Lee Wins. Image Credit: BBC
Lee Wins. Image Credit: BBC
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South Korean, Lee Sedol one of the world’s top players, ranked as 9-dan and a holder of 18 international titles won his first match against AlphaGo on Sunday in the ancient Chinese board game Go, denying a clean sweep for the AI in a 5-match series. Lee Sedol made his comeback after three consecutive losses to AlphaGo in the fourth game. Playing as white, Lee won by resignation after 180 moves.

AlphaGo held a strong position for the first half of the game, but commentators noted that Lee Sedol played a brilliant move 78, followed by a mistake AlphaGo made at move 79.

“Today’s game was another example of AlphaGo playing a very interesting, good game. However, move 78 by Lee Sedol was really brilliant and enabled him to win. “Said Michael Redmond, 9-dan, American commentator.

“It seems Lee Sedol can now read AlphaGo better and has a better understanding of how AlphaGo moves. For the 5th match, it will be a far closer battle than before since we know each better. Professional Go players said that they became more interested in playing Go after witnessing AlphaGo’s innovative moves. People started to rethink about moves that were previously regarded as undesirable or bad moves. AlphaGo can help us think outside of the box in Go games. “Said Song Taegon, 9-dan, Korean commentator.

Reuters reports that, experts did not expect an artificial intelligence program to beat a human professional for at least a decade, until AlphaGo beat a European champion player last year. Lee was considered a much more formidable opponent, however.

However, at a 3-1 match score, AlphaGo has already secured its victory in the Google DeepMind Challenge Match, but yesterday’s loss heightens the drama going into the final game.

Here are the results and final board position from Game 4:

Lee wins the 4th round of the game against AlphaGo.
Lee wins the 4th round of the game against AlphaGo.

The fifth and final match will be played on Tuesday, March 15 at 1pm KST (7pm EAT).