Both Motoki and Zen won one game each, with Black.

Then Catalin Taranu (5p) had a 19x19-encounter with CrazyStone. Catalin gave 4 handicap stones. After a long and nerve-wrecking
fight he lost by 1.5 points.

In the photo with Catalin four people can be seen, from left to right:

  • Lars Schäfers, main programmer of bot Gomorra
  • Catalin Taranu (thinking at the machine)
  • Prof. Thomas Wolf (half covered; expert for computer tsumego)
  • Cristian Pop (kibitz and moral support for Catalin)

In the evening Petr Baudis gave a talk on current developments in computer go, with lots of questions from the audience in the second
half. Impressive amongst other things was his slide on the current state of the art: even the results from today were incorporated!

On Thursday, Catalin Taranu (5p) got his revenge against CrazyStone, again with 4 handicap stones for the bot and komi 0.5. After an epic fight CrazyStone resigned in move 233. At that point Catalin was ahead by some 10 points. On KGS, commentators Petr Baudis (Prague, currently in Bonn) and Stefan Kaitschick (Hamburg) made a perfect double. It is worth rereading the(ir) chat in the h4-game of August 02, 2012

A photo shows Catalin in deep thinking mode after move 80.

During the game some majority of chatters opted for handicap 3 for future exhibition games. But after Catalin's win "handicap 4" seemed to remain the normal option under current circumstances. Catalin fully deserved the 200 Euro prize money for the win.

In the late evening a pairgo game with mixed human-computer teams was arranged. Black was Jonas Welticke (4d) together with bot Pachi (on a notebook, operated by its programmer Petr Baudis). White was Fabian Bambusch (1d) together with CrazyStone (also on a notebook, operated by Ingo Althoefer). The cyclic order of moves was Jonas(B), CrazyStone(W), Pachi(B), Fabian(W),
with Jonas starting the game. Jonas did not only start but also dominated the whole game. sgf can be found here and in the computer go mailing list at