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Google CEO visits Chinese Go school

Updated: 2016-04-01 08:10
By Fan Feifei (China Daily)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai paid a visit on Thursday to the Nie Weiping Go School - one of the top Go training bases in Beijing - with the guidance of Chinese Go master Nie Weiping, for whom the school is named.

Pichai talked about the charms of Go and technology with top-level Go players, including Ke Jie and Gu Li, and interacted with over 30 children from the school.

He also played with Ke, the world's highest-ranking Go player at present.

Google said that Sundar was in China to meet with key partners and entrepreneurs to develop a deeper understanding of the country and to learn a little more about Go from China's leading grandmasters.

The company did not say whether AlphaGo, Google's Go-playing computer program, is going to play with Chinese Go players in the future.

On March 15, AlphaGo ended a historic match with South Korean Go champion Lee Se-dol with a 4-1 victory in their best-of-five match.

Chinese Go players, including Nie, Ke and Gu, thought that Lee Se-dol would beat AlphaGo.

Nie, who provided commentary for the match, said AlphaGo has refreshed his views of Go, and he hopes to invite AlphaGo to come to China to play.

Ke, who defeated Lee eight times, initiated a challenge to AlphaGo after the match.

Demis Hassabis, who co-founded DeepMind - the London-based unit that built the AlphaGo program - previously said that AlphaGo might play against Ke Jie.

Go is a board game that originated in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago and is played by two people using black and white stones on the vacant intersections of a board with a 19 by 19 grid.

Stones may not be moved once placed on the board, but stones may be removed from the board if captured. The player who gain the most territory on the board wins the game.

Liu Zhen contributed to this story.

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