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Tips & tricks when using MadLab

When analyzing whether some stone(s) can be captured or not, MadLab depicts the "area" it is investigating with shaded green squares. If this area grows unreasonably large, e.g. because the green area breaks through secure connections or MadLab considers unresonable counterattacks, you may help the program by adding stones to the problem in order to clean it up.

An example could be the brilliant first problem from Davies Tesuji.

Black to capture the two white stones at "a" 

                  

After searching for a while, you will see something like the figure to the right (above). It is clearly seen that the green area "creeps out" downwards along the edge. This is because in some variations White might try to escape along this path, but a human Go player would quickly deem such variations irrelevant, since Black can always block such an attempt. In order to help MadLab solve the problem faster, you may "close" the problem as in the following figure (left):

"Cleaning up" the problem in order to help MadLab

                  

In the left figure (above), the problem is solved in a few minutes on a fast pc, and it is seen that the added black stones help confine the green area. (When adding stones like that you should take care that your extra stones do not change the nature of the problem). However, the figure also shows that some variations take place in the top right corner. This is because in some variations White manages to connect out to these stones, and MadLab carries on trying to capture all these white stones. Again, these variations do not seem reasonable to a human Go player, because if White connects out to these strong stones, he has clearly escaped and no further search should be necessary. So in order to help MadLab even more, you may also clean up the upper part of the problem (cf. the right figure above). After this final clean-up, MadLab solves the problem reasonably quickly. The problem actually has a high lambda-order (n=5), so he problem may be said to have more semeai or life & death flavour than tesuji flavour.