Owari Computer Player Competition - 1st Place

The Competition

The competition was open to all 1st Year Computing and JMC students, and my Owari computer player won every game in the best-of-three three-round knockout.

The AI used

My Owari Player uses min-maxing with alpha-beta pruning and a fully defined score function to produce the best win, in the shortest time. Given the Owari search space, this allows the AI to pick the optimal solution within a reasonable response time («3 seconds) for around 20 moves ahead on current desktop workstations.

What is Owari?

There are several versions of Owari and in fact several names, originating from West Africa. I first played Owari when visiting Ghana on the west coast of Africa, and was surprised to see an Imperial Lab and competition by the same name.

Owari Being Played in Ghana

How to Play (Uni Rules)

Described below are the 'Imperial Rules'. They are a cross between various other rules that I've found on the internet, and quite different from those I played in Ghana.

The board consists of 12 'bowls' (and a scoring bowl per player), 6 on each side of the board (top and bottom). The bottom side belongs to you, and the top to your opposition, the computer.

Two players, take in turns selecting a non-empty bowl by clicking a bowl on your side. All the stones in that bowl are removed, and placed one at a time in each bowl anti-clockwise, until no stones are left. If any bowls exist where there is more than 1 stone in that bowl where before there were exactly one, all the stones are scored to the current player. If there are no stones in any bowls on the current players side, their go is skipped.

To win, you must collect over half the stones. The scoring bowl of the player in the lead is animated, and becomes green upon winning!

Why does the applet look so ugly?

The applet below sub-classes my original Owari program to extend it graphically. It doesn't look very pretty or easy to use because I've not had time - sorry! To reset, please reload the page (!).


by Steven Lovegrove Jump to top