Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Exaggerations, part 1

There are a lot of computer checkers programs, but on my website I link only to very few of them. The reason is that most of the programs out there are not very good. Even worse, their authors claim things about their programs that are far from true. I'll look at a few of those.

Let's start out with strategist checkers by Arthur Crump, which is advertised as "Strategist checkers is the ultimate opponent". Mr Crump boldly continues "Whether you're brushing up on your game or practicing for a tournament, strategist checkers can help you". You can play against the lowest of 3 playing levels in the unregistered version. Even a pathetic player like me can easily beat it on that level. To get access to the other levels, you're supposed to pay 10$. The program has practically no other features except load and save game, and that of course isn't PDN! No book, and no endgame database, of course.

For the fun of it, I had Cake Manchester play without book on the instant level (1/100th of a second thinking time) against Strategist checkers. You can copy-paste the resulting slaughtering into CheckerBoard. Cake never got the opportunity to use its endgame database, because the game ended before the database was relevant!

The bottom line: This program is so incredibly bad that Mr Crump's wild claims about his program are immediately obvious. He can only hope to fool those who really know nothing about checkers or checkers programs at all. Mr Crump easily wins the title in the category "largest difference between real and advertised playing strength". And that guy earned more money with his program than I did with mine :-(

[Black "Cake Manchester 1.09"]
[White "Strategist Checkers"]
[Result "1-0"]
1. 11-15 23-19 2. 8-11 22-17 3. 4-8 17-13 4. 15-18 24-20 5. 9-14 27-24 6. 5-9 31-27 7. 18-23 27x18 8. 14x23 26-22 9. 11-15 22-17 10. 7-11 25-22 11. 9-14 30-25 12. 14-18 19-16 13. 12x19 32-27 14. 23x32 13-9 15. 6x13 20-16 16. 11x27 28-24 17. 19x28 17-14 18. 10x26 25-22 19. 18x25 29x22 20. 26-31 22-18 21. 15x22 21-17 22. 31-26 17-14 23. 27-31 14-10 24. 2-7 10-6 25. 1x10 1-0

1 comment:

Bob said...

As I mention on my review page, even at the "expert" level this program can't win against a five year old. It is pathetic, almost criminal.

Bob Newell