Colossus '95 Draughts 

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
February 1995

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 knowledge.

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) discs.
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 ever played!)

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 years.

Prices - UK orders (pounds sterling), overseas orders (dollars US)

Version Cash Cheque/Money-Order
"XT" 30 ($60) 40 ($80)
"386+/5" 60 ($120) 80 ($160)
"386+/6" 180 ($360) 240 ($480)

(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.



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