Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Computer Olympiad: UAlberta programs rake in the medals

The Computer Olympiad is well under way. I am following it from far away. Some games are played and archived online. The news about others are slowly trickling in.

So far programs authored or co-authored by people in our games group got:
2 Gold (Hex and NoGo)
2 Silver (Hex and NoGo)
2 Bronze (Amazons and 9x9 Go)

In Hex, the two Alberta programs defended their Gold and Silver medals, which they have now held for three years in a row. Impressive!

MoHex (UofA): 7 wins 0 losses
Wolve (UofA): 4 wins 3 losses
Panoramex (Paris Dauphine) 8 losses

According to Ryan Hayward, leader of the Hex group, Panoramex played strongly and had several winning positions, but the endgame solver bailed out our programs in at least two cases.

In NoGo, two programs with UofA involvement also took Gold and Silver. Both programs are heavily based on the Monte Carlo search engine in our Fuego Go program, with modifications to implement the NoGo game rules and remove parts that are Go-specific. The Gold medal went to BobNoGo, by Bob Hearn and myself. Silver went to FxNoGo by my student Fan Xie. The competition had three strong programs, including the Taiwanese program CMNoGo, derived from the Go program ColdMilk. The top programs seem to be stronger than humans.

BobNoGo: 4 wins
FxNoGo: 2 wins 2 losses
CMNoGo: 4 losses

Game records for BobNoGo and FxNoGo.

In Amazons, our Arrow2 took third place (out of four programs) behind Invader and 8QP. It managed to win one game from 8QP. The program still has some weaknesses in the opening, getting its queens trapped. Arrow2 has been playing quite successfully against humans on the Little Golem site. There is a discussion thread about it on Little Golem.

In Go, the 9x9 and 13x13 tournaments have finished. The 19x19 will follow tonight (North American time). Fuego won a Bronze medal on 9x9. With a little bit of luck (well, what I really mean is without playing one or two bad moves) the Gold would have been in reach.

Top three:
Zen 10 wins 2 losses
pachi 9 wins 3 losses, won playoff 3:1
Fuego 9 wins 3 losses
Full results (all scores are off by two)
Fuego game records for 9x9

The 13x13 did not go too well. Fuego may have missed some chances, but I have not analyzed the games yet. Zen won ahead of stv and pachi.
Full results
Fuego game records for 13x13

You can watch the 19x19 on KGS tonight or look at the tournament records on the web. Also still to come: Havannah, where Timo Ewald's Castro is defending its title from 2010.



  1. What is Nogo? This it's the first I've heard about it. Send similar to normal Go. What makes out unique and/or special?

  2. It is like Go, but both capturing and suicide are forbidden. So the game plays radically differently.
    Here are the rules: