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October 9th, 2007

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Strong bot freely available

There is a new computer program that plays a particularly strong version of Go. It is called Mogo and is freely available. It is particularly strong at 9×9 (allegedly ranked at 3 dan) and surprisingly strong at 19×19 (ranked at 3k on KGS). It makes use of the Monte Carlo technique to generate promising moves and is perhaps a hint of the future, where in fact brute force rather than human emulation will be the secret to achieving professional strength.

At 9×9, I’ve played it about twenty times and I’ve lost every time! At 19×19, it plays a VERY influence-oriented game. It is is not too difficult to beat after you get used to this. I will admit, however, that I lost in my first game against it, although I have beaten it consistently after that. (I am currently ranked 5k on SAGA, to give you some idea of its relative strength).

It comes as an engine, for which you need to download a front-end. The engine is available here. In terms of a front-end, if you are using windows, Drago is the only one that I know of, and it can be downloaded here. For linux users, goGui or qGo are the applications that apparently work best.

If you use Drago, set the custom parameters to “–9 –time 12” and be sure to mark the scoring mechanism as “area”

Edit: In 9×9, Mogo is very strong as black – in about 50 attempts playing as white I’ve yet to win. If I take black, however, I win most of the time.

Posted by Chris Welsh in Links

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