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May 1st, 2012

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Kobayashi Koichi talks about go at a TEDx event

Hopefully you’ll find these videos interesting: Kobayashi Koichi (Japanese 9-dan professional) discussing various aspects of Go at a Japanese TEDx event. (There are english subtitles available, just click on the “CC” button below the video.)

TEDx talk
Artificial intelligence discussion including Kobayashi Koichi

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News at 11:34 AM, No Comments »

August 21st, 2010

Igolocal: Google Earth to find nearby Go players

I think this is a pretty awesome innovation, especially for SA where our Go players can be spread so thin. IgoLocal is a website where players indicate where they (and their go clubs) are based, and allows other Go players and potential players to make contact. I strongly encourage you to check it out and add yourself to the directory, even if you’re just starting out with Go, or even want to learn how to play.

Posted by Steve as Links at 2:27 PM, No Comments »

June 15th, 2010

British Go Journal archive online

Impressive effort to make these available: British Go Journal archive

Posted by Chris Welsh as Links at 12:05 PM, No Comments »

July 24th, 2008


From Leela’s website:

Leela is a new, strong Go playing program combining recent advances in Go programming and further original research into a small, easy to use graphical interface.

Leela lite is a slimmed down version of Leela which omits the 19 x 19 board, the highest playing levels and the analysis mode. This makes it an ideal introduction to the game. It is freely available.

According to Chris Welsh, the free Leela lite version is much stronger than programs like Many Faces of Go and Igowin, and has a far nicer interface. So this may actually be a better program to send beginners to. I know Konrad has given it a try.

So, give it a try, and leave your impressions in a comment…

Posted by Steve as Articles, Links, News at 5:39 PM, 1 Comment »

January 7th, 2008

The pro who plays like (a little) like Victor

Gan Siyang (Chinese name 甘思阳) is a professional player who, around 2005, started playing unconventional openings. 6-4, tengen, 6-4, for instance, or opening on 8-8. Naturally, this leads to fascinating and unusual games. After struggling to find some more of his games, someone has posted a collection of about 25 of his games onto The collection (and a picture) can be found here.

Note that these sgf files still contain Chinese characters so it may not be that clear what is going on. Gan Siyang is the one with the strange opening moves!

Posted by Chris Welsh as Game records, Links, Pro News at 8:31 AM, 1 Comment »

October 9th, 2007

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 as Links at 1:13 AM, No Comments »

June 12th, 2007

SA Go facebook group

For those of you on facebook, this is to let you know there is now a group on facebook for South African Go.

Feedback on the group is encouraged. I’m not on facebook, so I’m interested in how people experience the group.

As I understand the contact person about the facebook group is Hugo van der Merwe.

Posted by Steve as Links, News at 9:16 AM, 2 Comments »

June 11th, 2007

Commented games from RoseDuke and breakfast

Today we have a bumper crop of comented games: Victor “Roseduke” Chow has kindly provided commented versions of 4 of his World Amateur Go championship games, all against top 10 finishers. Alex Dinerchtein, the Russian 1-dan professional with the Korean Go Institute has also commented one of those games, along with 2 of Victor’s earlier victories against Japanese pro’s in the 2005 IGS Rapid Championships.

Alex plays and offers lessons on KGS as “breakfast”. For more details, check out his pages on Also, if you aren’t subscribed to his free weekly newsletter, you’re missing out. More info is on, including a subscribe link on the sidebar.

Well, here are the games:

Posted by Steve as Game records, Links, Pro News at 10:15 AM, No Comments »

June 8th, 2007

Talking to Solaris

Cristian Pop, the former ex-insei who learnt go along with fellow Romanian, pro Catalin Taranu (5p), did really well at the WAGC this year, placing fourth. Another Romanian ex-insei, Sorin Gherman, caught up with Solaris, as Cristian is known on Go servers, to discuss his performance and development as a player after the tournament.

Check out the interview on 361 points.

Something to look forward to: I’ve got 3 of Victor’s games, commented by a pro: his game against Cristian in the WAGC, as well as his two pro victories in the IGS Rapid Champs. Hopefully I’ll be able to post them on Monday.

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News, Tournaments at 7:40 AM, No Comments »

June 7th, 2007

Check out this guy’s bookshelf!

This guy’s got some pretty nifty Go books. Which is your favourite?

Posted by Steve as Images, Links at 1:59 PM, 3 Comments »

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