Go Commentary: Zen vs Franz-Josef Dickhut – 2nd Codecentric Go Challenge, Game 1

The 2nd Codecentric Go Challenge began on October 3, 2015, with the computer Go program Zen challenging 11 time German Go champion Franz-Josef Dickhut (aka FJ) in the first game of a best of five match.

The Codecentric Go Challenge

The Codecentric Go Challenge is an annual best of five match between a top computer Go program and a top amateur Go player.

The Codecentric logo.

The Codecentric logo.

The first iteration of the tournament was held in 2014 and the event is sponsored by Codecentric – an IT consulting company based in Germany.

In 2014, Dickhut defeated CrazyStone (another top Go AI) with a 3-1 score, after losing the first game.

This year, he’s facing CrazyStone’s rival, Zen.

Team DeepZen

Zen is the brainchild of two people – Yoji Ojima and Hideki Kato – who together form Team DeepZen, based in Japan.

For this match, Zen19 is using a parallelized implementation of its code, developed by Hideki. This means that it can efficiently carry out many calculations simultaneously (in parallel) when it has access to a computer cluster (multiple computers at once). This version of Zen is stronger than the commercial version when clustered.


Zen is running on a four PC cluster consisting of:

  • a dual 12-core Xeon E5-2690 v3 at 2.6 GHz, with 32 GB RAM,
  • a dual 10-core Xeon E5-2690 v2 at 3 GHz, with 32 GB RAM,
  • a dual 6-core Xeon X5680 at 3.5 GHz, with 8 GB RAM, and
  • an 8-core Core i7 5960X at 3 GHz, with 16 GB RAM.

And Dickhut is running on a human brain 😉

Read an interview with both teams

For more information about the match and to read an interview with both teams, please visit the Codecentric website.

Game 2 schedule

The next game will be played this weekend, on Saturday October 17, at 2:00 PM German time. That’s Saturday, 17 October at:

  • 5:00 AM US Pacific Daylight Time
  • 8:00 AM US Eastern Daylight Time
  • 12:00 PM UTC
  • 2:00 PM Central European Summer Time
  • 9:00 PM Japanese Standard Time, and
  • 11:00 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

You can watch the game on the KGS Go Server (look for the game between fj and Zen19S).

More information about the match schedule is available here.

Let’s have a look at the game!

Commented game record

Zen vs Franz-Josef Dickhut

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