Creating new engine

Creating a go engine used to be a huge effort. After a basic program structure was in place, a lot of tuning was needed.

Since Deep neural Networks were adapted to go, creating a new engine has been a lot less work.

And since the AlphaZero go engine training technique, creating a strong go engine is not so much work, but awfully lot of GPU computing time.

So currently I am in progress of doing new engine for Hactar. This has progressed really well; I hope to be able to publish results really soon (still, do not hold your breath). The main challenge is to reduce the needed GPU time to something reasonable.

GOWrite and Hactar

GOWrite is over 23 years old, and finally deserves a blog.

First time I made GOWrite go game editor available in internet during 1995. Back then, making a book was pain, as good quality diagrams were not easy to produce. Solving this was one of the initial reasons to create GOWrite.

Around 2001 I made first attempts at a grand new version 2.0 using Java. Old 1.4 version was internally messed up, and I wanted to support other than windows environments.

I also created MIDP version of gowrite around 2005. This was not big success, so eventually I stopped the development. Still, using phone as go tools was clearly practical.

Finally around 2011 I wanted to test something with Android, and creating go program was natural thing to do. This time name was not GOWrite,  as program was not about go publications. Instead program was about playing against computer and strong playing programs require a server. And servers live in the cloud, so program name was Hactar.

Hactar go was initially for beginners, it includes capture go engine to help getting started.