If so, what is your rank and where do you play?
I have played for fun with friends but not many people are interested in playing the game, especially after they realize how much practice and time it takes to get any good at the game. Pretty much all of my gaming friends decided that they would rather stick with chess. I have only one friend who actually enjoys playing but we have only played a handful of games in the last few years since we are usually playing chess with our other friends.
I have no idea what my rank is. I doubt I come close to dan at all.
I haven't played in years, but when I did, I was probably around a 6 kyu.
I do. I'm 5k in KGS go server. I'm obsessed in watching the strongest go programs (the strongest one is 6d and has beaten Takemiya Masaki 9p with 5 and 4 stones of handicap).
Can anyone link me to a free small windows program for playing Go against a computer opponent of varying difficulty/board size? I am having a surprising amount of trouble finding one online.
http://www.gnu.org/software/gnugo/. I've heard you can choose between 10 levels of difficulty of gnugo and there are many parameters to change/play with. The strongest level on 19x19 board size is approximately 5 to 6 kyu.
The reason is that Go is orders of magnitude more complicated than chess, and so it's very difficult (and computationally expensive) to write programs that play the game well.
EDIT: Well, obviously GNU would have one...
I do play Go, my rank is about 10kyu. On the KGS server you will find bots with various board sizes and rules.
I do not agree with the implication you suggest. If you take a 9x9 go board, chess is much more complex than it. In fact chess complexity is somewhere between go on a board size of 12x12 and 13x13, yet the strongest programs in go on 9x9 are close to the pro level but not -at all- on 13x13.
There are several factors that make it hard to create a top level bot in go and as you say the number of possibilities for each position is a problem but this is not all.
Did you know that connect 6 has about the same complexity than go for a board of similar size? I doubt it's as hard as go to write a program that plays at the level of the strongest humans. I may be wrong though.
The problem in KGS is that it's hard (not trivial) to add bots playing with a ranked account. As a consequence the servers lacks ranked bots so much that they are busy playing about 95 to 99% of the time. You must be very quick in clicking to accept a challenge before someone else does it (less than 1 s click).
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