Opening Bids Word games

14 replies. Last post: 2004-02-22

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Opening Bids
  • Andrew at 2003-05-04

    Interesting game, this GWG. You don’t find many perfect-knowledge strategy games (that I know of) in which you bid points for the privilege of opening the game.

    It seems that your bid would reflect the number of points you think the opening move is worth, but I see opponents that bid much higher than what the first move seems to be worth. What strategies for bidding do you use?

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-05-05

    > Interesting game, this GWG. You don’t find many perfect-
    > knowledge strategy games (that I know of) in which you
    > bid points for the privilege of opening the game.

    A game of perfect information, with scoring in points, seems ideal for such a bidding system. This system has been used in Go, where it is known as “auction komi”.

    > It seems that your bid would reflect the number of points
    > you think the opening move is worth, but I see opponents
    > that bid much higher than what the first move seems to be
    > worth. What strategies for bidding do you use?

    If you are willing to use lookahead, and see what words you are leaving for your opponent after your opening move, it is difficult, you just have to do the work.

    But let’s consider the simple case, where you use no lookahead, where you have found the best opening move worth P, and where you believe that a typical move in the early part of the game is worth N. Then I believe that you should bid up to P-N/2.

  • Andrew at 2003-05-05

    That’s pretty close to what I’ve been thinking... despite some of my earlier (and one particular embarassing) bids. Thanks.

    :)

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-05-05

    I did wonder what you were doing in game 47792, against gwg_robot (which I wrote and operate). If your bid was made in the hope of getting the robot to bid higher, this won’t work. gwg_robot only ever bids once, and passes if its opponent outbids it.

  • Andrew at 2003-05-05

    Actually, my reasoning was a little more complex (and confused) than that, but it was still a silly thing to do.

    I basically figured that if the opening was worth that much to the computer, I might as well deprive it and try to make the points back.

    Of course, being my first ever game of that type, I didn’t realize precisely how hard that might be. It didn’t help that I won another game quite handily afterwords... and then realized that the computer’s opening bid is something of a handicap to make up for its skill... oops.

    I’ll get skunked, but the game may prove instructive, so I’ll play it out anyway.

    By the way... for those of you who think computers have no sense of humor, check out gwg_golem’s first word choice for that game: DEMIT.

    ROFL

    ;)

  • michael at 2003-05-08

    Nick, as u oppose that opening bidding strategy, i’d like to believe u use that for gwg_robot too...now i have looked at that game 47792 where the opening bid is 120.5 for the program...what word did it see? i cannot find any word with higher value.

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-05-08

    In game 47792, it found WETSUIT, running from corner to corner, with a score of 162. Therefore, using its algorithm (multiply by 0.8 and round down to a number of the form 10n+0.5) it bid 120.5.

  • michael at 2003-05-08

    “And this is the new direct link to the ENABLE list. It's no longer a download, it's a long text page, which you can save off-line if you want.” post made by Dvd Avins 5 posts ago, i went to check this list and amazingly wetsuit is not in that list...how does that work then?

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-05-08

    I can’t help you there. WETSUIT is in my copy of the enable list, and it was accepted by the server, that is all I can say.

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-05-08

    Sorry – I should have switched my brain on before posting. WETSUIT is in my copy of the enable list, but as I was outbid, I have no reason to say that it was accepted by the server.

    If there are rival copies of the ENABLE list around, it is going to make things awkward for my program :-)

  • michael at 2003-05-08

    where can i find the enable list you are using? And yes indeed tough if there are several versions of enable...and there is no way i can think of to actually check if the word wetsuit is accepted here.

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-05-11

    I thought I got it from http://www.bryson.demon.co.uk/wordlist.html#enable
    but I can’t be sure of this. When I got to that URL now, I get a download which generates a .tsd file, and I have no idea how to turn this into a readable word list. So either things have changed at that URL, or I actually got mine from somewhere else. Anyway, my program, using the list that I have, has not yet come up with a word that has been rejected by LittleGolem.

  • eliot61 at 2004-02-22

    No, it’s now at: http://bryson.ltd.uk/wordlist.html

  • Nick Wedd at 2004-02-22

    > No, it’s now at: http://bryson.ltd.uk/wordlist.html

    I tried that, and I got another .tsd file. I still don’t know what I have to do to find what words it has in it.

    But the page you gave links to
    http://personal.riverusers.com/~thegrendel/,
    which links to a .ZIP file (search the page for “ENABLE”). This unzips to give a text file WORD.LST with 173529 words in it. One of these words is “wetsuit”.

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