The United States Computer Go Championship
US Computer Go Competition History
The earliest computer go competitions were organized at the
Usenix conferences in the early 80's.
The Ing Wei-Chi Educational Foundation and Acer sponsored the
US Computer Go Championships at the US Go Congress, as preliminaries to their world
championship, from 1988 to 1990.
David Fotlandorganized and ran the US competition between 1991 and 2000.
A plaque or certificate, and the admiration of your peers. The last four
years there has been prize money available, with prizes for the first
four or five places, and a prize for the best new program.
In 2000 we had a prize fund generously donated by Bob Myers (the Myers Prize),
with prizes of
$1,000, first place
$500, 2nd place
$250, 3rd place
$125, 4th pace
$125, best new program
The AGA or congress organizers may add additional money to the prize fund.
Any program can enter this contest and win prizes, no matter where it is from.
The best new program prize will go to the highest finishing program that
has not competed in a US computer go championship, Ing Cup, or FOST cup
The goal of this competition is to encourage computer go development,
and see how well the programs play, so in areas not explicitly covered
by the rules, the tournament director should make decisions in
a way that can allow games to continue.
Ing GOE rules will be used. All games will be even, without handicaps.
Programs are not required to show the final score in Ing style. Komi is
Programs must be able to remove all stones, or indicate which stones
they think are dead. If both programs pass thinking unsettled groups
are alive, they are assumed alive for scoring purposes. The tournament
referee will resolve any disagreement between programs on the status of
groups after the game is over. Programs do not have to continue play.
If a program makes an illegal move or refuses input of a legal move it
loses immediately. Remember that GOE rules allow suicide. Several
games have been lost in the past when one program committed suicide and
the other would not accept the move.
Mirror go is not allowed past move 60.
Time limit is 120 moves for each side in one hour.
Please provide your own computer at the contest site. Transportation costs and
risks are borne by the contestant. We will provide a locked
room, but the congress is not responsible for the loss of any equipment
Each program must be operated by an author, or designated
representative. Each program can only be registered once.
Participants should make a game record. These records are public and
will be delivered to the AGA.
Programs are encouraged to implement the
(now obsolete) computer go modem protocol
to allow programs to play each other without human intervention. In a
pairing, if one program has the modem protocol and the other doesn't,
the program with the protocol gets 70 minutes instead of 60, to allow
for operator time.
If the modem protocol is not used, a go board will be used between
the computers to record the official position. By mutual agreement
the operators can decide not to use the go board, but then should
be very careful to enter moves correctly.
Programs can be
restarted after a crash with the clock still running during the time it
takes to restart or possibly reenter the moves.
is used, the time used will be taken from the
programs own clocks provided they are in close agreement. Otherwise Ing
clocks will be used by the operators. By mutual agreement between
operators, clocks can be not used. In this case, if there is a crash,
20 minutes will be clocked for total recovery time from all crashes.
If there is hardware failure, power failure, or disagreement about the
position that can't be resolved and more than 150 moves have been
played, and the referee can determine the likely result, the referee
will adjudicate the game. Otherwise it will be played over.
No change in
go playing algorithm or program parameters is allowed during a game, but changes are permitted
between rounds. If a program is playing too slowly and looks like
it will lose on time, get the tournament referee. The operator will
be allowed (one time only) to enter a command to adjust the computer's clock or playing
level to speed it up when there is 10 minutes remaining on the clock.
If there is enough time, a full round robin will be played. Ties from
the round robin will be resolved by single elimination, with any
bye's determined randomly. In the single elimination, game will be
with opposite colors from the games in the round robin. If we play round
robin there will not be fixed round starting times.
If there are
too many entries for a round robin, a swiss tournament will be held with
first round pairings determined by past results or by chance. In
each round programs with the same number of wins will be paired if
No program will get more than one bye. A bye counts as a win. The
same opponents will not be paired twice. The tournament referee has
final say in the pairings.
Tournament standings are determined first by number of wins, then by sum
of defeated opponent's scores, then by sum of opponent's scores, then by
head to head.
All rule disputes are settled by the tournament referee.