A Great Mind Game You Can Pick Up Quickly but Challenges You Forever

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Go, also known as Igo, Baduk or Weiqi, is a strategy game for two players who take turns putting black or white stones on a grid board. The winner is the player who surrounds more territory or area than his or her opponent.

The game is pretty easy to learn and play as it has only some simple rules, just as what the American Go Association indicates with a diagram below: if you can surround this white stone to "capture" it, you can play go.

 

The Game of Go

 

It takes only a few minutes to understand the game rules, but to play the game well is never easy as it demands strategies, which are deep enough to intrigue players for many generations.

With Go, the average possible moves at a given turn are several times more than chess. For that reason it had plagued computer AI experts for decades until recently Google's program AlphaGo, using the technique of deep learning, beat world-class players.

If you like to learn the game of Go, take a quick look at Rules of Go, then start out an easy game on a small grid board, either 9-by-9 or 13-by-13. The standard 19-by-19 grid board usually takes more time to play with deeper strategies.

The Go apps selected below are free for use on different mobile devices. The design of these apps differs but they all allow you to play Go on a small board against a built-in computer engine that is sufficient for beginners and casual players. The game you played can be saved in a text-based common format SGF (Smart Game Format) for sharing with others.

If you’re running a desktop system either Windows, Mac OS or Linux, check out good recommendations for this fascinating game at Best Free Computer Go.

 

 

GOdroid for AndroidThe Game of Go for Android
Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.agrothe.go

Little Go for iPhone and iPadThe Game of Go for iOS
Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-go/id490753989?mt=8

Kifu for Windows 8 and 10 The Game of Go for Windows
Download: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/apps/kifu/9wzdncrdhs67

 

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Comments

Nice recommendations. Thanks. Go is really lots of fun and challenging, especially for players of chess used to its "ad hominem" -based strategizing.

You're welcome jmjsquared. Indeed, knowing the master behind the game is one of the top strategies.
 
The grandmasters ("neural networks") behind the supercomputer AlphaGo seem very strong despite "having a problem with unexpected moves" pointed out by LeeSedol in his Match 4.
 
AlphaGo's record now is 9-1 after defeating European Go champion (5-0) last year and now LeeSedol (4-1).

I suspect that, inevitably, any rules-based contest between a wo/man and a sufficiently-fast, programmable calculating machine will result in a win for the machine. Only for a little while longer will humans' "unexpected moves" (a function of our limited memories, imperfect recall and limited processing power, not to mention our imagination, 'soul/spirit' , insanity) pose real problems for our machines that play games with us.

Anyway, thanks for the further info.