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The 2021 Computer Olympiad

Abstract

The 24th Computer Olympiad was held online during August/September 2021. With 60 participants competing in 22 events, the event was a success. This raises the question as to whether the ICGA and its members are best served by having future Olympiads online or returning to the in-person format.

1.Introduction

The pandemic forced many events to move online, and the Computer Olympiad was no exception. The 23rd Olympiad (2020) was held online, forcing the ICGA to rethink the event format and rules. Building on that success, the 24th Olympiad was also online during August and September 2021. This report summarizes the observations and results from this event.

2.Preparation

With the pandemic still a global concern, there was only one choice if the ICGA was to hold an Olympiad in 2021: it had to be online. Moving the 2020 event online involved considerable work, as the organizers (the three authors of this paper) had to create a new format for the competitions and a new set of rules. The 2020 event ran smoothly and was almost problem free.

The 2021 Olympiad had an almost identical format to the previous event. Some minor rule changes were made to accommodate a few unforeseen situations. As well, the event schedule was modified to prevent the annoying problem of having to collect some of the registration fees after the events were concluded. For 2021, all registration fees were paid in advance, with only one exception. Other than that, because of the sportsmanship and cooperation of the participants, the event was trouble free. Information on the Olympiad schedule (2021 Computer Olympiad, 2021) and rules (Computer Olympiad Rules, 2021) are available.

Each event was self-organized. For each event, the participants were asked to agree on the following competition details:

  • Format, with a round-robin being the standard.

  • Number of games played between competitors.

  • Time controls (most games had a standard setting).

  • Playoffs. Some events agreed on the final round-robin standings serving for decisions on the medals. Other competitions had 1, 2 or 4-game matches to determine the medals.

The original schedule had 8 days to complete all the games (August 23 to August 30). Some events went beyond that limit to accommodate any special needs of the participants.

The 2021 Olympiad saw the debut of a new competition: Sylver Coinage (2022). This game was created by the brilliant mathematician John Conway, who sadly passed away in 2020 due to COVID-19. Conway has many claims to fame but is perhaps best known for his Game of Life. Thank you to Gilad Moskowitz for introducing the game to the Olympiad.

3.Results

In 2021, we had 22 competitions totalling 60 registrants. In terms of the number of events, it tied for the second largest in Olympiad history, behind 24 in the 22nd Olympiad (Macau, 2019) (Schaeffer, 2021). As to the number of participants, this was tied for the 10th largest in Olympiad history. The record is 108 in the 15th Olympiad (Kanazawa, Japan, 2010).

Note that a further 10 competitions were not held because there was only a single entrant. Hopefully these games will reappear in the 2022 Olympiad.

Compared to our first online Olympiad (November/December 2020 (Iida et al., 2021)), the number of competitions went up by one, but the number of participating programs dropped by five.

The ICGA congratulations all the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal winners, and thanks all the participants of the 24th Computer Olympiad. There were many interesting results, but one accomplishment stands out for special recognition. Quentin Cohen-Solal and Tristan Cazenave seem to be on a mission to win every competition. This year they entered 16, winning the Gold Medal in 11. That’s going to be a difficult record to beat! Congratulations Quentin and Tristan.

The Appendix includes the results from all 22 Olympiad competitions.

4.Perspectives

The move to online raises two critical issues that the ICGA membership needs to resolve: a) online, in-person, or a hybrid Olympiad; and b) increasing the number of entries.

Post the pandemic, should the Olympiad return to its traditional in-person format? The cost of travelling to an Olympiad has been discussed in the past as being a significant barrier to participation. The online format was seen as a way for increasing the number of participating programs. However, the data does not support this. The historical record for the Olympiads shows 2020 and 2021 to be typical years in terms of entries (Schaeffer, 2021).

From the organizational point of view, an online Olympiad is much easier to organize (and less costly) than an in-person event. There is no need to deal with finding a venue, renting space, renting computers, obtaining Internet access, and so on. Essentially the move online comes without any significant financial costs for the organizers and the participants. Of course, an online Olympiad loses the most important aspect of in-person events – the ability to interact with your colleagues in person. We can debate the quality of in-person versus online interactions, but it appears that for most Olympiad programmers online is less appealing for having casual discussions of games and AI.

How do we increase the number of Olympiad entries? Being online allows the event to easily handle more entries without incurring additional costs (which is not true for the in-person events). The Olympiad is advertised on the ICGA web site (low traffic), through several mailing lists (probably low impact), and from various mailouts (mostly to past participants). None of these methods seems to be reaching a new audience. Globally, game programming is a popular activity, but we have been unable to reach more game-AI programming aficionados.

Your thoughts on these issues are most welcome. Please contact [email protected].

Appendices

Appendix

  • Amazons (2)

AmazonsPlus: Pei Zhang, Liang Chen, QianWei Wang, Tailin Liang, Ke Zhou ([email protected])

Thésée: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Thésée team for the Gold Medal in Amazons.

  • Arimaa (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Ataxx (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Brazilian Draughts (2)

EVE: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

AmazonsPlusThéséeTotal
AmazonsPlusXXX00
Thésée2XXX2

Tdk88: Ton Tillemans ([email protected])

Congratulations to the EVE team for the Gold Medal in Brazilian Draughts.

  • Breakthrough (2)

DaSoJai: Wei-Lin Wu, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

EVETdk88Total
EVEXXX1 1 1 25
Tdk881 1 1 0XXX3

R2D2: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the R2D2 team for the Gold Medal in Breakthrough.

  • Canadian Draughts (2)

T-900-Cameron: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

DaSoJaiR2D2Total
DaSoJaiXXX00
R2D22XXX2

Tdkcan: Ton Tillemans ([email protected])

Congratulations to the T-900-Cameron team for the Gold Medal in Canadian Draughts.

  • Chinese Checkers (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Chinese Chess (2)

Shiga: Ming-Cheng Cheng, Shi-Jim Yen ([email protected])

T-900-CameronTdkcanTotal
T-900-CameronXXX2 2 2 28
Tdkcan0 0 0 0XXX0

Stratar: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Shiga team for the Gold Medal in Chinese Chess.

  • Chinese Dark Chess (6)

CLAP_CDC: Chu-Hsuan Hsueh, Yuan-Hao Chen, Wen-Jie Tseng, I-Chen Wu ([email protected])

ShigaStratarTotal
ShigaXXX2-02
Stratar0-2XXX0

DarkCheese: Ping Chun Chen, Hsuan Yu Yaung, Chang Chih Yuan ([email protected])

DarkKnight: Chu-Hsuan Hsueh, Wen-Jie Tseng, I-Chen Wu ([email protected])

PupilDarkChess: Cheng Yueh, Hung-Jui Chang ([email protected])

Yahari: Jr-Chang Chen, You-Cheng Syu, Gang-Yu Fan, Ting-Yu Lin, Tsan-sheng Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Wang ([email protected])

Yanyu2.0: Yu-Yan Wang ([email protected])

Congratulations to the PupilDarkChess team for the Gold Medal in Chinese Dark Chess.

CLAP_ CDCDark CheeseDark KnightPupil-DarkChessYahariYanyu2.0Total
CLAP_ CDCXXX220116
DarkCheese0XXX000.522.5
DarkKnight02XXX221.57.5
Pupil-DarkChess220XXX228
Yahari11.500XXX24.5
Yanyu2.0100.500XXX1.5

Congratulations to the DarkKnight team for the Silver Medal in Chinese Dark Chess.

Congratulations to the CLAP_CDC team for the Bronze Medal in Chinese Dark Chess.

  • Clobber (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Connect6 (4)

Bernard-Lowe: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

CLAP_Connect6: Shao-Xiong Zheng, Wei-yuan Hsu, Yuan-Hao Chen, I-Chen Wu ([email protected])

Explorer: Yihao Wu, Miao Su, Xiaorui Li, Ke Zhou ([email protected])

HPS6: Yu-Chang Lin, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

Congratulations to the CLAP_Connect6 team for the Gold Medal in Connect6.

Bernard-LoweCLAP_ Connect6ExplorerHPS6Total
Bernard-LoweXXX1124
CLAP_1XXX225
Connect6
Explorer10XXX23
HPS6000XXX0

Congratulations to the Bernard-Lowe team for the Silver Medal in Connect6.

Congratulations to the Explorer team for the Bronze Medal in Connect6.

  • Dice Shogi (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Draughts (3)

Tdking: Ton Tillemans ([email protected])

Tornado: Frank Mesander ([email protected])

Zoe-A: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Tdking team for the Gold Medal in Draughts.

TdkingTornadoZoe-ATotalPlayoff
TdkingXXX2 22 28
Tornado0 0XXX1 121 0
Zoe-A0 01 1XXX21 2

Congratulations to the Zoe-A team for the Silver Medal in Draughts.

  • EinStein Würfelt Nicht (2)

Reinstein: Zih-Yang Hsu ([email protected])

VSWTN: FangYi Chen, YiHao Wu, YunPeng Zhang, Ke Zhou ([email protected])

Congratulations to the VSWTN team for the Gold Medal in EinStein Würfelt Nicht.

  • Go (9×9) (3)

CGI Go Intelligence: T.R. Wu, G.W. Chen, C.C. Shih, M.Y. Tsai, Y.S Hsu, C.J. Chen, J.H. Wu, F. Chiang, I.C. Wu ([email protected])

ReinsteinVSWTNTotal
ReinsteinXXX33
VSWTN7XXX7

EzGo01: Lin Hung Cheng, Yi-Ting Chiang ([email protected])

Sayuri: Hung Zhe Lin ([email protected])

Congratulations to the CGI Go Intelligence team for the Gold Medal in Go (9×9).

CGI Go IntelligenceEzGo01SayuriTotal
CGI Go IntelligenceXXX2-02-04
EzGo010-2XXX0-20
Sayuri0-22-0XXX2

Congratulations to the Sayuri team for the Silver Medal in Go (9×9).

  • Gomoku (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Havannah (8×8) (2)

Doombot-8: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

NDHU-PolyGames: Shi-Jim Yen, NDHU ([email protected])

Doombot-8NDHU-PolyGamesTotal
Doombot-8XXX22
NDHU-PolyGames0XXX0

Congratulations to the Doombot-8 team for the Gold Medal in Havannah (8×8).

  • Havannah (10×10) (2)

Doombot-10: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

NDHU-PolyGames: Shi-Jim Yen, NDHU ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Doombot-10 team for the Gold Medal in Havannah (10×10).

  • Hex (11×11) (2)

import *: BoChen Han, HaoQuan Zhai, KangSheng Wang, YiHao Wu, Miao Su ([email protected])

Doombot-10NDHU-PolyGamesTotal
Doombot-10XXX22
NDHU-PolyGames0XXX0

Ultron-11: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Ultron-11 team for the Gold Medal in Hex (11×11).

  • Hex (13×13) (2)

NDHU-PolyGames: Shi-Jim Yen, NDHU ([email protected])

import *Ultron-11Total
import *XXX00
Ultron-112XXX2

Ultron-13: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Ultron-13 team for the Gold Medal in Hex (13×13).

  • Hex (19×19) (2)

NDHU-PolyGames: Shi-Jim Yen, NDHU ([email protected])

NDHU-PolyGamesUltron-13Total
NDHU-PolyGamesXXX0-20
Ultron-132-0XXX2

Ultron-19: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

NDHU-PolyGamesUltron-19Total
NDHU-PolyGamesXXX00
Ultron-192XXX2

Congratulations to the Ultron-19 team for the Gold Medal in Hex (19×19).

  • Kyoto Shogi (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Lines of Action (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Mahjong (4)

FatesGate: Zheng-Han Yeh ([email protected])

Seofon: Zong-Han Lin, Yu-Chen Lin, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

SimCat: Shih-Chieh Tang, Feng-Shen Liao, I-Chen Wu ([email protected])

VeryLongCat: Shih-Chieh Tang, Li-Kai Tsuang, I-Chen Wu ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Seofon team for the Gold Medal in Mahjong.

Total
FatesGate69500
Seofon43500
SimCat39000
VeryLongCat13000

Congratulations to the SimCat team for the Silver Medal in Mahjong.

Congratulations to the VeryLongCat team for the Bronze Medal in Mahjong.

  • MiniShogi (2)

Megatron: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Nyanpass: Hsuan-Yu Wang ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Nyanpass team for the Gold Medal in MiniShogi.

  • Nonogram (3)

Defense: Jia-Jun Yeh, Kuo-Chan Huang, Wei-Chiao Huang, Yan-Rong Guo, De-Rong Sung, Tzung-Shuan Tsai ([email protected])

MegatronNyanpassTotal
MegatronXXX00
Nyanpass2XXX2

Requim: Yen-Chi Chen, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

The Heirs: Jia-Jun Yeh, Kuo-Chan Huang, Wei-Chiao Huang, Yan-Rong Guo, Tzung-Shuan Tsai ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Requim team for the Gold Medal in Nonogram.

# SolvedTime UsedRank
Defense1,0002205.5163
Requim1,0001515.0561
The Heirs1,0002065.2812

Congratulations to the Heirs team for the Silver Medal in Nonogram.

  • Othello (8×8) (3)

DeepO: He-Chen Yan, Hsin-Hung Chou, Yi-Zong Zhang ([email protected])

Maverick: Yen-Chi Chen, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

Réplicateur #8: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Réplicateur #8 team for the Gold Medal in Othello (8×8).

DeepOMaverickRéplicateur #8Total
DeepOXXX000
Maverick2XXX0.52.5
Réplicateur #821.5XXX3.5

Congratulations to the Maverick team for the Silver Medal in Othello (8×8).

  • Othello (10×10) (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Outer-Open Gomoku (5)

CLAP_OOG: Wei-Chen Liao, Po-Wei Huang, Shao-Xiong Zheng, Yuan-Hao Chen, I-Chen Wu ([email protected])

Marvin: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Nonoku: Jiunn-Haur Chern, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

rm -rf /*: JiaYuan Huang, YiChen Pan, JunHong Liu, Ke Zhou ([email protected])

RuiRabbit: Jui-Yu Wang, Shun-Shii Lin ([email protected])

Congratulations to the rm -rf /* team for the Gold Medal in Outer-Open Gomoku.

CLAP_ OOGMarvinNonokurm -rf /*RuiRabbitTotal
CLAP_ OOGXXX22026
Marvin0XXX2024
Nonoku00XXX011
rm -rf /*222XXX28
RuiRabbit0010XXX1

Congratulations to the CLAP_ OOG team for the Silver Medal in Outer-Open Gomoku.

Congratulations to the Marvin team for the Bronze Medal in Outer-Open Gomoku.

  • Santorini (1)

This competition had only one entry and was not held.
  • Surakarta (2)

Artificial Idiot: HongJun Liu, HongWei Yu, LingZhen Kong, FangYi Chen, YuWei Zhang ([email protected])

Athénan: Quentin Cohen-Solal, Tristan Cazenave ([email protected])

Congratulations to the Athénan team for the Gold Medal in Surakarta.

  • Sylver Coinage (3)

leeavBot: Leeav Nagola ([email protected])

Artificial IdiotAthénanTotal
Artificial IdiotXXX00
Athénan2XXX2

miniMax: Gilad Moskowitz ([email protected])

strongCounterV2: Gilad Moskowitz ([email protected])

Congratulations to the strongCounterV2 team for the Gold Medal in Sylver Coinage.

leeavBotminiMaxStrong-CounterV2Total
leeavBotXXX000
miniMax2XXX02
strongCounterV222XXX4

Congratulations to the miniMax team for the Silver Medal in Sylver Coinage.

References

1 

2021 Computer Olympiad (2021). https://icga.org/?page_id=3216.

2 

Computer Olympiad Rules (2021). https://icga.org/?page_id=3146.

3 

Iida, H., Schaeffer, J. & Wu, I-C. (2021). The Computer Olympiad 2020. ICGA Journal, 43(2), 118–131.

4 

Schaeffer, J. (2021). The Computer Olympiads 1989–2020. ICGA Journal, 43(3), 184–187.

5 

Sylver Coinage (2022). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylver_coinage.