2005 European Go Congress – Computer Go

Praha (Prague), Czech Republic

Wednesday July 27th 2005

On Wednesday July 27th, the first rest day of the main tournament, the 2005 European Go Congress included a Computer Go Tournament. The rules were Chinese, with 7.5 komi; the time limits were one hour each sudden death. Entry was free, and there were cash prizes.

Originally the event was advertised as a five-round Swiss, starting at nine a.m. and continuing until after seven p.m. However, there were only four entrants, so we agreed to replace the schedule by an all-play-all.

The entrants were:

With only three entrants now, there was only one game in each round, and all of the kibitzers, up to ten of them, were watching the same game. The first game was between Tsgo and Neuron. Tsgo's sensible play easily defeated Neuron, and Tsgo won by 41½ points in an unremarkable game.

The second game was between Neuron and Spirit of Go. Spirit of Go made secure corners, while Neuron made a large moyo that might have been plenty for it to win, particularly as Spirit of Go never invades until it is (by normal standards) far too late. However, when Spirit of Go pushed at the walls of the moyo, Neuron several times failed to block effectively, and lost significant territory this way. Eventually Spirit of Go invaded what was left of the moyo, and though Neuron made the game exciting by passing several times, it did answer often enough to keep the invasion dead. At the end of the game Neuron thought it had won by 1½ points, and Spirit of Go does not know how to count and so had no opinion about the result. A count showed that in fact Spirit of Go had won by 6½ points. Neuron must have been using Japanese counting,

Thus the third game, between Tsgo and Spirit of Go, would decide the overall winner. Again Spirit of Go made small secure corners, while Tsgo made a large moyo, which it repeatedly reinforced, so that by any normal standards it was secure territory, enough to ensure a win by about 70 points. Spirit of Go eventually invaded when there were only dame points left to play. Tsgo understood that the dame points were worth a point each, and only bothered to answer the invasion when it thought it was necessary. Unfortunately Tsgo has been trained using professional games, and has little understanding of how to deal with an opponent who keeps on playing in a totally lost position. Several times it ignored moves that it ought not to have ignored, and Spirit of Go eventually took advantage of enough of these mistakes to make two eyes for its invasion, and take the lead. However this did not satisfy it; it continued with an even more unreasonable invasion, which also succeeded, so that it ended with a lead of 141½ points.

The prizewinners, in order, were

  1. Spirit of Go
  2. Tsgo
  3. Neuron
They received cash prizes of €50, €30 and €20.

Here are the game records:

  1. Tsgo / Neuron
  2. ( Neuron / Spirit of Go not available )
  3. Spirit of Go / Tsgo

Other computer Go Tournament results