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With his back against the wall, and armed with the results of his research, Lee took advantage of the first move by playing a fast paced and active High Chinese formation. Things seemed to be going as planned when Black created a wide position up to Black 11 and AlphaGo entered Black’s large moyo with White 12.___________________
Lee responded by denying White a base with Black 13, and the game became exciting. It was the first time we’d seen AlphaGo forced to manage a weak group within its opponent’s sphere of influence. Perhaps this would prove to be a weakness? This, however, was where things began to get scary.
Usually developing a large sphere of influence and enticing your opponent to invade it is a good strategy, because it creates a situation where you have numerical advantage and can attack severely. In military texts, this is sometimes referred to as ‘force ratio’. The intention in Go though is not to kill, but to consolidate territory and gain advantages elsewhere while the opponent struggles to defend themselves.
Lee appeared to be off to a good start with this plan, pressuring White’s invading group from all directions and forcing it to squirm uncomfortably. But as the battle progressed, White gradually turned the tables — compounding small efficiencies here and there. Lee seemed to be playing well, but somehow the computer was playing even better. In forcing AlphaGo to withstand a very severe, one-sided attack, Lee revealed its hitherto undetected power.
Move after move was exchanged and it became apparent that Lee wasn’t gaining enough profit from his attack. By move 32, it was unclear who was attacking whom, and by 48 Lee was desperately fending off White’s powerful counter-attack.
I can only speak for myself here, but as I watched the game unfold and the realization of what was happening dawned on me, I felt physically unwell. Generally I avoid this sort of personal commentary, but this game was just so disquieting. I say this as someone who is quite interested in AI and who has been looking forward to the match since it was announced.
Shi Yue, 9 Dan Professional and World Champion said the games were “Like nothing I’ve ever seen before - they’re how I imagine games from far in the future.”___________________