In the earlier Game of Go proposal, all computer Go questions were on topic, but I'm not sure if they are on BGSE, too.

Computer Go basically refers to two things:

Algorithms and knowledge related to writing computer Go software

Explicitly not using Go software. This includes for instance Monte Carlo, the SGF file format, a memory structure to store a goban state or using telnet to connect to IGS.

From my point of view, this case is clearly off topic and should be asked at, say, SO instead.

Practical use of computer Go programs and related research

Case 2 would be my main question. This consists of, for instance, playing games against GnuGo, using MoyoGoStudio for pattern search, android clients for Go servers, game theory.

2 Answers 2


I agree with not allowing questions on the creation of Go software here.

As to using it, that should be fine in the general case. Go is clearly a boardgame, and as such, we allow discussions of computer implementations.

Questions should be about the game. Questions specifically about the software, such as "How can I get GnuGo to run on my Windows 95 machine?" might be better off over at gaming.stackexchange.com

  • Yes, questions about problems installing or running a game would be on topic at Gaming. Questions about algorithms would be off topic at Gaming; better to check with SO or GameDev instead. Dec 20, 2011 at 14:25
  • 1
    murgatroid pointed out that your "specifically about the software" point here appears to contradict the more recent version of this question. Mind editing to clarify? I think maybe you meant to refer to questions about aspects of the software that have nothing at all to do with the game, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 4, 2016 at 23:22

I think we should allow some questions in your "Writing Go software" section, and most (or maybe all) questions in your "Use of Go programs" section.

For example I think some of these questions could be well answered by board game experts and might be on topic:

  • What features of Go make it resistant to Monte Carlo algorithms?
  • Are there any services to convert my paper Go records into the SGF file format?
  • Where can I find a repository of Go games/openings/josekis?

Also some questions that come up in Go software creation might actually be about the rules, strategy or analysis of the game, and so these would be on topic.

I would think questions which required in depth knowledge of software creation or artificial intelligence, and only a superficial knowledge of Go would probably be better asked elsewhere.

Generally I would think that questions that can be well answered by board game experts should be on topic here as long as they are related to board games.

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