American Go E-Journal

Member’s Edition: Yuan Zhou on AI vs 6 dan Pro

Tuesday October 10, 2017

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White: Wang Haoyang 6P
Black: DeepZenGo (computer)
Commentary: Yuan Zhou 7d
Game editors: Bill Cobb, Myron Souris
Published in the October 10, 2017 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

This is the first time a computer (or AI) program has been invited to play in an official international pro tournament. The event was the 3rd MLILY Cup, played in China. The Japanese AI program DeepZenGo was included in the tournament by the sponser, which was a quite controversial decision, of course. It was particularly opposed by Ke Jie 9P, who had recently lost a three game match to AlphaGo. Although this program is not as strong as AlphaGo, it recently won a world champion computer program event that didn’t include AlphaGo, and players and fans had mixed feelings about including it in an official international event, especially in consideration of the possibility of its winning the title. DeepZenGo won its game in the first round against Shin Minjun 6P, a rising young Korean pro. This is the second round game.

A little surprising is that DeepZenGo’s opponent is a young Chinese pro, who had unexpectedly defeated one of the top Korean players in the first round. Wang Haoyang 6P is not an international tournament winner, but is a player in the Chinese A League, which means he is very strong. Nevertheless, Wang was considered the underdog in this match. Like AlphaGo, this program is good at whole board thinking.

Yuan Zhou 7 dan is one of the strongest players in the US. He has won many titles. Zhou is also a popular teacher, lecturer, and author. He lives in Germantown, MD, and can be reached at yuan.zhou@zhouyuan.com . This commentary is typical for Zhou, who has published several books, including such thorough commentaries of pro games at Slate & Shell (www.slateandshell.com).