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2011-09-28 Expert: Parik Stefanov Rate: (5)  7 ratings

Just because somebody has to win: "rrx" vs. "irana"


         Unlike chess, GO has no draws and I think this is one of the reasons that GO is more attractive than chess. In particular, the tactical draws in chess are soooo... boring, an ideal weapon to kill the show and drive the viewers away.
         However, when a GO game lasts 354 moves and ends up at a half a point margin, I can't help myself but ask a philosophical question: "Where is the border line for the perfect komi?"  In our case, is this not just a pure coincidence that the winner and the loser were on one side or the other of the critical border line of imperfection?
        In the past, I already wrote about this dilemma. It's like two gods should compete against each other and the result of the game is not decided because one has played better than the other, but because the winner chose the right color! This was exactly the feeling I experienced when I watched the game between "rrx" and "irana".
        I have spoken many times about "rrx", because he belongs to the elite of Tygem. He is supposed to be Wang Lei, 8P, from China. His fans ( ranked from 18k to 3D) generated many replica handles, from "rrx1" to "rrx11"! In the King of Kings tournament he was eliminated somehow surprisingly by "lxlx", in the so called then round of last 19.
        About "irana" it has not been mentioned anything up to now, though he is a player worth watching, if we judge by his good results and rating. For example, just today, before losing to "rrx" by the small margin of 0,5 p,  he won 3 consecutive games against players confirmed as professionals : "Happys(P)", "ChunF(P)" and "FANTASY(P)", all from China.
        The handle "irana" would tempt us to believe that he might be a she, but I am not so sure. Because I made a parallel with chess at the beginning, a world champion has played on a chess server under the name of "Irina", making all wonder who was "that girl" who played so well.  After some time they found that Irina was in fact the name of his girlfriend.
         And now let's see how a half-point ko decided the fate of a long and dramatic game.

       
                              "rrx" 9D (Wang Lei, 8P) China : 596 - 239 (38648 p)
                              5 - 0  last games

                              "irana" 9D, Korea : 144 - 45 (37128 p)
                              8 - 0  before this game


Comments:

Fizmo
2011-10-07 07:10
First of all we dont know if the used nowadays value of komi is right or wrong so before some solid math studies are done in this subject one can argue that close games such as this one are not really closest to draw or should not be draws.
The problem is also that we still dont know what happens in case of true optimal play from both sides - maybe such play leads to triple ko or some other wierd situation so its still not clear that black wins with optimal play against white in case of no komi...
One aspect is of course the statistical study and according small adjustment of komi but as of now we cant say without doubt: "the game with komi of 6.5 is fair"
zoo
2011-10-02 05:10
It's not that draws are rare in go - we only chose to count them as wins for one side. 50% of the half-point games are ties, really, the question is *which* 50% :).


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