Sept. 1, 2001

On line GIPF puzzle contest

Soon an on line GIPF puzzle contest will be announced right here. The prizes to win: 3 DVONN prototypes, signed and dated. Those who are on the Project GIPF mailing list will get an e-mail with all the details within 14 days; the ones who are not, have a choice: either they send an e-mail and subscribe for the newsletter, or they stay tuned and watch the news on this site closely.

MSO 5: titles for Kok, Dupont and Nuyttens
Three Project GIPF events on the agenda of MSO 5:
Fred Kok (NL) was the first to get a gold medal around his neck - and nobody seemed more surprised than Fred Kok himself. He had come to London to regain his LoA world title, but got away with a golden GIPF-with-TAMSK-potentials medal by winning 4 of his 5 matches. So did Werner Dupont (B), but Fred had beaten him in the 4th round and that made the difference. Stephen Tavener (GB) scored 3 points and that was good enough for bronze.
Werner Dupont had the highest ranking of the 12 participants of the GIPF WC, and he lived up to his status. He started with 6 wins in a row. Only the young Josiah Lutton (GB) succeeded in flooring him in the 7th round, but by then Werner already had a 2 point lead and was sure to become, after Yoshi Ikkai (J), the second GIPF world champion. Three players ended with 5 points: Josiah, Kurt Vandenbranden (B) and Stephen Tavener. Josiah had won against Werner and got - well deserved! - the silver medal. Kurt had a higher MB-score and nosed Stephen out for bronze.
Everybody thought that the ZÈRTZ WC was going to become a duel between Stephen Tavener and Michael Reitz (D), but it didn't turn out that way. Both had been teaching the others all they knew about the game and apparently they did it a bit too well… Christof Nuyttens (B) and Sebastian Bleasdale (GB) had been very attentive listeners and, once the championship was started, confronted the others whit what they had learned. They played very solid and scored 6 wins each, but Christof had won his game against Sebastian and that was rewarded with the title of first ZÈRTZ world champion. Sebastian got silver and Stephen Tavener got a second bronze medal for his 5 wins.
For more details, go to the "Results" pages in the GIPF and ZÈRTZ section of this site.

"GF1" stronger than "Gipfted"
Last week, during the 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…

ZÈRTZ e-mail tournament
Jeroen Weyn is currently preparing an e-ZÈRTZ tournament. The virtual place to be is Richard's PBeM server.
So far 13 players have registered, but there's place for many more. Contact Jeroen Weyn if you want to sign up or if you want more information. Don't wait too long; the tournament will start on the 12th of September.
The used format will be Round Robin, the number of players per group depending on the total number of participants.
Jeroen says that the winner will become the "ZÈRTZ-by-email-champion-of-the-world"… Let's make that the "ZÈRTZ-by-email-champion-of-the-world-says-Jeroen". A title to pursue!


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