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Google’s Alpha Takes Lead Against World Champion Lee in Games Go Challenge Series

The Ultimate Go Challenge that kicked off yesterday, is at its peak! Where, AlphaGo; the first computer program to beat a professional Go player, Fan Hui, without handicaps on a full-sized 19×19 board, takes on the legendary Lee Sedol, the top Go player for the past decade who is ranked 9 dan, as they battle in a five-game match in Seoul, Korea.

Go is a profoundly complex game played by more than 40 million people worldwide, which is why it has always been regarded as the outstanding grand challenge for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Played by more than 40 million people worldwide, the matches are played under Chinese rules with a Komi of 7.5 (the compensation points the player who goes second receives at the end of the game).

Each game is expected to take 4-5 hours where each player will receive two hours per game with three lots of 60-second byoyomi (countdown periods after they have finished their allotted time).

The games will be even (no handicap), with 1 million USD (3.4 Billion UGX) in prize money for the winner. “If AlphaGo wins, the prize money will be donated to UNICEF, STEM charities and Go organizations.” Demis Hassabis, Founder & CEO, Google DeepMind writes.

This is how so far the game is standing since yesterday.

Game 1 – March 9, 2016
AlphaGo takes the first game against Lee Sedol. They were neck-and-neck for its entirety, in a game filled with complex fighting. Lee Sedol made very aggressive moves but AlphaGo did not back down from the fights.

AlphaGo took almost all of its time compared to Lee Sedol who had almost 30 minutes left on the clock.

Here are the results and final board position from Game 1:

Game 2 – March 10, 2016
AlphaGo again beat Lee Sedol in their second round, taking a 2-0 lead in this five-game match.

AlphaGo just needs one more win from the three remaining games scheduled for Saturday, March 12, Sunday, March 13 and the final game on Tuesday, March 15 to claim its victory in the five-game tournament. However, all five games will be played to determine the final match scores.

Here are the results and final board position from Game 2:

You can catch the live-stream on DeepMind’s YouTube channel.

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