AlphaGo vs. Lee Se-dol: Haylee’s Synopsis

Hajin “Haylee” Lee, 3 dan professional Go player, secretary general of the International Go Federation, streamer, blogger, writer and creator of Haylee’s World of Go / Baduk, has published a long and somewhat rambling account of the recent challenge match between Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo (honorary 9 dan) and Lee Se-dol (9 dan professional) and I heartily recommend that you watch it.

It is a tale of clandestine phone calls and secret dinner parties, of people and the press and camera men and wives and daughters and friends. Haylee briefly touches on the games themselves, giving a light and digestible overview of the important moves in each game that will be immediately understood by anyone who plays Go and watched the games but her story is about more than the moves themselves — it offers a glimpse behind the scenes, told in a friendly and familiar and unassuming style by someone who was instrumental in organising the spectacle that millions watched, earlier this month.

At one point, during the video, Haylee singles out a camera man, named Greg, from Google’s documentary team, giving away clear evidence that a professionally produced story of the event is almost certainly in the works — something I would be very excited to watch.

Coincidentally, it was while I was perusing the text-chat during the American Go Association’s broadcast of the first game of the challenge match that I first discovered Haylee’s World of Go, Hajin Lee’s YouTube channel. I subscribed to it immediately and, since then, I have been enjoying her streamed games during which she plays Go on Tygem, a Korean server, and offers Malkovich-style comments on her thoughts and ideas and plans — her videos have become a regular source of entertainment and cerebral stimulation for me and, although I am only a single-digit kyu player, I find her commentary to be quite understandable and educational. I believe she has also published a book — an autobiographical account of her quest to become a professional player.

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