CSc 180 -- Fall 2005
Intelligent Systems

2005 Tournament Results - "Mini Checkers"

Thanks to everyone who participated in the CSC-180 "Mini-Checkers" tournament.
It ran remarkably smoothly, with a clear winner and very little tie-breaking
needed.  We didn't have many spectators, but we were graced by the presence
of the winner of the 2003 tournament (Jeb Crouson, author of "HEADSTRONG").

Congratulations to our clear winner, "SLEEPER", by Hong Nguyen.
Sleeper used alpha-beta pruning, iterative deepening, and killer move
heuristic to search 12+ plies, along with a sophisticated evaluation
function, to dominate the final round robin.  It went 5-1 in Round One,
3-1 in Round Two, 3-1 in Round Three, and an impressive 5-1 in the Finals,
for an overall score of 16-4.  Close on its heels was Deixong Zhang's
program "SLASHER", which was actually leading up until the very last game.
Slasher was one of only three programs to hold Sleeper to a 1-1 tie
(the other two being Buggy in Round 1, and Thumper in Round 2).

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the 4th place finish of Bitwise.
It clearly searched the deepest, because of its super-efficient bitmapping
and use of transposition tables (it was also bug-free).  But the game
of mini-checkers seems to have some subtleties that we haven't yet fully
deduced... although it is safe to say that Sleeper and Slasher (and also
Alex Loret deMola's "Snow Princess") did the better job at capturing an
effective terminal evaluation for this game.

I was quite impressed to see so many strong programs.  This is the fifth
year of this competition, and the first time that the instructor's program
did not make it to the final round.  (and it's not because I didn't try!)

There were enough results to produce a fairly clear ranking, although
there were plenty of upsets, so other orderings could be argued.

MINI-CHECKERS turned out to be a great game, and it remains... unsolved!

       1. Sleeper         16-4     (H.Nguyen)
       2. Slasher         15-5     (Zhang)
       3. Snow Princess   12-8     (Loret deMola)
       4. Bitwise         12-8     (Karaszewski)
       5. Thumper          9-4     (Gordon)
       6. Jack D. Ripper   6-8     (Torbert)
       7. Meatshield       5-5     (Black)
       8. Uproot           4-6     (Coltrin)
       9. 22.3 Hours       3-7/5-1 (Johnson)
  (tie)   Buggy            3-3/5-1 (E.Nguyen)
      11. The Game I Like  2-4/3-1 (deLeon)
      12. Czechers         0-6/3-3 (Marconett)
      13. Zerokool         2-4/0-2 (Kumar)
      14. Bomberman        1-5/-   (Yee)
      15. Bambi            0-6/0-4 (White)
      16. BobBarker        0-6/-   (Hefner)

Many thanks to Matt Griffin for operating Bambi, and Andrew Gable
for operating Bomberman.


2004 results