Race to Capture: Analyzing Semeai in Go

Martin Müller
ETL Complex Games Lab
Tsukuba, Japan

Skill in analyzing capturing races, or semeai, is an important component of Go playing strength for both humans and computer programs. Techniques for analyzing semeai have been developed centuries ago, and passed on among Go players. A number of informal descriptions of the basic methods are available in Go books. This paper starts developing a formal theory of semeai, leading to an algorithm for basic semeai classes that has been tested successfully against top Go programs.