Computer Olympiad (XQ)

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hgm
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Computer Olympiad (XQ)

Post by hgm » Thu May 14, 2009 8:42 pm

My WinBoard Xiangqi engine HaQiKi D performed above expectation in the 14th Comuter Olympiad: it finished second place, out of 5 participants. I went there with the target of scoring 1 point, and expected to finish last place, as I started programming the engine only March this year.

The final standings (after 16 games):

Code: Select all

1.       15      TMSK 
2.       9.5     HaQiKi D 
3.       6.5     Chimo 
4.       5.5     Contemplation 
5.       3.5     ELP 
All my competitors were from Taiwan. Of course I am well aware that many of the strongest engines in the World are from mainland China, and that these were all absent this year. But still I am quite happy with this result.

TMSK was too strong for the others; HaQiKi D was one of the two programs that could score a draw against it. Aainst the other engines I scored 75%!

I was even a bit unlucky in the last two games against TMSK. One game, where it might conceivable have been possible to defend a draw (as most of TMSK's advantage was in defensive material) was lost because I made an mistake entering a move in severe time trouble (I had to play it simultaneously with a WCCC game, which was very distracting), and the second was lost because HaQiKi D forced a three-fold repetition by perpetually attacking an undefended Pawn with has Rook, just when it seemed that TMSK had missed the winning line and the score had crept back to within the draw margin. (I must say that I am not a good enough XQ player to judge this myself, I only speak for my engine, which might have been mis-evaluating). It was a calculated risk not to program any recognition and avoidance of perpetual chasing, as in the test games I played against other engines it rarely happens. But it happened here...

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Re: Computer Olympiad (XQ)

Post by mhull » Thu May 14, 2009 9:45 pm

Congratulations on your impressive debut!

ICGA must acknowledge that it's pretty dumb not to have automated interaces after your having to play two tournaments simultaneously, manually!
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Re: Computer Olympiad (XQ)

Post by CThinker » Fri May 15, 2009 12:58 am

mhull wrote:Congratulations on your impressive debut!

ICGA must acknowledge that it's pretty dumb not to have automated interaces after your having to play two tournaments simultaneously, manually!
On the chess blitz (game in 7 minutes), Rybka lost to Jonny. Rybka was winning, but it lost on time. Apparently this was due to the human operator latency in making the board moves.

ICGA is still living in the days of the typewriter.

That is really sad.

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Re: Computer Olympiad (XQ)

Post by hgm » Fri May 15, 2009 5:03 am

mhull wrote:Congratulations on your impressive debut!

ICGA must acknowledge that it's pretty dumb not to have automated interaces after your having to play two tournaments simultaneously, manually!
Thanks!

I must say the ICGA handled this in a very incompetent way, or peraps even less than honest. When I registered, there was no schedule known yet. So I registered only for the WCCC and the Chinese Chess tournement, and not for the open Chess tournament, not to push my luck, and make it easier for ICGA to create a viable schedule. I suspected that they would not play the two Chess events simultaneously, which would have allowed them to schedule the open Chess and Chinese Chess tournaments simultaneously.

But when I received a confirmation letter, I saw Joker's name appearing in both WCCC and open tournament. I then wrote David Levy that I had registered only for WCCC, but that I was willing to switch that to the open tournament if that would make it easier for them to void collissions n the schedule.

I then received a personal e-mail from David Levy that they would see to it that it would be no problem to participate in all three. It turns out he then ordered Joke Hellemons to make a schedule that would keep all three events apart. As this was obviously impossible (the total duration of WCCC + open tournament + blitz tournament cover the entire duration of the event), Joke ignored that instruction. The Chinese Chess (a 16-hour event) had also to avoid collision with the accompanying conference, and was planned as a 4-day event, Monday-Wednesday late afternoon & evening, and Thursday (when there was no conference) morning.

The schedule for WCCC and open tournament was decided only in the players meeting. It turned out they wanted to make a 1-day open tournament, and I tried to push for that being on Saturday or Sunday. I could then have withdrawn from the WCCC, and play the open tournament in stead. But Jaap wanted to reserve the weekend for WCCC, as there are by far the most on-line viewers then. So a majority decided that the open tournament should be scheduled on Wednesday. This made the Chinese Chess event overlap both.

At that point I could have played hardball, and threaten to retire Joker from both WCCC and open tournament. If I would have considered myself a serious contender with either Joker or HaQiKi D, I would certainly have done so. They would not have liked that at all, but without a viable alternative there would not have been much they could do about it. Meaning that I would have been stuck here on my own in Pamplona Saturday-Monday without anything to do, as I could not change my plane ticket. Later it occurred to me that there was also a blitz tourney that I could have dropped, and that it would perhaps have been possible to schedule the open event Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon / evening, and the blitz Thursday morning, (so I could have dropped those) and plan the two rounds of the Chinese Chess were HaQiKi D had a bye on Monday.

I noticed that the other Chinese-Chess participants pretty much make their own rules, ignoring everyting that is in the ICGA rule book. Amongst themselves they actually were playing some of the games automatically. All of the other engines were private, using dedicated protocols, but they did seem to have some protocol for playing on an ICS (or peer to peer; my Chinese was not good enough to figure that out :lol: ). But defenitely two engines on different laptops were playing each other, and someone was watching the game from a third laptop. That coud not be used against my engine, of course.

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Re: Computer Olympiad (XQ)

Post by swami » Tue May 19, 2009 7:39 am

Last year I was wondering why you had abandoned improving Joker/Umax and moved on to concentrating on chess variants, now I understand why that's so. You realized that better chances of winning or finishing higher at some world championship was through variants other than chess. Now, your dream must have come true. Well done!

GothicChessInventor

Re: Computer Olympiad (XQ)

Post by GothicChessInventor » Sat May 23, 2009 3:09 am

Congrats HG!

It must have been tough competing against the 50+ cores in the 8x8 chess arena!

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