The Many Faces of Go, version 12
Smart Games 4863 Capistrano Ave. San Jose, CA 95129 (408)985-1236 firstname.lastname@example.org
"The Many Faces of Go" is the 2008 World computer go 19x19 and 9x9 champion, 2002 World Computer Go Champion,
1998 World Computer Go Champion, and
ten time US Computer Go Champion. It is one of the strongest
Computer Go opponents in the world, and has many other great features including an integrated
IGS client so you can play on the Internet. A sophisticated set of go problems and a Joseki
tutor help you improve your game. It includes several go players of different strengths,
from 2 kyu to 18 kyu, so players of any level can have a challenging game.
System requirements: IBM-PC or compatible, Pentium or faster, 32 bit or 64 bit CPU,
Windows NT, XP, 2000, Vista (32 or 64 bit), or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit). 256 MB or more main memory.
In 2006 and 2007 a new breakthrough algorithm for computer go (Monte Carlo Tree Search),
was developed in France. This new approach plays thousands of pseudorandom
games each second, and collects statistics on the moves to choose where to play.
With very little go knowledge, this algorithm can beat any of the traditional,
knowledge-based, go programs. However the style of this new algorithm by itself is strange an inhuman.
Many Faces of Go, version 12 is the only program to combine the new search algorithm
with the go knowledge from version 11 to get the benfit of both. It gains strength from Monte Carlo evaluation, but
avoids most of the strange moves. This led immediately to over five stones increase in playing
strength. At the 2008 ICGA world championship, the pure Monte Carlo programs
beat all of the traditional programs, and Many Faces of Go version 12 beat all of
the Monte Carlo and traditional programs. Ongoing work since then continues to improve the strength of the program at a rapid rate.
Major New Features in Version 12
- World champion (2008, 2010) go engine, over 7 stones stronger than version 11.
- Calibrated levels from 18 kyu to 1 Dan to give any player a good even game.
- You can play ranked games and the engine will track your rank as you improve.
- The strongest Monte Carlo level increases in strength with more time or a
faster computer. It's stronger on small boards. On 9x9 it's over 3 Dan.
- Multiple users can track playing strength by name.
- Improved Vista and Windows 7 compatibility. It uses the Microsoft installer, which works on all Microsoft operating systems and Linux or Mac. \
It uses the newer HTML help system, since the older help is not supported on Vista. It works well on 64-bit Vista.
- Mac and LInux compatibility using Wine, Crossover, or Parallels. Version 11 graphic issues on these machines are fixed.
- This is a downloadable program with a free trial, so there is no need to wait for a CD in the mail.
You can download it and see how it looks and read the manual to understand all
the features. The free trial will play games at the 18 Kyu level, and you can review the included games or any other sgf game. When
you purchase the program you get keys for each of your computers to enable the full program.
- Bug fixes and AI updates are available free. The program can check for updates and install them automatically.
- The progam will resign when it is behind, or you can resign a rated game if you are behind.
Version 12 Features:
- Great graphics. Beautiful and adjustable 3-D slate and clamshell stones with shadows,
and realistic wood grain. You can rotate the board, or add coordinates.
Won the "Best Design" award at the 1991 World Computer Go Championship.
- Sound. Realistic clicks and capture sounds, and sounds for pass, IGS match, etc.
- Strong go player. 6 levels of play, from 18 Kyu to 1 Dan. 2008 World Computer
Go Champion in both 19x19 and 9x9. 2010 Champion on 13x13.
- Go tutorial. Over 100 screens of text, examples, and simple
problems teach you the rules, elementary tactics and strategies.
- Go problems. Over 2000 go problems for all levels of player. The program selects
problems for you based on your strength, and tracks your strength as you solve them. Problems
appear in different orientations and colors to aid learning. Go problems can be updated over
the internet, and it is easy for you to add additional problems or problem sets.
- Play go on the Internet. An Internet Go Server client is built in so you can play
go on the internet with the familiar Many Faces interface, and use its powerful
editing features to comment your games.
- Move suggestions. At each move it can show suggestions for next
move, by category (such as attacking, invading, endgame, etc). Can also
show liberty counts and/or group strengths for all groups. The computer can
show its lookahead while it is thinking.
- Game Score Graphs. Graph your score or win probability at each move. Click on a move to go to that position.
- Move hints. Suggests your best move.
- Move explanations. Can explain why it made a move or suggested
a move for you.
- Computer solving of go problems. The computer can solve life and death problems
in your games to help you improve.
- Thousands of games to play through. Hundreds of professional games with commentary.
About a thousand uncommented professional game records, organized
by tournament. About a thousand commented amateur games from the Go Teaching Ladder. Over 4,000
uncommented very strong amateur games.
- Powerful Game Editor. Can present for
review any game in the standard Ishi format (.go) or the popular Smart
Game Format (.sgf). When reviewing a game you can try to guess the next move. A wide
variety of marks are supported. You can add commentary or variations. Use ctrl-click to
move directly to any move in the game. Insert, delete, or drag stones to new positions. Great for recording your own games for later study.
- Can play and score using all major rule sets (Japanese, Chinese, GOE, and American).
- Can play either color, or serve as an electronic go board for two people.
- Can give or receive a handicap.
- Fuseki Library. A library of opening sequences on the whole
board from almost
100,000 professional and strong amateur games. At each position, shows the popularity
of each next move. Every game played is added to the libray. You can
add additional games.
- Joseki Tutor. Over 45,000 move library of standard corner
sequences is available for browsing or testing. Includes joseki, near-joseki,
trick plays, and responses to many bad moves. Use it to look up
variations, or to test your joseki knowledge.
- Printing of go diagrams or full games with numbered moves.
- On-line manual with information on history, tournaments,
Read a review of version 11.
The most recent computer go engine (version 12) is available in Japan, as
"AI IGO 17", with a
Japanese user interface for Windows or Macintosh. This is one
of the best selling go programs in Japan.
You can play against "The Many Faces of Go" on the internet
on the KGS go server in the Computer Go room. It uses the name "ManyFaces".
Go ratings for amateurs are on a scale that starts around 25 Kyu
for beginners, goes to 1 kyu, then 1 dan, then 6 dan or so for the
strongest players. Most people who are serious about studying the game, and
have stronger players to play with, can get to 10 kyu in about
a year, and 1 dan in 3 to 5 years. American (AGA), Japanese, and
NNGS ratings are a little weaker than ratings in China, Taiwan,
Korea, Europe, and IGS.
The older Many Faces of Go version 11 has a 6 Kyu diploma from the Japanese Nihon-Ki-in,
based on test games against rated Japanese players
and some sample play against a 9-dan professional. It had a rank on the NNGS server of 8 kyu.
Many Faces version 12 is rated stronger than 1 Dan on the online KGS server, based on
hundreds of games against many different players.
Known Bugs, Incompatibilities, and issues in Version 12
Click here to send mail to
report bugs in version 12, or to suggest new features for the next version.
- No known issues other than some minor bugs. As issues and bugs are reported they are fixed and released as a free update.
Known Bugs, Incompatibilities, and issues in Version 11.0
- Installation on Vista or Win-7 sometimes fails. See the support FAQ for help on installing on Vista.
Known Bugs, Incompatibilities, and issues in Version 10.0
- On some Windows-NT machines the 256 color graphics don't work, so
the game appears in only 16 colors. A patch is available to fix
this bug. Download it here.
- If you add commentary to a move, then immediately try to
guess the next move and guess wrong, the commentary is lost. To work
around, after adding commentary, just go back a move then forward
again before guessing the next move.
I've been working on this go engine for a long time, and it has
appeared in many earlier products:
- Between 1981 and 1987, various versions were given away free
to friends, running on HP-1000, Vax, and PA-RISC. An old HP-UX free
version is still available on some web sites, called xgo.
- September, 1988.
Cosmos, the Computer Go Partner for the IBM-PC. The first release for IBM PC. One upgrade version
of Cosmos was
released in 1990.
- The source code for the final version of Cosmos was given to the
Spec benchmark committee,
and is now 099.GO, one of the SpecInt95
benchmark suite. Hundreds of compiler writers around the world
tuned their compilers to make my go program run faster :-)
Spec's description of the program.
The Many Faces of Go had five earlier releases (7.0x, 8.0x, 9.0x, 10.0 and 11.0) between 1995 and 2002.
Igowin is a free 9x9 only Windows-95/98/NT version of Many Faces of Go, that
plays fast, tracks your go strength as you improve, and learns from
its mistakes so it never loses the same way twice. It includes the
full Many Faces of Go tutorial, and an on-line manual with lots of
information about the game. Download it here.
Igo was a 9x9 only DOS version of Many Faces of Go, with a deliberately
dumber engine. It includes the Go tutorial from The Many Faces of
Go, and has the same great graphics. It is free, and intended to
help beginners learn the game.
Go simulator was a version of the first release of The Many Faces of Go,
released in Europe with a 3 language manual and box.
An early version of The Many Faces of Go was sold in Korea, with
a Korean box and manual.
A version for EO and Intel Penpoint OS handheld computers.
Go programs based on the Many Faces of Go engine are on sale in Japan
and Korea, for IBM-PC, Mac, Nintendo-DS, and Sony Playstation.
Other Information About The Many Faces of Go
Other Computer go pages
David Fotland's home
Smart Games home page
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Changes last made on: January 22nd, 2011