Just a reminder to all of you who wish to participate in the upcoming Camelot World Championship Tournament. You must be a member of the World Camelot Federation (membership is free--all it takes is an email to email@example.com) in order to get an invitation to play in the tournament.
AbigailII: I believe Fencer is well aware of the bugs and he intends to fix them eventually, but what bugs me is that the fixing of these bugs seems to be nowhere near the top of his priorities here at BK. We can read about a new logo, hidden login, dynamic home page, fixed or variable width, etc., but the most important feature of a game site, i.e. the games, do not work properly.
Pedro Martínez: all these games have major problems in the implementation of the rules and there are no signs of them being fixed anytime soon.
That seems to be on par for Brainking. If a new game has been added, there's a short period in which bugs may get fixed. Afterwards, it's always declared as "this is just the way we play this game on this site".
MTC: In Russian Checkers, it is not mandatory to make the longest possible jump.
Currently, Wikipedia writes Jumping is mandatory and cannot be passed up to make a non-jumping move, nor can fewer than the maximum jumps possible be taken in a multiple-jump move.. Or course, an article on Wikipedia isn't more than the opinion of the last person editing it....
MTC: I believe you were confused by the following line of the rules of Russian Checkers: “Unlike International Checkers, it is not mandatory to make the longest possible jump.” This line refers to a situation when a player has two or more options to jump, of which at least one is a multiple-piece jump. In International Checkers, it is mandatory to choose the jump which leads to the maximum possible amount of captures. In Russian Checkers, it is possible to choose the jump with the fewest amount of captures, however a player cannot choose NOT to jump, as it happened in the game I posted. The point is, that the definition of what is a jump and what is not, is the same as in International Checkers.
Pedro Martínez: Having re-read the rules of Russian Checkers, I just can’t see what was wrong with either of those moves. In Russian Checkers, it is not mandatory to make the longest possible jump. I also can’t see any other reason you would think those moves illegal.
(no, this does not belong in the Camelot forum, but I still thought it necessary to reply to this apparent misunderstanding)
MrWCF: This site has become one big bug. Camelot, Cam, Backgammon, Espionage, Russian Checkers, Turkish Checkers, Dameo, … all these games have major problems in the implementation of the rules and there are no signs of them being fixed anytime soon. Check the last two moves of the Black in this game, for example, it's just ridiculous: Russian Checkers (Priidik vs. Edem das Seine)
However, after Black moves 1....F3-G4, White wins with 2.D5-C4! Now, if 2......G4-F3, then 3.E4-D3. Next, if 3....F3-E2, then 4.C4-B3! E2xC4, 5.B3xD5 wins. (Other retreating Black second moves allow White to defend his Castle with one piece while advancing toward Black's Castle with the other piece, as might have happened in the game.)
By the way, I think that if any Cam position is drawn, it will probably entail an ending with two pieces vs. two pieces. That is the most common type of drawn ending in Camelot, though I probably shouldn't say "common" since with accurate play, almost all Camelot endgame positions are not drawn.
In this position, if black’s one remaining piece always moves between F3 and G4, then white has no choice but to keep forming this position, to stop black winning. I can see no way for white to avoid that. For black, making any other move seems to result in a forced win for white (and that is what happened in this game). So I’m under the impression that with perfect play from both sides, this position will keep repeating and the game is therefore drawn. Am I wrong?
The mandatory capture if a Knight Canters into a Jumping position has been in the rules since 1930. I think the idea was (and is) that if a Knight Canters next to an enemy piece that can be jumped, it has reached, in effect, the same position as one where there is an available Jump at the start of a turn, that is, a situation where a capture is mandatory.
I think that it's a good rule, and seems to me to be consistent with the overall conceptual structure of the game.
As a practical matter, it's rare for a player to Canter a Knight into position to Jump, and then be better off if he weren't forced to Jump. But it is obviously possible.
This game is ongoing, but well beyond the position linked here. I tried to move 9.Ni7-i9, but the system would not allow me to stop and submit the move from that point. Why? I had no jump, so any piece could have been moved, and cantering is supposedly optional.
Is this a site bug, rule ambiguity, or something else I missed?
Well, I don't know about my being a great Camelot player--I think a better description would be just pretty good. But Dan may well be a genius Camelot player--he seems, at least for me, to be impossible to beat.
MrWCF: If you're a great player of Camelot game, so Dan Troyka must be a genius. :) It would be interesting if he join to BrainKing as player. Some time ago, i read something about breakthrough game and Dan Troyka. I think he plays very well this game, too...
The 2008-2009 WCF Camelot World Championship Tournament that began on July 20, 2008, has been decided. Dan Troyka of Saline, Michigan, USA, has retained his title of WCF Camelot World Champion.
The original eight challengers for the crown were divided into two four-man round robin candidates groups. Each group member played a best-two-out-of-three-game match against each of the other three members of his group. The two group winners, Michael Nolan and Jerry LaSala, played off in a best-three-out-of-five-game Candidates Final Match. Mr. Nolan won the contest, giving him the right to challenge Mr. Troyka, the reigning World Champion, in a best-four-out-of-seven-game match for the Championship. That match began on February 7, 2009, in Troy, Michigan, USA. A second session was held on March 8, and a third and final session on May 31. The time limit for all games was set at 40 moves in 2.5 hours. After sixteen total hours of play, the match was won by Mr. Troyka by a score of 4-1/2 to 1-1/2 (four wins, one loss, one draw), thus he retains his title of WCF Camelot World Champion.
There are currently 197 WCF members, spread throughout 14 different countries. The organization is an informal network of individuals interested in any and all aspects of the game and its variants: Cam, Camette, Chivalry, Grand Camelot, and Grand Cam.
Membership comes with no requirement on your part. Membership entitles you to a couple of things. You will receive an occasional informational email from me regarding subjects like Camelot computer programs, rules questions, editions of sets, legal issues, games, problems, etc.
Additionally, you will automatically receive an invitation to play in the next WCF Camelot World Championship (email) Tournament. One just concluded two weeks ago.
I hope you take advantage of this chance to learn more about Camelot.
I was just looking at a game of mine where I have a knight in my opponent's castle. I was under the impression that once you move into your opponent's castle, you can never move out, but in this case BrainKing will let me move out.
I need to capture on this turn, and I can either capture one piece with a pawn, or two pieces by making a knight's chage out of the castle.
Within the next week or so, I will be playing a few exhibition games of Camelot against CHAXX, the World Champion Camelot computer program, on this site ( Camelot (Chaxx vs. MrWCF) ). I suspect that my current unbeaten BrainKing Camelot record will quickly suffer extensive damage.
joshi tm: "Ultra-weak" means it's known what the result of the game will be (or cannot be) given perfect play by both players. PahTum for instance is ultra-weak solved in the sense that the second player cannot win (strategy stealing argument). But for a game to be solved ultra-weakly, you can prove the result, but you do not have to have a method reaching that result. Weakly solved means that you have a method for one player to force a win (or draw) from the starting position. Strongly solved means that you from any position what the result will be, and how to archieve that result with perfect play from both sides. Chess is partially strongly solved for up to 6 or 7 pieces (that is, for any legal chess position with at most 6 (or 7) pieces, optimal play for both sides is known)
Modified by joshi tm (14. February 2009, 22:56:40)
MrWCF: I read about the checkers game indeed it was weakly solved. I study maths, pity I did not learn anything about interesting Game Theories. What does the solving levels mean? By what perfect play, the games always draw?
Edit: I see the game board has lots more sides, piece connot be captured that easy. Interesting...
joshi tm: Camette has not been solved at any of the three possible levels (ultra-weak, weak, or strong). However, in order for that to be true, White must choose one of the 10 opening moves (out of a possible 24) that do not result in forced loss. Speaking of Checkers and Chess, by the way, as you may know, Checkers was weakly solved in 2007: it's a draw.
joshi tm:Thanks for your comments, joshi. When I invented the Camelot variant of Camette, I never seriously expected it to avoid being "solved" for too long a period of time. It appears, though, that 10 of the 22 possible first moves for White actually result in an equal battle--I was pleasently surprised!
I thought that I would annotate my game just completed against skinny18. It was the most difficult Camelot game I've had so far on BrainKing. Camelot (MrWCF vs. skinny18)
White: MrWCF Black: skinny18 16 January 2009
1.E6-G8 G11-G9 2.F6-H8 H11-H9 3.D6-F8 J11-H11 4.E7-C7? (The beginning of an unsound combination by White that leads to a loss of a Man.) 4....G9XE7 5.H6-F6 E7XG5 6.I7-G9XG11XI9XG9 H11-H10 7.G6XG4 H10XF8XH6 8.H7XH5 (White is up the one Man that he envisioned, but not for long.) 8....F11-F9! (When White played 4.E7-C7, he was completely blind to this excellent move by his opponent. Threatened are both 9....F9xH7xJ5xJ7 and 9....C11-E9-G9xI7xI5xG5xG3) 9.J6-I5 F9XH7XH9 (Now White is a piece down.) 10.F7-E7 I11-I9-G9 11.D7-D6 I10-H10 12.H5-J7 G9-G8 13.G4-H5 E11-E9 14.J7-I8 H9XJ7 15.I6XK8 G8-H9 16.K8-L9 (Hoping to divert some Black pieces to the task of stopping this White end-around in the hope of evening up the forces in the center.) 16....H9-I10 (Taking the bait. In Camelot, allowing one enemy piece to get around your forces and move toward your Castle is rarely dangerous. On the contrary, it reduces the enemy's presence in the tactics-rich center by a piece.) 17.H5-H6 C11-E11-G9 18.E7-F7 G9-I11 19.C7-D7 D11-D9 20.L9-L10 H10-H11 21.L10-L11 I10-I12 22.I5-I6 I12-J13 23.H6-H7 E9-G11 24.I6-G8-E6 D9-D11 25.C6-C7 I11-I12 26.H7-G7 J13-K12 27.L11XJ13 I12XK14 (Black has stopped the White end-around, but at what cost.) 28.G7-E7 K14-J13 (Correctly attempting to get the Knight back into play. Regardless of slightly questionable strategic planning, Black has played a tactically perfect game up to this point.) 29.D6-D8 D10-E9? (Finally, White gets a break. This move loses material. 29....D10-E11 would have maintained Black's advantage.) 30.D7-D9! E9XC9 (Best. 30....E10xC8xE8xG6, 31.E6-E8xE10xG10xI12xK14 would have given White a two Knights for two Men advantage.) 31.C7-E9XE11XG9 C9-C8!? (Best was 31....H11-I12!, 32.D8-F6-F8-H10xF12 allowing White only a one Man advantage with plenty of counterplay by Black. In this variation, White might have fallen into the clever trap of 32.E6-E8-C8xC10xE12? G11-G10!, 33.G9xG11 J13-H11xF11xD13 with a probable draw.) 32.D8-F6-F8-H10XH12XF10 (With a one Knight and one Man advantage. Not 32.D8xB8 with only a one Knight advantage. And certainly not 32.E6-G8-G10xI12xK14 C8xE8xE6xG8xG10 with a win for Black.) 32....D11-C10 33.E6-G8 C10-C9 34.E7-D7 C8XE6 35.F7XD5 RESIGNS 1-0 A tough game by my worthy opponent!
joshi tm: Yes. If one of your pieces is in position to Jump one of your opponent's pieces, you must make a capture sometime during that move. You can accomplish that mandatory capture either by the Jump, itself, or, if one is available, by a Knight's Charge.
MrWCF: Thank you for your response. I was thinking that a "world federation" should associate individual national associations and was wondering if there are any throughout the world. I guess that's not the case. Thanks again for making it clear.
Pedro Martínez: Thanks for your questions, Pedro. The WCF uses the word “Federation” as a synonym for “association” or “league.” Ten years ago, when I formed the WCF, I could just as easily have chosen “World Camelot Association.” The WCF uses the word “World” because the organization is open for free to anyone anywhere in the world. Currently, the WCF has members in twelve different countries. If I can ever manage to publicize the group, my preference would be to have at least one member in every country in the world.
The WCF Camelot World Championship Match will begin at 10:00 a.m. EST on February 7, 2009, in Troy, Michigan, USA. The best-four-out-of-seven contest will pit the challenger, Michael Nolan, against the current world champion, Dan Troyka. This will be the first over-the-board Camelot World Championship contest in history. The time limit will be 40 moves in 150 minutes. Mr. Troyka has been Camelot world champion since 2003. Mr. Nolan won a series of Candidates Elimination Matches under the auspices of the World Camelot Federation to earn the right to be the challenger.
Another interesting position, this time at the end of the Cam game between PerGioco and dragonchild (archive #3685011: Cam (dragonchild vs. PerGioco)). The players agreed to a draw. I believe that no Cam position is drawn--one player can always force a win--but that is unproven. Do you think that this game is a draw, or a win for Black? I would like to hear your intended strategy as Black to try for the win.
And finally, this game from the 2002-2003 Camelot World Championship Tournament
M. Nolan vs. P. Yearout 2002-2003 WCF Camelot World Championship Tournament (Annotations by M. Nolan) 1.E6-G8 H11-H9 2.E7-F8 J11-H11 3.H6-H8 H9-I8 4.H8xJ8 (Not 4.H7xJ9 H11-H9xH7xJ7xJ5xH7xF9 or 4.I7xI9 H11-J11-H9xJ9) ....H11-J9xJ7xJ5 5.I7-I5xK5 E11-E9 (Threatening C11-E11-G9xE7xC5xC7xE7xG5) 6.F7-E7 I10-H11 (Threatening H11-F9xF7xH9) 7.G8-F7 C11-E11 8.K5-J6 D11-F9 9.J6-H6 I11-G9 10.I6-G8 F11-D9 11.G8-E8 H11-F11 12.E8xC10E11-C9xC11 13.G6-E8 H10-F12 14.F8xH10 G11xI9 (Not G10xI10 because of E8xG10xE12xG12xG10. Better was F11-H9xH11 with an even game. The text loses a piece) 15.H6-H8xJ10 D10-F8XH6xH8 (This loses outright to the text reply) 16.F6-F8 (All other moves allow equality) ....E9xG7 17.F7xH7xH9 (Now if G10xI8 then E8xG10xE12xG12 or if F11-D9xF7 then H9xF11xD9) ....Resigns 1-0
Paul Yearout vs. Michael Nolan 1999 (annotations by M. Nolan) 1.E6-E8 H11-F9 2.C6-E6 J11-H11 3.H6-F8 E11-G9 4.G7-E9! F10xD8? (4....F9xD9, 5.E8xC10xC12 D11xB13, 6.I7-G7-E9xE11xC9 G11-E9, 7.E6-E8xE10xG12 H11xF13 is better) 5.F8xF10xF12? (5.J6-H8xF10xH12xJ10! I10xK10, 6.E7xC9xE11xG11xI11xG9xE9xE11 D11xF11, 7.I7-G7-E9-E7-G9xG11xE11 wins) 5...... D10-F10-H8xH6xJ8! 6.D7xD9xF11xH9xJ11? (6.D7-F9xH9xF11xD9xD7 H11-J9-J7xJ5xH7xF5, 7.F6xF4 C11-E11xG13 is better) 6...... H11-H9-F9xD7xF5xH7xJ5xJ7! 7.J11xH11xH9xF9 C11-E11xG13 and Black won in 50 moves 0-1
Dave Blizzard vs. Michael Nolan 1999 (annotations by M. Nolan) 1.E6-E8 H11-F9 2.H6-H8 E11-G9 3.H8-H6-F8 G11-E9 4.F7-D9?? (4.j6-H8-H6 with an even game) 4...... E9xC9?? (4......E10xC8xE6, 5.E8xE10xC12xC10xE10xG12 F9xF7xD7xD5xB7, 6.F6xD6 G10-F11, 7.G12xE10xG10xG8 J11-H9xF7xH5xJ7xJ5 wins) 5.C6-E6-C8xC10xC12? (5.J6-H8 F9xF7xD9, 6.C6-E8-E6-C8xC10xC12 D11xB13, 7.H7-H9 G10xI8xG8, 8.D7-F7-H7xF9xH9xH11xJ9 with an even game) 5...... F9xF7xF5? (5.... F9xF7xH5xJ7xJ5, 6.C12-D12 D11xD13, 7.D7-F9xH11xH9xF9xD11xD9 with advantage) 6.G6xE4 D10-D12xB12 7.D7-F9xH9xH11xJ9 J11-H11-F9xD7xD5xF3 8.G7-F8 E10-E9 9.F8xD10xD12 I11-I10 10.J9xH11xF9 F10xF8xD6 and White won in 31 moves 1-0