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World’s top weiqi player Ke Jie loses third match against AlphaGo

By Gao Yun (CNTV)    14:50, May 27, 2017


The world’s No.1 weiqi (Go) player Ke Jie lost the contest against his artificial intelligence (AI) rival, AlphaGo, in the third and also final match of the summit on Saturday.

This match began at 10:30 BJT in Wuzhen, east China’s Zhejiang Province, with AlphaGo playing the black and Ke white.

Ke showed his brilliant weiqi skills as he said he will “fight till the end,” though he lost his previous two matches against AlphaGo on Tuesday and Thursday.

AlphaGo made the first “impolite” move as it did on Thursday – to put the black stone on the bottom-right corner of the weiqi board. It is a Chinese tradition that the first stone is usually placed around the top-right corner and this is what weiqi coaches always teach beginners.

“I think the black already wins,” said Nie Weiping, vice president of the Chinese Weiqi Association, and a Chinese weiqi legend, one hour after the match.

Just like Ke, Nie thinks AlphaGo is much stronger than any human player.

“I don’t think the match has any meaning because the huge capability gap between the two sides left no doubt who will win,” said Nie. “AlphaGo is a machine. The gap between human player and AlphaGo, for example, is like a race competition, in which we human players are like a bike or car, but AlphaGo is a plane, or even a spacecraft.”

Nie reckoned AlphaGo should be a coach for weiqi players as there is much to learn from the AI program's unusual moves in the three matches.

“I believe AlphaGo should be a coach for our professional weiqi players as a master to improve our weiqi capacity,” he said.

Although Ke fell behind fast in the beginning of the match, he fought hard to catch up with his AI opponent.

The margin became very small when the two players entered the endgame.

Ke and AlphaGo clashed hard on the last empty area on the board – the top edge.

The commentators tried very hard to guess what moves were to be made, but they were left surprised by the two sides.

 During the endgame, AlphaGo chose to retreat in all places around the board, giving Ke some territory to keep the situation stable, as the machine was already confident about winning.

But Ke still chose to give up after struggling.

The match lasted over three and a half hours.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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