Forum Archive :
Zbot is a new commercial backgammon bot to be released in the first half
of 2004. The first level to be released will be Zbot Chouette, with Zbot
Tournament following, then Zbot Guru. There are six people working on
Zbot, including myself and Walter Trice.
To whet your appetite, although Zbot is still in training, it has an
improved understanding of certain commonly occuring positions over current
bots, as well as of esoteric positions resulting from deep anchor games.
Zbot can emulate a wide variety of coherent playing styles to expose the
player to different types of positions and decisions, as well as to make
a fun chouette. Zbot provides substantially more information on the level
of evaluations about cube efficiency and even the projected game plan, and
yet more useful information in its rollouts.
Zbot's network structure has a gerater capacity than gnu's or Snowie's,
and in theory it should be able to play better and faster. Zbot better
handles some of the theoretical aspects of money play and match play,
including cube efficiency, the effect of the Jacoby rule, and the extent
to which the bg/g/w distribution depends on the match score. However,
since Zbot is still training, the extent of the skill improvements is
unclear. At the moment, Zbot plays some positions better, and some
positions worse than Snowie and gnu.
Zbot has many features designed to be fun and useful to backgammon
players from complete novices to world-class players. For example, as
the name suggests, Zbot Chouette focuses on money play including props
and a consulting chouette. A new player can focus on the execution of a
basic game plan in a prop, or play in permanent crew mode for the
chouette, letting the captain decide most decisions. A competitive
player can try to figure out not just what is technically correct, but
what is likely to provoke errors from an opponent. Zbot gives you more
information about why a play might be right. Zbot admits when it
doesn't understand a position well, and when it had a tough time rolling
a position out.
While there is a web page, the address may change shortly, so I'll post
the new address in early January rather than the current one now.
Douglas Zare writes:
A simple temporary page is up connected http://www.zbotbg.com, but I may
move that page. I'll certainly add more information later.
Douglas Zare writes:
Zbot is behind schedule.
The front end is currently buggy and is being reworked substantially.
I'm rather happy with the insides, though work continues on that, too.
I will post updates here among other places.
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- Money management (Adam Stocks, Jan 2003)
- Money management and the Kelly Criterion (Stuart Thomson+, June 1999)
- Notation (Dean Gay, Feb 2000)
- Notation (Kit Woolsey, July 1995)
- Position cards (Francois Hochede, Jan 2004)
- Posted diagrams are scrunched up (Dale+, Sept 2000)
- Top women players (Tami+, Nov 2006)
- Typesetting backgammon (Jason Lee+, Apr 2006)
- What is Zbot? (Douglas Zare+, Dec 2003)
- What is backgammon? (David C. Oshel, Aug 1997)
- Why do people play for money? (Hank Youngerman+, Sept 2005)
- World Champions (John Bazigos, June 1994)
- rec.games.backgammon mini-FAQ (Daniel Murphy, Mar 1998)