Archive for category: Checkers

Another checker problem…

January 25, 2010 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was waiting for sleep to come, and surfed over to the American Checker Federation website. As long-time readers of this blog might remember, I’ve been tinkering a checkers program together, which I tentatively named “Milhouse” to play checkers. This week’s problem challenge was a classic 2 on 3 battle where White is to move […]

Milhouse takes Quiz #10 – Double Cross

December 22, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

Checker expert Jim Loy has a number of quizzes on his website, including the following one that I found as part of my earlier post on the Double Cross opening: Quiz #10 – Double Cross. Here are the moves that milhouse chose with a hard time limit of 30 seconds per move, along with the […]

Dusting off my checkers program Milhouse…

December 22, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I noticed that Martin Fierz released a new version of his Checkerboard program, so I thought I’d set it sparring against my own program, milhouse. The Cake engine it ships with walks all over my program, but it managed this win against Simple Checkers. [Event “”] [Date “”] [Black “Milhouse”] [White “Simple Checkers”] [Result “1-0”] […]

Electronic Publications of Richard Pask

May 28, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve run across this page a couple of times, but keep forgetting to bookmark it. Pask has written a great deal about checkers, and these are very nice free references for the aspiring checkers player to have on hand. In particular, his Key Openings is of particular interest to me at the moment. Electronic Publications […]

Milhouse needs an infusion of actual checkers knowledge

May 25, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

This morning, I woke up and was trying to resolve a problem: why is Milhouse (my checkers program) so slow? The answer didn’t seem entirely obvious, so I pondered it some more. I refined it to “why is Milhouse so slow when it accesses the endgame database files?” I think I know why, but unfortunately, […]

Flaws in Milhouse’s Play

May 22, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

While debugging some more challenging positions from The Checker Maven, I encountered the following position which seemed to be giving Milhouse fits. In debugging the preferred line, it seems to be stuck in a short repeating cycle which it views to be best. In reality, the repeated positions should be viewed as draws, which should […]

Gould Puzzle #516

May 21, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I started working through my analysis of Gould Puzzle #516, which my previous scan using the Cake 8 piece database, and revealed to be a loss for white, instead of the draw that Gould listed. Here’s the position: The database reports this position as lost, but Gould thinks it is a draw. Let’s see where […]

Gould’s The Game of Draughts is on Google Books, and

May 15, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was goofing around with my program, and had loaded a problem that was supposedly a win for Red, and set it searching. After searching to thirty or so ply, Milhouse was still convinced the position was drawn. I then tried examining it in Cake to 10 ply deeper, and it was still looking like […]

Using Cake’s Endgame Database…

May 15, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been having a bit of difficulty with the Chinook endgame database, so I thought that since Martin Fierz was kind enough to release his endgame database as well as the code for accessing it, I thought I’d give it a try by making the necessary adapters to make it work for Milhouse. Martin’s code […]

Using the Chinook WLD database…

May 13, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

So, for the past couple of days, I’ve been working on fixing the WLD database lookup code in Milhouse, in an attempt to get it to handle endgame positions properly. There is a tiny bit of subtlety which I haven’t seen explained anywhere else, so I think I’ll take a moment here to explain it. […]

Milhouse misses a win…

May 11, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was playing a sparring match between Milhouse and Cake, and Milhouse arrived at the position on the right as White with White to move. Inexplicably, it played 27-23, squandering away the win by avoiding the obvious 2 for one shot into the forced win by playing 19-16 and forcing the exchange. Oddly, when I […]

Some new, and relatively challenging checker puzzles

May 4, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was surfing over at Bob Newell’s “Checker Maven” website, and found this awesme collection of PDN files for download. I have a table of challenging positions compiled into milhouse, which I use for debugging and testing, so I decided to hack a simple parser to input some of the positions into Milhouse. The “Gem […]

Milhouse wins against Cake!

May 4, 2009 | Checkers, My Projects, Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, before I get too excited, I’ll disclose that Cake was set to a time limit of around 1 second, which limited it to just a few ply (maybe 9 typically) and I was letting MIlhouse think a little harder (still taking less than 10 seconds typically). Still, it’s good: it means that sparring matches […]

KCheckers isn’t very good at all, but Cake is no cake walk….

April 29, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

Milhouse utterly destroys kcheckers. This game is typical of the five I just played against it. [Event “KCheckers Game”] [Date “2009.04.29”] [Round “1”] [Black “*Master*”] [White “Milhouse”] [Result “0-1”] [GameType “21”] 1. 12-16 22-18 2. 8-12 24-19 3. 10-15 19×10 4. 7×14 25-22 5. 9-13 18×9 6. 5×14 23-19 7. 16×23 27×9 8. 12-16 26-23 […]

Milhouse needs an opening book…

April 27, 2009 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I decided to play a game against Chinook set on its intermediate level. It was lost before it even began. Fortman’s Basic Checkers lists 3. 16-19 … as the only viable move for Black, and the convincing way that Chinook took me apart is a pretty good ilustration that even with an 18 ply search, […]