Torigo — the Go game revolution

2016 — Match of master Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence has made a lot of noise in the last years and as its use spreads in the society it may not stop. Videos of robots performing flips, dystopian series like “Black Mirror” or articles explaining that our jobs are being replaced at high speed by machines are there to convey both fear and bliss in front of our technological progress.

2016 - Sophia, a humanoid robot saying it will detroy humans

I ) Computation versus intuition

How to reduce the efficiency of predictive computation in the game?
How can we promote intuition and imagination in the game of Go?

Image 1: 1–1 point, a move in the corner with the least liberties from start. Image 2: a famous joseki on the corner. From AlphaGo Zero in “Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge”
AlphaGo against Lee Sedol — Classic opening

II ) An edgeless goban

So .. how can a goban look like with no edges?

Torus or “doughnut”, where grid is respected in all points: a circular grid.

III ) A playable board

With this desire to get out of the collective resignation in front of the machines and to discover the game of Go with a new vision, I have implemented a platform to play the game of Go without corners nor edges:

  • « Torus » , the shape where the circular grid is possible (the math donut)
  • and « igo » which is the name of Go in Japan.
Images 1, 2: same 9x9 game with a different perspective. Dotted lines and mirror stones on sides. Image 3: capture.
Images 1, 2: same ending game 13x13 on torigo.io, from different perspectives.

IV ) Implications on the game

For new players, since this game does not yet have the weight of history, it can be an advantage in understanding the game of Torigo and developing brand new ways of playing. I noticed it is as simple to learn Torigo as it is to learn Go. While deep, the game is very simple to play with 2–3 rules, but hard to master. Removing the edges actually removes almost one rule.

“I Robot” movie, meme.
From “Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge”, AlphaGo Zero

Conclusion

Main objectives of this reflexion and the implementation of Torigo are to:
- Challenge AI researchers and human players to confront each other in this new dimension;
- Allow new players to discover Go in a new creative way, with no openings!

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Maxime Goaziou

Maxime Goaziou

Software engineer and Go player — Creator of Torigo.io the open game of Go with no edges, unbeaten by AI