Computer assistant?

I just noticed that in the Alan Turing tournament a “computer assistant” is allowed. What does this mean?


I’m also curious to learn about this, and I’d assume it means that players are allowed to consult whatever bot/AI/engine they have at hands.

Where did you read that? Are you talking about the Alan Turing Main Title Tournament 2016? In which case @gamesorry, the tournament director, should be able to explain. On the corresponding group page, OGS Title Tournaments, I could not find any information about this (but only had a quick glance at it).


Good point, I added the reference to my question. I didn’t find any page with detailed tournament rules.

Ah, there it is, right under my eyes it was :smiley:

Well, I’d say the statement is quite clear … have access to BetaGo? Use it :smiley:

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That statement tells me that computers are allowed to employ a human assistant who will enter the moves for them. Is it also how you understand it? :wink:

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This here:[quote]
bots and computer assistant are allowed
seems to tell me that … computer assistants are allowed.
(I assume that the author is not a native speaker and accidentally omitted the plural “s”.)

An “assistant” is somebody (or, in our days, something) who (or which) assists (i.e. helps) somebody, and in this case it seems clear to me that …

—> the computer assistant assists the human player, i.e. the human player employs a computer assistant.

But then again, I am also not a native speaker of English (though I had first contact at age of four), so my “gut” understanding may be wrong as well.

It’s a joke implying the computers have surpassed human players and don’t need them except to enter moves . Of course, everyone knows computers can enter their moves themselves far more efficiently than a human :wink:


Hopefully the author will step in and clarify the matter. I actually have a number of questions about tournament rules, but first I’d like to confirm that I didn’t miss any posted information. It seems strange that such an important point is not mentioned on the tournament’s main page.

I am not a native speaker either…

seems to tell me that … computer assistants are allowed.
(I assume that the author is not a native speaker and accidentally omitted the plural “s”.)


Good catch… I actually meant to write computer assistance is allowed, but wrongly used assistant instead of assistance. Now I’ve changed the statement to computer assisted players are allowed.

By the way, the idea of Alan Turing Title tournament was described in this post. I’ll explicitly put it in the tournament description next time:)



Feel free to ask any question about the tournament rules! I’ll explicitly add the specific rules to the tournament description field next time:)

IMHO, the idea of Alan Turing tournament is

(1) to restrict the use of computer to this tournament, such that only human players are allowed to participate in the other title tournaments;

(2) to explore what the best go is like.

The Alan Turing Nines Title tournament shows a perfect example here. Valkyria9 could only play in this title tournament, so pure humans have the chance to win the other titles, while bots like Valkyria9 can also prove their strengths and probably show the best games on 9*9 boards in this unrestricted tournament.


I must say that I still don’t find it totally clear …

Question: By this here:

[quote=“gamesorry, post:10, topic:8625”]
computer assisted players are allowed[/quote]
… Do you mean that it is allowed for human players to use a computer/ai/bot/engine to select what they think is the best move?

Yes :smile:

ps: Maybe we could use cyborg for abbreviation? :wink:

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I am a cyborg already: with my (somewhat) context-sensitive hearing aids :smiley:

Not sure, though, how much it really is cyborg since the human part can always override the bot part’s decision I think I have to read some literature abt cybernetics again.

BTW, Ingo Althöfer (he replied to you in that mailing list thread) likes to call this “Dreihirn” (“Three-Brain” or triple brain).

@gamesorry Thanks for the reply.!

A couple questions:

  • is there a way to tell who is computer, computer assisted or simply human?
  • if you decide to get help from a computer, should you disclose it to your opponent?
  • do these games count for the site ranking?I would assume not as a win with help from go software doesn’t reflect your true level.

Also a side comment, I am wondering if McMahon makes sense in such a tournament, considering that the player rank doesn’t mean much if he/she assisted by a computer.

Ah, very good question of which I hadn’t thought … and, of course, such games shouldn’t be rated.

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These are indeed tough but very good questions! :smile: Here are some of my thoughts in terms of the ideal scenario and the practical scenario.

Ideally, we expect the robots and computer-assisted human to be marked by OGS, or explicitly state their identity in the profile page or at the beginning of the game.
In reality, we cannot enforce the players to disclose their identities, so there’s no practical way to tell.

Ideally, yes.
In reality, some opponents might not be aware that they can be facing a computer-assisted player in the tournament, so disclosing it could cause some unnecessary upsets to them. Nevertheless, people joining the Alan Turing tournaments are supposed to understand that the opponent could be an AI or computer-assisted human (this is another reason why I need to highlight this condition in the next tournament). I think the decision is up to the participants for now.

Ideally, if the rank of the players are not consistent with their strength in the other games, the games should not be rated.
In reality, all tournaments on OGS seem to be rated and the TD cannot change that. Also, I assume most players are human and most game results still make sense for the ranking.

Ideally, if the strengths of the players are not consistent with their ranks, McMahon would not make sense in this tournament. Ideally, a random pairing format would be better.
In reality, the ranks still make sense for most players and since there isn’t a random pairing option but only rank/strength-based pairing currently for multiple-group tournaments, we still need a reduced McMahon system to offset the difference in strengths of the opponents in practice. Actually, assuming there’s a 8k player starting with -3 points but actually representing a 6d bot, the player can simply win all the games in all three rounds (~18 games) and obtain a score of 15, which would almost certainly be in the top-3 for this tournament. If we’d like to give more chance to the lower-ranked players, we probably can reduce the McMahon difference further in the next Alan Turing tournament. As an extreme case, Meijin Handicap 2016 gives every player the same starting score because we assume every handicap game to be even.

Finally, I think one ideal way to solve most of the problems is to make sure every account has a relatively stable and accurate strength. For example, PlayerA (1k), AI_owned_by_PlayerA (2d), PlayerA_with_AI_Help (3d) would be three accounts of the same player with different but inherently stable ranks. However, at current stage I think there isn’t a big problem if the strength of the player is not too far away from the strength of the AI.


That’s a valid point :smile: Maybe there is a better term :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

According to this post:

Dreihirn probably refers to a special combination of (2) computers and (1) human. :smile:

@gamesorry thanks. For me the main takeaway from your message is that players should use a separate account for computer assisted games, not their “human” account. I would suggest to make it clear in the rules, personally I didn’t get that part after your first explanation.

In this case I agree that a McMahon system should kind of work.


This cannot be emphasized enough:

players should use a separate account for computer assisted games, not their “human” account

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