Aya is a freeware 19x19 Go playing program, strong enough for a beginner (it's about 12 Japanese kyu according to its author) and with the basic necessary features (.sgf files saving and reading, black and white marks on the goban to verify score and see territories, etc...).
The author, Hiroshi Yamashita, rewrote Aya as a Monte Carlo version of his program. As of 2013, AyaMC plays at 3 dan on KGS.
AyaMC (experimental) plays at around 2dan on KGS
12 other engines AyaBot## / AyaMC## (all MC and experimental) play between 4kyu and 1dan
- My first opponent of go was Aya. I don't know if the program has been updated since then (spring 2001), but I remember that Aya would always play its first moves at sansan, even when playing White in handicap games. This is, obviously, its major drawback. Aya sucked at fuseki, and so did I. --Simen
- I first downloaded Aya 5.30 almost a year ago when I first started getting into playing go. I used to think that it was so hard. However, the last time I played it was end of this past January (I had been playing for exactly one year), gave it a three stone handicap and won by 23.5 moku. What a difference. --MrShin
- Tas: Aya plays as 8k on KGS now. To me it seems weaker. I have trouble claiming 5k against other humans, but I have beaten ayabot at 5 stones several times and not lost one, which should make me at least 2k or aya 11k or less.
- Jay?: Nope. It's a handicap thing, MC players are bad at it. They'll fritter away the initial advantage until the game's about even, then they'll actually try.
- sh: I thought that Aya is still one of the "traditional" programs. The author does not mention anything about his program having switched to MC method. I used to play Aya when I was around 12-15k and was able to beat it regularly at 12k. Every program has its flaws that can be exploited after a while. That's why I recommend on my hp not to play a program any longer once one is able to beat it regularly. edit: it is good to exercise handicap play, too. I stopped playing it when I was able to beat it at 9 stones regularly (version 6.34)
- RueLue: The graphics of the program are really simple, but the program is thought to be connected (by gtp) to a server (of course to another client GUI or engine).
- Sai1029: aya bot 3dan is very strong and i lose like 7 out of 8 games against it. It has very strong life and death sense. Any over play or mistake will be punished severely. Using judgmental tactic on solid play moves and careful counting would be more effective.
- I can't find information about settings. I found this example (aya --mode gtp --level max"), but what if I don't want max level?