Computer vs Pro at EGC

At EGC 2010 in Finland a match between a Cray XT4/XT5 supercomputer against a European 5 dan professional, Catalin Taranu, was played on a small 9x9 board with no handicap and after that a game with a full size 19x19 board with 7 stones handicap for the computer. The computer program MogoTW used 512 of the 10864 computer cores available in the supercomputer.

Most people interested in go-playing computers were expecting MogoTW, an improved version of Mogo, to give a tough resistance on the small board while having problems on the full sized board. In the game on the small 9x9 board the computer never really had a chance and lost. On the full sized 19x19 board the computer played quite well and had a nice lead in the endgame. Because of the way the program works (Monte Carlo/UCT) it didn't really try to take any points in the endgame and was instead connecting stones in its own territory, while the human professional player were taking point after point. But that was OK because of the computers big lead and in the end it had won by 1.5 points.

Next time it can play with six or even five stones handicap. By then the computers playing strength have probably increased so it will be a challenge for the next human professional to beat it.

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