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South Korean Go master Lee Se-dol has won his first match against Google’s AlphaGo program, after losing three in a row in a best-of-five competition in Seoul.

Lee Se-dol, one of the world’s top Go players, said his win against AlphaGo was “invaluable”.

Go is considered to be a much more complex challenge for a computer than chess, and AlphaGo’s wins were seen as a landmark moment for artificial intelligence.

A fifth game will be played on March 15.

Go is a game of two players who take turns putting black or white stones on a 19-by-19 grid. Players win by surrounding their opponents’ pieces with their own.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Commentator Michael Redmond said AlphaGo had been playing well up until the middle of the game, but at move 78, Lee Se-dol played brilliantly.

Speaking after his victory, Lee Se-dol said: “I’ve never been congratulated so much because I’ve won one game.”

Google representatives said the defeat was “very valuable” for AlphaGo, as it identified a problem which they could now try to fix.

In the first game of the series, AlphaGo triumphed by a very narrow margin – Lee Se-dol had led for most of the match, but AlphaGo managed to build up a strong lead in its closing stages.

After losing the second match to Deep Mind, Lee Se-dol said he was “speechless” adding that the AlphaGo machine played a “nearly perfect game”.

In the third game commentators said that Lee Se-dol had brought his “top game” but that AlphaGo had won “in great style”.

The AlphaGo system was developed by British computer company DeepMind which was bought by Google in 2014.

Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) DeepMind AlphaGo program beat the world Go champion, South Korean Lee Se-dol, in the first of a series of games in Seoul.

Last year, AlphaGo beat the European Go champion, an achievement that was not expected for years.

A computer has beaten the world chess champion, but the Chinese game Go is seen as significantly more complex.

Throughout most of the game Lee Se-dol seemed to have the upper hand but in the last 20 minutes, AlphaGo took an unassailable lead.

After that, Lee Se-dol forfeited, handing victory to his opponent.

The two sides will play a total of five games over the next five days for a prize of about $1 million.Lee Se dol v Google AlphaGo

The five-day battle is being seen as a major test of what scientists and engineers have achieved in the sphere of artificial intelligence.

Go is a 3,000-year old Chinese board game and is considered to be a lot more complex than chess where AI scored its most famous victory to date when IBM’s Deep Blue beat grandmaster Gary Kasparov in 1997.

However, experts say Go presents an entirely different challenge because of the game’s incomputable number of move options which means that the computer must be capable of human-like “intuition” to prevail.

Go is thought to date back to ancient China, several thousand years ago.

Using black-and-white stones on a grid, players gain the upper hand by surrounding their opponents pieces with their own.

The rules are simpler than those of chess, but a player typically has a choice of 200 moves compared with about 20 in chess.

There are more possible positions in Go than atoms in the universe, according to DeepMind’s team.

It can be very difficult to determine who is winning, and many of the top human players rely on instinct.

Google’s AlphaGo was developed by British computer company DeepMind which was bought by Google in 2014.