Overview: The 2005 Arimaa Computer World Championship tournament will determine the best computer Arimaa player. The winner will be declared the 2005 Arimaa Computer World Champion and receive a prize of $500 USD. The winner will also have the right to play in the Arimaa Challenge match. A prize of $200 USD will be awarded to second place and $100 USD for third place. The tournament will begin in early January and finish before the end of January. Only the four top rated programs will be selected to play in the tournament.
Selection: The selection process is designed to make it easy for anyone to participate as long as they have a reliable Internet connection. The participants will use the bot interface to have their program login to the Arimaa gameroom and play rated qualifying games against other players (programs and humans) to establish the rating of their program. The participants should run their programs on standard off-the-shelf hardware. The top four highest rated programs will be chosen for the playoffs such that each program is from a different participant. During the months of November and December the program must have played at least 20 rated games against at least 6 different opponents using the 2/2/100/10/8 time control. At least 6 of those games must be played against at least 3 different human opponents. Games against the program developers are not included. The programs may of course play many more than just these qualifying games to establish their ratings. The four programs that have the highest rating at the end of December will be selected to play in the tournament. In case two programs have the same rating the one that has played more rated games at this time control will be selected. It is required that the programs play to their full potential within the limits of this time control. Thus, when playing these qualifying games the program should be allowed to make full use of the time as it would in a real tournament game. Games played at this time control but with the program intentionally set to not make full use of the time will not count towards the qualifying games.
Tournament: The four top rated programs will be submitted to the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) for the tournament games. Participants in the tournament will be provided with accounts on Linux computers to port and setup their programs before the tournament games begin. Once the programs have been submitted for the tournament, they may not be modified manually, but can modify themselves if it is an automated process. The programs will be played against each other under the control of the ICGA. The games will be played in the Arimaa gameroom. Each program will run on it's own computer and both computers will have the same hardware and OS configuration. Each program will play two games against each of the other programs; one games with each color. The games in progress will be viewable by the public over the Internet. The time control for the games will be 2/2/100/10/8 A win will count as 1 point, draw as 0.5 and a loss as 0. The program with the highest score from the playoff games will be selected as the best program. In case of a tie, the program with the fewest number of moves per game averaged for all wins and draws will be declared the winner.
Hardware and OS. The hardware and OS that will be used in the championship tournament and challenge match will be specified shortly before the tournament begins. The hardware will typically be a standard general purpose computer that can be purchased within $1000 USD (not including tax, shipping and handling :-). The OS used for the Arimaa challenge will be the most current version of the Linux OS.
Schedule The qualifying games must be played during November and December. The program ratings as of midnight January 1st GMT will be used to select the four best programs for the playoffs. The selected programs must be submitted to the ICGA by midnight January 4th GMT into a specified account. The tournament will being in early January and finish before the end of January.
Program Requirements All programs submitted for the tournament must:
- be statically compiled and linked executables that can run on the provided Linux system.
- log all initial conditions at the start of the game and at the start of each move (such as the seed used for the random number generator) so that given these initial conditions the program can be made to play the same way again.
- provide an option to give the program it's own initial conditions log file as input so that the values in that file can override the values it would use otherwise in order to repeat a game.
- provide an option to specify a hardware independent play strength such as the number of nodes to evaluate before stopping, or the number of plys to search, etc. When this option is used the program should not look at the time control. This option will not be used in the championship or challenge match, but will be used after these events when the program is made available for others to play against in the Arimaa gameroom. The purpose of this is so that the program will play the same strength independent of the hardware or system load.
- provide a README file which explains the options that are available for the program and how they are to be entered.
Publication: The intent of the Arimaa computer championship and challenge match is to help advance research in areas of AI. Thus, it is recommended that the participants (especially those with programs in the championship tournament) will submit articles to the ICGA technical journal describing their research and results. Also the programs submitted for the championship tournament will be made available for others to play against in the public Arimaa gameroom after the challenge match is over. Thus the programs and players participating in the following year can be improved against the best programs of the previous year. Participants who submit programs that are limited after some time, some games or limited in any manner will not be allowed to participate in following years and must return any prize awarded. Organizations or individuals who are not comfortable with these conditions should not participate.
Role of the ICGA: The role of the ICGA will be to oversee that the championship tournament has been done according to the stated rules and to serve as the arbitrator in case of disputes. Should a dispute arise about the outcome of a particular game, the ICGA will review the logs produced during the game and decide if the game should be replayed. The ICGA's decision shall be considered final and binding by all parties. The ICGA is not financially responsible or liable under any circumstances that may arise.
Notes: Omar and Aamir Syed reserve the rights to modify the championship tournament details in the future to resolve any logistical problems that may arise.
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