[Beowulf] Go-playing machines

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Tue Jun 24 16:15:42 EDT 2008


Vincent,

I found your reply very agreable except this:

"The first few moves in go decide the outcome of the game already, as the
rest is just a 'playout' of the first few moves. So what matters most is the
first few moves in the game."

Many professional games are decided in the endgame. When I lose at chess,
it's almost always resignation within 50 moves; when I lose at go, it's
frequently necessary to count, less frequently resignation (but handicaps
make more games close), and I think I never resign before move 150 or so. In
fact, some crazy mathematicians proved that the endgame in go is very
tricky, see http://senseis.xmp.net/?TemperatureCGT (using "temperature" from
combinatorial game theory).

As it happens I'm really bad at fuseki, and often have to catch up with
fighting in the middle game, which often leads to resentful squeezing of the
yose :-) So I rarely have quick games.

Peter

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