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New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
2015-07-26, 05:11 PM
Post: #1
New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
I just released the version of my Shogi engine 'Shokidoki' that played in the ICGA Computer Olympiad 2015.
It is significantly improved compared to the previous release: some bugs were fixed, and it now focusses
more aggressively on attacking the King, which improves its performance against other engines.

New is also that it implements a multi-PV mode, where it not only displays score and moves for what it
thinks is the best move, but also displays that information for alternative moves not too much below it in score.

Apart from regular Shogi, Shokidoki also plays the Shogi variants Euro-Shogi (8x8), Tori Shogi (7x7),
Judkin Shogi (6x6) and mini-Shogi (5x5).

This new version of Shokidoki is included in the WinBoard Shogi Variants package (for Windows),
where it is bundled with the WinBoard graphical user interface, and the HaChu engine (which can
play Dai, Chu and Sho Shogi). This package can be downloaded from:

http://hgm.nubati.net/ShogiVars.html

Linux binaries of the new Shokidoki version can be downloaded from

http://hgm.nubati.net/h.g.muller/shokidoki.html

It can be run under the XBoard interface there, which, like HaChu, can de obtained as separate
software packages from the various repositories (as is Linux custom).
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2015-07-27, 06:51 PM
Post: #2
RE: New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
My sincerest apologies, but someone discovered a fatal flaw in the way in mini- and Judkins Shogi. I just uploaded a corrected package to the same place. So if you already downloaded the package, you will have to do it again.

Sorry about that! Sad
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2015-08-05, 04:30 PM
Post: #3
RE: New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
People that downloaded the package probably noticed that at the end of every game there is an error popup mentioning that a certain file path does not exist. This is due to the automatic saving of games, as can be controlled through the Options -> Save Game... menu dialog. The pre-configured settings of the package accidentally used a full path name there that only exists on my own computer. Just enter a (path)name for the save file that is valid on your computer (like 'games.pgn'), or untick the automatic saving checkbox, to get rid of this error popup.
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2015-09-01, 12:58 PM (This post was last modified: 2015-09-01 03:12 PM by captbirdseye.)
Post: #4
RE: New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
(2015-07-26 05:11 PM)H.G.Muller Wrote:  I just released the version of my Shogi engine 'Shokidoki' that played in the ICGA Computer Olympiad 2015.

There are a couple of problems here:

1) When playing Chu, all pieces (both Sentes and Gotes) point in the same direction. You have already posted a fix for this but it is (was) on the now
apparently defunct 81 Square Universe. Would you be so good as to post it again here? Thanks.

2) When playing Shogi with Oriental pieces chosen, some choices of board size result in a display which contains an incomplete display of European style
pieces. The missing pieces are 'there' but not visible, as the attached screenshot from a Shogi game using the 'small' board size shows. Valid moves for
the left-hand Gold are shown but the piece itself is not visible...

   

I don't know if this extends to other games/board sizes...

Roger Hare
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2015-09-02, 07:28 PM (This post was last modified: 2015-09-02 08:28 PM by H.G.Muller.)
Post: #5
RE: New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
Apparently I forgot to fix that in the settings file. There is a checkbox 'Flip Black' in the View->Board dialog that you can tick to flip the pieces. (The name is a bit of a misnomer, as it actually flips the pieces that play downward, which can be either color depending on how you oriented the board.) To make sure this option will already be set when you start WinBoard in Chu mode, you should use WinBoard's Engine->Edit Engine List menu item, and add at the end of the line for Oriental Chu Shogi the option

-flipBlack true

As to (2): Unlike the bare-kanji representation used for the large shogi variants (where the kanji can be rendered in any size) regular Shogi and Sho Shogi use built-in bitmaps for the pieces. And only one of the board sizes ('Moderate') has oriental built-in bitmaps, while only 3 of the other sizes ('Petite', 'Middling' and 'Bulky') have (pictogram-style) bitmaps for pieces that do not participate in orthodox Chess. This is partly intentional; every board size requires a separate set of bitmaps, as bitmaps are not scalable, and having bitmaps for so many different piece types in each of the 18 board sizes would bloat WinBoard a lot. (And it is a lot of work to draw them...) Pieces for which no built-in bitmap is available are simply omitted. (In the View->Board dialog the sizes can be chosen by name.)

So WinBoard should be considered only fully sizable for orthodox Chess, or variants that use the same pieces. In other variants the sizability is limited to just the 3 board sizes for which there are built-in pictograms, unless the user provides an external set of bitmaps and requests WinBoard to use those (by specifying the folder they are in as -pieceImageDirectory in the 'Additional options').

That only a sub-set of the sizes can be used gave me the opportunity to use the size also to determine the 'style' of the pieces, so that I could equip an otherwise unusable size with oriental-style Shogi pieces. (And have those used only in regular/Sho Shogi, to not anger Chess users for not being able to use that board size anymore.)

I use a similar kludge in Chu/Dai Shogi, where the board size is used to select the style, 'Tiny' and 'Petite' using mnemonic pieces synthesized on the fly from built-in component bitmaps, and rendering kanji in the squares for all other sizes. (In one size these kanji are rendered on a background of Shogi tiles.)

So the behavior you point out is the expected behavior; without externally supplied bitmaps WinBoard should not be considered sizable, (except for orthodox Chess and the like), and the size is abused as a rickety method for selecting display style. This could be cured by supplying a complete set of 18 x 44 .bmp files, for each of the 2 x 22 piece types in each of the 18 board sizes. Of course here you could also supply just a subset of the piece types (2 x 14 would be needed for Shogi), or a subset of the sizes. For Tori Shogi I supplied a set of bitmaps for only a single size, to provide at least one oriental display.
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2015-09-03, 01:16 AM (This post was last modified: 2015-09-04 03:23 PM by captbirdseye.)
Post: #6
RE: New version computer Shogi program Shokidoki
(2015-09-02 07:28 PM)H.G.Muller Wrote:  Apparently I forgot to fix that in the settings file....and add at the end of the line for Oriental Chu Shogi the option

-flipBlack true

Thank you.Fixed - I hope I remember next time!

Quote:As to (2): Unlike the bare-kanji representation used for the large shogi variants...For Tori Shogi I supplied a set of bitmaps for only a single size, to provide at least one oriental display.

Thank you for that comprehensive explanation. It wasn't a major problem as I'm usually happy to use the default board size. It just popped out at me when I tried changing board sizes for the first time.

Thanks again.

Roger Hare
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