August 12th-18th 2013
By David Levy
The ICGA 2013 events in Yokohama were a great success, despite our having to change venues at short notice. Only 11 days before our events were due to start we were informed that the Pacifico conference and exhibition centre in Yokohama was no longer available and that we would have to find an alternative venue.
Thanks to the prompt action of my friend Professor Adrian Cheok, who has just recently moved to City University in London from Keio University in Yokohama, the ICGA was able to secure the necessary space at Keio University. We had two bright and well air-conditioned rooms, one of which was used for the conference and workshop, and the other for the chess events and the Computer Olympiad.
Then a huge effort was needed from ICGA Secretary-Treasurer Professor Hiroyuki Iida, who is based at JAIS in Kanazawa, on the far side of Japan, and who had to commute for a few days between Kanazawa and Yokohama so that everything would be ready in time. Hiroyuki also had to solve many logistical and equipment problems in order to ensure that we would have the necessary Internet connections and power sources for the various tournaments. Hiroyuki and his team had everything working and ready for the first round, only a couple of hours or so after the ICGA was given access to the playing room.
The results of the various tournaments can be seen on these pages. Many congratulations (again) to both Junior, programmed by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky, which successfully defended its World Computer Chess Championship title, and to Hiarcs, programmed by Mark Uniacke, which did likewise in the World Chess Software Championship (a uniform platform event). Here are a couple of links to articles that have already appeared about the chess events.
There were exactly 100 entries across the 20 tournaments in the Computer Olympiad. And the annual academic conference on computer games attracted around 70 participants, with the sessions spread over three days.
The ICGA would especially like to thank Keio University for providing its facilities at such short notice. We would also like to thank DGT Products for the loan of their electronic chess boards that enabled us to webcast the chess games in real time.