When they’re not playing the perfect game of draughts or proving they can solve the Rubik’s Cube more efficiently than you, I’ve heard that supercomputers like nothing better than a salubrious game of “Go”.
As much as anything, they enjoy the irony of playing a game that’s eons older than they are.
So, it turns out some of them are quite good, like “Huygens”, the Dutch National Supercomputer. It beat Kim MyungWan, a “human Go professional”, even showing off by having a nine stone handicap (no, not in weight, obviously).
Admittedly, Huygens is an IBM Power 575 Hydro-Cluster system which can work at a peak speed of 60 trillion calculations per second, so it should be pretty good.
Now, “Go” confuses the hell out of me, as a read of the rules proves. As far as I’m concerned, it’s complicated enough to warrant a computer helping out. I’m hiring Huygens, if it’s not too intoxicated following the celebratory quaffing of several pints of Chinese beer, that is.