Hi! I’m a new player but a very longtime chess player. One of the ways that I always improved at chess was running my games through a computer and seeing what the computer suggested I play at each point. Is there software that can do something similar with Go? I know that Computer Go is a major computational challenge, but maybe something’s out there that I haven’t encountered?
The Go program I have, Many Faces of Go, has a number of features that you might find useful.
Score - at any time, you can ask it to estimate the score. You can also click on a group and it will tell you whether it thinks it’s alive or not, and if it’s not, where it thinks you’d have to play to make it live.
Hints - at any point, you can ask it for hints for a given position and it will give you several. The nice thing is that it explains in English sentences the reasons behind each move, but the not so nice thing is that it spends almost zero time thinking about the moves, so they aren’t necessarily good moves. You can think of this function as, “suggest the kinds of conventional moves I might think about playing in this kind of position” rather than “show me the best moves in this position”. But I think that can be pretty helpful as it is.
Analyze last move - This function will spend some computational time and then report two things: the reasons it thinks you made the move you did, and then what it thinks is the best move, along with the difference in estimated score and win probability it makes.
Game graphs - It will produce graphs showing the flow of the game in terms of estimated score and win probability, which is a nice way of seeing the flow of your game. Where were you on the rise? Where did you make your big mistake? etc.
p.s. All these functions are great, but they seem a little random to me, and I once tried to convince the programmer of Many Faces to combine them into a single super analysis function that you could set to crank away all night and then deliver all the above info for every move in the game. He thought it would be too much work, but my idea was that he could insert the results as comments to the game, which he already has UI to display, and so it wouldn’t really require adding any new functionality to the program. Ah well. Maybe I’ll try nagging him again at some point. Anyway, I highly recommend Many Faces. I think it’s one of the strongest commercial programs you can buy that speaks English, too.
More info on the program here: http://senseis.xmp.net/?TheManyFacesOfGo
Thanks! I’ll take a look at that!
Edited for spelling.
Alright, I got the trial version of the software. Now I can’t quite figure out how to set up a game or position and get the software to analyze it. Am I supposed to create a human v human game and just play the positions myself that way? That was the only way I could figure out how to do it.
I also found that I could download an SGF of a completed game and review it with the computer, but that doesn’t quite help if I’m trying to solve a problem, for example.
imho, most natural and thus currently best analysis comes from other people and, thankfully, go seems to attract rather awesome community.
I did not seek game analysis here yet, though years back on kgs when I was a complete beginner I encountered a lot of helpful people willing to review or analyse games. As ogs has good people too, and more powerful review platform then kgs, if only for possability to draw on board and have audio for free, I don’t see a reason why you could not get help right here on the server.
Best of luck!
In the culture of go, players who absolutely dominate their opponent usually offer to teach if there is not some mitigating factor like a tournament or a rated game. In the case of rated games, the stronger opponent might offer a review at the end or you can ask for a review.
Complete dominance is not fun in go. If your opponent won’t review, you can always shout out in the chat channels.
It’s important to get reviews from players who are a little bit stronger than you rather than SDK or Dan players. Each level has its own set of things to learn.
Last point: chess is heavily logical with no real room for creativity. Go is equal parts logic and creativity. The logic of chess is very demanding because every class has differing capabilities. The logic of go is simple and once you have that under your belt, it becomes a matter of gaining experience with applying creativity and intuition.
My teacher has been playing for 50 years. My old man was watching TV in the next room. When my teacher and I called it an evening and parted ways, I joined my old man. He made a very keen observation: “good thing you have a teacher. Tell me it’s an easy game all you want but it’s seems like you have a shitload of stuff to remember to play a guy like him.”
Find a teacher. Find a lot of them. You’ll make friends. I played for six years before I found my current teacher. Computer software analysis is a poor substitute in the game of go.