Goban Goban Help

Playing against the program.


How do I start a game?

The Show Info menu toggles a panel where you can set the parameters of the game.

How do I finish a game?

A game is finished when both players pass consecutively. Since release v10, Goban attempts to automatically score the game. In Go, even scoring finished games is not an easy task, and Goban will give up trying if it does not succeed to score a game in less than 30 seconds. Goban's choices about what stones are dead or alive can be manually overriden by selecting a stone or group of stones. The board changes to reflect the status you give to the stones, and the score is updated.

What is GNU Go?

Goban is designed to be compatible with a variety of Go playing programs, and currently includes GNU Go. GNU Go is distributed under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE . Contact, or see for more information.

How do I set the strength of the program?

Using handicap stones is the preferred way to make a game even. Alternatively, you can adjust the program strength (and speed) in the Preferences panel.

Goban now allows you to push GNU Go's strength past the recommended level 10, up to level 15. This is because there has been reports that GNU Go at level 15 is stronger: in a 13x13 tournament of leading Go programs ran by Stefan Mertin, GNU Go 3.2, (Goban includes a later and stronger version of GNU Go), placed 3rd using this setting.

However, playing a 19x19 game at level 15 is unbearably slow, around 6 times slower than at level 10, and there are still some doubts about the real increase in strength. So the possibility to push GNU Go to level 15 exist, if you would like to experiment with it on small boards, but it is not recommended.

An alternative, to get a better opponent, is to use the latest development version of GNU Go which is available precompiled for Mac OS X on our server. Installation explanations can be found below. For instance, while 3.2, released in April 2002, was around 13 kyu on NNGS, GNU Go 3.3.16 was at 10 kyu, supposedly equivalent to a Japanese 6 kyu or AGA 7 kyu, at the beginning of 2003.

How do I use Goban with a program other than GNU Go, or a newer version of GNU Go?

In The Preferences panel you can specify the launch path and launch arguments to be used for your alternative program. Since release v12, Goban supports the Go Text Protocol (GTP) as well as the Go Modem Protocol (GMP). Compatible programs should be usable with Goban, but none other than GNU Go have been tested yet.

The commands that Goban sends to a GTP program are: boardsize, fixed_handicap, komi, clear_board, play, genmove, undo, quit.

  1. Create a new GTP program player
  2. Edit it's name to your liking in the table
  3. Select the path to the executable
  4. Specify the launch arguments, such as --mode gtp --quiet --level 10 for GNU Go, or -gtp for badukiplus

How do I resume a saved game?

When a game is loaded, Goban looks for registered programs with names matching those from the file's players. If it finds one, it can be used to resume the game, using the Resume command from the Edit menu. This is currently possible only with the built-in GNU Go program and other GTP programs.

Copyright (c) 1997-2004, Sen:te (Sente SA). All rights reserved.