- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.RotCAdRh.dpuf "TRUTH AND GO": ON HUNTING GNUS part 2.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Ok, although i find it really hard to write in english ... i will give it a try now.

As a comment to my previous post "on hunting gnus part 1." Nate wrote:

"Do you feel like it's useful to play Gnu in terms of developing your game against other humans? I've worried that the way it plays Go might be too dissimilar to be helpful. "

I don`t know. A Go-Teacher once told me: "Don`t play too much against bots ... because the game of Go is about `comparing ideas`and when you are playing against a bot you can`t really speak about `ideas`."

I agree with that - although we could start a phlisophical debate here by comparing our mind with a computer ... anyway ... until there is no artificial intelligence developed in fact the difference is that the mind can activly create ideas, software can only do exactly what it is told before.

A person can made exactly the same moves as a bot ... and i think EVERY VARIATION of the game of Go has in a way it`s justification ... a bot has to play on one of these 361 points ... soooo ... whoever is playing against you ... a bot a 25 Kyu , a 3 Dan or a Pro ... it will still be GO - another game out of the almost endless libary of possible games.

But ... that is very theoretically ... i think you are right Nate ... perhaps when you play too much against Gnugo you will be vulnerable to those kind of moves wich GnuGo never plays ...
BUT this is also true the other way round ... i think even if you are stronger than GnuGo (let me say 8 kyu on kgs) sometimes you don`t see some simple things like a sure possibility to cut of a group or a nice tesuji ... What i like when i play against GnuGo is that it teaches me to avoid some simple faults! (and of course perhaps i get used to new bab habbits meanwhile ... :-)

SO , one thing is : i like that gnugo punishes quite reliable some stupid habits.
But another thing is, Gnugo is allways available and play very very fast ... i can adjourn the game at any time and i can think as long as i want ...

AND ... i don`t have to feel very shamefull when i played very very fast and made some silly mistakes ... i can play a lot of games in a short time ... overcomming some for me typically faults i make in the openning, endgame and fighting.

AND ... one of the main things ... if i like i can use the fuseki and joseki-database of smartgo , and the "score estimate" function , so i can see quite good after 50 moves if my opening is sucessfull....
i would never use this features WHILE i play online against other people ...

So, i`m sure that it is not a waste of time to play against bots ... not too often , but sometimes it is ok ... and perhaps from time to time you can learn some basics better than with another person who is not that 100% sure about these basics as well.


Nate said...

I appreciate your going to the trouble to write in English. I have to admit, I was surprised that English wasn't your first language - you write very well.

Your exploration of the advantages and disadvantages of playing Gnu is very interesting. I worry, personally, that some of the advantages might actually be DISadvantages. I have to fight against my fear of shame every time I play someone online... I almost make excuses to do something else, because I am so afraid! But I force myself to be brave and fight as well as I can. I think that I need to develop that courage as much as I can... which is why I would rather make myself play a real person whenever possible.

But I was impressed by the games you posted. gNUGO plays more like a human than I expected (though it is relentlessly calm about calculating the biggest plays). Maybe I'll give gNUGO a chance.

Shimari said...

Thank you for taking the trouble to write in English, and I understood everything perfectly!

I have been playing against SmartGo Pro on the iPhone, which does not use the GNU Go engine, but is considered reasonably strong on 9x9 and 13x13 - maybe 5 kyu. I agree with your point that computer play is great for basic tactical training and it will ruthlessly punish mistakes.

It does not really have a strategy though, which is one reason why its play gets worse on the bigger boards. Also, once it senses it is losing, it starts to play strange moves, such as placing a stone where it can be captured. Presumably the reasoning is that you might overlook the capture, in which case the computer would be ahead. Humans generally don't do this!

I noticed the same thing with a chess computer I used to have. Once it was seriously behind, it played completely crazy moves, probably reasoning that any move left it as badly off as any other.