Been playing Go. Because like the Lisps, it’s a whole lot of neat shit that stems from a simple base. Enough neat shit that, unlike Chess, humans still dominate vs computers by quite a margin. Playing a computer on anything larger than a 9×9 beginner’s board is pretty much universally considered as conductive only to hurting your playing style. With enough horsepower a top professional can be matched on a 9×9. http://senseis.xmp.net/?Fuego :
Fuego was the first computer program that won an official game of 9×9 Go against a 9-Dan professional player. The game against Zhou Junxun took place at the Human vs. Computer Go Competition at the Fuzz IEEE 2009 conference. The second game was won by Mr. Zhou.
The usual game is played on a 19×19 board. It holds dan ranks on OGS, and there’s some bots running on clusters holding dan ranks on KGS, but they’re never the highest, and ranks on amateur servers mean a great deal less. They’re only relative to the other players on the given server.
And there’s a somewhat slow but alive Go club in Second Life (http://www.notabene-sl.com/slgc/) which seemed a suitable excuse to check out SL, although for general play I prefer KGS (http://www.gokgs.com/).
There’s sometimes classes in the SL club on sundays. The usual teach had other shit to deal with so I volunteered to try to cover it though I’m usually laggy as hell. KGS works fine, including voice, on a dialup connection that hits 3k/s on a good day. But efficiency is an important concept in Go ;).
Since all I can really do teaching wise at my level is run newer folk through Go problems and I’m too laggy to keep setting up the board each time for a new one, I made one up with a few possibilities that I could just throw down and work with in case anyone showed. No one did, Chess is far more popular in SL… as it is in most of the west. But then there’s that saying about cockroaches and humans…
Here’s a shot of it in SL. Note that I’m on a netbook, on a slow connection. SL is probably prettier for most folk. And lest there be any confusion, it’s only the pattern of the stones. The virtual board and stones and such you see are SLGC‘s.
And here it is, in SGF format (which suitably starts with the paren):
C[Prael's tutor board for SLGC, v1.
Besides 4 or 5 30k-20k problems there's a miai, a couple potential ko's, a potential seki, and an underlying lesson: Both players have 30 moves down, but there's no way for black to win with all of these unsettled groups. With GNU Go 3.8:
$gnugo --score aftermath -l tutor.sgf
0 black (X) move B1
1 white (O) move H8
2 black (X) move A8
3 white (O) move F1
4 black (X) move F3
5 white (O) move PASS
6 black (X) move PASS
White wins by 27.5 points
That is: Black saves lower left, White kills upper right, Black saves upper left, the lower right miai is played out, and the middle black chain is already toast.
Resolve the right 2 groups and play F9 for seki.
Move H5 to J7 for a throw-in to a false eye.
Show what happens if black gets J6 first, "There is death in the hane".
Six in the corner can be quickly tweaked to bulky 5, pyramid 4, bent 3, L shapes...
If the upper right is too hairy it can similarly be simplified with black F9.
There's a few common shapes in here. B1 is sufficient for LL group, but LR needs that H2.
There's also a "dog's head" in the UR group, G9,H7,J8. Note the vital point.
Counting problems may be posed: GnuGo gets the order correct. ]