A far more active computer Go competition is the CGOS server.

The Computer Go Ladder

The Computer Go Ladder is an informal competition between computer Go programs for the principal purpose of having fun. It is hoped that the ladder will also stimulate work on programs and allow some measurement of the state of the art of current programs.

The Computer Go Ladder is a "handicap" ladder; the number of handicap stones that each participant can give to the next lower program is explicitly tracked. Whenever a program author feels that his program has been improved, he can issue a challenge to the program below to increase the number of handicap stones, or to the program above to decrease the number of handicap stones. New programs can join the ladder by challenging the program at the "bottom rung" (at no handicap). If the new program wins the challenge, it can challenge successively higher programs until it loses. It would then start playing handicap challenges to determine its exact placement. Many boring technical details of ladder operation have been omitted from this description.

Challenges are normally played on the Internet Go Server. Challenge results and scheduled challenges are announced via e-mail (as well as on this page). If you would like to receive such announcements, send mail to the ladder administrator and indicate whether you would like to receive match results only, or match results and upcoming challenge announcements. Challenges and results involving the top programs on each ladder are also announced on the computer go mailing list.

Current Ladder Participants

Program IGS name Scoring Author E-mail address (replace ':' with '@')
Ego ego Japanese Bruce Wilcox suewilcox:bigfoot.com
Explorer ex63 Chinese Martin Mueller mmueller:cs.ualberta.ca
Gnu Go FSF Japanese FSF gnugo:gnu.org
GoAhead GoAhead Japanese Peter Woitke woitke:physik.tu-berlin.de
Gobble bernd Chinese Bernd Bruegmann bruegman:gravity.psu.edu
Godot LuckyGodot Chinese Jens Lieberum jenslieberum:yahoo.de
GoLife I GoLifeI Chinese Henrik Rydberg rydberg:fy.chalmers.se
Gogo pwgoldberg Chinese Paul Goldberg P.W.Goldberg:liverpool.ac.uk
Golois Golois Chinese Tristan Cazenave cazenave:ai.univ-paris8.fr
gottaGo gottaGo Japanese Eric Pettersen pett:cgl.ucsf.edu
GoWind gowind Chinese Ruhai Zhou rzhou:odu.edu
Indigo parigo Chinese Bruno Bouzy bouzy:math-info.univ-paris5.fr
Jacqueline Go N/A Chinese Patrick Hippenmeyer info:informatrix.ch
JaGo Dude Japanese Fuming Wang fuming:venus.radsci.uci.edu
Many Faces of Go ManyFaces Chinese David Fotland fotland:smart-games.com
NeuroGo II NeuroGoII Chinese Markus Enzenberger emarkus:cs.ualberta.ca
Orego Orego Chinese Orego project drake:lclark.edu
Poka Poka Chinese Howard Landman howard:riverrock.org
SmartGo SmartGo Chinese Anders Kierulf anders:smartgo.com
Topgoer topgoer Chinese Shaomin Feng smfeng:yeah.net
The Turtle TheTurtle Chinese Joan Pons Semelis semelis:terra.es

Current Ladder Rankings

9x9 Ladder

Program Stones to next Preferred time controls
Many Faces of Go 1 10' + 6' / 25 moves
NeuroGo II 0+ 25' + 11' / 25 moves
Ego 0+
Explorer 0? 30' + 6' / 25 moves
Indigo 0+ 0' + 10' / 25 moves
Golois 0+ 60' + 25' / 25 moves
Jacqueline Go 0+
Gnu Go 0+
Gobble 0? 30' + 25' / 25 moves
gottaGo 0? 0' + 19' / 25 moves
Poka 0?
Orego 0+ 60' + 25' / 25 moves
GoLife I 0? 0' + 20' / 25 moves
Gogo 0+ 0' + 25' / 25 moves
Godot 0? 1' + 10' / 25 moves
The Turtle N/A 60' + 25' / 25 moves

19x19 Ladder

Program Stones to next Preferred time controls
Many Faces of Go 0? 20' + 13' / 25 moves
GoAhead 0? 0' + 45' / 25 moves
Gnu Go 0+
Ego 0+
Explorer 0+ 60' + 12' / 25 moves
NeuroGo II 0+ 25' + 25' / 25 moves
Indigo 0+ 0' + 25' / 25 moves
SmartGo 0+ 60' + 25' / 25 moves
Golois 0? 60' + 25' / 25 moves
Poka 0+
GoWind 0? 10' + 10' / 25 moves
Topgoer 0+ 2' + 7' / 25 moves
gottaGo 0+ 0' + 19' / 25 moves
The Turtle N/A 60' + 25' / 25 moves
* = new ladder participant

Recent Ladder Results

Viewing Game Records

You may be able to set up your Web browser to display the game records (which are in Smart Game Format) in an SGF viewer on your system, instead of as text. Here are instructions about how you would do that.

Pending Ladder Challenges



Not Yet Scheduled


"Exhibition" Games

The caliber of current program play can perhaps best be judged by "exhibition" games against human opponents. I currently have five such games available from this page (two involving Peter Woitke's GoAhead program, one involving David Fotland's Many Faces of Go, and two multi-program games), and Jean-loup Gailly's page has some games against the commercial program Handtalk . Also, Many Faces of Go plays frequently on NNGS and KGS against human opponents, so you could observe games there or retrieve recently played games and review them.

The GoAhead games have GoAhead as black against Herve Fournier (~ 8k) and Bill Newman (~1d). The games have many comments and are quite interesting.

The Many Faces of Go game has Many Faces as black with 29 handicap stones(!) against Martin Mueller (author of Explorer). The game was played at the '98 US Go Congress and $30 in bets rode on the outcome. This game unfortunately is uncommented. However, there is some commentary on the game in a Computer Go survey paper available on one of Martin Mueller's web pages. The game commentary is on pages 6 and 7 of that paper.

Peter Woitke provides three "multi-brain" games where a human plays against a "player" that is a human choosing candidate moves suggested by two or more computer programs. If the programs agree on a move then the human has no choice; otherwise he picks the move he thinks best from among the candidates.

Other Computer Go Related Pages

Pages Principally Concerned with Computer Go

Pages With Some Computer Go Information

Pages of Likely Interest to Computer Go Programmers

Computer Go Opponents on the Web

Go ladder administrator: pett(at)cgl.ucsf.edu