CSc 180 -- Spring 2017
Intelligent Systems


2017 Tournament Results - "Morph"



       **** RESULTS ****
15th ANNUAL AI STRATEGY GAME CONTEST
------------------------------------

The 15th Annual AI Strategy Game Contest took place April 4-6, 2017.
Three former champions were in attendance, as well as a few other
previous competitors.

The game this year was "Morph", which is a sort of reduced version
of chess, with the particular feature that the pieces "morph" into
other pieces whenever they move.  The game proved to be quite tactical
and entertaining, often leading to clever combinations and unexpected
sequences of moves leading to victory.

This year there were 35 entrants.  Most programs used minimax with
alpha-beta pruning, and many also used iterative deepening.  A few
used more advanced features such as history tables or killer move
heuristic to enhance the pruning and increase search depth.  Two
programs used bitmapped move generation for extra speed, and some
used transposition tables to avoid repeating searches that had
already been performed.  Over a third of the students claimed that
they couldn't beat their own program.

A wide variety of different languages were used, including Java, C++,
C, C#, VB.NET, Javascript, Golang, and Rust.  It was an extremely
strong field this year, with at least 8 programs using advanced
features and with a legitimate chance at the title.

As always, each match consisted of two games, so programs could
lose individual games along the way and still win by amassing
more victories or by defeating other highly-ranked programs.
The instructor also competed with his program, named "Paul".

As the event drew to a close, it became a close final round with
five programs in contention:  "Dumblet" (Jeremiah Reyes), "Aleph"
(Trevyn Currie), "S/K" (Theodore Dubois), "Darwin" (Michael Schmid),
and "Morphic Dawn" (Ryan Joseph), as well as the instructor's program
"Paul".  The battle for first place came down to the very last match,
in which the two front-runners "Aleph" and "S/K" squared off -- "Aleph"
had a 1-point lead, so "S/K" would need to win both games to take the
trophy ("Aleph" needing only to tie 1-1 to win first).  "S/K" pulled off
the double win, and therefore became the champion.

In 2nd place was "Aleph", and in 3rd was "Darwin".  The instructor's
program could only manage a tie for 6th place.

"S/K" utilized a unique idea in which move orderings were stored in a
large cache, improving alpha-beta pruning while minimizing overhead due
to sorting.  This clever approach netted nearly 2 extra plies compared
to the other programs.  It wasn't fully debugged until the final round,
causing it to lose a couple of games along the way -- one to "Darwin"
in the semifinal, and one to Eric Bollinger's "Xeno" in a Day 1 preliminary
round.  But by the end of the competition, none of the other programs
could touch it.  It is especially worth noting that "S/K"'s author,
Theodore Dubois, is still in high school and has been attending CSUS
through the ACE (Accellerated College Entrance) program.

Many of the programs improved between day 1 and day 2.  One in
particular, "Gentree" by Darren Takemoto, benefitted from significant
programming improvements and debugging.  It had lost all of its matches
on day 1, but went 7-1 on day two.  Although it finished only in 20th place,
in an informal match it defeated the 11th place program and thus probably
could have placed much higher.  For the many hours Darren put in between
the two days improving "Gentree", it was the clear winner of this year's
coveted "Golden Hamster" award for most-improved program.

Complete results are shown below, including results from prelims,
rounds 2 and 3, quarters, semis, finals, and all consolation rounds:


    PROGRAM    AUTHOR   FINAL  3  SEMI  2  QTR  1  PRE  TOTAL
-------------------------------------------------------------
 1. S/K         Dubois  5-1(4-0)   5-1     3-1     4-0  16-2
 2. Aleph       Currie  4-2(2-2)   4-2     4-0     4-0  14-4
 3. Darwin      Schmid  2-4(1-3)   3-3     4-0     4-0  12-6
 4. Dumblet     Reyes   1-5(1-3)   4-2     4-0     4-0  13-5
    MorphicDawn Joseph        2-0  5-3     2-2     4-0  13-5
 6. Paul        Gordon        2-2  2-4                   4-6
    MorphGlitch Khaliq        3-3      5-1 2-2     2-0  12-6
    Xeno        Bollinger     3-1  0-6     3-1     4-0  10-8
 9. LuckyDuck   Velasquez     0-2  3-5     2-2     2-0   7-9
10. Ennui       Selke         0-2      4-0 0-4     3-1   7-7
11. Eus         Castelbury    4-0      2-2     4-0 2-2  12-4
12. Delinquent  Thompson      4-0      4-0 0-4     3-1  11-5
13. TicToc      Zhang         0-2      2-2     3-1 3-1   8-4
14. AverageJoe  Flores        0-2      0-4 0-4     4-0   4-10
    CheeseStick Lampl         1-3      0-4 3-1     0-2   4-10
    GoBot       Szombathy     1-3      2-2     2-2 3-1   8-8
    Rusty       Lozano        3-1      2-2 0-4     3-1   8-8
    Alpha5      Judilla       4-0      2-2     2-2 2-2  10-6
19. RaceToLast  Seguinte      2-2      3-1 2-2     2-2   9-7
20. Gentree     Takemoto      3-1      4-0     0-4 0-2   7-7 [GH]
    Buckleybot  Sakoi         1-3      2-2 4-0     2-2   9-7
    Adv.Birch   White         2-2      2-2 1-3     2-2   7-9
23. Malacath    Doan          0-4      0-4 2-2     3-1   5-11
    Scyther     Blatt         2-2      1-3     4-0 0-4   7-9
    Skulk       Robertson     4-0      2-2     4-0 0-4  10-6
26. LastPlace   Stampfl       1-3      2-0 0-4     2-2   5-9
27. Mikinaak    Naugle        2-2      0-2     2-0 0-4   4-8
28. Bun         Ly                             1-3 2-2   5-5
29. DuckBill    Martinez      0-4      4-0     2-2 0-4   6-10
30. TheDr       Rusetskiy     1-1      1-3     2-2 0-4   4-10
    MightyMorph Elkins        5-1      4-0     0-2 0-4   9-7
32. Dummy       Solano        0-2      0-4     2-0 0-4   2-10
33. LevelOne    Rico          1-1      1-3     0-2 0-4   2-10
    Senpai      Cunningham    1-1      1-3     0-4 0-4   2-12
35. Danzig      Cox                    0-3     0-4 0-4   0-11
36. Harry       Mendiguerin
    Simon       Jimison
    Lanshin     Kwon
    LtlPegasus  Duran

Many thanks to Dewayne Alexander, Patrick Jimison, Justin Mendiguerin,
and former champion Levi Stanley for volunteering at the tournament,
proctoring programs, and helping to record scores.

"Morph" was a great game and it is still far from being solved!

    

2016 results