The 2009 Arimaa Computer World Championship

Overview: The 2009 Arimaa Computer World Championship tournament will determine the best computer Arimaa player. The winner will be declared the 2009 Arimaa Computer World Champion and receive a prize of $100 USD. All contestents will also receive $10 USD for each game won. The top two finishers will compete for the right to play in the Arimaa Challenge match. Only the 8 top rated programs will be selected to play in the tournament.

Registration ends: 6PM EST Sunday Feb 2, 2009
Linux account provided before: Feb 8, 2009
Program uploaded before: 6PM EST Feb 28, 2009
Ratings fixed: Mar 1, 2009
Tournament begins: Mar 2, 2009
Tournament ends: Mar 15, 2009

Registration: Interested developers should register as soon as possible to identify themselves and the name of the bot they will be registering. There is a registration fee of $10 USD. Only one bot is allowed per developer or development team. All developers will be given an account on a Linux system and must port their bot to this account and make sure it can play in the Arimaa gameroom.

Selection: Only a limited number of programs will be selected to participate in the tournament. The selection process is designed to make it easy for anyone to participate as long as they have a reliable Internet connection. The participants should use the bot interface to have their program login to the Arimaa gameroom and play rated games against other players (programs and humans) to establish the rating of their program. The participants must run their programs on standard off-the-shelf hardware and OS similar to that which is used in the challenge match. The 8 highest rated programs will be chosen for the tournament such that each program is from a different developer or development team. Although there is no requirement for the program to play any games in the Arimaa gameroom, it is benificial for the program to increase the rating as much as possible before the tournament.

Setup: Participants in the tournament will be provided with accounts on a 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 tournament coordinator. The games will be played in the Arimaa gameroom. Each program will run on it's own computer and both computers will have the exact same hardware and OS configuration.

Tournament format: Floating Triple Elimination

    The tournament coordinator runs a program which is used to pair the players, assign a bye in rounds with odd number of players and to select the color of each player. The pairing algorithm attempts to best meet the following constraints:

  1. Programs are initially ranked based on gameroom ratings.
  2. Everyone plays until they have lost three times. At the end of each round, any player who has lost for the third time is eliminated.
  3. If an odd number of players remain, the bye must go to some player among the players with the fewest byes so far.
  4. Minimize the number of pairings occuring for the Nth time. ...
  5. Minimize the number of pairings occuring for the fourth time.
  6. Minimize the number of pairings occuring for the third time.
  7. Minimize the number of pairings occuring for the second time.
  8. Give the bye to the player with the fewest losses.
  9. Give the bye to the player with the highest rating.
  10. Pair players with a similar number of losses against each other.
  11. Maximize the sum of the squares of the differences in rank among remaining players.
  12. Within each pairing, the player who has played gold a fewer number of times so far against this opponent will play gold for that game. If this is a tie, then the player who has played gold a fewer percentage of times so far in the tournament will play gold for that game, with ties broken randomly.
  13. All games are played according to the Arimaa Match Rules.

This tournament format is designed only to clearly recognize a first place winner. Recognition of second and third place will be done based on number of games won. Highest pre-tournament ratings will be used to break ties for third place. In case of ties for second place addition games will be played to break the tie. A two-way tie for second will be broken by a one-game playoff. A three-way tie for second will be broken by first pairing the two players eliminated in the second-to-last round and the winner playing the last eliminated player. In these tie breaker games the colors are assigned so that a player plays the color they have played a fewer number of times. If this is equal then the player with the lower rating selects the color. If this is equal the player who was eliminated in the second-to-last round selects the color.

Time controls: All games will be played with a time control of: 2m/2m/100/10m/8h.

Breaking draws: Draws are not allowed and will be broken according to the Arimaa Match Rules.

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.

Program Requirements All programs submitted for the tournament must:

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) submit an article 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 years can be improved against the best programs of the previous years. 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.


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