Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Match report

I posted a match report on the suicide checkers match between Suicidal Cake and SuicideKallisto to my checkers website. You can jump to the report directly: the match report. You can replay the first 3 games online, the fourth would have been identical to the second, and only lasted 3 moves so I left that one out...

4-0 again!

Tonight, Suicidal Cake played a match on Kurnik against SuicideKallisto by Igor Korshunov. Once again, the match was extremely lopsided, and the result 4-0 - but this time, Suicidal Cake was the one to lose!
SuicideKallisto demonstrated a far superior understanding of the game and completely destroyed my program; the final humiliation came in game 4 when Cake tranposed moves in the opening to reach the same position as in game 2, which it had lost previously. I resigned on move 3, because we would just have repeated game 2. Igor generously offered me to play a different move somewhere, but I didn't want to - if my program is too stupid to realize that it is playing into the same loss again, then that is entirely my fault, and it's not really my program that was that stupid, but rather me...

Congratulations to Igor for a fantastic suicide checkers program and for the clear win in this match! I will post the games later on my website.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Another suicide checkers challenge

I just received the following email:

From: Igor Korshunov
To: Martin Fierz
Date: 4/21/2006

Hi Martin!I am made first version of suicide checkers.I want to match your program.When we can meet in battle?

Best wishes,Igor

I'll try to hold this as an online match on Kurnik again - once I know the time and date, I will publish it here.

Igor is the author of WildCat, a strong chess engine. He has also written a checkers program playing the Russian checkers variant, but I couldn't find an internet reference for that. WildCat is much better than Muse, my chess engine. You can verify this on Leo Dijksman's rating list, where WildCat is rated 2570, while Muse is only rated 2382. In my defence, I never took up chess programming very seriously. In any case, Igor's background in computer programming makes it unlikely that the match will be quite as lopsided as the one against Roshi47.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Book!

I'm still not satisfied with the huge opening book - but I guess I never will be... so I posted it on my checkers site. I'll probably write some more about it later; for the moment: Enjoy!

Friday, April 14, 2006

A hidden function

Sitting here in a comfortable sofa, with the Matterhorn visible through the window, I remember that many years ago I once read in a computer magazine that you could press a wild combination of keys in Excel, and you would get a flight simulator. I tried, and indeed, there was a simple flight simulator where you would fly past something like a mountain where the names of the developers of Excel (a lot of people!) were displayed. Weird stuff! CheckerBoard also has a hidden feature: the engine match. When I want to test a change in Cake, I run a match of 288 games against KingsRow to verify that I have really improved something. Of course, this is all automated, and you can run such a match too: Ctrl+Shift+M starts a match - you can figure out the rest for yourself - I have to go back to staring at Switzerland's most beautiful mountain...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Odds and Ends

I'm busy waiting for my book generator to finish its book computation - but I'm not busy with checkers! Instead, I added a touch to my Connect Four program: it has nicer graphics and now offers different levels of evaluation intelligence - you can make it really dumb so that you can beat it easily. I also just finished a Sudoku program, using C#. C# makes it much easier to create applications rapidly. At least I'm programming something at all; I didn't find much time for that during the last year. Ed Gilbert has used my laziness to catch up with Cake: In my latest match, KingsRow 1.15u still lost to Cake Manchester 1.09d with -21+17=250, but this narrow result may just as well be accidental - Ed has some more results at different levels, and sometimes Cake wins, sometimes KingsRow. When I published Cake Manchester somewhere during Summer 2004, the match results against KingsRow were extremely lopsided - those were the days!