Learning Go

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Learning Go

Post  Sam on Sun 13 Mar 2016, 23:04

Anyone play Go?

With all the excitement surrounding Go and AI in the news I'm inspired to belatedly take up learning this arcane game, and wondered if similarly inclined people would like to join me in some games every now and again.

The server I have signed up to is Pandanet, which has a desktop client in PandaGo2 and an Android app called Pandanet(Go). It seems to do everthing I want it to any looks pretty good too, but there's wide pool of Go programs so if anyone has more experience in this plays some other way please let me know. My username on Pandanet is Sam250.

I really have no idea what I'm doing so hope to wrap my head around the scoring first and get a better idea of the flow of things by playing lots of games. Then maybe watch some high level games and try to work out what the heck is going on, why they play where and why they play when.

Join me, should be fun. Maybe Go is our next SBGC tournament...
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Jamie on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 09:08

Yeah, isn't it 3-0 so far, to the computer!?

I'd like to learn Go. I'd prefer to play on an actual physical board though. Anyone have one? Also, how long does a typical game of go take?
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Sam on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 09:43

3-1, actually! Yay humans!

Standard board sizes are 9x9, 13x13 and 19x19. You lose a lot of the depth if you go as small as 9x9 but the games are shorter. A full size 19x19 board could be played as a speed game in less than ten minutes, but I think the game Lee Se-dol just won against AlphaGo went on for 5 hours. So, it depends. The advice I've read it to lose your first 100 games as quickly as possible. Maybe an hour or so for intermediate players?
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Aneurin on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 13:47

Can't you make it out of Minstrels?

Jamie wrote:Yeah, isn't it 3-0 so far, to the computer!?

I'd like to learn Go. I'd prefer to play on an actual physical board though. Anyone have one? Also, how long does a typical game of go take?
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Re: Learning Go

Post  BeardyTom on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 14:10

Aneurin wrote:Can't you make it out of Minstrels?

Minstrels and Mint Imperials. Yes, technically you can but it can get too tempting to eat the captured pieces instead of scoring them.

Jamie wrote:I'd like to learn Go. I'd prefer to play on an actual physical board though. Anyone have one?

I have a Go board. Don't assume from that that I am anything like competent at the game. I've only had a couple of 9x9 games against Paula and I have an app on my Kindle which I can sometimes beat if I set it to beginner mode and get several stones head start.
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Sam on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 14:29

I just won my first game against a robot and I only needed a 6 stone handicap. Would you want to bring the board to the club tomorrow for a game later in the evening, Tom?
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Re: Learning Go

Post  BeardyTom on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 14:33

Sam wrote:I just won my first game against a robot and I only needed a 6 stone handicap. Would you want to bring the board to the club tomorrow for a game later in the evening, Tom?

Yes, I'll bring it along.
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Jamie on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 14:54

Aneurin wrote:Can't you make it out of Minstrels?

Yep! Could go a bit awry though, you know, if someone gets peckish! Wink
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Jamie on Mon 14 Mar 2016, 14:57

BeardyTom wrote:I have a Go board. Don't assume from that that I am anything like competent at the game. I've only had a couple of 9x9 games against Paula and I have an app on my Kindle which I can sometimes beat if I set it to beginner mode and get several stones head start.

I'll give it 'go' Tom!

Well, if there's enough time I will. That's the trouble with Tuesday evenings, they don't quite last long enough to fit all the gaming goodness in. Shocked
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Re: Learning Go

Post  PaulC on Tue 15 Mar 2016, 16:47

I really like Go. I'm awful at it, but I really like it.
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Re: Learning Go

Post  BeardyTom on Wed 16 Mar 2016, 11:28

Just signed up on Pandanet. My username is Tomic.
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Sam on Fri 18 Mar 2016, 18:22

I guess on Pandanet you you have to be online at the same time to friend each other, because I can't find you when searching for users.

Having an interesting time of it so far. I'm playing a few puzzles at goproblems.com per day to get better at reading and intuiting the board, noticing quicker when a group is one free space away from being captured (atari) or is on the bad count of a capturing race (semeai) and what I might be able to do about it, how to force a case of coexistence between black and white groups (seki), and so on.

Unfortunately I'm still having problems with the 12 Kyu robots on a 9x9 grid  Mad  The plan once I beat the robot in 9x9 is to move on to a 13x13 board with a handicap (maybe 6 stones), removing a handicap for each win until I can win with equal stones, then the same thing on a 19x19 board and by the time I've finished I hope I'll have a grasp of the basics.

Like with Chess there is the possibility of lots of hard study to get good at Go: agreed upon compromising sequences (joseki) and well known clever moves (tesuji), and analysing the games of professional dan players. I'll have to decide how much I want to get into all that in order to climb up the ranks. One day I may be a 9th dan in something other than slacking  Laughing
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Re: Learning Go

Post  Sam on Fri 18 Mar 2016, 22:14

http://senseis.xmp.net/ has been my go to reference for terms and tactics.
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