1996 Ing World Computer Goe Championship

report by David Fotland

The 1996 World Computer Go Congress was held on Nov 16 and 17 at Zhongshan University, in Guangzhou, China. The Ing foundation provided prize funds and money to run the competition, and Chen Zhi Xing, author of handtalk, organized it. We had a 6 round swiss tournament, with the top 4 programs from last year seeded in a 12 program field. The tournament was well organized, with 133 Mhz Pentium computers provided. There were no computer problems, and the rounds started on time. Many programs implemented the computer go modem protocol, which helped make the rounds go faster.

The final result was:

1st6 winsHandtalkChen Zhi Xing
2nd5 winsGo IntellectKen Chen
3rd4 winsStoneKao Kuo Yuan
4th3 winsGo4++Michael Reiss
5th3 winsMany Faces of GoDavid Fotland
6th3 winsGo MasterJee Wonho
7th3 winsJimmyYan Shi-jim
8th3 winsWuluChen Guo Bao, Lei Xue Ru, and Fan Jin Chao
9th2 winsSasonHa Youngkyun
10th2 winsDFGOChen Tie Jun
11th1 winWQWang Sheng Jun
12th1 winWuWu Tong Kuan

This year Handtalk was clearly superior, easily winning all its games. The closest was a 21 point win over Go4++. Kao has completely rewritten Stone, working 10 hours a day since June. This is his first finish in the top 3 places. His new program focuses on fighting well, and reading life and death accurately. WuLu is another good new program. It had bad luck in losing one game on time, but had a very close game against Go4++, so it is stronger than it appears from this result. It is written by Prof Chen's assistants and is only 2 years old.

Go Intellect has been ported to windows-95 on a PC, and is stronger than last year.

The closest game was between Many Faces of Go and Go4++, which Many Faces won by only 1 point, playing black.

Go4++ has a territory oriented style, while the other top programs all depend on fighting strength. Last year Go4++ did very well, but the other programs have had a year to get used to playing against this style, so it was not as effective this year. Go4++ has a stylized opening, always taking 2 adjacent 3-3 points and splitting the other side on its first 3 moves. Handtalk prepared a counter fuseki that prevented Go4++ from starting a moyo anywhere.

This year the human players were quite strong, and won all 3 games against Handtalk with an 11 play handicap.

The full tournament grid (not in order of final result):

1Handtalk+2+4+7+10+11+66  1
2Sason-1+3-4-6-7+523 9
3DFGO-4-2+5+12-6-922 10
4Many Faces+3-1+2+7-10-1137 5
5Wu-6-8-3-9+12-211 12
7Go4+++8+6-1-4+2-1038 4
9Go Master-10-12-11+5+8+336 6
10Go Intellect+9+11+12-1+4+75  2
11Stone+12-10+9+8-1+44  3
12WQ-11+9-10-3-5-83 11

This entire report was written by David Fotland.

Other computer Go Tournament results