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More information about MadLab Tesuji Solver

Strength & performance

Details about the algorithm

Tips & tricks


Avoid goal


MadLab is best at solving (single- or multi-goal) capture problems, but can also analyze connections and eyes. Ko problems can be solved, if external ko-threats are donated to one of the players prior to the search. Additionally, a whole game can be analyzed with regards to finding normal or double-threat capture tesuji's. Regarding correctness, MadLab is in the same spirit as the tsume-go solver GoTools -- a program that also guarantees 100% correctness of its solutions.

The motivation for releasing the program is that I think it may be of interest to the Go-playing community -- even at this stage of development. But please note that the program should be considered as "work in progress", and that the user interface, sgf file handling, help system etc. still leave quite a lot to be desired (and might not be completely bug free). I never intended the program to compete with the excellent sgf editors already available on the marked. The engine/algorithm itself, however, is very stable and has been running for thousands of hours without problems.

MadLab has been developed in my spare time over the period 1999-2004, out of an interest in games and search algorithms. The core of the MadLab engine is the so-called lambda-search algorithm, combined with proof-numbers and topological properties of the game. The engine does not use patterns or other kinds of handcrafted Go-specific knowledge, but relies solely upon advanced search methods. Thus, MadLab is in no way restricted to solving familiar tesuji shapes, and the engine will have a go at any kind of tesuji problem you might come up with

The strength of the program is for others to judge, but it performs well on the 129 tesuji problems in chapters 1-3 and 5 in the well-known book Tesuji by James Davies (see the "Strength & performance" link to the left). About 10 of these 129 problems are not translatable as capture problems or have life & death (tsume-go) or semeai flavour, whereas the program solves the rest (a few of them do take a long time, though).

You may also take a look at the 997 MadLab problems, in order to see what kinds of problems the program is aimed at.

Regarding the functionality of the program, you can take a look at the MadLab documentation. In addition, there is a FAQ that may answer your questions.