Welcome to the ICGA website: A welcome from the President.

This site, representing the ICGA community, aims to be a site of prime interest to computer-game enthusiasts across a wide spectrum of games. We hope you appreciate it and invite you to contribute to this site through the feedback channels, and consider joining the ICGA if you are not a member.

Preliminary Schedule

Here is the preliminary schedule of the ICGA events: Schedule 24-03-15
The number of rounds in the WCCC depends on the number of participants.
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2015 ICGA Tournament Rules and Event Information

You will find the tournament rules and additional event information here.

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2015 ICGA Events Hotel Information

You can find information on hotels in Leiden here. Rules and more information coming soon.

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ICGA Events July 2015

The ICGA is delighted to announce that the 2015 ICGA events will be organized in Leiden, the Netherlands, at the Department of Computer Science LIACS, Leiden University.

The events will start at Monday 29 June 2015 and end at 5 July 2015 (with a possible extension of a day, if there are many contestants).

The Events will consist of

  • The ACG2015 Advances in Computer Games Conference
  • The World Computer Chess Championship
  • The World Computer Software Championship
  • The Speed Computer Chess Championship
  • The Computer Olympiad

Registration is 50 euro for the first program, 25 euro for the second, third, etc. (irrespective of professional/amateur status).

Click here for the Registration Form


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Complaints against the Chess programs LOOP and THINKER

David Levy : ICGA President

The ICGA has received formal complaints against the Chess programs LOOP and THINKER, both of which have participated in the World Computer Chess Championship. LOOP was entered by Fritz Reul into the 2007 WCCC in Amsterdam. THINKER was entered into the 2010 WCCC in Kanazawa.

The nature of the complaints is the same in both cases, namely that the programs violated ICGA Tournament Rule 2, which states:

 “Each program must be the original work of the entering developers. Programming teams whose code is derived from or including game-playing code written by others must name all other authors, or the source of such code, in their submission details. Programs which are discovered to be close derivatives of others (e.g., by playing nearly all moves the same), may be declared invalid by the Tournament Director after seeking expert advice. For this purpose a listing of all game-related code running on the system must be available on demand to the Tournament Director.”

As is now well known, the ICGA takes breaches of Rule 2 extremely seriously. In each of these two cases, in the first instances, the ICGA attempted to make contact with the programmers concerned in order to ask for their comments on the allegations against them. In neither case were we successful – emails to their last known email addresses were unanswered, similarly emails sent via known friends and/or colleagues.

The ICGA then asked an independent expert, Mark Watkins, to investigate both programs.  Mark is a member of the Computational Algebra Research Group at the University of Sydney. He had previously carried out comprehensive examinations for the ICGA of the program Rybka and other programs. Mark’s findings are reported on the ICGA investigation wiki at:  http://icga.wikispaces.com/Thinker+Controversy and at http://icga.wikispaces.com/Loop+Controversy

Here we present extracts from the first section of each of Mark Watkins reports.

Loop  “The version examined here is Loop 2007 (64-bit), which was released at approximately the same time as the WCCC. There is notable similarity to Fruit in the evaluation function (other components were not examined).”

Thinker “The versions examined here are Thinker 5.4d Inert (March 2009), and Thinker 5.5.4, entered into Leo Dijksman’s WBEC tournament in January 2011. The first appears to derive from Strelka 2 (thus Rybka 1, and relating to Fruit 2.1). The second appears to derive from IvanHoe (thus partially Rybka 3).”

Based on the above mentioned reports by Mark Watkins the ICGA is convinced that, at the very least, both Fritz Reul and Kerwin Medina have a case to answer. Depending on how Reul and/or Medina respond to these allegations the ICGA might decide to conduct further investigations and/or take some form of strong sanctioning action against the programmers.  However, the ICGA does not intend to proceed further along the route to strong sanctions for the time being, in order to give these programmers more time in which to make contact with the ICGA President and present their defence to the allegations. If either or both of these programmers fail to do so by December 31st 2014, or refuses to do so, the ICGA will disqualify them from all their results in ICGA events.  In the meantime the ICGA has decided to suspend both Fritz Reul and Kerwin Medina from participation in all ICGA events until such time as they have made contact and offered a defence.

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ICGA Events in Yokohama – Success after panic

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.

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Play Einstein online

Ein Stein Würfelt Nicht

Play with the bot on the online server
Registration is simple and free of charge.
Give the bot a name ending with _c to make clear that it is a computer player.

Currently, there is at least one very active EinStein bot on LittleGolem:
naive_child_c (written and operated by human user YHW ).

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Allegations against two more Chess Engines – The LOOP Program

By David Levy

The International Computer Games Association (ICGA) has received a formal complaint from Fabien Letouzey, the programmer of FRUIT, regarding the program LOOP. In addition the ICGA has received sufficient prima facie evidence to warrant an investigation. The allegation is that LOOP, which has participated in the World Computer Chess Championship, uses code derived from FRUIT. FRUIT placed second at the 2005 World Computer Chess Championship in Reykjavik.

LOOP was developed by Dr Fritz Reul. The ICGA has attempted to contact Dr Reul in order to give him the opportunity of commenting on the allegation prior to the ICGA conducting a technical investigation into LOOP, but it appears to us that Dr Reul does not wish to be found. The email address that had previously been used by Dr Reul is no longer active, so on behalf of the ICGA I have sent him two emails via a friend of his who indicated that he would pass email on to Dr Reul, who did not respond to either of my emails.

The ICGA is now commencing an “in absentia” investigation into LOOP in order to examine the allegation about the use of code derived from FRUIT. If Dr Reul wishes to defend himself against these allegations the ICGA would be pleased to hear from him. He will then be invited to comment on any evidence that the ICGA might consider during the investigation process.

Allegations have also been made concerning the program THINKER, which will also be the subject of an ICGA investigation.

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Rebuttal of Riis

This week Dr Soren Riis posted a four part article on Chessbase.com in a somewhat belated attempt to defend Vasik Rajlich. Regular readers will recall that Rajlich’s actions led the International Computer GamesAssociation (ICGA) to find him guilty of breaking a crucial tournament rule, as a result of which the chess program Rybka was stripped of its WorldComputer Chess Champion titles and Rajlich was banned for life from ICGA events.

Dr Riis gave his article a title to suggest that a miscarriage of justice has taken place. The ICGA now responds with two rebuttal articles, one by myself (as President of the ICGA) concerning some of the legalistic points raised by Riis’s article, and a robust detailed and thorough technical rebuttal by Mark Watkins.

Everyone interested in the Rybka scandal should read both of these rebuttals and then decide for themselves who and what they believe – Dr Riisor the ICGA’s investigation report.

Dr David Levy President – ICGA

The four parts of the Riis article: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7791, http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7807, http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7811, http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7813

David Levy’s  Rebuttal: https://icga.leidenuniv.nl/wp-uploads/2013/03/DL_Rebuttal_to_Riis_article.January7th2012.pdf

Mark Watkins Technical Rebuttal: https://icga.leidenuniv.nl/wp-uploads/2013/03/Riis3_Mark.Watkins.for_.ICGA_.pdf

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