If you don’t love board games yet, Go, which is considered to be the most sophisticated game humans have ever created, can be your cure.
Go is an ancient board game that consists of a wooden board with grid of black lines and game pieces, called stones. It was created by the order of the Chinese emperor Yao to teach his unruly son, Danzhu, about discipline, integrity and balance circa. 4300 years ago. In this regard, it is the oldest board game known to mankind. It is worth mentioning that the East at the time was the center of civilization.
The game is simple, yet extremely sophisticated. It can take a few minutes to learn the basics, however, a lifetime to master. It can both be seen as an entertaining mental fitness time or lifestyle. There are 75 member nations and 46 million known players still mostly in Asia. The internet served as an accelerator for Go to rapidly gain global popularity in the last 20 years.
How It Works
- A Go game starts with an empty board
- The board has grid of black lines and stones
- The regular game for proficient players is on a board of 19 by 19 grid. However, beginners can play on a 9 x 9 or 13 x 13 grid board for practical purposes
- Each player has an effectively unlimited supply of pieces (called stones), one taking the black stones, the other taking white.
- The main objective of the game is to use your stones to form territories by surrounding vacant areas of the board.
- Stones serve to connect with each other and the more connected and the more area they surround, the player becomes stronger containing more area on the board. In this regard, Go is a game of the collaboration of the stones
- It is also possible to capture your opponent’s stones by completely surrounding them.
- Players take turns, placing one of their stones on a vacant point at each turn, with Black playing first.
- Note that stones are placed on the intersections of the lines rather than in the squares and once played stones are not moved.
- However they may be captured, in which case they are removed from the board, and kept by the capturing player as prisoners.
The Best Rated Go Board on Amazon
Learn the Basics of Go Now
Best Go Game Mobile Apps
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AlphaGo: Netflix Documentary – IMDB 7.9 – 2017
On March 9, 2016, the worlds of Go and artificial intelligence collided in South Korea for an extraordinary best-of-five-game competition, coined The DeepMind Challenge Match.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world watched as a legendary Go master took on an unproven AI challenger for the first time in history.
Watch the full AlphaGo documentary below
AlphaGo, which is the artificial intelligence for Go that Deep Mind of Alphabet Inc. has developed, beat the best player of the world, Lee Sedol, in 2015. Following the game, Lee Sedol mentioned that it was the Hand of God and that the way AlphaGo played the game was completely unconventional.
Best Go Players in the World
Lee Chang-ho is currently ranked as the best Go player in the world. He is a South Korean Go player of 9-dan rank. He was the student of Cho Hun Hyun 9-dan.
Lee was the 2nd youngest person ever to become professional at the age of 11 behind Cho Hun Hyun. He is the only player to have won all eight international competitions at least once.
How AI for Go Works
- AlphaGo initially learned from thousands of games played by professional human players.
- It decides on the next move based on the probability to win using the Monte Carlo simulations.
- AlphaGo improves by playing against itself using reinforcement learning.
- AlphaGo uses probabilistic methods, which are based on a representation of the world (a distribution of potential outcomes).
- As computing power grew exponentially, computers have become better than human at computation by many orders of magnitude. That said, the game of Go is so complex and the array of possible moves is so wide that AlphaGo cannot consider all the different possible game situations.
- When AlphaGo started playing against Lee Sedol, there were still “trajectories” or “game situations” that AlphaGo had not experienced.
- Trajectories in which AlphaGo could make suboptimal decisions (more on that below).
Overall, weather you want to enjoy life more, gain a serious hobby or aim the sky to become a professional, Go is an easy to learn and enjoy, stimulating the mind in ways most people never experience.