[Computer-go] 9x9 result in Olympiad

Don Dailey dailey.don at gmail.com
Sat Aug 17 06:01:21 PDT 2013

I have always thought 9x9 had great depth and was a worthy game in its own
right.   I don't think any human or computer has come close to mastering
it.    If it were played at the very top (with a suitable komi to avoid
draws) the best players would distinguish themselves as better than the
second best and there would be plenty of opportunity for mistakes and great

But then again I don't know my opinion is worth as I am not a tournament
player and certainly not strong by any measure :-)

On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 8:51 AM, Darren Cook <darren at dcook.org> wrote:

> > 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.]
> Darren
> *: 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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