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Subject: Re: What happened with Chompster and Ikarus?

Author: Kolss

Date: 06:15:18 02/02/04

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Hi,

I cannot say anything about Chompster, but Ikarus had to withdraw due to
technical problems. Here are some details:

We (i.e. my brother Muntsin and I) had planned that my brother play the
tournament on his computer (which is somewhat competitive - A XP 2800+), since I
did not have time to attend the program nor do I have proper hardware.

Unfortunately, during the first round his internet hardware completely broke
down (router failure and something more - had never happened before in years...)
- after being able to reconnect for short periods for a few times, he was off
for good (until today...). So there was no way to continue on his computer.

That way we lost the first game (which I continued on my four-year-old computer;
the end position was a dead draw) due to multiple disconnects, which is fair.

Now I only have a P3-450MHz, which is absolutely ridiculous compared to
everything else turning up at the tournament. I asked Volker Richey (TD) whether
we should immediately withdraw, because
a) playing while knowing that you have no chance to compete properly is no fun,
and
b) I know that my internet connection is not stable (I usually have to reboot
two or three times to get in in the first place), and I would have to leave the
house soon and thus leave the program unattended.
Volker told me we should continue, so I did (on the P3-450MHz).

Ikarus drew a game against Movei, won against Tinker, and drew Alarm (rounds
2-4). During or before game 5 (should have been against Bringer), it
disconnected, and as I was away, the game was forfeited (I was actually
surprised that it played that long...).

I discovered that the next day and decided to set Ikarus up on my work office
computer, where the program would have to run unattended as well, but I knew (or
at least hoped!) the internet connection to be more stable.

Now there I made the mistake to start the program too early (about 1.5h before
the start of round 6 - but I had to leave again) and not let it play some
opponent to keep it busy. Apparently the internet connection gets interrupted
after about one hour without anything happening. That was of course exactly what
happened, so the program got disconnected before the next round, and that was it
(I only discovered it after the end of the tournament).

So I guess there are a few things to learn from this:

1.) Shit happens. Besides real material damage for my brother, it was absolutely
no fun to have to deal with such problems during a tournament or even during a
game. We did not enjoy at all what little we had from this event. :-(

2.) Never let your program play unattended in a tournament (and, by the way,
never let your program play in a "real" tournament without being present
yourself - you can bet on trouble!). There is very high chance that something
goes wrong. I should have insisted on withdrawing immediately after it was clear
that my brother could not continue. I only thought that people would rather play
a program on crappy hardware than have a bye, but this way we only distorted the
whole thing, playing a few games, forfeiting others, and finally dropping out
completely, apart from playing the games on different hardware.

So I apologize to all of you who were in any way affected by this mess. We hope
to be luckier next time around.

Best regards - Munjong.


P.S.: Congratulations to the programmers of Crafty, Hiarcs, and Zappa, and
indeed to everyone who participated - I hope you had a lot more fun than we did
(I am almost sure you did...)! - M.



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