Thursday, December 30, 2010

Engine-Engine Matches on Android

I am extending Chess for Android with a feature to run automatic engine-engine matches between UCI engines that have been "natively" compiled for Android. After importing two UCI engines, or using the built-in Java engine for one, a fixed number of games is played using random openings from the built-in book while allocating a fixed time per move. All games are saved in a "match.pgn" file, which can be used by another chess program, such as Arena or Chessbase. A Chessbase-generated cross-table for a 1-second-per-move tournament between some UCI engines compiled for Android is shown below.

I hope to release this feature sometimes early in January.

                 1          2          3          4          5
1 Stockfish 1.9  ********** 11½0100101 111111½111 1111111111 1111111111 35.0/40
2 Crab 1.0 beta  00½1011010 ********** 111½1½1111 1111111111 1111111111 33.5/40
3 GNU Chess 5.07 000000½000 000½0½0000 ********** ½½11111110 1111111111 19.5/40
4 BikJump v2.1P  0000000000 0000000000 ½½00000001 ********** 1111111111 12.0/40
5 ZCT-0.3.2500   0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 ********** 0.0/40  (++)

++ ZCT replies immediately on "movetime" commands, explaining its poor performance in this tournament

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Racing during the Holidays

The vacation just started, and Karina and her friend Ella are enjoying 50 lap races on our Carrera racetrack. Nice to see the difference between a year ago, when the girls crashed the cars most of the time, and now, when they actually understand braking before and accelerating in a curve. Still, lots of repairs to be done on the cars when this race is over.

I like the Carrera Digital 132 race track. Cars have regular and braking lights, can switch lanes on designated lane change sections, and the speed, braking power, and fuel tank capacity can be set individually for each car. When cars run out of gas, lights are blinking as they slow down, and a visit to the pit stop is required first. Moreover, up to six cars can race together, or autonomous cars can be programmed to make racing harder while an electronic lap counter keeps track of interesting statistics.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

A merry Christmas and a happy 2011 for all my blog readers. In the picture, you see the snow covered city hall of my home town Gouda in the Netherlands. In "sunny" California we just get rain :-)