This is a proposed list of modules:
  1. Board
  2. Group
  3. Random
  4. Ladder
  5. Tesuji
  6. Loose Group
  7. Geometry
  8. Big Point
  9. Safety
  10. Proverbs
  11. Connection
  12. Shape
  13. Ko
  14. Vital Point
  15. Tactics
  16. Life and Death
  17. Threat
  18. Aji
  19. Efficiency
  20. Value
  21. Safety2
  22. Ko2
  23. State
  24. Semeai
  25. Dame
  26. Fight
  27. Connection2
  28. Territory
  29. Influence
  30. Score
  31. Sacrifice
  32. Invasion
  33. Attack and Defense
  34. Safety3
  35. Miai
  36. Sabaki
  37. Kamikaze
  38. Joseki
  39. Exchange
  40. High Level Probe
  41. Sente
  42. Fuseki
  43. Middle Game
  44. Endgame
  45. Strategy
  46. Expert
  47. Move Generator


The first module that is called. It updates the board with the last move made, indicates if there is a ko or if any prisoners were captured, and returns an error if the move made was not legal. It also answers questions related to the rule set for the current game, such as whether suicide is legal, or whether bent four in the corner is automatically dead.


This module groups stones of the same color together if they are part of the same group, e.g, if they would be captured as one unit. It returns information such as the number of liberties for each group.


This module exists for the purpose of producing variability in the output of various modules. The amount of randomness is specified in the system config file. It both assigns each move a random rating, and selects one choice of many for tasks such as choosing among different possible joseki continuations.


This module identifies all moves that would produce a ladder, the outcome of that ladder assuming no ladder breakers, and any moves that would be effective ladder breakers.


All moves on the board which would be considered to be good moves in the local context would be identified by this module for both players.

Loose Group

A loose group is a grouping of one or more groups. It represents a collection of stones that acts as a functional unit, even if it could possibly be split up by the opponent. Examples are a shimari, or two stones on the third line separated by two spaces.


This module determines basic geometric relations between loose groups, such as which ones are adjacent to others, which loose groups are closest to an empty point, and whether one loose group encloses another.

Big Point

This module identifies big points. Thus, during the opening, it would identify the opportunity to make a shimari, or play on a star point.


This module performs a simplistic analysis on each loose group to determine its safety. This analysis occurs early on, and so does not use the more advanced modules. It can be used by life and death to determine which groups need a more thorough life and death analysis.


Legal moves are rated by whether they fulfill one or more proverbs, such as "hane at the end of two stones", or "do not disturb symmetry".


This module identifies moves which connect or split two groups of stones. The test is that if the sides alternate moves, can the two groups be linked or split. This would have to be determined for both black and white making the first move. The strategic consequences of this, such as does another group die as a result of this connection or splitting, are not part of this low level analysis.


Legal moves are rated as to whether they make good shape or bad shape. There is no strategic analysis done here.


This module provides methods relating to kos. It keeps a list of possible ko threats and evaluates which side is likely to win a ko at any time. When a ko arises, it evaluates the importance of the ko, and identifies possible ways for dealing with the ko other than capturing.

Vital Point

This module identifies vital points. It does not take into account factors such as whether playing at the vital point kills anything.


This module is similar to the Tesjui module, but it is a more advanced module, and so can use the output of more modules to produce its results. This will be an important module, because at many points in the game there is no overriding strategic concern, and the player just needs to expand a group or protect a cutting point. This module will produce moves of that nature. It does not do a strategic analysis, but finds sequences that are good in a local context.

Life and Death

This module can answer a number of questions about life and death. These include the standard ones such as the status of each group: alive, dead, seki, ko, etc. It can also answer questions such as how to kill groups in two moves for ko threat generation. It also gives a rating of the safety of each group that is too ill-defined to be the subject of a traditional life and death problem. This is a low level module, which does not consider such things as splitting attacks or the loss of territory elsewhere in defending a group.


This module generates a list of moves for each side which would be considered to be threats in some way. This would include forcing moves, threats to kill groups, threatening to crawl inside of opponents walls, ataris on groups of stones, etc. This is a low level module which only locates threats in the local sense. Thus, it would identify peeps on both sides of a wall, even though at least one of those moves might make no sense. It would also identify ataris on groups of stones.


This module identifies situations where there is more than one way to play. This could be considered a mid-level module. It does not try to determine the best way to play, or whether to save the aji or follow one path, it just presents all of the alternatives and lets more high-level modules make this decision.


This module evaluates the overall shape of each loose group of stones. A heavy group would have a low rating. This module is meant to be used in determining when a group is attacked whether or not it is worth saving, or is a candidate to be sacrificed. This is a mid-level module, and does not take into account the strategic significance of a group, such as whether it is a cutting stone. It just evaluates its potential for making life when attacked.


This module identifes the importance of each group of stones. Thus, a single stone which was a peep against a wall of stones would have a low value, while a cutting stone would have a high value. This module is meant to refine the output of the Efficiency module. Thus, a heavy group which contains a cutting stone would have a high importance, whereas the Efficiency module would give it a low importance.


This module performs a mid level analysis of the safety of each loose group on the board. It can use the results of the LifeAndDeath, Efficiency, and Value modules in doing its analysis.


This module performs a more high level analysis of kos than the earlier ko module. For example, it can use the results of the Life and Death and Value modules in coming up with ko threats.


The state of the game. Some possible states are: fuseki, middle game, end game, and ko. This information can be used by other modules, for example the ko module might only generate ko threats when a ko exists, or the fuseki module can stop generating moves after the game enters the middle game.


This module is concerned with situations where two groups are in contact and only one has room to make two eyes. It determines best play, and which group will die or if the result would be a seki.


This module identifies points which cannot be made into territory by either side.


This module is primarily concerned with dealing with situations where there is a large fight occurring. This module both identifies that there is in fact a major fight going on, and identifies moves for dealing with that fight. It could be described as a mid-level module, so if there is a fight involving multiple groups for each side, it could identify sequences of moves that involve sacrificing each of the friendly groups under attack, but does not make the determination as to which groups should be saved and which sacrificed.


This is a high level module that determines moves that connect or split two groups of stones. It takes into account many strategic factors that the Connection module does not, such as whether connecting the two groups would weaken other groups, splitting attacks that could be launched against multiple pairs of connected groups, etc.


This module identifies possible territory for each side. For each point of potential territory, a probability of that point actually becoming territory is given. From this, a score based only on profit can be determined.


Analogous to profit, this module identifies the influence for each side. For each point influenced by nearby stones, the degree of influence is given. From this, the relative amount of influence by each side can be determined.


This module uses the output of the profit and influence modules to determine the score of the game. The estimate of the score assumes effective use of influence, since the Profit module give an estimate of the score based solely on territory.


This module determines whether any groups of stones can be sacrificed, and the sequence of moves which gives the best way of doing so.


This module determines whether a stone played inside the opponents framework can live. It is concerned about things such as the best points for the invasion and whether the invasion needs to be set up by the use of forcing moves or kos.

Attack and Defense

This is a high level module that uses the evaluation of many of the other modules to determine whether to attack or defend. It determines whether to make a defensive move, invade, reduce, or launch a splitting attack.


This module performs a high level analysis of the safety of each loose group. For example, it takes into account high level attacks such as splitting or leaning attacks, the possibility of sacrificing heavy groups, and the aji or forcing moves available. It takes into account both the possibility of attacking a loose group as well as the desirability of doing so.


This module determines pairs of moves such that if one side plays one, then the other side needs to play the other. For example, if a group of stones surrounds four points in a row, then the two central points are miai. This module also returns a list of points where those points appear in more than one set of miai relationships, and determines more complex sequences where overlapping miai relationships can be exploited, both for the current player, and the opponent.


This module determines moves or sequences that would make sabaki, that is, light development in a hostile area of the board.


This module is only important in situations where the player is significantly behind in the score, and does not have a very good situation. This module generates an all out attack that is not reasonable, but is a last chance at getting back into the game. If the module cannot find this type of move, then it suggests resigning.


This module is both responsible for classifying moves in the corner as both good and bad, whether or not the corner situation corresponds to that of any pattern in whatever joseki database the program may have.


This module determines moves that would cause the two players to exchange territory. For example, if the client invades, rather than attempting to kill the invading stone, the server could counterattack against an adjacent group, resulting in each player taking territory from the other.

High Level Probe

This module identifies moves that would be considered to be high level probes. These are moves that try to reduce the flexibility of a position of the opponent before deciding on how to play in a given area.


This high level module identifies all moves which carry sente. Each of those moves is evaluated for the impact of the opponent not answering it.


This module generates moves for the opening phase of the game.

Middle Game

This module attempts to integrate the evaluations of the many different modules whose output would pertain to play in the middle game, and produce some high level analysis.


This module generates moves for the end game.


This is one of the highest level modules, meant to be used only by the Expert or Move Generator modules. The assumption is that all possible moves in all possible games can be classified into one of a number of different categories, which would not be more than several hundred. Examples of those categories would be: This module would take a list of the most highly recommended moves by the lower-level modules, and for each one determine each of the strategies that that moves fulfills.

Most likely, this module would not be fully defined or implemented for quite some time. It would only be necessary if the MoveGenerator module implementations start becoming too complex, and a method is needed for making them more manageable.


This module is meant for any module which attempts to generate a move, but does not solely determine the move. An example of this would be a neural network that produced a move based only on the current board position. The output of the different Expert module implementations can then be used by the move generator. The purpose of having an Expert module type as opposed to just making these Move Generator modules is that the output of multiple Expert modules can be combined by the move generator in determining a move. Thus, unlike the other module types, multiple implementations of the Expert module type may be used simultaneously.

Move Generator

This module is by definition the top level module. The lower level modules that are run are only those that this module uses, or that other modules that it uses will eventually use. It may use the Strategy module to determine a move, possibly by taking the move that has the most different strategies associated with it. It is not required to do this, and may use some other algorithm entirely. It is anticipated that once all of the lower level modules have been fleshed out and provide a reasonable evaluation of their aspect of the game, the amount of work on the Move Generator, Expert, and Strategy modules may exceed all of the work on the other modules combined. This is the level at which the soul of the program occurs. Once all of the analysis is done, this is where the overall approach to the game is implemented. There would be a great deal of creativity involved at this level, and many different developers might make an attempt at writing a Move Generator.


This is a list of some possible helpers:
  1. Rules - Board
  2. Dictionary - Joseki
  3. FusekiType - Fuseki
  4. Invasion - Attack and Defense
  5. Reducing Move - Attack and Defense
  6. Splitting Attack - Attack and Defense
  7. Live In Enemy Territory - Attack and Defense


This helper determines which moves are legal or illegal, as well as rule dependent behavior such as which groups are alive, and the scoring of situations such as sekis which can be different between rule sets. A different helper would be written for each rule set, such as Japanese, Chinese, or AGA.


This helper would access a joseki database, and return any moves which continue the current position.


This helper would determine moves for a specific type of fuseki, such as the Chinese Fuseki.


This helper would determine moves for invading a moyo.

Reducing Move

This helper would determine moves for reducing a moyo.

Splitting Attack

This helper would determine moves for executing splitting attacks.

Live In Enemy Territory

This helper would determine moves for living inside the opponents territory.