Championship Dots and Boxes

10 replies. Last post: 34 hours ago

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  • Hjallti at 2021-04-04

    I ended second in the latest championship with pretty mixed feelings. On the one hand I only lost from a computer program so it looks I was the best player. I do NOT understand why proven strong AI is in the championship, which brings me to the other hand.... The players that are ussualy better don’t play in the championship anymore.  Probably because of these programmed players....which makes my second place not such a big deal.

    What can we do to make it better?

  • _syLph_ at 2021-04-04

    today i learned i am robot. beep beep boop

  • Wickedestjr at 2021-04-04

    Do you have any evidence for thinking he’s a ‘proven’ AI? That’s a pretty strong statement and one that I don’t believe to be true.

  • Hjallti at 2021-04-07

    Oh sorry, I was convinced because the underscores which could be an indication of ai, although here is the habit of adding _c or _ai. 

    What I told before was another indication. Where are the other strong players. For sure my level didn’t raise enough to be suddenly runner up. 

    Mostly they leave because they don’t want to play a computer.

    My statement about proven AI was bad miscommunication. My apologies

  • _syLph_ at 2021-04-07

    I think you are raising an important issue for the game. The level of play has without a doubt declined over the years and I think the issue is that we don’t have a stream of new players and I see many reasons for that.

    Dots and boxes is being played worldwide by many people, notably kids in school. The core reason why none of these pick it up as a competetive game is that the chain-rule needs to be known in order for anything to even make sense, kids in school aren’t going to figure this out by themselves. So thats a big issue when it comes to the games accessibility. Stuff like Numberphiles video with berlekamp are by far the best method of helping the game in this regard atm.

    Then because Dots and Boxes isn’t being perceived as a competetive game by the general population it in return isn’t being added to many internet websites. Other than littlegolem and jijbent I know of not a single place online where it can be played on even a half-decent level.

    Finally there is the exclusive look on just littlegolem, a platform where the game has been understood but still isn’t doing well on. I think lg has a bunch of issues, imo its stuck in time and desperately needs some kind of live-chat / discord server. There needs to be some kind of communication among the playerbase of littlegolem in order for dots and boxes to be picked up by players of the site and this dead forum is obviously not doing that. Wccanard used to do a phenomal job of putting out content into this forum and get users of this site to read his posts and develop an interest. Not only that, but any game ever imo is only fun with a community, so if the forum is dead then thats all the more reason to lose interest even if you do pick the game up. More communication and tip giving would definitely also help players improve. Perhaps it would be my role as a stronger player to share more insights into the game, unfortunately my interest in the game has declined as a result of feeling shunned out by the community as a response to my 2015 post where I admitted to cheating during the 2012-2014 timeframe, plus I just moved on to other things over time. Just having moved on to other things is generally the reason why many top players have left the game of course, you can only ever stay interested in a game for so long. The bigger issue for sure imo is that new people need to be brought into the game and taught how to play it.

    I think it actually has very little to do with computer programs though, because afaik no computer program even plays the game at the moment and in fact the appearance of the_shark years ago had actually raised interest within the games community back then.

  • Florian Jamain ★ at 2021-04-07

    I made a video on Dots and boxes just to explain the chain rules cause I totally agree with the fact that if you don’t know this rule the game does not make any sense.

    When I did not know it I thought that this game is pure bullshit :D 

  • Hjallti at 2021-04-10

    I used to be posting a lot on the forum until I started to play from my phone. I really don’t feel the community anymore like in the old days.

  • Maurizio De Leo ★ at 2021-04-11

    One possibility would be to get it implemented on BoardgameArena. It would surely have a sizable player base, as it is very well known, at it might spark interest in people who want to improve.

  • SadGrayDay at 2021-04-11

    Hi everyone, thought I’d chime in as someone with a bit of D&B history. Many-many years ago I used to play here at a decent level, under nickname Polydarya. Then I quit playing for something like five years, lost my password — and now I’m trying to return. On the personal side: originally I came to Dots&Boxes together with my ex-partner, who became a top player here in those good old days. So the game wasn’t just an online thing to me: we could discuss finished games at home, or play a quick pen-and-pencil one... Now I come to realize I benefited from that a lot: my ex-partner remains the only strong player I know irl, and I’m finding it difficult to get back to my old level of play. So if there are plans of something like a discord group or whatever, I’d love to be in!
    Also hi syLpf, I’m so sorry to hear you felt shunned after 2015! It’s so unfair. All the cool stuff you’ve done for Dots&Boxes dramatically outweighs that childish cheating episode. The short guide you wrote remains a great concise introduction to meaningful playing.

  • Christian K at 34 hours ago

    I enjoyed playing here a lot. I did find it discouraging that sylph (previously cute girl) as a bot was dominating the championship. Also, trmph stopped working for analysis, which made it a lot more work to analyse my positions using pen and paper.

    I assumed it was a bot since I got this message

    "Greetings friend! This is an automated message to inform you that you have just attempted conversation with a robot."

    Reading this thread it seems it is not a bot but just the return of a really strong player (Dryad/7ics). This game has had a few super strong players over the years that I feel really are playing a different game than me.

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