Gomocup 2023, the 24th tournament (June 9th-11th, 2023)

The Gomocup 2023 took place on June the 9th-11th, sponsored by Tech Center of Lightspeed & Quantum Studios Group, Tencent.

There were three cloud servers whose configurations were the same:

  • Tencent Cloud Server SA2.8XLARGE64 (Windows Server 2022, x64 32 vCPU (AMD EPYC 7K62, 2.6/3.3GHz), 64GB RAM)

In addition to the classical freestyle, standard, renju, and fastgame tournaments, we introduced a new caro tournament this year. The caro tournament adopts the standard caro rule where the winner must have an unbroken row of exactly five stones that is not blocked at both ends (i.e., neither oxxxxxo nor xxxxxx is a win for x) on a 15x15 board.

The openings for Gomocup 2023 were chosen by the following people (sorted alphabetically according to last names):

  • Alexander Bogatirev - Gomoku player, member of Gomoku Committee RIF, member of organizers committee of Russian Gomoku Championship, winner of Russian Gomoku Cup 2016.
  • Nguyễn Minh - Gomoku player and opening analyzer, who experienced in Gomoku swap2.
  • Zijun Shu - Gomoku player and AI researcher, contributor of several Gomoku AIs.
  • Tao Tao - Renju theory researcher, who published some researches and new designs of renju opennings, participated in promotion of Renju and translated several Japanese renju books.
  • Qichao Wang - Renju expert, 4 dan, who has done a lot of researches in renju openings, and won the World Correspondence Renju Championship 2019.

Thank you all!

Same as last year, we prepared 12 openings for every rule.

  • Openings for the freestyle league:

  • Openings for the standard league:

  • Openings for the renju league:

  • Openings for the caro league:

What is new?

  • Updates
    • AlphaGomoku (Kozarzewski) 2023 - developed by Maciej Kozarzewski from Poland. Added support for renju and caro. New networks trained on 5 million games. VCF solver was upgraded to alpha-beta serach. Added basic support for Yixinboard protocol. Also some speedups.
    • Embryo 2023 - developed by Miroslav Fontán from Czechia. Improvement in search pruning, fixed bugs in Caro5 variant.
    • Pela 2023 - developed by Petr Laštovička from Czechia. Caro rule was added in this version, algorithms are same as in previous version.
    • Rapfi 2023 - developed by Haobin Duan from China. The NNUE has been updated with newer architecture and trained weights, and the engine has been tuned with SPSA. General search has been improved, and database functionality has been introduced that allows recording database files which is compatible with Yixin's format.
  • New AIs
    • Jax - developed by Kailong Jiang from China. Improved MCTS and CNN, self-play training from zero.
    • Lavender - developed by Hoang Vinh Nguyen from Vietnam. This version only supports Standard Caro rule.
    • Squirrel - developed by Xiyuan Liang from China. A simple AI written in C++ with Alpha-beta pruning, iterative deepening search, VCF/VCT search and translation table.

There were 2 freestyle groups (i.e., Freestyle 1 and 2), 1 fastgame group (Fastgame), 2 standard groups (i.e., Standard 1 and 2), 1 renju group (Renju), and 1 caro group (Caro) in Gomocup 2023. Elo rating system was used to evaluate AIs' strength. AIs were divided into different freestyle and standard groups according to the placement in the last tournament. For Freestyle 2 and Standard 2, the top 4 AIs were moved up to the next group (i.e., Freestyle 1 and Standard 1, respectively). If the top k (k>4) places were all taken by new (or updated) AIs in a group, then all these k AIs would advance to the next group.

Memory limit/time per move/per match were determined following Gomocup 2022:

Freestyle 1 league 300 1000 350 20 five or more stones
Freestyle 2 league 30 180 350 20 five or more stones
Fastgame 5 120 350 20 five or more stones
Standard 1 league 300 1000 350 15 exactly five stones
Standard 2 league 30 180 350 15 exactly five stones
Renju 300 1000 350 15 renju rule
Caro 300 1000 350 15 standard caro rule

We canceled the unlimited tournament this year as we only received one submission for this league.

There were technical difficulties like every year.

  • Renjusolver crashed in all games likely due to bugs or incompatibility. We have observed Renjusolver's crash issue since Gomocup 2019. While we had been lucky to make it runnable by random tries such as system updating in previous years, we were unable to run it at all on Windows Server 2022 this year.

SLOWRENJU, WHOSE, JAX, and TITO were the top 4 in the freestyle 2 league and advanced to freestyle 1.

The 2023 version of RAPFI retained championship title in the freestyle league this year. BARBAKAN took the second position, and the updated ALPHAGOMOKU (Kozarzewski) was the third. JAX is the best performing new AI in this league, with a final rank of 12th.

The winner of the fastgame league was RAPFI. It is amazing that it only lost 6 games. The second place was taken by ALPHAGOMOKU (Kozarzewski), and the third by BARBAKAN.

XOXO, WHOSE, SLOWRENJU, and HEWER were the top 4 in the standard 2 league and advanced to standard 1.

ALPHAGOMOKU (Kozarzewski) became the winner of the standard league. The second place was taken by KATAGOMO, and the third by PENTAZENNN. It is worth noting that RAPFI was argubly the best performing AI in this league, but it did not have an Elo because it crashed 27 games when the games were drawing. Since Gomocup 2012, there has been a rule that the AI will be excluded if the crash rate exceeds 10%.

The winner of the renju league was RAPFI. ALPHAGOMOKU (Kozarzewski) took the second place. The third was KATAGOMO.

Four AIs participated in the new caro league. The winner of this league was ALPHAGOMOKU (Kozarzewski). EMBRYO took the second place. The third was LAVENDER.

You can download complete results and openings here.