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Re: [gnugo-devel] endgame module for GNU Go

From: Martin Girard
Subject: Re: [gnugo-devel] endgame module for GNU Go
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 23:03:25 -0400

On Sep 6, 2004, at 21:46, Gunnar Farnebäck wrote:

Xavier wrote:
That does depend on how exactly you differentiate between the concepts
but the most likely answers are "GNU Go doesn't really have any
strategy at all" and "yes".

Oh, I did not realize that by reading the documentation.
Thanks a lot. So one part of my job would be to realize a startegy,
before gluting it with existing tactic.

How do *you* define strategy and tactics in go? It could probably be
argued that GNU Go has the strategy to get as good score as possible,
but I'm not sure whether that is at all helpful in this discussion.


gnugo-devel mailing list

More about strategy:

I've just played a game (see attachment) against GNU Go 3.4 (package released by Sente for Mac OS X, strength 10). If you replay that game, you shall realize two things:

1) I suck;
2) It's not too hard to slaughter GNU Go even if you suck.

GNU Go's weakness is that it greedily and shortsightedly attempts to achieve the best possible score as only strategy, which is worse than having no stragegy at all, since that makes it utterly predictible.

The strategy I used in that game (killing stones in the center while giving away corners) was utterly obvious, yet GNU Go nonetheless fell for it and made careless moves a human player of that rank would never have made.

What's more, even though it was utterly obvious the stones in the center were threatened, GNU Go couldn't react in time because no amount of reading could possibly detect such cases in practice (threat is too distant), although a quick look is enough to see that vital points needed to be defended.

GNU Go won't improve significantly as long as it keeps taking simple baits like that; reading more moves ahead won't make much difference for obvious reasons. In order for it to improve beyond 1 dan (given it ever reaches it), it would need to figure out the opponent's intentions, forge a plan in order to foil them while making profit, and use influence to attack instead of just playing safe. In short, GNU Go is unable to understand intangible value, figure out distant threats and come with abstract goals; this is where effort should be put in the long run.


Attachment: 20040906-222523.sgf
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