Best Pro Players vs "God"

I once read a quote from a top pro player saying he would need to take four stones to beat “God”. I think most people assume God just means perfect play, but I’d like to discuss two different definitions of God/a perfect player.
First, a player who min/maxes each move to get the greatest number of points at the end of the game. This player wouldn’t play any trick moves or overplays in a handicap game, because they would not return the highest score assuming their opponent responded correctly. Second, a player or “God” who knows everything about their opponent as well as the game of go. Knowing how their opponent was going to respond to every move, a suboptimal would be chosen if the anticipated mistakes would result in greater profit than perfect play would. In other words, this player would know if a “trick move” was going to work against their opponent and would take advantage of this knowledge.
So my question is: How many stones or how much of a handicap do you think today’s top professional player would need against both of these types of Gods? Is a significantly larger handicap needed against the second type of player?

[edited for readability; trohde]

Maybe you could paste this in as regular text for readability? Or add appropriate line feeds?


Wouldn’t God know a won game for every constellation on the board and just play like that until the sequence changes, then repeat?

You did, did you?

Some context? Maybe a link to your source? Surely, you know the name of the pro.

More details, please.

In Bruce Wilcox’s EZ-GO there is this passage:

People have asked how much stronger than a professional player is God? While the
match has yet to be played, most estimates place God three ranks above top professionals.
One pro is reported to have said he wouldn’t bet his life against God without a four-
stone handicap.

The author avoids clarifying which people, which God, and which pro he talks about, though :slight_smile:


I’m not sure I understand this…

This is where I got the “four stones” information from, although betting your life with four stones implies a good amount of confidence.

God need to nine stones handicap against AlphaGo.

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3 stones. BTW, you have a nice idea of artificial intelligence by proposing those two types of gods.

So late into the topic, but here’s a quote from this Sensei’s Library article:

In Rob van Zeijst’s column, Otake Hideo is quoted as saying that he would need to take three or four stones from God.

Unfortunately the column mentioned is a dead link now. It was there some years ago but it’s in Japanese so I can’t read it.