Ataxx

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flok
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Ataxx

Post by flok » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:50 pm

Hi,

Slightly off-topic but I'm hoping there are chess-lovers out there who may be interested.

Ataxx has been around for a while. Strangely enough there was no real community around it for developing an AI like the Chess and Go games have. There have been plenty of GUI implementations of it, but no machine against machine battles.

That has changed. On IRC, we have ##chessprogramming (on webchat.freenode.net) in which people mostly discuss Ataxx (yes). Also a website has been put up that will discuss how to make an Ataxx-AI (like the Chess Programming Wiki): https://www.ataxx.org

I'm hoping others will chime in with their implementation of Ataxx and start the battle with us!
www.vanheusden.com: Micah / Embla / PuppetMaster / DeepBrutePos / Pos / Feeks

Angrim
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Re: Ataxx

Post by Angrim » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:51 am

That could be entertaining. But first there would need to be some server to connect to for playing the game. Anyone working on that?

My first glance at it, I thought it would be a trivial game to solve, since the board is only 7x7, and it generally has less than 40 moves possible . But the frequency of forced moves in the open is quite low, and the endgame isn't solvable with tablebases, so there might be some complexity to it :)

bnemias
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Re: Ataxx

Post by bnemias » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:23 am

I was heavily addicted to that game in the 90's. We had one in the game room on UNM campus.

I wrote a simple version that played on the c64, it was complete, but weak (about mushman strength), and quite slow.

There was a much stronger version for the PC back then called smartalec. I don't remember who wrote it, but it
clobbered cephaloman worse than I did. Though I haven't seen it in years.

I do remember my assessment of the game AI (cephlo) in the day, which was basically: it's terrible when there are less than 10 pieces on the board or when there are fewer than 10 empties on the board, but probably slightly better than me at other times.

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flok
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Re: Ataxx

Post by flok » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:14 am

Angrim wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:51 am
That could be entertaining. But first there would need to be some server to connect to for playing the game. Anyone working on that?

My first glance at it, I thought it would be a trivial game to solve, since the board is only 7x7, and it generally has less than 40 moves possible . But the frequency of forced moves in the open is quite low, and the endgame isn't solvable with tablebases, so there might be some complexity to it :)
Actually yes, someone is working on a server!
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hgm
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Re: Ataxx

Post by hgm » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:16 am

The funny thing about the descriptions I could find is that they all present a move to a neighboring square as a (Seirawan-type) gating, where a new piece appears on the from-square. In my mind it seems much simpler to describe it as a piece drop on a square adjacent to one of your own pieces.

It should be simple enough to add a new skelleton variant to Win/XBoard that implements Ataxx-like color flipping on squares next to the to-square of any move. This could then be used as a parent variant in an engine-defined version of Ataxx. (The engine would then be resposible for speciying the board size, how many piece types participate and how they are indicated in FEN, the initial setup, how the pieces move...)

abulmo2
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Re: Ataxx

Post by abulmo2 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:47 am

It is already possible to play ataxx with engines on GGS - The Generic Game Server.
This is the place where I used to play Othello games with my engine Edax.
Richard Delorme

Angrim
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Re: Ataxx

Post by Angrim » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:02 am

http://www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/ataxx.html is a play by email server for ataxx, the interface is kinda ugly but looks usable.
I would prefer an FICS style server though.

Joost Buijs
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Re: Ataxx

Post by Joost Buijs » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:37 am

It is a piece of cake to change my old Othello/Reversi program in such a way that it can play Ataxx. I don't know how difficult it is to let the Chess-server I just put up recognize something like Ataxx. HG is the only one with experience in adding variants to the server.

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flok
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Re: Ataxx

Post by flok » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am

Joost Buijs wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:37 am
It is a piece of cake to change my old Othello/Reversi program in such a way that it can play Ataxx. I don't know how difficult it is to let the Chess-server I just put up recognize something like Ataxx. HG is the only one with experience in adding variants to the server.
Did a quick hack: now something listens on port 28028 of keetweej.vanheusden.com
Then you can interface your program the following way:
ncat -e ./program keetweej.vanheusden.com 28028

You may need to sudo apt-get install ncat first.

No auth of any kind currently; the username is the name of the program.

https://keetweej.vanheusden.com/ataxx/ is updated every 30 minutes with the results
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Joost Buijs
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Re: Ataxx

Post by Joost Buijs » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:03 am

What does the protocol looks like? If somebody want's to play he needs more information than the connection details alone.

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