American Go E-Journal » Computer Go/AI

Redmond on Go Seigen vs Kitani, The Tengen Game, and AlphaGo vs The World

Saturday July 4, 2020

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 8p Sunday night for Part 2 of Michael Redmond 9Ps live commentary on the 1939 game between Go Seigen and his friend and rival Kitani Minoru. If you need your Redmond fix sooner, not to worry, check out the latest Redmond Review featuring The Tengen Game between Honinbo Dosaku and Yasui Santetsu, which originally aired back on May 3. “What a treat!” says Sev.

And Redmond’s brand-new series, AlphaGo vs. The World — in which he and AlphaGo to Zero co-author Chris Garlock do short reviews of the 2016-17 Master vs human games — is now up to Game 11. “Some really beautiful moves by white in this great game,” says Rory Mitchell. “The placement of stones looks so calm, light, and impressive. Thanks so much for the video!”

Also, for the French Redmond fans, jonathan4055 has just posted subtitles in French for Redmond’s recent AlphaGo to Zero: Revisiting AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol, Game 2 commentary. And of course there’s always Redmond’s YouTube channel, as well.

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AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol Game 2, revisited, plus AlphaGo vs. The World

Sunday June 28, 2020

If you missed the live commentary — originally aired on May 17 on Twitch — by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on the second game of the historic 2016 AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol match, it’s now been released on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Click here to check it out. “Those days of Lee Sedol and you two doing the commentary were some of the most enjoyable times during that AlphaGo match,” said Mike Young. “I got really excited about Go for awhile.”

While there was no live broadcast this Sunday, Redmond and Garlock will return on Sunday July 5 at 8 PM EDT on AGA Twitch. Meanwhile, you can check out their new AlphaGo vs. The World series playlist, with new releases of commentaries on the AlphaGo Master games every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11 AM EDT.

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Redmond launches new AlphaGo video commentary series

Monday June 8, 2020

In the first days of 2017, rumors started to ricochet around the online go community. A mysterious online player had been making huge waves by defeating dozens of top professionals on go sites in Asia in recent days. “Master” first appeared on December 29, 2016, registering from Korea. Achieving 30 consecutive wins against many former and current world go champions, Master defeated Park Junghwan four times and Ke Jie twice. After that, Master appeared on a different go site and logged another 30 consecutive wins. That made it 60 games in a row with no losses. Was AlphaGo the Master?

Michael Redmond had been on holiday when the games were being played but word had of course spread swiftly through the professional community about the mysterious online player racking up win after win. “That kind of record was simply mindblowing,” he says, “and even before I got the game files off the internet it was clear that something new was happening. Anyone – or anything – that could win 60 straight games could probably give a 2-stone handicap, and these were top professionals who were losing to a player no-one had ever heard of.” The 60 Master games were not only evidence that AlphaGo had attained a whole new level of play, but an incredibly rich “treasure trove for professionals,” says Redmond.

Working again with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock, Redmond is launching a new series of videos in which he’ll focus on the key points of each of the 60 Master games in brief videos, most of which will be 15 minutes or less. The commentaries will also be the basis for Volume 2 of AlphaGo to Zero: The Complete Games, “as well as a chance to introduce viewers to the professional go players who tackled Master,” notes Garlock.

The first video will be released on Tuesday, June 9 on Redmond’s YouTube channel and the series will be linked on the AGA’s YouTube channel  as well. Stephen Hu is producing the series.

The human player in this first game is 15-year-old Pan Tingyu 1P, who finished #1 in the Chinese professional qualification tournament in 2015. Pan has Black and plays a modern version of the mini-Chinese, and AlphaGo shows a new move in the upper left corner, which has since become the standard move for White in the Chinese opening pattern.

NOTE: The AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series, now up to Game 41, will continue through Game 55. 

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AlphaGo, KataGo, and the future of AI

Saturday June 6, 2020

Visualization of ownership predictions by KataGo

“There’s something magical about the game of go,” writes Branton DeMoss in a recent blog post. “For thousands of years, it has captured the imagination of those who want to learn what it is to learn, to think about what thinking means. With the recent advent of strong, open source go AI that can beat top professionals, it’s worth tracing the history of the game, why it remained so difficult to beat humans for so long, and what the future of go may hold.”

DeMoss explores the evolution of computer go, and then discusses how AlphaGo differs from the open source Katago. “KataGo attempts to predict a greater number of game outcomes than just value,’ says DeMoss, “in particular, KataGo also predicts final territory control, final score difference, and from each board state the opponent’s next move. As a result of these improvements, KataGo massively outperforms Leela Zero and Facebook’s ELF bot in learning efficiency. KataGo achieves a factor of fifty improvement in training efficiency vs. ELF”.

The creator of KataGo, David J. Wu, answers some of DeMoss’s questions at the end of the article. “I think the AlphaZero-style training loop using MCTS (Monte Carlo Tree Search) is not the last word on [things like] this,” says Wu. “Blind spots are just the most visible of the flaws, but there are some technical and theoretical details you can dig into that start to make it clear that there are some practical problems with how exploration and move discovery work in this loop, some basic theoretical flaws involving mismatches between the neural net’s training distribution and usage, and also some fundamental ‘missing’ capabilities in current bots in terms of using search effectively.” The full blog post can be read here. -Story by Paul Barchilon. image from Accelerating Self-Play Learning in Go, by David J. Wu.

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 41: Michael’s mom and some exciting fighting

Friday May 29, 2020

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, reviews the 41st game of the amazing AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. The 50-game series was published by Deepmind after AlphaGo’s victory over world champion Ke Jie 9p in May 2017.

In this commentary, originally broadcast live on the AGA’s Twitch channel on April 26, Redmond talks about a special video his mother made about the first time a young Michael met Kaoru Iwamoto, “who did so much to promote go overseas.” Today’s game starts with the Chinese Opening, “which is a little unusual for AI’s, we’ll see a few 3-3 invasions and of course some exciting fighting involving some groups where you’ll be wondering if they’re dead or alive.”

Also, tune in this Sunday on Twitch at 7p EDT for another live commentary, this one on the Ichiriki-Shibano game from Pandanet’s recent “Golden Panda Cup”

AG #41 produced by Stephen Hu, Allen Moy and Chris Garlock

[link]

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LIVE TONIGHT: Redmond and Garlock on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo, Game 42

Sunday May 24, 2020

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel tonight at 7p EDT to catch the live commentary by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo Game 42. Viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.

Also of interest: The 2020 China-US Internet Go Tournament, Day 1 with commentary by Kim Yoonyoung 8p (Originally aired on April 14, 2020).
AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo with Michael Redmond 9p: Game 40. Originally broadcast live on the AGA’s Twitch channel on April 5, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael and Chris begin by checking in on the status of the professional go community in Japan, and they also talk about Michael’s YouTube channel, which he had just launched.

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KGS Adds Web Registration

Saturday May 23, 2020

The KGS Go Server just got easier to join and use. The Java client for KGS has been an ongoing problem for some computers and blocked by many schools. The KGS Home Page features a new link to sign up for a free account. Using ShinKGS, a web-based client developed by Justin Kramer, phones, tablets, or computers can now play on the server while avoiding Java completely. 

The American Go Foundation has been steadily working on improving KGS, but mostly behind the scenes until now. “This is the first of many upgrades to KGS that the AGF wants to see happen.” says AGF President Terry Benson. “To make KGS a better go community, we could use help on the open source ShinKGS code.  While so many people are stuck at their computers, go is a great way to stay busy and connected to other people.”  ShinKGS is still missing some features and has a few bugs, a list of areas that need work is here, access to the code is on Github here. GoUniverse, a plugin for the Chrome Web Browser developed by Ilya Kirillov, is  another way to access KGS without Java, and has almost all of the features in the full client. GoUniverse is also open source, and can be accessed on Github here.

KGS has seen a boom in users with everyone staying home due to Covid-19, and many clubs now meet virtually on the site. The AGF hopes to expand that user base by improving services and growing the community. “Many thanks to lead KGS developer Lee Schumacher for his tireless work on behalf of the server. Our thanks also to Oren Laskin, on the development team, and to all the admins who work daily to keep KGS a safe and friendly space for all,” adds Benson. – Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice-President

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BadukPop app adds AI opponent

Friday May 22, 2020

BadukPop has added several improvements in its latest update, including the ability to play against artificial intelligence. The popular go problem app, developed by Hajin Lee 4P and Dan Maas, works on both Android and iOS. The interface was designed to be fun for all ages, including kids, and now features 7 humorous AI characters you can play against. The weakest is Bobby – perfect for people who have just learned to play. Next up is Kevin whose “mind wanders off into deep space – and so do his go moves.” As players work their way up, the AI gets much stronger. “I love playing against Cora,” says Lee “she’s my new rival – I have about a 50/50 win rate against her, and it’s really fun to have a quick game with her now and then.” At the top is Max “a powerful AI that plays at human professional level.”

The app only supports games on 9×9 for now, but 13×13 and 19×19 are coming soon says Maas. A new section of lessons has been added as well. Designed as short sequences to teach new players, you can go from learning the rules to mastering basic corner and side positions. Like everything in BadukPop, the lessons are designed to be quick so one can learn something in just a few minutes, but build deep knowledge over time. Lee goes over the new features on her Youtube channel here. The app is free, but has in app purchases for extra features. Download from the Apple or Android stores, or from BadukPop’s website here. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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LIVE TONIGHT: Redmond and Garlock on AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol, Game 2

Sunday May 17, 2020

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel tonight at 7p EDT to catch the live commentary by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol Game 2. As they write in their book AlphaGo to Zero: The Complete Games, “AlphaGo’s move 37 is the move heard ‘round the go world. The move that, if AlphaGo were human, would have been the equivalent of announcing that ‘There’s a new sheriff in town.’ On Main Street. At high noon. To call it shocking would be an understatement.” Tune in tonight at 7p, when viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 40: It gets weird in the endgame

Friday May 15, 2020

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, reviews the 40th game of the amazing AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. The 50-game series was published by Deepmind after AlphaGo’s victory over world champion Ke Jie 9p in May 2017.

Originally broadcast live on the AGA’s Twitch channel on April 5, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael and Chris begin by checking in on the status of the professional go community in Japan, and they also talk about Michael’s YouTube channel, which he had just launched.

“In this game, AlphaGo is going to look a bit like two human players,” Michael says. The game starts with the mini-Chinese opening and the rest of the game “looks like a game two human players would play, but then it gets weird in the endgame.”

Also, tune in this Sunday on Twitch at 7p EDT for another live commentary on the historic 2016 AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol match; and you get to help choose which game Michael and Chris analyze! Click here now to vote!

AG #40 produced by Stephen Hu, Allen Moy and Chris Garlock

[link]

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