In a rerun of 2010′s Shodan Go Bet match, John Tromp will once again meet the challenge from a top computer go program, in a best-of-five match this week. The challenger is Zen19, a program which has already surprised many by achieving a rank of 4-5 dan on KGS. Tromp, whose last known rank was EGF 2 dan, won a similar match against David Fotland’s Many Faces of Go at the 2010 London Open Go Tournament, with a clean sweep of four games to nil. This time the match will take place on the KGS Go Server. Tromp will connect from his home in New York, while Zen19 (written by Yoji Ojima) will connect from Japan. You can watch the match live on KGS. Even if you don’t have an account on KGS, just click here and login as a guest to watch. The match will be played in the Computer Go room. Here’s the schedule for the games: Fri, Jan 13, 8pm US Eastern Time; Sat, Jan 14, 8pm US Eastern Time; Sun, Jan 15, 8pm US Eastern Time; Mon, Jan 16, 8pm US Eastern Time; Wed, Jan 18, 8pm US Eastern Time. NOTE: Zen has multiple accounts for when it uses different configurations and hardware. You can find the games under the accounts ‘tromp’ or ‘Zen19N’.
The Shodan Go bet was a $1000 dollar bet between John Tromp and Darren Cook, made back in 1997. Tromp staked money on the claim that he would not “be beaten in a 10 game match before the year 2011″ and Cook took him up on it. Even though Tromp won the bet in late 2010, the question of when computers will reach the level of ‘international shodan’ still hasn’t been formally resolved. Can Tromp do it again?