Unconventional Opening and Intense Battle: AlphaGo vs. Shin Jinseo

Unconventional Opening and Intense Battle: AlphaGo vs. Shin Jinseo

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Player Introduction: Xin Jun
  3. Unconventional Opening Moves
  4. White's Strategic Approach
  5. Black's Counterplay
  6. White's Mistake and Its Consequences
  7. Analyzing Alternative Moves
  8. The Impressive Influence and Thickness of Black's Position
  9. White's Desperate Attempts to Turn the Game Around
  10. Conclusion


In this Alphago versus the world game, we witness an exciting matchup between two top Go players. Michael Redmond, a 9-dan professional, provides expert commentary on the game. The focus of this article is to analyze the gameplay, strategies, and decision-making process of the players. We will delve into the opening moves, the development of the board position, and the consequences of key moves. Join us as we explore the intricacies of this captivating game.

Player Introduction: Xin Jun

Xin Jun, a young Korean Go player born in 2000, entered the Go scene with great promise. At the time of this game, Xin Jun was already a two-time world champion, earning titles in the Asian TV Cup and the LG Cup. Despite his young age, Xin Jun proved to be a formidable adversary for Alphago. Let's take a closer look at the opening moves and observe Xin Jun's approach to the game.

Unconventional Opening Moves

The opening moves of this game deviate from the traditional star point or three-four point. Instead, White opts for a unique configuration, seemingly inviting Black to make an approach move in response. This provocative move aims to create more opportunities for White to approach the corners. However, this opening strategy can be perplexing for human players, as it sacrifices potential for both players and can lead to reduced scoring value in the corners. Nonetheless, computer programs tend to favor this unconventional approach, highlighting the difference in strategic thinking between humans and AI.

White's Strategic Approach

White's subsequent moves in the game demonstrate a pattern commonly observed in computer programs' gameplay. After a one-space pincer from Black, White jumps once and then plays away. This strategic pattern emphasizes efficiency, leaving options for future invasions and creating potential living shapes. By following this approach, White aims to maintain a strong attack on the upper side, while Black focuses on establishing a large area in the lower half of the board.

Black's Counterplay

Black's response to White's unconventional opening appears to be successful from early on in the game. By pushing on the fifth line, Black gains a significant advantage, forcing White to make suboptimal moves. This pushing move effectively limits White's options and leads to a favorable outcome for Black. As the game progresses, Black's influence and thickness on the board become increasingly noticeable, presenting a daunting challenge for White.

White's Mistake and Its Consequences

Unfortunately for White, an oversight in move selection results in a critical mistake. The move played by White unexpectedly hinders further strategic development and allows Black to secure a substantial lead. With Black's winning percentage skyrocketing, it becomes evident that White's earlier miscalculation has put the game in a dire position. Despite some follow-up moves, White struggles to recover, given Black's overwhelming advantage and the comprehensive influence Black has gained over more than half of the board.

Analyzing Alternative Moves

Looking back at the pivotal moment when White made the fatal error, we explore alternative moves that could have Altered the game's trajectory. While certain computer programs may show preference towards a specific move, the practicality and success of such moves in human gameplay remain questionable. The analysis prompts a consideration of the potential outcomes and uncertainties associated with the suggested moves, casting doubt on the effectiveness of these alternatives.

The Impressive Influence and Thickness of Black's Position

As the game progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that Black's influence and thickness are key factors contributing to their dominance. Black's control over a large portion of the board limits White's opportunities for a successful attack. Despite White's attempts to salvage the situation, the sheer Scale of Black's influence proves insurmountable. The efficiency of Black's strategy in creating thickness and maintaining a solid position is commendable.

White's Desperate Attempts to Turn the Game Around

Realizing the magnitude of their disadvantage, White resorts to desperate measures in a bid to reverse the game's trajectory. With limited options available, White attempts to disrupt Black's plans and regain control. However, the imbalance in the gameplay, coupled with the overwhelming influence of Black's position, renders White's attempts futile. As the game reaches its concluding stages, Black's victory becomes increasingly inevitable.


In this Alphago versus the world game, we have witnessed an intense clash of strategic thinking and gameplay styles. Xin Jun, a young and talented Go player, demonstrated his skill and adaptability against Alphago's formidable artificial intelligence. Through the analysis of this game, we have gained insights into the complexities of Go strategy, the impact of influential moves, and the challenges presented by unconventional opening approaches. As the game of Go continues to evolve, it is clear that both human players and artificial intelligence contribute to the fascinating tapestry of this ancient game.


  • Xin Jun, a rising Korean Go player, faces off against Alphago in an intense match.
  • The game deviates from traditional opening moves, emphasizing unconventional strategic approaches.
  • White's miscalculation leads to a critical mistake and a significant advantage for Black.
  • Black's impressive influence and thickness dominate the board, making it difficult for White to make a comeback.
  • White resorts to desperate attempts to alter the game's trajectory but fails to overcome Black's dominance.
  • Xin Jun's victory showcases the ongoing interaction between human players and artificial intelligence in the game of Go.


Q: How old was Xin Jun during this game? A: Xin Jun was 16 years old at the time of this game.

Q: What titles had Xin Jun won before playing against Alphago? A: Xin Jun had already won the Asian TV Cup in 2019 and the LG Cup in the following year.

Q: Why did White choose an unconventional opening strategy? A: White aimed to create more opportunities to approach the corners, enticing Black to make specific moves.

Q: How did Black gain a significant advantage early in the game? A: Black's push on the fifth line limited White's options and resulted in a beneficial position for Black.

Q: What factors contributed to Black's dominance in the game? A: Black's influence and thickness over more than half of the board prevented White from mounting a successful attack.

Q: Did White's desperate attempts to turn the game around succeed? A: No, despite trying various strategies, White was unable to overcome the substantial lead held by Black.

Q: What does this game reveal about the interaction between humans and artificial intelligence in Go? A: This game exemplifies the ongoing dynamic between human players and AI, showcasing both the strengths and limitations of each.

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