[Computer-go] Board Sizes

Don Dailey dailey.don at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 08:41:22 PST 2013

I personally believe that there is nothing particularly ideal about 19x19
and that the size of the board is based on the preferences of the masters
of years gone by.

I get the impression that the only reason it's not bigger than 19x19 is due
to practical considerations,  it just takes longer and longer to play a
game as the board gets bigger.    One thing I don't like about go is that
you must play each move very rapidly to have a game that does not take all
day.    So it's more of a right brain game.    Bigger than 19x19 just adds
even more emphasis to the strategic nature of the game and that is what the
top players wanted.

But one thing that I have come to appreciate is that even 7x7 is
non-trivial.    7x7 is too small to have a good game that will not always
end with the same score but you can construct problems that are profound.
  9x9 is already big enough to present a game that cannot be mastered.

My personal favorite size is 11x11,   a size nobody cares about.   After
getting a little experience focused on 9x9 for go programming I can see
that 11x11 is a nice step above 9x9 and chess and would present a nice
balance between strategy and tactics.    It's actually a huge jump up from
9x9 and I prefer economy.

19x19 is just too much and it takes forever to play a game unless you play
blitz speed.      This is why they have had to invent convoluted and
complex time controls to accommodate this game.


On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM, Michael Alford <malf at aracnet.com> wrote:

> On 1/7/13 12:08 AM, "Ingo Althöfer" wrote:
>  Go is traditionally played on boards of odd sizes (9x9, 13x13, 19x19, ...)
>> and almost never on even ones (10x10 or 18x18 ...). What are the reasons
>> for this?
>> Ingo (has observed something and wants to put it in context).
> Interesting discussion and links. I remember reading, although I cannot
> name the source, that board size was set at 19 due to extensions from the
> corner to the point under the side hoshi, only one player can extend to any
> side point, the other player is left with a less than optimal extension, if
> the board is larger, both players can make a proper extension, so 19 is the
> size which preserves the competition for that extension.
> Michael
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