[Computer-go] 9x9 result in Olympiad

Darren Cook darren at dcook.org
Sat Aug 17 05:51:01 PDT 2013

> 9x9 tournament had 10 participants, and Zen won.
> 1st Zen     8  -1

Congratulations to Zen on a clean sweep of the go tournaments!

I'm sure feeling vindicated is one of the baser emotions, but I feel it
anyway: I remember 10 or so years ago (*) people telling me 9x9 was a
dull game, not worthy of research effort, and I was saying, no, there is
a lot of depth here.

And I claim there is still a lot of depth left to study. I notice Zen
lost a game. When I spoke with Hideki Kato (who also shares my
excitement at the remaining challenge of 9x9) about the loss he said it
was a bug or difficult position, as Zen's evaluation went from
90-something to 0 in the space of a move.

Yet this imperfect Zen beat everyone else. And this was played with a
komi of 7, so what we should have been seeing is draws everywhere.

Hideki also mentioned that most pros thought they could beat the strong
computer programs at 9x9. I think he was saying it is 19x19 they are
worried about, because it is too big and hard to play for humans. But on
9x9 they can read it out.  [Hideki, please correct me if I'm mis-quoting
you or the pros there.]


*: I remember 15+ years ago telling someone I thought I could *solve*
9x9 with a year of concerted effort (but unfortunately I was busy with
19x19). Ah, the arrogance of youth :-)

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