With Martin's collaboration with Jonathan Schaeffer on the 'Chinook'
checkers program, it was inevitable that a combination of the best aspects of both
programs was going to produce something special. Below is the standard advertisement for
the resulting Colossus Draughts program detailing it's latest features.
by Martin Bryant
The best draughts playing program for home computers.
(C) 1995 M.P.Bryant
What's new? - Well... just about everything really!
Book database - now nearly 84,000 moves! This makes Colossus one of the most
knowledgable 'book' players (computer OR human) in the world! This entire database has
been 'verified' by Jonathan Schaeffer's Chinook checkers program. Where errors in pp were
found they have been corrected. Of course Chinook also found numerous 'cooks' during the
verification which have all been added to the book! This database was used by Chinook
during 1994 in its matches with Oldbury, Tinsley and Lafferty and also in the Southern
States and US National. Please note - this database contains ALL the cooks Chinook had
prepared to use against Tinsley in their recent aborted match!
Endgame database - in return for Colossus' book database, Chinook donated its
6-piece endgame databases to Colossus! Some 2.5 billion positions on-line giving it
perfect knowledge of all 3x3 positions!
Searching - deeper search, more intelligent extensions, improved positional
Versions? - There are 3 versions of COLOSSUS '95 available...
Runs on any IBM PC compatible computer with at least 512K memory. No hard disc required.
Contains all the 2 and 3 piece endgame databases. Comes on 1 x 3.5" (720K) or 2 x
5.25"(360K) discs (please specify disc size when ordering).
Requires a 386 or above processor with at least 2 MB memory and 5 MB hard disc space.
Contains all the 2,3,4 and 5 piece endgame databases. Comes on 2 x 3.5" (1.44M)
Requires a 386 or above processor with at least 4 MB memory (8 MB recommended) and 55 MB
hard disc space. Contains all the 2,3,4,5 and 6 (!) piece endgame databases. Comes on 20 x
3.5" (1.44M) discs.
(All versions contain Colossus' massive book database. The "386+" versions also
come with a games library containing all the games from all the 3-move World Championship
matches from Long-Banks '34 right up to King-Edwards '94. A total of 769 of the best games
In the recent Derek Oldbury Memorial 'Man v Machine' Tournament, Colossus walked home with
the title. The results were 1st Colossus 13/14 pts, 2nd Checkers (Gil Dodgen) 11/14, 3rd
Sage (Adrian Millett) 10/14, 4th Tom Landry 9/14. The two pre-tournament favourites were
Checkers and Colossus which were drawn together in the very first round! Checkers played a
published loss on move 10 but Colossus later missed the win, allowing Checkers to scrape a
draw by Petterson's drawbridge. Colossus then went on to win every game (including a real
demolition job on Sage in the 5th round), but Checkers allowed two more draws. Sage
started well with 4 straight wins but then lost in rounds 5 & 6. Thus Colossus ran out
the winner by two clear points. This is even more impressive considering that Colossus was
running on a mere 33MHz 486DX, whereas Checkers was on a 90MHz Pentium(!!) and Sage was on
a 66MHz 486DX2! Of course, in this tournament I used the top '386+/6' version but for
those on a tighter budget or with not enough memory or hard disc, the '386+/5' version
also outplays any computer opposition! Even the humble "XT" version plays at
master strength on the oldest 8088 based PC, so nobody is left out! Postal players should
also remember that Colossus defeated World Postal Champion Richard Fortman in a match in
1993 and that it has helped me to win the British Masters Postal ty for three consecutive
Prices - UK orders (pounds sterling), overseas orders (dollars US)
(Please note the SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT when paying by CASH. However if doing so, please
send cash by REGISTERED mail for your own safety.) COLOSSUS '95 can only be ordered from
Martin Bryant, 71 Hunstanton Drive, Brandlesholme, Bury, Lancashire, BL8 1XH, England.