Thursday, September 17, 2009

Schoolbook 2009 tournament

OK, never say never. I told myself I would put Schoolbook Chess, a variant I invented back in 2006, to rest. Well, while taking a break from Deadwood development, I discovered there are a number of computer chess engines out there that can play my chess variant, so I got permission from three makes of chess engines to enter the 2009 Schoolbook Chess computer tournament; the tournament was a six-game double round robin. The final results were:

ChessV 0.9.0 with time handicap: 3
TJChess10x8: 3
Joker80: 0

The games were Game/15 (all moves in 15 minute) games done on a Core 2 Dual 1.5 ghz laptop processor. A reasonable, but not extensive, effort was made to make sure no other processes were running during the tournament. Both engines played (and pondered) at the same time on the same computer.

TJChess and Joker80 played at Game/15 in WinBoard. ChessV 0.9.0 was given 30 seconds to make a single move.

Joker80 lost all four games it played, giving TJChess10x8 and ChessV 2 points each. In the ChessV-TJChess10x8 games, TJChess10x8 won once as white, as did ChessV.

I observe that Joker80 is usually stronger than TJChess10x8, but plays Game/15 very poorly.

In both TJ-vs-ChessV games, ChessV made a castling move TJChess could not recognize (in Schoolbook, it is legal to move the kind two or three squares while castling, and four squares while castling on the queenside). When this happened, I stopped the clocks, set up the board to have the castling move be done, restarted WinBoard, and gave TJChess10x8 10 minutes to complete the rest of its moves.

The actual games, including Zillions of Games save files of all games, are available at the following location:

As an aside, people can download ChessV here:

For people who do not have Zillions of Games, the save files are in a format that looks like a normal Chess score.

OK, I'm done with Chess variants for 2009. We'll see if I have a 2010 tournament.

Time to go back to developing Deadwood.