Open Championship Computer-Roshambo 2003

Open Championship Computer-Roshambo 2003

Post by Jeroen Donker » Sat, 22 Mar 2003 17:57:41


Open Championship Computer-Roshambo 2003

As part of the 8th Computer Olympiad, taking place in Graz, Austria,
on November 23 - 27, 2003, an open competition in Computer-RoShamBo
will be organized. The competition will run on a computer located
at IKAT in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Participation is free of charge.

We especially encourage students to participate in the competition.

What is RoShamBo?

RoShamBo is a game played all over the world. In Japan, where it
is very popular, it is called Jan Ken and in the USA and England they
call it Rock-Paper-Scissors. The game is quite simple. Two players
sit facing each other and on a sign they first stamp three times with
the right*in the open left hand and then they simultaneously make
a gesture with their right hand.

There are three different gestures:
 "Rock" - closed fist;
 "Paper" - stretched hand;
 "Scissors" - two fingers spread.

Now it is time to determine who wins. The following rule applies: The
scissors are stronger than paper because they can cut paper. The rock
beats the scissors because it blunts the scissors. Paper beats the rock
because paper can cover the rock. If both players make the same gesture,
nobody wins

Of course, the game is performed a number of times, because the thrill
of the game is to predict what the opponent will do the next time.

In Japan the game is often played at the dinner table or, as a gimmick,
to determine who has to do a certain job. The Japanese then
say "Jan Ken Pon!" to start the game.


The purpose of the competition is to write a Java program that can play
RoShamBo. Your program will play against all other participating
programs and the program winning the most games is the champion.

We have chosen the programming language Java because many students learn
Java in school and it is independent from the operating system (Windows,
Linux, Apple, etc.). Furthermore, it is possible to put your contribution
as a Java-applet on a website for everybody who wants to play against it.

When you write a RoShamBo program you must keep the following in mind.
From a mathematical point of view, the best approach is to play
randomly (with equal probability on the three gestures). In the long
term, nobody can beat you then. However, this does not help you in a
competition like this, because we do not play long enough. Therefore, you
should try to predict the moves of your opponent and react on that, or
you should try to be smarter than your opponent.

How do you participate?

Surf to and read
the instructions. On this site you will also find links to background
information on computer-RoShamBo.

Inform us as soon as possible, before September 1, 2003, by an email

(subject: participation roshambo).

Your submission should be received before November 1, 2003, the competition
will be held on November 21 and the champions are honoured on
November 23 at the Computer Olympiad in Graz.

Who is organizing this?

This Open Competition Computer Roshambo 2003 is organized by the
Institute for Knowledge and Agent Techology IKAT of the Universiteit
Maastricht and the International Computer Games Association ICGA.


1. World Computer Programming Championship


The World Championship for Computer Programming
will take place from August 18th-22nd at the Royal
Festival Hall in London as part of the 1st Mind Sports

This unique competition is being sponsored by
ICL/Fujitsu are who are providing all of the hardware for
the tournament.

Every day throughout this contest the competitors will be
given a programming task, for which a maximum of 4
hours is allowed to complete a working program. Each of
the competitors will be provided with identically powerful
hardware. The ICL/Fujitsu computers will all have the
same software installed (C, C++, Pascal and Prolog
compilers) so that the participants may program in
whichever of these languages they choose.

The contest is designed to measure three different aspects
of programming: Programming speed (i.e. how quickly
the programmers write the program); program "efficiency"
(i.e. how long the program takes to execute); and program
"elegance" (i.e. the smaller the size of the program the

Every day throughout the World Championship there will
be a prize in each of these three categories. The World
Championship title and Gold medal will be awarded to
the programmer who achieves the highest total score,
across all three categories, for the five programming tasks.
There will also be medals for the best junior programmers
(under 16) and for the best programmer in each of the
three aspects of programming.

The prospect of being able to add "World Champion
Computer Programmer" to one's CV is a great incentive
to participate!

The World Computer Programming Championship is just
one of more than 30 different games and mental skills
being contested at the Mind Sports Olympiad. Other
activities include chess, bridge, backgammon, Scrabble,
draughts, Othello, an I.Q. World Championship
organized by Mensa and a Pentamind contest for those who are
adept at 5 or more different games and mental skills.
The total prize fund for the Mind
Sports Olympiad is just over 100,000 pounds and includes
4 return Concorde tickets from London to New York. In
addition there are gold, silver and bronze medals for the
leading participants in each tournament and for the
leading juniors (under 16).

In addition to the tournaments being played at the Royal
Festival Hall there is also a Virtual Mind Sports Olympiad
in which a selection of games can be contested over the

The Mind Sports Olympiad is the brainchild of computer
chess guru David Levy and is being sponsored by the
Swedish based insurance and financial services company

For futher details visit
or contact David Levy on 0171 485 9146 or e-mail to

(Posted by Eric Schiller, but please reply to Mr. Levy)

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