QMW computer chess

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Don Beal

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Aug 19, 1993, 5:54:36 PM8/19/93
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QMW's "Uniform Platform" Computer Chess Championship finished last
week.

This was the second of QMW's computer chess tournaments, which
differ from previous computer chess tournaments in two ways:
programs play each other on identical computers (the "uniform
platform"), and play is automated, not requiring human operators.

The uniform platform concept is intended to encourage improvements
in programs and algorithms, without forcing competitors into a race
to obtain faster machines than their opponents. The autoplay
style also enables people to participate without travel and
accommodation expenses, thus potentially reducing the cost compared
to traditional tournaments.

Last year's championship was won by M-Chess.

The competitors this year were:

PC Division

Hiarcs Mark Uniacke, UK
MChess Marty Hirsch, USA
Schach 3.0 Thomas Kreitmair & Matthias Engelbach, Germany
Mirage Yuri Shpeer & Vladimir Rybinkin, Russia
NOW Mark Lefler, USA
GnuChess 3.1 Various
Pawnder Truman Collins, USA
Psycho Ian Kennedy, UK
Neptune Matthew Craighead, USA
Centaur Victor Vikrev, Russia - regretably this program was
unable to compete due to software incompatability

C Division

GnuChess 3.1 Various
Phoenix Jonathan Schaeffer, Canada
Prochess Tom Pronk, Holland
SOS Rudolf Huber, Germany
Notchess Andy Walker, UK


The results were:

PC Division:
Hia Mch Sch Mir NOW Gnu Pwn Psy Nep Rank Score
Hiarcs XXX 1.5 2 2 1.5 2 2 2 2 1 15
MChess 0.5 XXX 1 2 0 2 2 2 2 2 11.5
Schach 0 1 XXX 0.5 1.5 2 2 1.5 2 3= 10.5
Mirage 0 0 1.5 XXX 2 1 2 2 2 3= 10.5
NOW 0.5 2 0.5 0 XXX 0.5 1 2 2 5= 8.5
GNUChess 0 0 0 1 1.5 XXX 2 2 2 5= 8.5
Pawnder 0 0 0 0 1 0 XXX 2 2 7 5
Psycho 0 0 0.5 0 0 0 0 XXX 1 8 1.5
Neptune 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 XXX 9 1

C Division:
GNU Phnx Pro SOS Not Rank Score
GnuChess XXX 1 1.5 2 2 1 6.5
Phoenix 1 XXX 1 2 2 2 6
Prochess 0.5 1 XXX 1.5 2 3 5
SOS 0 0 0.5 XXX 2 4 2.5
Notchess 0 0 0 0 XXX 5 0


GnuChess won the C division and came in the middle of PC division (it is
the only program to be in both divisions).

Thus the overall winner is clearly HIARCS, with last-year's winner,
MChess, second.

Below are the two games played between the top 2 programs HIARCS and
MCHESS and more details about some of the competing programs this year.

HIARCS (time) MCHESS (time)
1) d2-d4 0:10* Ng8-f6 0:00
2) c2-c4 0:00 e7-e6 0:01
3) Nb1-c3 0:00 Bf8-b4 0:00
4) e2-e3 0:00 O-O 0:00
5) Bf1-d3 0:00 d7-d5 0:00
6) Ng1-f3 0:00 b7-b6 0:01
7) Bc1-d2 2:23 Bc8-b7 0:00
8) c4xd5 3:34 e6xd5 0:00
9) O-O 3:26 Bb4-d6 0:00
10) Nc3-b5 4:37 Bd6-e7 0:00
11) Qd1-c2 2:09 c7-c6 2:57
12) Nb5-a3 3:51 Nb8-d7 5:13
13) Ra1-c1 3:50 c6-c5 4:49
14) d4xc5 3:02 Nd7xc5 4:47
15) Bd3-f5 4:36 Bb7-a6 2:38
16) Rf1-d1 0:33 g7-g6 5:06
17) b2-b4 16:48 g6xf5 3:47
18) b4xc5 1:07 Ba6-e2 2:17
19) Rd1-e1 3:01 Be2xf3 10:27
20) g2xf3 0:00 Be7xc5 3:39
53:07 45:42
21) Na3-b1 1:36 f5-f4 3:51
22) Kg1-h1 1:42 Rf8-e8 1:56
23) Re1-g1 2:46 Kg8-h8 3:16
24) Qc2-f5 0:23 Qd8-d6 13:34
25) Bd2-c3 1:33 d5-d4 4:43
26) e3xd4 0:00 Bc5xd4 2:09
27) Qf5-d3 11:38 Ra8-d8 0:00
28) Rc1-d1 3:03 Bd4xc3 0:41
29) Qd3xd6 0:38 Rd8xd6 0:59
30) Rd1xd6 0:06 Bc3-e5 2:00
31) Rd6-d1 1:05 b6-b5 3:56
32) Nb1-a3 2:41 a7-a6 3:05
33) Na3-c2 1:56 Be5-c7 3:59
34) Nc2-b4 0:39 Re8-e6 5:48
35) Rd1-c1 2:46 Nf6-e8 3:27
36) Nb4-d5 1:20 Bc7-d6 6:39
37) Rc1-c8 0:02 h7-h6 2:29
38) Rc8-a8 1:45 Bd6-e5 2:29
39) h2-h3 4:26 Kh8-h7 2:29
40) Ra8-a7 0:32 Ne8-d6 2:29
1:33:44 1:55:41
41) Ra7xa6 2:21 Nd6-e4 2:56
42) Ra6-a7 4:41 Ne4-g5 2:27
43) h3-h4 0:29 Ng5xf3 1:37
44) Ra7xf7 2:37 Kh7-h8 0:00
45) Nd5xf4 3:02 Be5xf4 7:14
46) Rg1-d1 3:41 Re6-d6 0:24
47) Rd1xd6 3:08 Bf4xd6 0:00
48) Rf7xf3 2:52 Kh8-g7 3:21
49) h4-h5 1:17 b5-b4 5:25
50) Kh1-g2 0:00 Bd6-e5 4:07
51) Rf3-f5 1:06 Be5-d4 4:43
52) Rf5-b5 5:26 Bd4-c3 2:52
53) f2-f4 2:20 Kg7-f6 5:41
54) Kg2-f3 5:08 Kf6-g7 0:00
55) Rb5-b7 5:05 Kg7-g8 2:12
56) Kf3-e2 3:53 Kg8-f8 1:54
57) Rb7-h7 3:30 Bc3-g7 3:15
58) Ke2-d3 5:49 Kf8-g8 0:00
59) Rh7xg7 2:43 Kg8xg7 0:00
60) Kd3-c4 6:15 Kg7-f6 1:45
2:39:07 2:45:34
61) Kc4xb4 2:37 Kf6-f5 9:52
62) a2-a4 0:00 Kf5xf4 3:54
63) a4-a5 0:45 Kf4-g4 8:40
64) a5-a6 0:01 Kg4xh5 2:44
65) a6-a7 2:30 Kh5-h4 0:00
66) a7-a8Q 4:01 h6-h5 3:01
67) Qa8-g8 4:16 Kh4-h3 0:01
68) Qg8-g5 4:17 h5-h4 6:22
69) Kb4-c3 4:22 Kh3-h2 0:00
70) Kc3-d2 0:46 h4-h3 5:32
71) Kd2-e3 0:00 Kh2-h1 0:00
72) Ke3-f2 0:00 h3-h2 0:00
73) Qg5-d5 0:00
Checkmate!
3:02:42 3:25:40

Position:
8 . . . . . . . . black to play
7 . . . . . . . .
6 . . . . . . . .
5 . . . Q . . . .
4 . . . . . . . .
3 . . . . . . . .
2 . . . . . K . p
1 . . . . . . . k
a b c d e f g h
White Wins

MCHESS (time) HIARCS (time)
1) e2-e4 0:05* e7-e5 0:00
2) f2-f4 0:00 Bf8-c5 0:00
3) Ng1-f3 0:00 d7-d6 0:00
4) f4xe5 0:00 d6xe5 4:05
5) c2-c3 0:00 Ng8-f6 0:00
6) d2-d4 0:00 e5xd4 0:00
7) e4-e5 0:00 Nf6-e4 5:33
8) Bf1-d3 2:18 Bc8-f5 5:35
9) Qd1-c2 0:00 Qd8-d5 2:44
10) b2-b4 3:34 Bc5-e7 11:00
11) O-O 0:00 d4xc3 1:56
12) Rf1-e1 4:53 Nb8-c6 0:40
13) Bd3xe4 4:52 Bf5xe4 0:00
14) Qc2xe4 7:38 Qd5xe4 0:00
15) Re1xe4 1:11 c3-c2 2:16
16) Nb1-a3 7:32 Nc6xb4 1:33
17) Bc1-e3 4:46 O-O-O 1:54
18) Nf3-d4 3:27 f7-f5 0:00
19) e5-f6 4:24 Be7xf6 1:42
20) Ra1-f1 0:00 Bf6xd4 4:06
44:40 43:04
21) Re4xd4 1:28 Rh8-e8 2:46
22) Rd4xb4 4:56 Re8xe3 1:37*
23) Na3xc2 0:59* Re3-e2 0:00
24) Rb4-c4 3:36 Rd8-d2 1:54
25) Rf1-f8 4:38 Kc8-d7 1:36
26) Rc4-d4 1:39 Kd7-c6 5:54
27) Nc2-b4 3:17 Kc6-c5 17:54
28) Rd4xd2 3:27 Re2xd2 0:24
29) a2-a3 4:08 a7-a5 0:00
30) Rf8-f5 3:59 Kc5-c4 0:00
31) Rf5-f4 5:53 Kc4-c3 0:43
32) Rf4-f3 2:47 Kc3-d4 0:04
33) Rf3-f7 3:59 a5xb4 0:00
34) a3xb4 1:13 Rd2-c2 2:46
35) Rf7xg7 4:12 h7-h5 0:48
36) g2-g4 2:05 h5xg4 6:45
37) Rg7xg4 0:00 Kd4-e5 4:47
38) h2-h4 6:01 Ke5-f5 3:42
39) Rg4-g5 6:01 Kf5-f6 3:00
40) Rg5-c5 6:00 Rc2xc5 7:35*
1:54:58 1:45:19
41) b4xc5 0:59* Kf6-f5 0:00
42) Kg1-f2 2:47 Kf5-g4 14:36
43) Kf2-e3 2:26 Kg4xh4 4:28
44) Ke3-f4 2:50 Kh4-h5 2:43
45) Kf4-f5 2:19 Kh5-h6 2:04
46) Kf5-e6 2:55 b7-b5 0:17
47) c5-b6 2:26 c7xb6 0:00
48) Ke6-d6 2:04 b6-b5 0:00
49) Kd6-d5 2:07 b5-b4 0:00
50) Kd5-c4 1:44 b4-b3 0:00
51) Kc4xb3 0:20 Kh6-h7 0:00

2:17:55 2:09:27

Position:
8 . . . . . . . .
7 . . . . . . . k
6 . . . . . . . .
5 . . . . . . . .
4 . . . . . . . .
3 . K . . . . . .
2 . . . . . . . .
1 . . . . . . . . white to play
a b c d e f g h
Draw


Here are more details of some of the competitors:


PHOENIX

PHOENIX is the work of Jonathan Schaeffer of the University of
Alberta in Canada. It was a research effort in the early eighties
to explore the effectiveness of various search algorithms applied
to chess. It participated in the "unlimited machine" computer chess
world championships in New York 1983 (placed 13), Cologne 1986
(placed 4th), and Edmonton Canada 1989 (placed 7) using 20 SUN-4
workstations simultaneously. Dr Schaeffer has entered it in this
"uniform platform" championship to see how, with the same single
machine each, today's programs compare - very much the point of
the "uniform platform" style of competition.

PROCHESS

Prochess is authored by Tom Pronk from Holland, a professional
programmer who has written Prochess in his spare time. The program
scored 2 points out of 5, placed 16, in last year's "unlimited machine"
world championship in Madrid.


NOTCHESS

Notchess originated as a simple program to help teach university
students taking a "game theory" course. It was written by Dr Andy
Walker of the Maths Department at Nottingham University. He is
now extending it to include more sophisticated algorithms, but the
work will take a year or so yet. He plans to enter the program each
year to gauge progress against existing programs.


NOW

This proginated as a "shareware" program by Mark Lefler, possibly
going to be re-released with the latest version. The
program scored equally with GNU in the "uniform platform" tournament
last year. NOW has specialised knowledge about some Pawn and Bishop
endgames. Its search mechanism includes extensions for certain tactical
threats, and is selective in its last 3 plies.


M-CHESS

Written by Marty Hirsch in California, a talented professional
programmer who makes a living by selling this program. It won QMW's
"uniform platform" tournament last year. It has also entered the
"unlimited machine" world championships, scoring 2.5, placed 10,
in the most recent (Madrid 1992). It currently vies with "Chess
Genius" (not entered in this championship) for being the strongest
commercially-available program for PCs.


NEPTUNE 3

Written by Matthew Craighead, age 11 years,from Minnesota. Matthew
is a prodigy (his father refers to him as a "different" child). He
began writing computer programs in BASIC at age 4, reading computer
manuals as well as biology and anatomy books. From 5 he read his
father's biochemistry books. 3 years ago he read about computer chess,
and subsequently decided to write his own program. His first one was
in PASCAL, but he later realised the advantages of the C language,
and re-wrote it. He is currently taking university classes in maths
(calculus) as well as attending school. NEPTUNE is not expected to
win against the experienced and professional programs in this
tournament, but what if he keeps working on it...


CENTAUR

Written by Victor Vikrev, a nuclear physicist in Moscow, as a major
hobby over the past 30 years, plus Alexei Manjakhin. It is remarkable
for being very different in design from all the other programs that
do well in championships. It explores only a few future positions
(instead of millions), but analyses them in more detail. In this
respect its thinking is more human-like than any other program. It
scored 2 from 5 in the last "unlimited machine" championship, and
placed 17.


SCHACH 3.0

A long-standing competitor in the "unlimited machine" championships,
written by Matthias Engelbach and Thomas Kreitmair of Germany. Earlier
versions participated in the "unlimited" championships of at Linz 1980
(placed 10), New York 1983 (placed 7), and Cologne 1986 (placed 14).
In QMW's "uniform platform" tournament last year it scored 2.5, placed
4th.


HIARCS

Hiarcs has been developed part-time over 6 years by Mark Uniacke, a
software engineer from the UK. Earlier versions won the 1991 World
Microcomputer Amateur Championship and the gold medal at the 1992
Computer Olympiad. It participated in the Madrid "unlimited machine"
championship last year, scoring 2.5 and 11th place. The program
contains extensive king safety and pawn structure heuristics which it
uses to good effect in evaluating sacrificial attacks on the king
and in creating long-term structural advantages. Positional scores
can range up to 5 pawns. Numerous endgame-specific routines are
included to help HIARCS understand the more difficult endings.
An earlier version is currently being sold commercially, with
an upgrade planned shortly.


MIRAGE

A relatively new entry into computer chess from programmers in
Moscow, Yuri Shpeer and Vladimir Rybinkin. Their program had its
first outing last year at the Madrid "unlimited" championship
and scored 1 from 5, placed 21st.


PAWNDER

Pawnder was written as a final-year undergraduate project in Computer
Science by Truman Collins at Willamette University (USA) in 1986.
Since then it has been rewritten in C, and various improvements made,
as a spare-time activity. It participated in last year's
"uniform platform", but only achieved 5th place (of 5). It has done
better this year.

I'll stop there because this post is already very long. If there
is any demand to post any of the other games, let me know.

Don Beal.

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