Computer program tournament

Organization: Departement of Computer Science, IKAT
Place: University Maastricht (NL)
Date: August 18 - 23, 2001
Format: 8 Rounds
Participants: 2

"GF1" stronger than "Gipfted"

During the 6th Computer Program Olympiad in Maastricht (NL), Kurt Vandenbranden's GF1 played 8 games against Diederik Wentink's Gipfted. The competition was spread over 2 days - 4 games per day, 30 minutes per computer/game. GF1 appeared to be the strongest and won with 6 wins against 2.
A convincing victory for GF1, but Kurt says that the score does not give a right picture of the competition. If Gipfted succeeded in winning 2 games, it could have won more games. All the games were very tight; most were played in about 50 moves.

The visitors of this site are familiar with GF1, because many use it as a sparring partner. Most of the regular Gipfers succeed in beating level 3, a significantly smaller number can beat level 4, and only the very best succeed in beating level 5 once in while. Now, here's something to think about: most of GF1's moves were made on level 5 and level 6, but quite regularly it dug as deep as level 7, and it even made it a few times to level 8! With only 30 minutes playing time! Since GF1 lost 2 games against Gipfted, this means that not only GF1 but Gipfted, too, is most likely stronger than the best GIPF-players. This asks for a tournament in which computer programs are allowed to play.

After having looked at the logs, a few preliminary, nonetheless interesting conclusions can be made. Now that may be assumed that the programs have played on a level that humans cannot reach - at least not yet - the logs may tell something about what the future will bring. And a question to be asked is: Is White the better color? 5 out of the 8 games were won by White. This confirms the tendency that could also be noticed during the GIPF World Championship in London, where 22 out of 41 games were won with White. GF1 lost once with White and once with Black, though, so probably it is still too soon to say something sensible about it. More significant is that neither GF1 nor Gipfted lost a game after having taken an lead of 2 pieces. GF1 lost his 2 games after having been ahead 1 piece, and Gipfted did so just once. But it must also be said that both programs played 7 games with only 3 GIPF-pieces (Gipfted played once with 4 and GF1 - strange! - played one game with only 2!). 3 GIPF-pieces is a "neutral" number; it indicates careful play. The unpredictable things happen when playing with more than 3 and those who play against GF1 on level 5 know that the odds to beat GF1 increase significantly when playing with a lot of GIPF-pieces. So, Gipfers, there's still hope…

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