Welcome to the ICGA website: A welcome from the President.

This site, representing the ICGA community, aims to be a site of prime interest to computer-game enthusiasts across a wide spectrum of games. We hope you appreciate it and invite you to contribute to this site through the feedback channels, and consider joining the ICGA if you are not a member.

Complaints against the Chess programs LOOP and THINKER

David Levy : ICGA President

The ICGA has received formal complaints against the Chess programs LOOP and THINKER, both of which have participated in the World Computer Chess Championship. LOOP was entered by Fritz Reul into the 2007 WCCC in Amsterdam. THINKER was entered into the 2010 WCCC in Kanazawa.

The nature of the complaints is the same in both cases, namely that the programs violated ICGA Tournament Rule 2, which states:

 “Each program must be the original work of the entering developers. Programming teams whose code is derived from or including game-playing code written by others must name all other authors, or the source of such code, in their submission details. Programs which are discovered to be close derivatives of others (e.g., by playing nearly all moves the same), may be declared invalid by the Tournament Director after seeking expert advice. For this purpose a listing of all game-related code running on the system must be available on demand to the Tournament Director.”

As is now well known, the ICGA takes breaches of Rule 2 extremely seriously. In each of these two cases, in the first instances, the ICGA attempted to make contact with the programmers concerned in order to ask for their comments on the allegations against them. In neither case were we successful – emails to their last known email addresses were unanswered, similarly emails sent via known friends and/or colleagues.

The ICGA then asked an independent expert, Mark Watkins, to investigate both programs.  Mark is a member of the Computational Algebra Research Group at the University of Sydney. He had previously carried out comprehensive examinations for the ICGA of the program Rybka and other programs. Mark’s findings are reported on the ICGA investigation wiki at:  http://icga.wikispaces.com/Thinker+Controversy and at http://icga.wikispaces.com/Loop+Controversy

Here we present extracts from the first section of each of Mark Watkins reports.

Loop  “The version examined here is Loop 2007 (64-bit), which was released at approximately the same time as the WCCC. There is notable similarity to Fruit in the evaluation function (other components were not examined).”

Thinker “The versions examined here are Thinker 5.4d Inert (March 2009), and Thinker 5.5.4, entered into Leo Dijksman’s WBEC tournament in January 2011. The first appears to derive from Strelka 2 (thus Rybka 1, and relating to Fruit 2.1). The second appears to derive from IvanHoe (thus partially Rybka 3).”

Based on the above mentioned reports by Mark Watkins the ICGA is convinced that, at the very least, both Fritz Reul and Kerwin Medina have a case to answer. Depending on how Reul and/or Medina respond to these allegations the ICGA might decide to conduct further investigations and/or take some form of strong sanctioning action against the programmers.  However, the ICGA does not intend to proceed further along the route to strong sanctions for the time being, in order to give these programmers more time in which to make contact with the ICGA President and present their defence to the allegations. If either or both of these programmers fail to do so by December 31st 2014, or refuses to do so, the ICGA will disqualify them from all their results in ICGA events.  In the meantime the ICGA has decided to suspend both Fritz Reul and Kerwin Medina from participation in all ICGA events until such time as they have made contact and offered a defence.

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ICGA Events in Yokohama – Success after panic

August 12th-18th 2013

By David Levy

The ICGA 2013 events in Yokohama were a great success, despite our having to change venues at short notice. Only 11 days before our events were due to start we were informed that the Pacifico conference and exhibition centre in Yokohama was no longer available and that we would have to find an alternative venue.

Thanks to the prompt action of my friend Professor Adrian Cheok, who has just recently moved to City University in London from Keio University in Yokohama, the ICGA was able to secure the necessary space at Keio University. We had two bright and well air-conditioned rooms, one of which was used for the conference and workshop, and the other for the chess events and the Computer Olympiad.

Then a huge effort was needed from ICGA Secretary-Treasurer Professor Hiroyuki Iida, who is based at JAIS in Kanazawa, on the far side of Japan, and who had to commute for a few days between Kanazawa and Yokohama so that everything would be ready in time. Hiroyuki also had to solve many logistical and equipment problems in order to ensure that we would have the necessary Internet connections and power sources for the various tournaments. Hiroyuki and his team had everything working and ready for the first round, only a couple of hours or so after the ICGA was given access to the playing room.

The results of the various tournaments can be seen on these pages. Many congratulations (again) to both Junior, programmed by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky, which successfully defended its World Computer Chess Championship title, and to Hiarcs, programmed by Mark Uniacke, which did likewise in the World Chess Software Championship (a uniform platform event). Here are a couple of links to articles that have already appeared about the chess events.

http://chesstigersontour.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/chess-in-yokohama-2-tournaments-2-winners/

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Israels-Deep-Junior-still-the-king-at-World-Computer-Chess-Championship-323527

There were exactly 100 entries across the 20 tournaments in the Computer Olympiad. And the annual academic conference on computer games attracted around 70 participants, with the sessions spread over three days.

The ICGA would especially like to thank Keio University for providing its facilities at such short notice. We would also like to thank DGT Products for the loan of their electronic chess boards that enabled us to webcast the chess games in real time.

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Results

Results and standings can be found here:

Photos of the events can be found here (or under the Games Tournament 2013 menu entry):

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Change of Building for the ICGA Events in Yokohama

It has been necessary for us to change the building where the ICGA events will take place in Yokohama.

The new venue is the 2nd floor of the Collaboration Complex (Kyosei-Kan) at the Hiyoshi Campus of Keio University, Yokohama.

The schedule of the events is only changed very slightly – the workshop will now take place on August 15th from 16:00-20:00. The revised schedule is on the ICGA web site (www.icga.org).

The exact postal address is: 4-1-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa 223-8526.

The building is located a 1 minute walk from Hiyoshi station, which is on the Tokyu Toyoko Line, the Tokyu Meguro Line, and the Yokohama Municipal Subway Green Line.

Here is a link where you will find details of the campus (the first is for an English version, the second for a Japanese version): http://www.evernote.com/shard/s14/sh/f8a02f78-d938-4e1d-99d5-8ea8586e409f/148f3997dd54e0287a79f076046f0d1d

In Japanese: http://www.kcc.keio.ac.jp/index.html

The next link shows the floor plan: http://www.kcc.keio.ac.jp/floor/floor_2f.html

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this late change. However, Keio University is an excellent venue and it is one of the oldest universities in Japan.

For anyone who does not yet have a hotel reservation, the Richmond Hotel is recommended by a colleague at Keio University. It is two stops from Hiyoshi on the subway and “in a very nice new area”.

http://richmondhotel.jp/en/musashikosugi/

We very much look forward to welcoming you to Yokohama for the 2013 ICGA events.

Kind regards,

David Levy
[President]

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Workshop on August 15 in conjunction with CG2013 (revised)

Please note revised date:

Computer Games and Intelligence Workshop on August 15, 2013 in conjunction with the 8th International Conference on Computers and Games (CG2013).

Organized by ICGA and co-organized by IPSJ-SIG-GI

http://entcog.c.ooco.jp/CGIW/CGIW2013.html

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Play Einstein online

Ein Stein Würfelt Nicht

Play with the bot on the online server
http://www.littlegolem.net
Registration is simple and free of charge.
Give the bot a name ending with _c to make clear that it is a computer player.

Currently, there is at least one very active EinStein bot on LittleGolem:
naive_child_c (written and operated by human user YHW ).

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WCCC Entries

This year’s World Computer Chess Championship and World Chess Software Championship will both be double-round all-play-all events.
The current participants in this year’s WCCC and WCSC are:
Program     Author(s)
HIARCS     Mark Uniacke
Jonny        Johannes Zwanzger
Junior        Amir Ban, Shay Bushinsky
Merlin*    Balzs Jako
Pandix       Gyula Horvath
Shredder   Stefan Meyer-Kahlen
* Note: this is a new program, and not the Merlin that competed from 1983-1989 from the Vienna Institute of Technology.
Please note that June 30th, 2013 is the deadline for entries. This link provides the latest information on World Computer Chess Championship and Computer Games Tournaments entries.
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Programme CG2013

Provisional programme CG2013 Conference is available at:

https://www.conftool.net/cg2013/index.php?page=browseSessions&presentations=show

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Yokohama Travel Information

The following link provides information for travelling between Narita airport and Yokohama. http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/eng/travel/transportation/getting-to-yokohama.html

David Levy

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Hotels in Yokohama

Information on hotels in Yokohama: Hotel-List_130401

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