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Microsoft Research Takes On Go

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the narrowing-the-possibilities dept.

Microsoft 175

mikejuk writes "Microsoft Research has used F# and AI to implement a consumer-quality game of Go — arguably the most difficult two-person game to implement. They have used an interesting approach to the problem of playing the game, which is a pragmatic cross between tree search with pruning and machine learning to spot moves with a 'good shape.' The whole lot has been packaged into an XNA-based game with a story."

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Hikaru no Go (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34735866)

Hikaru no Go will slap this game around silly.... on a serious note, from what I've read previously on the Go AI attempts, if this is at all a good AI, then kudos to MS research.

Re:Hikaru no Go (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736826)

Watashi ha Hikaru. Why I no go? I must know. Naze da! Naze da! Sabedu ka!

Please, Hikaru is good. Hikaru go, OK?

Re:Hikaru no Go (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34739342)

For those of us who do not speak Japanese, anyone care to explain what the above two comments actually mean?

Microsoft spam (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34735882)

Needs an Xbox 360 to play. Microsoft spam.

Capitalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34735900)

You don't capitalize "checkers" or "chess"; you shouldn't capitalize "go".

Re:Capitalization (2)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736148)

The British Go Association [britgo.org] would capitalise Go, Chess and Checkers, although it would be more likely to refer to the last one as Draughts.

I don't know whether they're correct.

Re:Capitalization (2)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738628)

You don't capitalize "checkers" or "chess"; you shouldn't capitalize "go".

It's one of those areas in which you're dealing with shades of gray. You wouldn't say "the chess" or "the go," which is a characteristic of a proper noun. (not being preceded by "the") Proper nouns are, obviously, capitalized. It really comes down to whether or not "chess" and "go" are proper nouns. They are names, which are generally proper nouns, but it's usually more _brand_ names than anything. It's not really something I would criticize though. It could really go either way..

Re:Capitalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34739320)

Really? I find it hard to think of any examples. "The United States", sure, but that is very awkward. "The Germany"? "The Monopoly"? "The Phil"? "The Microsoft"? "The It's a Wonderful Life"? "The January"? This rule seems to be not even remotely valid. Am I missing something?

Re:Capitalization (2)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34739352)

You don't capitalize "checkers" or "chess"; you shouldn't capitalize "go".

The difference is, the words "checkers" and "chess" do not have any other meanings in the English language besides the games, so there is no ambiguity. The word "go", however, is a very common verb in the English language, so capitalizing the name of the game helps to clarify the meaning.

Confusing title (3, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735902)

When I saw "Microsoft takes on Go", I thought of Google Go [wikipedia.org] . It only adds to the confusion that both F# and Go attempt to solve some concurrency issues, though I thought it odd to compete with an imperative language using a functional one. I had to do a double-take to understand it was talking about a game.

Sheesh, I need sleep. And perhaps to stop learning so many useless programming languages.

Re:Confusing title (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735942)

And perhaps to stop learning so many useless programming languages.

FORTRAN, ALGOL, COBOL ... Forth ... ? Hey, if you can make money programming it, it's not useless.

Re:Confusing title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736896)

When I saw "Microsoft takes on Go", I thought of Google Go [wikipedia.org] . [...]

Sheesh, I need sleep. And perhaps to stop learning so many useless programming languages.

No, it's just a stupid name. The first thing I thought when I read the announcement and saw the name was "that name is already taken by something else".

Now of course it's kind of hard to find words that aren't already used, but it was rather a silly choice. If they were just some obscure university research group they could have picked "Go" and no one would care, but given their prominence, they're just muddying the waters with the name.

Re:Confusing title (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737652)

Sheesh, I need sleep. And perhaps to stop learning so many useless programming languages.

Useless programming languages are for useless programming.

--

Sigfault

Go is not a game (5, Interesting)

Kim0 (106623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735922)

Go is not a game because it does not have rules that are clearly interpretable, except the new Tromp/Taylor rules.
One sign of this is that Japanese monks have for about 400 hundred years quarreled about how certain patterns should be interpreted.

When I started to learn the game, I was told that it was exceedingly simple, but learned that there was a thick book of how to interpret patterns, which obviously is not simple. And after playing it a little, and thinking about it, it became apparent to me that there were end game effects that were simply ignored. The Japanese versus Chinese "rules" give very different endgames, but the practice is to simply ignore that and pretend there is no problem. One just stops when the players agree that the rest of the game would be obvious and boring, without that necessarily being true.

Robert Jasiek has done extensive analysis of Go, and seems to be the only one actually understanding the game as it is played in practice.
Here are a short list of the major mistakes that Go rulesets contain. [snafu.de]
Here are lots of short analyses of different scoring methods. [snafu.de]
Here are some game patterns that give different problems in different rulesets. [snafu.de]

When it is not even possible to analyze parts of games then true optimal play regresses to quarreling about it, which is precisely what the Japanese tradition has done for at least some hundred years. Robert Jasiek has made the only consistent interpretation of the Japanese "rules", and it is somewhat insane to read, with 3 levels of recursion. It means that instead of there just being an ordinary game tree, the rules at each node in the game tree are determined by hypothetical game trees at these nodes, and the same goes for the hypothetical game trees. Gaaahrgle!

Those programming Go players typically do statistics on games played by humans instead of having a scoring function, or they use the Tromp/Taylor rules.

So Go is riddled with quarrels and pretense. Not a game in practice. More like politics, or Zen.

Kim0+

Re:Go is not a game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34735956)

Sir, I think you should re-read what you just wrote.

Since when is Go not a game? Because it's just complicated?

Have you ever actually played go? If so, you'd know it takes alot of skill and even more practice to master.

Anything that takes practice, skill and involves fun is a game.

Red Rover does not have any 'rules' or 'regulations'. Yet, I bet you played it when you were little.

~Valk

Re:Go is not a game (2)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736392)

Sir, I think you should re-read what you just wrote.

Since when is Go not a game? Because it's just complicated?

Have you ever actually played go? If so, you'd know it takes alot of skill and even more practice to master.

Anything that takes practice, skill and involves fun is a game.

Red Rover does not have any 'rules' or 'regulations'. Yet, I bet you played it when you were little.

~Valk

Everything is a game. There's always a winner, and a loser, the trick is to determine when you are the latter, to become the former. All games have consequences. In the end the only guarantee you have is, that sooner or later, you lose.

Wake up Jake!

Re:Go is not a game (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736048)

Yes, you are correct, though you do not know why. Go is not a game like Chess or Monopoly or Boggle. Weiqi (not Go, quit calling it that) is culture. Weiqi is one of the Four Arts, the other three being music, poetry, and painting. Would you condemn any other Art for being not up to Western standards? "This Chinese poetry is bullshit! It's written with some unreadable glyphs, and the entire subtext is riddled with quarrels and pretense!"

Fucking racists. From now on, Kim0, please stop criticizing cultures other than your own. Your racism privileges have been revoked.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736818)

It would be like saying tàijíquán is not a martial art because nobody gets knocked out (well, seldom).

Re:Go is not a game (5, Insightful)

dair (210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736064)

In practice the problem you see (ambiguities in the endgame) are only really an issue for computer Go. Human players rarely disagree over when a game is "over", as typically the outcome becomes obvious long before each stone is played out to the absolute end.

Perhaps a good analogy is poetry: it is perfectly possible for a poem to convey meaning, even if it does not conform to the rules of the language or have a literal meaning (and yet, people still understand it).

The thick book of "how to interpret patterns" is simply a set of standard plays that people have found empirically to work well (in exactly the same way as opening books are used in chess). Like chess, you are free to ignore those patterns if you like, but typically that leaves you in a weaker position than you would be in otherwise.

These patterns are most commonly used in the opening moves, but local instances of them pop up all the time ("if he moves there, I should move here, then he *has* to move there I'll capture these stones").

The rule is that game is over when both players agree that it is over: if there is a disagreement, the game is played on. Some positions lead to an infinite repeat (A captures B, B captures A, A captures B, etc) but thee plays typically don't determine the final score (if the score was equal, and there was an infinite repeat, then humans would simply call it a draw). Computers can recognise trivial cases of this easily, and do OKish with heuristics for simple cases.

However the real difficulty in computer Go is understanding just why humans make the moves they do, as outside of the standard sequences a move is often made intuitively as a way to steer the other player even though the consequences of that move may be some way off (or may need to be abandoned, or redirected, or reused in some unplanned way).

Go is a truly fascinating game, and also a very human one (computers will play it well one day, but probably about the same time that they get good at writing poems, playing tricks, or asking why).

Re:Go is not a game (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736286)

Infinite capture loops are illegal moves because of the rule of Ko.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736340)

There's some instances of multiple Ko which the standard Ko rule fails to resolve, as noted in the links provided by the grandparent. These are a rare corner-case, mind you, but they can arise. And they're taken care of by all standard rule sets, not sure what the grandparent is trying to complain about.

Re:Go is not a game (3, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736406)

Not under Japanese rules, or Korean rules, or any ruleset lacking a superko rule. What dair(210) says is also wrong: The corner cases are NOT a problem for computer go, because programs rarely play with the traditional, informal rulesets lacking superko. (When they are forced to, such as in certain tournaments, they perform slightly worse, but not disastrously so).

A more common problem for Go programs is bugs in the superko handling. Nick Wedd runs monthly bot tournaments at KGS, if you take a look at his reports, you'll see hardly a tournament goes by without some program crashing, or timing out due to wanting to play an illegal move (forbidden by superko)

Re:Go is not a game (1)

Kim0 (106623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736532)

Thanks for telling me a little more about the book.

I have done deep game theoretical analyses for some years, and gotten some interesting results. One of them is that if one appears to be on the losing side, one can decrease the chance of that by making the game more random by running into more complicated fields of game space.

Wether those fields exist or not depends strongly on the end game, and in Go there seems to me likely to be the possibility of impenetrable almost infinite thickets. I do not know yet if that really is the truth, but there are some powerful hints of that, like John Tromps work in the direction making Go boards that are universal computers, and in the construction of infinite draw situation patterns.

The upshot of this is that endgames of almost maximally strong Go players may be almost infinitely long and complicated.

Re:Go is not a game (2)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737888)

The upshot of this is that endgames of almost maximally strong Go players may be almost infinitely long and complicated.

No, it isn't. You need to get your head out of the clouds and actually learn Go. The game simplifies greatly the closer it gets to the endgame. That's why experienced human players can almost always agree on what stones are dead under Japanese rules without using Jasiek's precise definition of Japanese rules.

General applicability? (1)

nten (709128) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738116)

Does retreating to chaotic gamespace work in other complex games too? It makes intuitive sense that if an opponent is better at you with pistols at ten paces, that you choose shotguns at twenty. If it is not considered bad form to refuse to acknowledge defeat until the last move, it seems this technique could turn Go into a game of mental endurance.

Re:General applicability? (2)

Kim0 (106623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34739054)

My mental image is a rabbit running into a thicket to avoid a fox, or eagle.

The Norwegian young chessmaster Magnus Karlsen is said to rely on making the game so complex that only he understands it.

Kim0+

Re:Go is not a game (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34739250)

Rather than making wild speculation, why not take a week to learn the basics of the game?

Yes, in Go one can make structures that are "unconditionally alive", meaning they cannot be captured anymore (unless the owning player suicides them, however this is never optimal play).

I believe the work of John Tromp that you're refering to is based on capture problems. That is, can player A capture this group of Player B. Like similar problems in many interesting games, this problem has high computational complexity.

With regards to the "endgame", usually that word is reserved for after the status of all the group is resolved (i.e. it's known which groups can be captured and which cannot), and the remaining play is squeezing the last few points of territory out. In other words, the game has stabilized, and there are not that many moves left. Playing the endgame optimally is a very interesting computational problem, and the field is known as "combinatorial game theory".

With regards to complicating the game, yes, like almost any strategy game, a player has the ability to pick complicated variations. Dare I say, pros often do this just to expose weaknesses in their opponent. However, it's nearly impossible to delay the number of moves until game completion by a significant amount. There are only 361 points to play on the board, and they only free up with captures, and there's only so much capturing you can force. The best way to delay the game is probably with ko-fights (indeed, setting up kos is a required skill of advanced players), which involve repeated captures of the same square, although these can rarely last more than a few dozen moves before it is settled.

Circular reasoning (nothing is obvious) (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736584)

In practice the problem you see (ambiguities in the endgame) are only really an issue for computer Go. Human players rarely disagree over when a game is "over", as typically the outcome becomes obvious long before each stone is played out to the absolute end.

How many times people have considered something "obvious" that later turns out to be wrong, when you analyze it to the absolute end? There seems to exist a consensus that some positions are better than others, but how do you know it unless you play it to the end?

I've never played go, but I often see comments on how difficult it seems to be to implement a good software to play go. Perhaps that's because go isn't really that well understood by humans either. When computers start playing go better than humans, some of these winning positions may not be so good after all.

Re:Circular reasoning (nothing is obvious) (1)

Kim0 (106623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737020)

I could not agree more.

Kim0+

Re:Circular reasoning (nothing is obvious) (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738050)

There seems to exist a consensus that some positions are better than others, but how do you know it unless you play it to the end?

Exactly true, and the Japanese rules only make sense by referring to rules where you can play the game out. The history of Go rules are murky (the game is thousands of years old), but I firmly believe that Japanese rules were derived as a shortcut from simpler rules were it was easy to play things out. If you learn Chinese-style rules first, you can gain this insight as to how the Japanese rules make sense.

In practice, Chinese-style rules and Japanese-style rules are equivalent to within 1 point. Most games are decided by more than 1 point, and the game is played virtually the same.

Perhaps that's because go isn't really that well understood by humans either.

In practice, greater than 99% of games end without any such mystery when played by strong players. Players new to the game do not have this experience, so they should start with Chinese-style rules to avoid the mysterious nature of the endgame.

Re:Circular reasoning (nothing is obvious) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34739340)

How many times people have considered something "obvious" that later turns out to be wrong, when you analyze it to the absolute end? There seems to exist a consensus that some positions are better than others, but how do you know it unless you play it to the end?

Because in Go there is such a thing as uncapturable groups. If play A's uncapturable groups have more than half the available points, it's impossible to lose no matter what the status of B's groups are.

In practice humans stop playing when it's clear to them which groups are uncapturable ("alive" is the Go term). If they disagree, then play continues. In light of that, you can see how the GP makes sense. It's true that the rulesets themselves may be a bit ambiguous on the technicalities of scoring (namely the Japanese rules--other rules are much more algorithmic), but it mostly doesn't matter since the players basically always agree in the status of the groups.

It is hard to score a Go game algorithmically because it requires a good deal of Go knowledge to know which groups are uncapturable--perhaps as much knowledge as the players themselves, as advanced players may leave some very complicated on the problems on the board if they both understand it.

Re:Go is not a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736646)

I just wanted to thank you for your excellent post. I've been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to word a response which conveys exactly what your post does, gave up, and checked to see if anyone else figured out how to phrase it.

Well put.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736890)

Computers play it well right now. It would take a beginner years of practice to rival gnu go and that is by no means the strongest one out there. The best engines are playing at 4 dan, or borderline pro, currently. Deep Blue isn't far off.

Re:Go is not a game (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34737102)

I couldn't disagree more. It shouldn't take a beginner much time at all to beat most of the computer Go players. Years of practice? Nope , months of enjoyment will usually do.

Re:Go is not a game (3, Insightful)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737576)

19-10 kyu is a casual player. gnu go is 5 kyu, beyond the casual range, actually getting pretty close to a dan rating. A few months gets you within spitting distance of dan? Perhaps you haven't seen beginners play gnu go. The reputation of go engines seems stuck in the 90s while their gameplay isn't. Watch them play, especially against someone with less experience.

Re:Go is not a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34737490)

Interesting, can you name any such software that can play go and has a 4 dan rank?

Re:Go is not a game (2)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737854)

Fuego playing 9x9 has a 5d rank on KGS, looks like 2k for 19x19. I'm pretty sure crazystone can also play that well.

It was crazystone that used a 9 stone handicap to beat a 9p player with a 9 stone handicap if I'm not mistaken.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737570)

Not in my experience.

I got into Go several years ago and was holding my own against gnu go in easily under a year. Then I logged on to Yahoo Games and lost every game except two, even when playing people with lower (chess-style) scores than mine and those who were too new to be ranked.

Re:Go is not a game (2)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737942)

I got into Go several years ago

As you state, your experience is several years out of date. Go programs went through a great leap from 2006 to present, due to the technique of Monte Carlo Tree Search.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34739374)

Certainly Monte Carlo go engines are a lot stronger than their predecessors, and it takes a lot of practice (I don't think _years_ of practice is fair to claim- it'd depend on how much of your time you were devoting) to be able to play against a good engine on today's fast multicore hardware. But I don't think the stable version of GNU Go uses UCT/Monte Carlo by default.

It's also certain that getting to where you can play at the same level as Fuego on today's machines is a very realistic goal for a newcomer while being able to do the same with one of the better chess engines is beginning to be out of reach of those who have committed their entire lives to chess.

Re:Go is not a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34739424)

Not quite. A beginner can beat Gnu Go in a few months if they are at least somewhat serious (and have at least average mental ability). It makes a lot of tragic misjudgements, but it's quite good at tactics, which saves its butt against beginners.

The best programs are pro-level in 9x9 Go. However they are 1 or 2 dan in 19x19, the standard size, even when using some expensive hardware. They still have systematic weaknesses which will never be fixed by Moore's law (multiple semeai is the hot issue right now), perhaps when those get patched up they may gain another dan. However there is still a long way to go to get to pro-level (roughly 7-9 dan) and hardware alone won't get us there until the systematic weaknesses can be addressed.

Re:Go is not a game (4, Informative)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738238)

In practice the problem you see (ambiguities in the endgame) are only really an issue for computer Go.

Wrong. New players frequently have a hard time understanding Japanese rules. This is why people like Kim0 exist. On their own, the Japanese rules logically don't make sense. You have to know how to play to end the game, and you have to know how to end the game before you can learn how to play.

Instead, new players should be referred to Chinese-style rules. The Japanese rules are fine for experienced players.

Perhaps a good analogy is poetry

No, that's a terrible analogy. There are no rules to poetry, and there is no winner and loser. You're just adding confusion.

The rule is that game is over when both players agree that it is over: if there is a disagreement, the game is played on.

That's the problem with Japanese rules. It is not easy to "play on" and determine the score. It is trivial with Chinese-style rules.

Go is a truly fascinating game, and also a very human one (computers will play it well one day, but probably about the same time that they get good at writing poems, playing tricks, or asking why).

Computers already play the game well. They have reached dan status.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736152)

The Japanese versus Chinese "rules" give very different endgames, but the practice is to simply ignore that and pretend there is no problem.

That's because it would destroy the harmony [guardian.co.uk] of the game if you start discussing all the problems with the rules.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736412)

It's just wrong. The endgames are the same. They are just typically played out a bit further under Chinese rules, that's all.

Re:Go is not a game (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736198)

Rubbish

Go is a great game. The chinese and aga rules are precise and assign a score to every position in a simple way with no arguement. The japanese rules are potentially complex but in practise the sort of positions in which difficulties arise rarely if ever occur. The Japanese rules are more conveniant to play with although not as mathematically complete. Still, in 10 years of tournament play I have never seen a position the outcome of which depended on the rules employed.

Re:Go is not a game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736254)

Do you actually play the game. From your post it seems like you are trying to program it without any insight as a player. Sorry, but that will fail.

Go is not a game because it does not have rules that are clearly interpretable, except the new Tromp/Taylor rules.

Wrong, the rules are simple and clearly interpretable for humans. There are some odd cases, in which the different rule sets disagree, but they are very rare and it practice the game in exactly the same regardless of which set of rules you use.

The Japanese versus Chinese "rules" give very different endgames, but the practice is to simply ignore that and pretend there is no problem.

Wrong. Except a few rare situation they are equivalent.

Robert Jasiek has done extensive analysis of Go, and seems to be the only one actually understanding the game as it is played in practice.

Jasiek has done a nice job of cleaning up the rules text, but again, in practice it is no difference at all. I've been playing for ten years and I have never ever made a different move because of the rule set.

Please try to learn the game a bit deeper before making judgements. Go is a hard game for beginners to grasp, and you will have to play many games before the confusion starts to clear.

Re:Go is not a game (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736388)

Games evolve. There's a new computer variant that koreans are playing where you can place hidden stones that your opponent doesn't know where they are until he surrounds it. It's like a cross between go and battleship but it looks like it makes it more interesting.

Re:Go is not a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736458)

Um, no. You're obviously confused. Or haven't played much.

There's some minor differences between Chinese, Japanese and other rulesets. Doesn't really change the core game much.

In any case, once a ruleset is decided upon for play, then there's really no problem or ambiguity. No zen here, no politics, no quarrels and certainly no pretense.

Re:Go is not a game (3, Informative)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736480)

You only see these kinds of "problems" with the game when you haven't played long enough to understand the game. There really aren't any problems along the lines you're thinking. Nearly everything you said is incorrect. The Chinese vs Japanese rules do sometimes differ by a few points here and there, but rarely, and if you know which ruleset you're playing under it really shouldn't matter. In fact, if you include stone passing (see AGA Rules) then Chinese and Japanese rules work out the same. Oh, the horror.

As to the Ko rules, ... yes, I've personally fretted over the dreaded triple Ko and I've been frustrated over 4 in the corner, but the triple ko never really comes up and you can play out 4 in the corner if you're obstinate. There are complicated solutions to the tripple ko, such as Ing rules, but nobody cares. It just doesn't matter.

I've also played many new players, presumably like yourself, that can't tell when a game should end. That's normal when you're starting out. What we do with those new players is keep playing until they feel like stopping and sometimes comment on why their plans don't work or why they're losing points. You see, if you keep playing in Japanese rules, you will lose points. Under Chinese rules, you simply keep playing until you get really bored, so you only need to point out that the score isn't changing and isn't likely to change. Problem solved.

The thing that really puzzles me more than anything is why you'd take the time to claim Go isn't a game. Clearly it is, people play it all the time; millions in fact. It's even televised in many Asian countries. Is it some kind of grudge? Are you a chess player that's really jealous? I don't get it. Weird.

Re:Go is not a game (2)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738162)

In fact, if you include stone passing (see AGA Rules) then Chinese and Japanese rules work out the same.

As if by magic? You're confused. The AGA rules are just Chinese rules in disguise. They let you mechanically count the board as you would with Japanese rules, but the winner would be determined as if played under Chinese rules, not Japanese rules. Dame is worth 1 point and needs to be strategically considered.

I've also played many new players, presumably like yourself, that can't tell when a game should end. That's normal when you're starting out. What we do with those new players is keep playing until they feel like stopping and sometimes comment on why their plans don't work or why they're losing points. You see, if you keep playing in Japanese rules, you will lose points.

A smart and logical student will plunk a stone done in the middle of his opponent's territory and point out that it takes 4 stones for their opponent to kill the stone, thus causing the opponent to lose points. The student is then berated and made to feel ashamed for being "stubborn" for trying to apply logic.

Under Chinese rules, you simply keep playing until you get really bored, so you only need to point out that the score isn't changing and isn't likely to change. Problem solved.

Yes, Chinese rules actually make sense when you try to play the game out. That's why new players should learn them first.

Re:Go is not a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736754)

This is just plain ignorance.

You are confusing rules with various types of patterns. Patterns are discussed, not because the rules haven't been decided, but because the complex nature of the game means certain patterns develop peculiar properties. The discussion of these patterns are for learning when to recognize them developing and how deal with them. They are no different to the chess problems you get in newspapers - you don't call them rules do you?

You basically ended up arguing that you don't like the game because it's more complicated than it looks at first glance. All complicated board games have a lot of levels of recursion. Do you want people to apologize that Go is not as computable as Snakes and Ladders?

Re:Go is not a game (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736786)

Go is not a game because it does not have rules that are clearly interpretable

That makes Go a great game.

Re:Go is not a game (0)

Kim0 (106623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737056)

Go is not a game because it does not have rules that are clearly interpretable

That makes Go a great game.

If so, you should go and play some art.

Kim0+

Re:Go is not a game (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738072)

If so, you should go and play some art.

That's how I make my living, friend.

Re:Go is not a game (3, Interesting)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737404)

This is like saying that real numbers are political and not mathematical because of the funny way that infinities are defined and handled.

Dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34737590)

like... OMG... what if... like... the movie "Inception" is really just a game of Go?

Re:Go is not a game (2)

zacronos (937891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737660)

Go is not a game because it does not have rules that are clearly interpretable, except the new Tromp/Taylor rules.
[...]
When it is not even possible to analyze parts of games then true optimal play regresses to quarreling about it
[...]
So Go is riddled with quarrels and pretense. Not a game in practice. More like politics, or Zen.

So are you saying anything that has any ambiguities or regional variations in the rules (even if just in edge cases) cannot qualify as a game? Or that only games where the concept of "optimal play" is valid can qualify as games? I would disagree strongly with either of those positions.

I have played PLENTY of board games where not-so-uncommon edge cases are not adequately handled. That doesn't stop me from playing, and it doesn't stop me from having fun. Every time I sit down with a new group of people to play, say, Hearts or Euchre, I preemptively ask how we're going to handle certain situations. Different people play slightly different ways, and that's fine with me.

There is also such a thing as games which are played for the enjoyable experience of playing them, and so "optimal play" makes no sense. The children's game "patty-cake" is a pretty clear example, or any number of children's games, especially the ones that children make up on the spot. What about improv games such as on the TV show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" My friends and I sometimes have improv parties, where we exclusively play games like that. Or what about pencil-and-paper RPGs? Optimal play is often not the most enjoyable way to play, if it is even a concept that can be defined for a given game.

Maybe more importantly, I'd like to point out that quarrels, pretense, and politics are central tenets upon which many games are built -- I would argue that those things are likely the most prolific inspirations for games that one could find. Formal game theory is very useful for analyzing politics and quarrels, and has also been used to study the effects of pretense and lying. Aren't chess [wikipedia.org] and Go [wikipedia.org] both likely inspired by war?

The only way I can make sense of your post is if I conclude that when you use the word "game", you mean something very much more specific than the rest of us, containing only a tiny subset of what is generally referred to as a game in common language.

WTF? (2)

mac1235 (962716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735932)

"Many games are written in C++, but this requires a lot of ‘libraries’ to store information, along with a lot of man power to create them. XNA comes with a number of pre-made libraries, making it a lot easier to program with."

I thought C++, (as a well established Programming language) would have more libraries than XNA, which I had not previously heard of?

Re:WTF? (3, Informative)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735998)

XNA is effectively a game specific library that lets you develop for the xbox and windows. When they say XNA they really mean XNA + .net which combined has a pretty extensive library for game development. While XNA has a lot of helper libraries that let you work with DirectX and managed code, it does not really have anything specific related to AI and since this is an AI project primarily that statement seems to be an advertisement for XNA.

Re:WTF? (1, Troll)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736002)

You are not understanding how languages work inherently different.

All the C++ libraries in the world will not change how C++ fundamentally works.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736290)

Hey, it is Microsoft, they are allowed to have some free advertisement and FUD campaigns every now and then, right?
We have come to expect it from them.

Re:WTF? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736984)

It's a matter of convenince. There are more C++ libraries than .NET libraries, but that doesn't make it convenint to find or use a good game framework that provides the libraries you need and isn't a pain to use. XNA isn't a language, but it is a framework aimed specifically at developing games, and from what I've seen it's very good at that. It's based on .NET, and typically used with C#. Thus, for game development, XNA (and .NET) is a good choice because it largely avoids the "I need to find/write code that does X" and "I need to integrate this piece of code that does X with the other piece of code that does Y" problems.

There's nothing inherently wrong developing a game in C++, but it's a lot easier to do it if you start with the XNA framework (with the .NET language of your choice, possibly even C++).

Re:WTF? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34739086)

It was described poorly in the article. XNA is Microsoft's framework for writing games in C#, in other words, it IS a library. It's one way to program graphics on the Xbox, and the only way on Windows Phone 7. It's not as capable as some other frameworks (if you want to see games like this [youtube.com] on WP7, forget about it). If you like C#, you will probably like XNA. In my opinion it's as good as any other sprite framework.

I seem to recall (3, Interesting)

thesk8ingtoad (445723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735934)

Reading a research paper a few years ago that presented the idea that the best way to approach the game was through catastrophe avoidance. The idea was to identify the moves that would lead to a massive loss, then to take another move at random. I wonder how their AI would fare in comparison.

how well does it rank? (1)

mbuimbui (1130065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34735992)

Is it a dan yet?

It isn't very strong (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34735996)

Q: How strong is the AI?
A: The AI is strong enough that the game could challenge the vast majority of newcomers to the game. It doesn't compare like-for-like with other high performance computing solutions that have been developed for Go - which only Go experts would be able to compete with - but it does give it a more natural feel and makes the game accessible for a broader audience.

I got excited when I saw the story. Sigh. This won't appeal to people who already play Go. It may appeal to people who have never played. I'm guessing that the game itself won't produce many more Go players. On the other hand, people may read the story on Slashdot and become curious.

It is relatively easy to beat the existing Go games on a 19x19 board. On the other hand, the existing games are OK on a 9x9 board. On the smaller board, tactics rule. On the full size board, strategy rules. If you make a mistake on the small board, you will be ruthlessly punished.

What does "beat" mean in Go? In Go, it is possible for an expert and a beginner to have a satisfying game. The weaker player gets to place a certain number of stones on the board before the stronger player makes his first move. The handicap system is pretty reliable and is part of Go culture. If they are properly handicapped, the weaker player will beat the stronger player 50% of the time.

If we want to seriously talk about how strong a computer game is, we have to talk about handicap. A computer game that needs only a one stone handicap to keep up with an expert would be exciting. With a zero stone handicap, it wouldn't sound very good because it would lose most of the time. Currently, the best programs, running on heavy duty computers, can keep up if they are given a six or seven stone handicap. Wiki [wikipedia.org]

Re:It isn't very strong (3, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736470)

It is relatively easy to beat the existing Go games on a 19x19 board.

Really. When you say such a thing, it can mean one of two things: You're stronger than European 1 Dan (corresponding to Japanese/AGA 4 Dan, KGS 2-3 Dan) or you haven't been playing computer Go much lately. Many Faces of Go, Zen, Fuego, Aya play on a level it will take years of serious club play to beat (for most of us).

Relatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34737066)

It is very hard for humans to beat a good chess program. It is, in comparison, relatively easy for humans to beat a good Go program. I didn't say it was relatively easy for me to beat a good Go program. Read more carefully Grasshopper. ;-)

Re:Relatively (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737644)

It was a reasonable parsing of what you said. Either way, it does injustice to the Go Program writers: They have written programs that a go club attendee starting today can not take for granted that he will ever beat (assuming he has neither very much more or less talent than usual).

And that's not even taking program progression into account: 4d is simply out of reach for most of us. Most people on KGS seem to flatten out at 1k/1d or below, and use years for each further level - if they ever get them.

Oh, who cares about quality? (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736030)

Who cares about quality? The first result from that expensive human zoo called Microsoft Research is going to end up in a Microsoft product! That's the real news here.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736062)

Who cares about quality? The first result from that expensive human zoo called Microsoft Research is going to end up in a Microsoft product! That's the real news here.

I read slashdot every few days, and regularly get the same impression from a large number of commenter's that they are very anti-Microsoft, pretty unfortunate.

Here's a research team that has published something which is probably useful to a few people or universities that use XNA, why the troll?

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736338)

Microsoft keeps a "research team" for the sole purpose of paying people to not work for Microsoft's enemies (what at this point is pretty much everyone else). Microsoft's own interests are so far at odds with any kind of progress in technology, they can't give those "researchers" any projects that Microsoft itself can use in its own products, and this is the fact that I am going to bring to attention every time Microsoft Research is mentioned here.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736432)

What a load of horse shit. Where do tin foil hat wearing retards like you come from. MS couldn't afford to do that even if they wanted to. Not to mention the share holders would tear them to pieces for such an insane waste of money. MS research has produced a LOT of highly regarded research in many fields ranging from robotics to graphics, many of which do find there way into products eventually.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736460)

Not to mention the share holders would tear them to pieces for such an insane waste of money.

Why? This is Microsoft's core business -- maintaining a monopoly at any cost.

MS research has produced a LOT of highly regarded research in many fields ranging from robotics to graphics, many of which do find there way into products eventually.

That's my whole point, you dumbass! They will rather work on turning chalk into cheese than on anything Microsoft can use, because Microsoft is only interested in producing crap.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736940)

That's my whole point, you dumbass!

Take it easy, Alex. It's too early to get so worked up.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737048)

Wow, you both fail reading comprehension and basic knowledge about the industry.

MSR work goes into a *lot* of Microsoft products. Everything from little improvements to crypto techniques (which are still often huge news in the relevant community), to significant features like grammar checking, to full-fledged products (Surface is the best-known at present, but not only; for example MSR also delevoped the game Allegiance which was somewhat before its time but open-sourced when it wasn't a commercial success).

Also, if MS is "only interested in product crap" then why does so much of MSR's work end up in use? Why do they release cool new stuff like Kinect? If MS is "maintaining a monopoly at any cost" then why do they support projects like Mono or develop ways to run Linux better inside their hypervisor? Why would they bother with things like Bing, when they don't have anywhere near a monopoly on search?

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (0, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737168)

MSR work goes into a *lot* of Microsoft products. Everything from little improvements to crypto techniques (which are still often huge news in the relevant community), to significant features like grammar checking,

lol problems solved decades ago.

to full-fledged products (Surface is the best-known at present,

Surface is not a product, it's a marketing demo -- no one who was not paid by Microsoft ever bought it.

for example MSR also delevoped the game Allegiance which was somewhat before its time but open-sourced when it wasn't a commercial success).

So they tried to pretend that it is a product, and still failed.

Also, if MS is "only interested in product crap" then why does so much of MSR's work end up in use? Why do they release cool new stuff like Kinect?

Kinect is exactly a kind of "cool technology" that sounds cool in descriptions but consists of primitive hacks, and provides functionality that no one actually wants or needs.

If MS is "maintaining a monopoly at any cost" then why do they support projects like Mono or develop ways to run Linux better inside their hypervisor?

This is what they do to maintain monopoly -- stuff their inferior products into places where no one wants them, and push that as some kind of progress until competition is destroyed.

There is absolutely no excuse for existence of Mono in the face of Qt. There is no point of running a superior OS in VM that requires an inferior one. All those things exist to make people buy into Microsoft way of doing things.

Why would they bother with things like Bing, when they don't have anywhere near a monopoly on search?

Because they believe, they can obtain monopoly on advertising before their monopoly on consumer OS will be destroyed. And because Ballmer is delusional.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736448)

Wow. Is this mentioned in memo that was released as part of a court case? Is there something about it on Wikileaks? Or are you just making up sh!t because you just don't like Microsoft?

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736136)

Well, unless you read TFA — don't forget "TrueSkill," which shipped with the Xbox 360, developed at Microsoft Research. Or F# itself, which strangely enough has been embraced by the normally C# and VB-loving developers at my employer.

Re:Oh, who cares about quality? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736528)

That and the kinect of course, the key component of which (the human body pose inference) came from their research department.

Explanation of go AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736038)

Monte Carlo

Re:Explanation of go AI (4, Informative)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736212)

Monte Carlo

Yes, it's just a variant of Monte Carlo, but don't knock it. Recent programs implementing the algorithm have improved their handicaps by up to 5 stones, which is huge. The top bots [xmp.net] at the KGS Go server [gokgs.com] are now ranked up to 4 dan [gokgs.com] (like a good amateur player) in games against humans.

You may want to read this short article in the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] about these recent improvements in the MoGo go bot. In October 2009 (6 months after this article appeared) a version of MoGo finally beat a top-ranking (9 dan) professional in an even game on a 9x9 board [over-blog.com] .

Go is a pretty cool game (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736110)

Go's a pretty cool game, but maybe some of you have heard of Chess? It involves pieces that can do a lot of interesting moves and some of the existing boards out there can be incredibly ornate.

Sorry, I wanted to be the equivalent of "That Guy" that shows up to discuss Go every time there's a chess story anywhere on the planet.

Re:Go is a pretty cool game (2)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737380)

Ha ha, enjoy the moment. 'That go guy' managed to get a scene inserted in the new TRON movie. What was the last cool movie you got into? Blade Runner? And a movie chess scene is always a display of raw intellectual strength, as opposed to a zen-like power to master nature.

Explanation of go AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736168)

Creating a go AI is incredible difficult for mainly two reasons:

1) The search space is huge. With an average of 200 moves each turn and most of them are difficult to discard early, a brute force algorithm like the only so successfully used in chess is much less suitable for go.

2) It is difficult to evaluate a position. Good human players are really good at with a quick look get a feeling of what the situation on the board is, but this is something which it is very hard for computers. In chess the pieces remaining is a fairly good indication on who is leading, but in go no such simple and usable estimate exists.

Monte carlo is a solution to the second problem. What Microsoft's AI and all other good modern AIs does is to evaluate the position by make random moves until the game is finished and see who wins. Repeat a lot of times and take the average. The result is used as the heuristics in the search algorithm.

Intuitively this seems really bad. How can random moves give rise to a good game play? But, it has turned out to work out very well in practice, at least in comparison with other approaches. The playing strength of go AIs has increased by several stones since the introduction of this technique (but still not very good, though, compared to humans). It obviously require good hardware, so the xbox game will have a difficult task to compete with AIs running on better hardware, but I still expect it to work reasonably well.

Using shapes to is evaluate a local board position is something human player do extensively. This is the main method for finding what move candidates to look more carefully at. The human brain is very good at this, since it is visual information, but it is also possible for computers to use pattern databases from professional games to find which shapes are good. A problem though, is that whether a shape is good or bad is not absolute, it depends on the surrounding stones, the position on the board, what you try to achieve with the move, the stage of the game, etc. However, especially in the early part of the game and in local life and death situations it could be very useful.

   

I must see the kifu! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736240)

Kifu, Hikaru! Nao!

Want to play the game for free? Some pointers (4, Informative)

Reemi (142518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736330)

This article reads like a commercial without any scientific background w.r.t. the algorithms used. They even state it does not perform as well as other available programs.

Still, interested giving the game a try? It is really simple.

Start here to learn the rules: http://playgo.to/iwtg/ [playgo.to]

Like the problem solving, this is a good site for problems: http://goproblems.com/ [goproblems.com] Note, 30kyu problems are the easiest, then 25kyu etc. Hardest are the dan problems. (Believe me, they are really difficult)

Want to play against the computer? GnuGo is your friend> http://www.gnu.org/software/gnugo/gnugo.html [gnu.org]

Playing against real oponents on the web, there are 2 options: Turn-based (the slow progress variant) or real-time. I can recommend for the turn-based variant Dragon Go Server and Online Go Server: http://www.dragongoserver.net/ [dragongoserver.net] http://www.online-go.com/ [online-go.com]

Personally, I'm not into real-time, but KGS is an alternative: http://www.gokgs.com/ [gokgs.com] Note, people might not always be in the mood for chatting here.

Getting hooked, try to find a local club or check for players in your neighbourhood: http://igolocal.net/ [igolocal.net]

Have fun.

Re:Want to play the game for free? Some pointers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736614)

Another plug for KGS. Besides just playing you can review and edit past games collaboratively which is great for learning. Plus the community there is generally very strong, and friendly, with a strong spread of skill levels ranging from beginners to very strong amateurs. If you're too shy to play against people there's a number of bots lurking which I can guarantee to be stronger than anything coming out of Microsoft Research (not a knock against them, but it takes a lot of time, experience and tweaking to make a decent stab at one of the most difficult programming challenges, i.e. Go AI. Even TFA admits it's not that great.)

Actually it's a shame Microsoft didn't just port KGS to the Xbox and add a pretty 3D interface, that'd been way more useful than this.

Fiddling While Rome Burns (-1, Flamebait)

Czmyt (689032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736658)

It's just completely infuriating that Microsoft has people working on projects like this when their flagship products are full of stupid bugs that it's impossible to imagine could have made it through the simplest testing. Maybe I'm just a little upset this morning because Windows 7 lost all the items that I had pinned to my Windows Explorer taskbar item AND THAT HAPPENS ABOUT ONCE A MONTH. And what's up with not fixing all of the Internet Explorer bugs that the one researcher found six months ago and just publicized yesterday? I've got a good idea for their Research group: Hand each one of them a list of 10 infuriating Windows and Office bugs, along with the source code, and tell them to fix the problems!

Re:Fiddling While Rome Burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736724)

Yeah, putting all engineers they have one those projects will certainly fix all problems, you can never have too many people on one project.

But sarcasm aside, If anything, I'd prefer they direct more resources to XNA and Xbox Live in general, rather than the other way around. They seem to be doing a much, much better job there than they do in windows/explorer/office, which are lost causes imo.

Re:Fiddling While Rome Burns (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737110)

Oh, that's a great idea. Grab a bunch of researchers, give them a buglist, and throw them at an enormous codebase like Windows which they've never seen before. They're sure to fix more bugs than they create.

Re:Fiddling While Rome Burns (0)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737192)

Wow, you are a case study in the combination of people who are self-centered, loud-mouthed, and don't know a thing about computer science (or probably about software engineering). Quite interesting.

Maybe the Win7 problem you're having is actually your fault, have you thought of that? I've directly used over 100 Win7 machines, and worked indirectly with thousands of them (and their users) and remarkably enough nobody else has mentioned this problem. The closest is that sometimes pinned items lose their icons, and that was back in beta. Is it a common issue mentioned online? Is there any particular thing that everybody who experiences it has in common, like it's an OEM installation from Dell or they use a particular antivirus? Or do you just have a messed-up installation and a need to rant?

I'm going to give you the benefit of a doubt, and guess that you're an experienced software developer who is routinely assigned to fix bugs in various area, and you're simply naive about how the rest of the world works. It seems more likely that you have only the vaguest idea what the source code for a project the size of Windows looks like (based on your ridiculous "good idea") though. Pro tip: the MSR folks aren't code monkeys. They're computer scientists, in the scientific sense of the term. Many of them probably do write some code on a daily basis, but that's certainly not true of them all. In fact, many probably never work directly with code at all - they focus on things ranging from improved abstract data structures to new ways to interact with a computer to algorithms for Go. Fixing application bugs isn't their job, or even figuring out enough of the problem space to understand what causes the bug, what else will be impacted by changing that cause, or how to fix it without causing more bugs.

That said, there's lots of people who are hired to do exactly that. Have you sent them a bug report with a clear description and repro steps? Heck, have you sent one at all, or even tried? There are actually channels to do so, in case you're wondering.

Re:Fiddling While Rome Burns (1)

Czmyt (689032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738206)

It's Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit with Microsoft Security Essentials. You're lucky not to have experienced this little annoying bug that is probably not enough of a time waster that it's worth seeking a solution online, let alone spending the time to submit a detailed bug report. Yes, I know approximately how big the Windows source code base is. Yes, I've made money writing software and also been paid to find workarounds to stupid bugs like this one. I would not allow them to actually change the code, just make suggestions to the "code monkeys." Serious point though: I think there is something wrong with a company that spends 9.5 billion annually on research yet they cannot manage to fix a bunch of six-month-old bugs in one of the most important parts of their flagship product.

Re:Fiddling While Rome Burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34739396)

You, sir, are a failure. They are MS researchers not MS developers but I can guess how someone with a IQ as low as yours might be confused by the way science works. You must be one of those people that loose even when the only stones on the table are theirs.

Do the Chinese really say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34736700)

Funny, a saying sounds more impressive when you precede it with, "the Chinese have a saying..." Quoting the article, "The Chinese have a saying - Go takes just minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master." Perhaps, the Chinese do say it, but wasn't this the marketing tagline from the 1970's for the boardgame Othello.

Consumer-quality? So they're dumbing it down? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34736880)

I don't see Clippy. GnuGo is way more than adequate as a backend for my abilities.

Misleading Title? (1)

rawler (1005089) | more than 3 years ago | (#34737518)

From the title, I expected something completely different.

Story? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34738512)

The worst part of this I see is that Go now gets a storyline:

The game starts with the player receiving a letter from a Go master explaining that your twin is missing. When you visit the master, he tasks you with the Path of Go quest, through which you must find your twin. Through the experience, you learn and play the game. In the course of your journey you interact with a number of characters and challenge them in games of Go.

As much as I like good stories, there are situations where you just don't need a story. A computer adaptation of a casual game is one of those times.

Coming next year from Microsoft: The Great Solitaire Battle! As the evil sorcerer throws his magic cards at you, you must make order of them to build up your own magical reserves!

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