[Computer-go] CGT in Clobber ?!

"Ingo Althöfer" 3-Hirn-Verlag at gmx.de
Tue Jul 14 00:45:06 PDT 2015

Hello Josef, hello all,

"Josef Moudrik" <j.moudrik at gmail.com>
> ... As far as I know, combinatorial game theory is not used 
> in modern Go engines, despite its nice theoretical properties. 

Let me tell you an anecdote from CGT history: In Februar 2002, there
was a week-long conference on "Algorithmic Combinatorial Game Theory"
in "Schloss Dagstuhl" (Germany). It was years before the Monte Carlo
revolution, and in those days many hopes for strong go bots were 
on CGT. 

In the beginning of the week, the simple board game Clobber
(perfectly suited for use of CGT) was introduced - and a human 
Clobber tournament was planned for the evenings. 
I proposed to write a Clobber bot (without using CGT), and
two other participants followed me. Within hours, our bots
were ready. And they crushed the humans (on 6x5 board size) 
terribly. So, "we" were excluded from the evening tournament
(and had to play our own bot competition).  The only comment on
my bot by senior Elwyn Berlekamp (one of the fathers of modern
CGT; co-author of "Winning ways") was: Why does it have such an
ugly graphical interface?  It seemed, Prof. Berlekamp was dis-
appointed by the fact that Clobber bots were so strong without 
using any CGT.

Photo with (almost) the whole group of 2002-participants:
In the very first row (sitting): third person from left
is John Tromp (the man from the Tromp-Taylor rules, from
the Tromp-Cook bet, from go position counting and and and).
In the same row the man with the diagonal go board is 
Martin Mueller. Directly behind Martin stands Richard Nowakowski
(with red shirt), co-inventor of Clobber (in Summ,er 2001, together 
with M.H. Albert and J.P. Grossman).


Looking forward to meet you in Liberec!

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