The University of Alberta GAMES Group

 Analytical methods,
 Minimax search and
GAMES Group News (Archives)
A warm welcome to our visitor, Jens Lieberum, a mathematician and also an expert in Chess and Amazons, who will stay here from November 13-17. He is the author of Amazong, one of the strongest Amazons programs in the world. (Nov 15, 2002)
Welcome our visitor, Malte Helmert, who is a Ph.D. student at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Malte has done some impressive theoretical and practical work on AI planning, and he is interested in doing a Ph.D. in games. He will be here for the next three weeks. (Aug 6, 2002)
A new version of Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) program has been installed, with both the Java GUI and game engine improved. Want to make a try? (June 30, 2002)
The second annual 21st Century Championship Cup competition, which is one of the world's leading computer Go tournaments, will be held on July 27/28, 2002 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (June 27, 2002)
The weekly Go seminar now is running. Everyone is welcome to join the meeting in Ath332 during 11-12am every Wednesday. (June 27, 2002)
We welcome a new member, Michael Buro, who will join the Department of Computing Science as an associate professor this July. Dr. Buro is well known for his Othello program, Logistello, which defeated the human world champion, 6-0, in 1997. (June 26, 2002)
Darse Billings' program for solving SameGame puzzles has set a new high score on an Internet website, challenging the best human players to top it.
The GAMES group is pleased to welcome another excellent researcher: professor Robert Holte. Dr. Holte is well known for his work in single agent search and combinatorial optimization, and he is the executive editor of the journal Machine Learning.
Yngvi Bjornsson's program YL has defended its gold medal at the Sixth Computer Olympiad, held in Maastrict, The Netherlands.   Complete details are available on the Lines of Action page.
Darse Billing's program Mona has won the Fifth Annual Lines of Action E-mail Tournament with a perfect 14-0 score, including wins over the top human players in the world.   Complete details are available on the Lines of Action page.
Theodore Tegos has discovered a new Amazons position with a combinatorial game theory value of (nimber) *2. The first such position in any partizan game was found last year by Raymond Georg Snatzke, for an Amazons board with 8 empty squares. Theo's position has only 5 empty squares.
The ISshogi team of Tanase, Kishimoto, and Gotoh successfully defended their title at the 11th Computer Shogi World Championships held near Tokyo, Japan.   They scored a perfect 9-0 in the finals against the strongest qualifiers.   Congratulations!   Complete results.
Martin Müller has verified his proof of a first player win in 5x5 Amazons.   The Amazons page has information about Martin's program Arrow, and Theodore Tegos's program Antiope.
Queenbee has strongly solved the game of 6x6 Hex, giving the exact distance to mate for every possible position.   You can now browse many of the opening positions.
The results of the second International RoShamBo Programming Competition are available.
The GAMES group had a strong presence at the Fifth Computer Olympiad, held in conjunction with the Mind Sport Olympiad.   The U of A competed in four events, winning one gold and three silver medals.   Several photographs are available at the MSO site.
One Jump Ahead, by Jonathan Schaeffer is the story of Chinook, the World Checkers Champion.   The book is available from Springer-Verlag.

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Last Modified:   Feb 7, 2002.
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