AWCC Player Interviews

11 July 2018 - 14 July 2018

During the 5th Annual World Collegiate Weichi Championship in Cambridge BGA reporter Andrew Simons had a chat with some of the players.

Interview 1

AS: Hi. What's your name and where do you come from?

YW: Hi. My name is Yuzhang Wu and I'm from China originally but studying at Manchester University in England.

AS: What are you studying?

YW: Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.

AS: Did you learn Go here or in China?

YW: I learnt in China, but now Eric Zhang in Manchester is my teacher, maybe you know him?

AS: Ah, Yangran, yes I know him well, we often meet at the London Open tournament. So what group are you playing in and how was your first game?

YW: My BGA rank is 7-8 kyu but I'm in the C group for 1-5 kyu. I lost my first game: I made an early mistake, a tenuki from a group and then he attacked and later I made a misread and another group died.

AS: Is this your first international tournament?

YW: Yes, I've played some tournaments in England but this is my first international one.

AS: Have you enjoyed it so far?

YW: Yes, but I am quite tired because I am also volunteering; helping to set up the boards, helping on the trip to London yesterday, pick people up from the airport. Maybe that can be my excuse for not 100% performance!

AS: How do you like Cambridge, is this your first time here?

YW: I like it here, and it's nice the weather is not as hot now as a few days ago, there were some wildfires near Manchester. I've been to Cambridge maybe 3 or 4 times before, on a school visit, visit friends at Queens' College, and I applied to Churchill College but I didn't get a place: my AS level results were not good enough but I did well at A2. The food in the colleges is good.

AS: Do you follow AlphaGo and Go AI much?

YW: Not really. I've heard of JueYi [FineArt], I heard it can give top professionals 2 stones handicap now.

AS: Thank you, and good luck in your next games.

Interview 2

AS: Hi. What's your name and where do you come from?

AW: I'm Annie Wagner from the USA.

AS: And what university and what do you study?

AW: I'm at MIT studying Computer Science.

AS: What group are you in, how are your games so far?

AW: I'm in group B as an AGA 3d. I have win 1 and 1 loss.

AS: Is this your first time at an international tournament like this?

AW: No, last year I went to this event in Thailand.

AS: How about in England, do you like Cambridge?

AW: This is my first time in England. I really like Cambridge, it has lots of character, not just boring roads and tall buildings.

AS: I've heard that you are the creator of the Lizzie program, could you explain what that is please?

AW: Yes, it's for analysing games with Leela Zero, the name comes from Leela Zero Interface, it's how you pronounce L-Z-I. [Leela Zero is a very strong program based on the AlphaGo Zero paper, see, Lizzie is at].

AS: Where did the idea to make it come from?

AW: It's based on the Leela interface, but I found reading coordinates from a separate analysis window was difficult, I wanted it all on one screen to make it easier to review my games.

AS: Was it difficult to make, I guess not too hard as you are studying Computer Science?

AW: I've made a few go programs before, I made my own board state representation and I'm happy with how that works now.

AS: Lizzie has proved very popular and is an open source project with other contributors now, how was that?

AW: I was surprised how popular it is and am glad so many people like it. This is my first time with others contributing to my project. There is lots of work managing contributions, my grades took a hit. The codebase is messy which is halting further developments.

AS: What are you future plans for Lizzie?

AW: I'm not done with it yet. I'd like to make a playing mode that matches you with a network at your level for even games.

AS: Thanks for the interview, and thanks for making Lizzie.

As the student tournament was taking place, two of the strongest pros in the world, Shi Yue 9p and Mi Yuting 9p were battling it out for a place in the final of the Changqi Cup, also sponsored by the Ing foundation. In the analysis room next door Chang Hao 9p, Yu Bin 9p (both winners of multiple world championships), Ko Reibun 7p and Wang Lei 8p were reviewing the game. And guess what they were using? Lizzie. How's that for an endorsement!

Photos by Yansai Noeysoongnoen

Last updated Wed Jul 18 2018. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.