For help on using the game interface, tap on the small 'i' in the lower right corner of the screen, then select "Game Help." To play a game, just tap the board where you want to put a go stone. If you make a mistake, tap on "undo." You are allowed to undo only one move at a time. When there is no place left to play, you can "pass" your turn. When you and the computer both pass the game is over and you will see the score. You can resign at any time if you think you are losing.
The program tracks your rating using the standard rating system for Go used throughout the world. New players have a rank between 25 kyu and 30 kyu. Stronger players have lower ranks until 1 kyu, the best kyu player. Expert players are ranked on the Dan scale, from 1 dan (weakest) to 9 dan (strongest). Igowin has an engine that can play at many levels between 19 kyu and 1 kyu. It tracks your rating and choses the internal player closest to your strength.
Komi are points given to the white player to offset black's advantage from moving first. Komi varies from 0.5 to 6.5 points, depending on the relative strengths of you and the computer player.
Igowin includes an excellent tutorial on the rules and strategy of the game of Go. To read the tutorial, tap on the small 'i' in the lower right corner of the screen and select "Go Tutorial." You can use the index button to skip forward or back in the tutorial. "Back" returns to the game. When it asks a question, the "Answer" button will show the answer.
Igowin uses the Artificial Intelligence go engine from The Many Faces of Go. This engine has been under continuous development since 1982, and recently won the 2008 World Computer Go Championship in Beijing. The strongest internal level uses the new Monte Carto algorithm. It plays thousands of random games and chooses the move that leads to the most wins. Another internal level uses the same alpha-beta seatch algorithm used by strong chess programs. Weaker levels use patterns of standard go shapes to choose moves. This means that even the weak levels usually play sensible go moves, so a beginning player can learn to play well by watching the computer.
There is a free Windows PC version of Igowin available at www.smart-games.com/igowin.html. This program only has a single weak internal player, about 15 kyu strength. It uses handicap stones to equalize playing strength. The approach used in the iPhone version is far superior.
The Many Faces of Go is a full featured windows program that plays go on any board size. It also includes tutorials, opening book libraries, go problems, a game editor, game analysis tools, on-line play, and may other features. You can find it at www.smart-games.com/manyfaces.html.
So far all questions are answered in the game help or the above text.
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Page created 9/18/2009