>So it's still relying on the learning-by-studying-past-papers technique of passing exams.
No! No, it really isn't. That approach wouldn't wouldn't beat even an amateur human Go player.
The thing about Go is that you can't calculate (intuit, maybe, but not calculate) how well you are doing during the game - the possession of territory is just too changeable. This means that you can't calculate whether a certain move will be to your advantage.
Please read up* on the how the game is played and come back here. Even better, play some games yourself - against a computer or human (over the internet, if needs be). And that goes for everyone who up-voted FatGerman.
Don't take it from me, take it from Albert Einstein, Paul Erdos, John Nash, Alan Turing, Jacob Bronowski and the philosopher and drug dealer Howard Marks, amongst others.
*If you want to know how the Google team did it, the five minute video is worth watching. And is gives an idea if the challenge of Go.