Mick's Computer Go Page

News and information about computer programs that play Go.

If you don't know anything about this ancient oriental game take a look at Go in Five Minutes Flat or the Introduction to the game of Go at the British Go Association website.
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Tournament Results/Reports


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Go Software Rankings

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Where to get Go software

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Latest News...

May 2009: Amazing variety of contest winners

In the past year or so it seems that the new UCT/MCTS systems have opened up the field of computer Go programs. Just the other day Fuego won the 2009 Computer Olympiad in Pamplona Spain and just before that a new proggram Zen surprised everyone with an outstanding series of games on CGOS and KGS. So programs with at least some claim at being top dog at the moment include: And what's more, after an (admittedly short) series of test games the publisher of Go++ in Japan had just reported a positive score for the new Japanese Go++ against the new Japanese release of Many Faces of Go when both are running on dual core PC's. So we should perhaps add in Go++ to this list. The next few years will certainly be interesting. Lets see if any of these programs can pull away from the pack.

Mar 2009: Wulu.com resurrected

In honour of the late Chen Zhixing and for the historical record, I have re-created the last know state of his website wulu.com.

Feb 2009: Recent Computer-Human Challenges

There has recently been a flurry of challenge games between some of the top UCT inspired programs running on multi processor computers and top ranked humans. Nick Wedd has kindly made up a web page detailing some of the results.

Professor Chen Zhixing 1931 - 2008

Chen Zhixing
It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Chen Zhixing. He was probably the most successful go programmer of all time, winning the Ing cup four times, the FOST cup three times and the Garosu Cup. He was my arch rival for many years and we had a great many close games. I shall miss our rivalry and our friendship.

I found this short biography taken from the International Who's Who of Intellectuals, 12th ed., 1997:
Chen Zhixing was born May 1931 in Guangzhou, South China. He graduated in 1952 from the Chemistry Department of Zhongshan University, Guangzhou and began his educational and researching career in the same university. He become a full Professor in 1983.Professor Chen's major field of research was quantum chemistry and the outcomes were collected in his book "Organic Molecular Orbital Theory" published in 1991. Computer aid instruction was also his successful research, and a series of teaching softwares won the National Prize of Excellent Outcome of Teaching Research in 1989. He acquired the title of National Labour Model in the Educational System in 1986 and retired in 1991.

MoGo beats Pro!

A copy of MoGo running on an 800 core supercomputer won a one hour, 9-stone handicap game against 8Dan Pro, Kim Myungwan (Korea). You can read a report of the event here. It it not clear how seriously the pro was playing, as it was reported that he only used "about 10 or 12 minutes" out of his allotted time.

Dec 2007: Crazystone wins UEC cup.

The UEC cup was held at the University of Electro-communications, Tyofu, Tokyo, Japan. 27 programs competed. After the event Crazy Stone played an exhibition game against a 5dan player with no handicap. Crazy Stone lost (professinal Go player Tei Meikou stopped the game halfway).

Rank Program      Author
 1st Crazy Stone  Remi Coulom    (France) (Invited program)
 2nd Katsunari    Shinichi Sei
 3rd MoGo         Sylvain Gelly  (France) (Invited program)
 4th Aya          Hiroshi Yamashita
 5th GGMC Go      Hideki Katoh
 6th Caren        Katsumi Kobayashi
 7th ShikouSakugo Morihiko Tajima
 8th Kinoa Igo    Genki Yamada
 9th RunGo        Hideaki Takahashi
10th GNU_ark      Tsujii_labo(Nobuo Araki)
11th MayoiGo      Masaki Murayama
12th Boozer       Chihiro Hashimoto
13th martha       Ichiro Ujiie
14th GOGATAKI     Shigetaka Hisatomi
15th Igoppi       Kazuhiko Ariyoshi
16th boon         Kenta Sasaki

June 2007: The rise of UCT: Mogo wins 19x19 Go at the 12th Computer Olympiad

Mogo proves itself to be the strongest of the new breed of UCT-based programs, beating the more famous GNU-Go into third place, with another UCT program CrazyStone coming 2nd. The initial developpement of Mogo was by Yizao Wang with Sylvain Gelly, Rémi Munos and Olivier Teytaud. For more information on MoGo see: http://www.lri.fr/~gelly/MoGo.htm. For full results of the events at the computer olympiad, see here.

April 2007: David Elsdon

It is with sadness that I have to report the death of David Elsdon, author of the program "GL7" (written in prolog). At the time of writing his website is still on-line so you can read a little about him and his work here.

November 2006: Go++ v 7.0 released

See GoPlusPlus.com for details.

Sept 2006: KCC wins Gifu Challenge 2006

Sadly this was a mainly local tournament, missing many of the top programs. I think the organisers need to offer greater prizemoney in order to entice them over. Full results here.

June 2006: GNU Go wins Computer Olympiad.

GNU Go won the 19x19 Go section of the 11th Computer Olympiad held in Turin, Italy.
There were six entrants:

1. GNU Go
2. Go Intellect
3. Indigo
4. Aya
5. CrazyStone
6. Jimmy

March 2006: New 9x9 Computer Go Server launched

CGOS is a game playing server designed for Computer Go programs only. A way to test programs that play Go on a 9x9 board and also to get a rating for those programs.

Feb 2006: Computer-Go.info

Nick Wedd is starting work on a new computer go information page.

December 2005: Go++ wins 9th KGS Computer Go Tournament

1Go++ 488
2GNU 395
3Indigo 2103
4Explorer 282
5Aya 272

November 2005: Go++ v 6.0 released

See Goplusplus.com for details.

After their success at Gifu, KCC decided to release "KCC 6" in Japan. In a 250 game test (requiring six fast PC's and a whole weekend) Go++v6 won more than half.

November 2005: Gifu 2005

This years Gifu contest was won by KCC, Many Faces of Go was 2nd and GnuGo 3rd. The full results table can be found here. Hiroshi Yamashita has put some photos from the contest here.

June 2005: Supercomputer beats Go++ by half a point

In a nailbiting match, SlugGo running on 18(!) 2GHz G5 processors defeated Go++ by half a point during the latest KGS computer Go Tournament. SlugGo is a project to try out novel search techniques employing multiple copies of GNUGO running on separate machines.

April 2005: KGS Computer GO tournaments

Nick Wedd has started to organise regular friendly computer go tournaments on KGS. He has written up the results as well as detailed instructions on how to enter here.

February 2005: New program "Go Wind"

Ruhai Zhou has made his program Go Wind available to play online at www.geocities.com/shanleqi/index.html. It seems to play nice shape, but as far as I can tell it is not too good at keeping count of it's eyes.

January 2005: New version of WinHonte

Its been nearly three years since Fredrik Dahl released his first version of WinHonte, now at long last he's produced an update. Sadly it's no longer free, but there is a trial version that will play at full strength up until move 50. For more information go to Jellyfish-go.com.

October 2004: Disappointing turnout at Gifu 2004

The decision not to allow "postal" entries to the Gifu contest this year and the insistence of yet another new communications protocol resulted in a poor turnout. The contest was more remarkable for who wasn't there than who was! No Many Faces, no GnuGo, no Go++, no Haruka, no Goemate. KCC unsurprisingly won the mainly local tournament.

July 2004: Amazing results at Computer Olympiad

Go intellect was world champion in 1994 but since then seemed to have gone into reverse... that is until now. Astonishingly it has just won the computer olympiad held in Ramat-Gan, Israel. Equally astonishing was the second to last placing of GnuGo which had recently had such good results.

Final standings

Rank       Program            points            played

1.         Go Intellect         6                 8     Go Intellect won play-off
2.         Many Faces of Go     6                 8
3.         Indigo               5                 8
4.         GnuGo                3                 8
5.         Jimmy                0                 8
For more detailed results click here.

July 2004: New open-source project launched

David Weiss has just announced the creation of a new open source Go project called "Moyoman". David is hoping that it will become AGA 1 Dan with 100 man-years effort! The program is being developed in Java.

March 2004: Next contest announced

Gifu Challenge 2004 World Computer Go Championship
Schedule: October 2nd-3rd, 2004
Place: Softopia Japan, Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Organizers: Computer Go Forum (CGF), Nihon Kiin,Gifu Challenge 2004 Organizing Committe.
Click here for more info.

March 2004: The "Random Go Challenge"

Gunnar Farneback has started the Random Go Challenge, an exercise to see what kind of program can do best against a random player. It also serves as a simple way for Go programmers to test their implementations of the increasingly popular GTP protocol. Click here for more details.

January 2004: Go++ gets gets full-time go consultant

Go++ now has two people working full time on its development. Tomotaka Urasoe, a Japanese 6Dan has joined Michael Reiss and is now responsible for all Joseki and Fuseki patterns as well as general Go consultancy.

November 2003: GnuGo getting stronger!

GnuGo has just won the Computer Olympiad 2003 winning all of its games. The field included a total of eleven mainly amateur programs.

A playoff took place between Darhius and GoIntellect: 0 - 1
1. GnuGo: 10 points
2. GoAhead: 8 points
3. Go Intellect: 7 points + playoff
4. Dariush: 7 points
5. Indigo: 5 points
6-7. NeuroGo and Aya: 4 points
8-10. Jimmy, Explorer, SmartGo: 3 points
11. GoLois: 1 point

Cross table before playoffs
1 GnuGo,        * W W W W W W W W W W
2 GoAhead,      L * L W W W W W W W W
3 Dariush,      L W * L W W W L W W W
4 Go Intellect, L L W * W L W W W W W
5 IndiGo,       L L L L * W L W W W W
6 NeuroGo,      L L L W L * W W L L W
7 Aya,          L L L L W L * W W W L
8 Jimmy,        L L W L L L L * W L W
9 Explorer,     L L L L L W L L * W W
10 SmartGo,     L L L L L W L W L * W
11 GoLois,      L L L L L L W L L L *

September 2003: New address for computer go mailing list

For details click here.

August 2003: Updated "Go Programmers Hall of Fame" pictures.

August 2003: Shock result: Gifu Challenge won by KCC!

After several years of poor performances KCC unexpectedly take world title. See:  My report and Some Photos

April 2003: Go++ v 4.1 released

Go++ (the new name for Go4++) has just been made available for the western market. It also has it's own new website Goplusplus.com. The program had previously been sold under the name "Go Professional III" which was based on a rather old version of the Go4++ engine, but this latest release is hot off the press, directly from the author.

October 2002: Goemate wins Guiyang open contest

L-R, Mr Han collecting prize on behalf of M. Reiss (Go4++), Prof. Chen (Goemate), "Jimmy" Lu (GoStar).

Dispite an amazing upset (losing to GoStar) Goemate won the recent contest in Guiyang, China. Here are the top 5 places.
        Program         win:loss        place   lost to
        Goemate         8:1             1       Gostar
        GO4++           8:1             2       Goemate
        Gostar          7:2             3       GO4++, GoIntellect
        GoIntellect     7:2             4       Goemate, Go4++

Full tournament grid:

 # Author         Country Name          1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10
 1 Hui Cao        China   BaoShi           -  +  -  -  +  +  -  -  -
 2 Bruno Bouzy    France  Indigo        +     +  -  -  +  -  -  +  -
 3 ZhongYao Duan  China   YiQu          -  -     -  -  +  -  -  -  -
 4 Mick Reiss     UK      Go4++         +  +  +     +  +  +  +  +  -
 5 "Jimmy" Lu     China   GoStar        +  +  +  -     +  +  -  +  +
 6 YiJun Shen     China   HaiYang       -  -  -  -  -     -  -  -  -
 7 LianPen Zhang  China   Go Dipper     -  +  +  -  -  +     -  +  -
 8 Ken Chen       USA     Go Intellect  +  +  +  -  +  +  +     +  -
 9 ChunHua Xu     China   Han           +  -  +  -  -  +  -  -     -
10 Chen Zhixing   China   Goemate       +  +  +  +  -  +  +  +  +   

August 2002: Haruka wins Japanese regional contest

Ryuichi Kawa (left) receives his prize

A computer go contest was held in Tokyo for Japanese programs (with the exception of GnuGo which was entered as a guest). The easy winner was Haruka by Ryuichi Kawa which won every single game.


CGF special meeting 2002 result.
2002-08-24,25. The University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo

Rank Program          Wins Author
 1.  Haruka           8-0  Ryuichi Kawa
 2.  Aya              6-2  Hiroshi Yamashita
 2.  GnuGo 3.3.6      6-2  Free Software Foundation
 4.  Katsunari        5-3  Shinichi Sei
 5.  Image            3-5  Yukio Tamura
 5.  Caren's Whisper  3-5  Katsumi Kobayashi
 7.  Martha           2-6  Ichiro Ujiie
 7.  Shiko Sakugo     2-6  Morihiko Tajima
 9.  Ando-Kun Igo     1-7  Tomohito Ando

July 2002: Many Faces of Go wins 21st Century Cup

David Fotland made up for his recent disappointing ladder results by pulling out a surprise victory at the 21st Century Cup in Edmonton, Canada. Interestingly, for the first time ever, a neural network program has had some success, with Neuro Go coming a creditable 6th.

  No.   Program Name      1   2   3   4   5   6   7   Pt   SOS  SB   MD

   1     Many Faces       4+ 10+  7+  2+  3+  5+  6+  7.0 29.0 29.0 20.0
   2     Go4++            5+  9+  3+  1-  7+  4+  8+  6.0 29.0 22.0 14.0
   3     Go Intellect     6+ 11+  2-  4+  1-  7+  9+  5.0 30.0 17.0 10.0
   4     Katsunari        1- 14+  9+  3-  8+  2-  7+  4.0 27.0  9.0  6.0
   5     Aya              2- 13+  8+  9- 11+  1- 12+  4.0 26.0 10.0  5.0
   6     Neuro Go         3-  8- 14+ 10+  9+ 12+  1-  4.0 23.0  8.0  5.0
   7     GNU Go          13+ 12+  1- 11+  2-  3-  4-  3.0 29.0  7.0  2.0
   8     Explorer        10-  6+  5- 13+  4- 11+  2-  3.0 26.0  9.0  3.0
   9     Smart Go        14+  2-  4-  5+  6- 13+  3-  3.0 25.0  6.0  2.0
  10     Indigo           8+  1- 11-  6- 12- 14+ 13+  3.0 21.0  5.0  2.0
  11     GREAT 5         12+  3- 10+  7-  5-  8- 14+  3.0 20.0  5.0  2.0
  12     Golois          11-  7- 13- 14+ 10+  6-  5-  2.0 19.0  3.0  0.0
  13     TSGo             7-  5- 12+  8- 14+  9- 10-  2.0 18.0  2.0  0.0
  14     Hiratsuka        9-  4-  6- 12- 13- 10- 11-  0.0 21.0  0.0  0.0

July 2002: Go4++ wins Computer Olympiad in Maastricht

Results: 19x19 All play all twice (once with each colour).
  Pos.  Program.               Wins
  1st   Go4++ (Reiss)           8
  2nd   Go Intellect (Chen)     5
  3rd   GnuGo (Wallin)          5
  4th   Star of DongHwa (Yen)   2
  5th   Ether (Lu)              0

May 2002: GoAhead topples the mighty Many Faces of Go!

On May 12th Peter Woitke's GoAhead defeated Many Faces of Go in a four-game match 3-1 to move forward to 2nd place on the Computer Go Ladder.

May 2002: Go4++ takes lead in Stefan Mertin's huge 13x13 contest

In most computer go contests each program will play each other only once, leaving a lot of room for luck to be involved. Stefan Mertin has taken it upon himself to run his own private tournament where each program plays each of its rivals multiple times. This is very time consuming and the contest is still not over. For more information see Stefan's page.

March 2002: Jellyfish enters the field

Fredrik Dahl, the author of the world famous Jellyfish Backgammon program has just released a "preliminary version" of a Go program called "WinHonte". It can be downloaded for free from Jellyfish-go.com. He started work on go programming in his spare time about six years ago. His program uses a combination of several different neural nets for different aspects of the game, such as shape evaluation and territory estimation. Some nets are trained by self play, others from expert games. The program also uses apha-beta search for local problems like connectivity and life-and-death. He has yet to test WinHonte in a systematic way, but it has beaten Handtalk version 97.06E a couple of times without handicap on a 19x19 board (but lost more).

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This page is maintained by Michael Reiss, portrait photography by A & M photography. This site is sponsored by RemoteStand.com