Alternative shorter word list? Word games

11 replies. Last post: 2003-09-18

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Alternative shorter word list?
  • Nick Wedd at 2003-07-10

    Some opponents have complained about me, and gwg_robot which I operate, using obscure words.

    Would it be possible to have a version of GWG which uses a much shorter word list, with US spellings only (these complaints usually come from Americans)?

    Then people could choose to play GWG with the current ENABLE list, or with the short list.

  • ypercube ★ at 2003-07-10

    my humble opinion: I disagree totally. Then someone might ask for an Australian list, another for a Singapure-English list or an India-English list, etc. I strongly think that such suggestions come from the dissapointment one gets when losing from a computer. I myself lost from your robot, Nick, and I certainly liked losing...


  • dj at 2003-07-11

    Does your robot understand the defensive aspect of this game?

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-07-12

    > Does your robot understand the defensive aspect of this game?

    My robot has no understanding at all of the defensive aspect. I feed it the current position, and it chooses the highest-scoring word. This means that sometimes, when the bag is empty, it releases corners, allowing its opponent a very high-scoring word.

    There are two ways I could add defensive play. I could use one-move lookahead, but this would make it very slow to run. Or I could add some heuristics, e.g. “don't release corners when the bag is empty”, “use up stars”, “if the nth letter in the bag is a star, make an n-1 letter word”. However, I have no plans to do either.

  • Judy at 2003-07-12

    Hi Nick,
    >Some opponents have complained about me, and gwg_robot which I operate, using obscure words<
    Tell them NOT to play the robot then. LOL, I guess I will start complaining about my human opponents using obscure words...

  • dj at 2003-07-12

    Dont be in any hurry to add any defense Nick, for your no defense may be our only offence.

  • Judy at 2003-09-04

    Amen, dj, Amen!!!

  • Indy at 2003-09-08

    Indiana’s Theorem #1

    GWG_Robot + Strategical play = Nick Wedd

  • labradors at 2003-09-08


    Resist the impulse to make your list bereft of “obscure” words – that’s part of the game. So what if Americans (or any others, for that matter) complain. I am an American, and would rather see as full a list as possible for several reasons:

    1) Having more of a challenge will allow players to grow stronger by learning. Look at what has happened to the American, government (i.e. “public”) school system because they insist on helping people get better scores by dumbing down their curricula rather than by educating their students. [Read Dorothy L. Sayers essay, “The Lost Tools of Learning” for further information, even though it was aimed at British Schools].

    2) If a shorted, less obscure word list were to be used for ALL GWG games, it would not only assist weaker players without teaching them anything, but also handicap stronger players by not allowing them to make use of their full vocabularies. This, of course, presumes that the human players are, indeed, using their own vocabularies and not poring over dictionaries trying to find words with which they are not even familiar in the first place). For people who read Shakespeare, or the KJV, for example, many words are common which others may count as obscure.

    Thus, if a shorter word list IS put to use, allow players to have a choice, at the beginning of the game (a la the handicap system of Go), and account for its use appropriately in determining player ratings, but do not impose it upon all players for all games by fiat.

  • Nick Wedd at 2003-09-10

    Indiana Jones conjectured
    >GWG_Robot + Strategical play = Nick Wedd

    When I play under my own name, it is very tempting to use my robot, but I don’t. What I do use is a word-list-handling tool, that knows the ENABLE list, and allows me to do a wildcarded lookup, e.g. I can ask it to list all words ending -aud. This of course is very helpful in playing GWG, and some will regard it as cheating. But it is not the same as using the robot.

    After I had been playing GWG here for a while, I realised that I could add some code to the word-list handling tool, to allow it to do a complete search of a GWG grid. I wrote this, and started playing it as gwg_robot.

    It would be possible to use the robot, with my own strategical skill, to play here. But it would be slow and tedious. I tried it, for one move in an unrated game, and it was really not fun, it is something I am not willing to spend my time doing. However, continuing to play here while not using the robot, while the robot is only a mouse-click away, feels kind of stupid. So, since writing the robot, I have not entered any new GWG games here in my own name, and have played only to complete events in which I was already entered. One of these was the January monthly championship, which I only won because my opponent Tore Sandmark lost his notes and misplayed at the beginning. Tore is definitely a better player than me, and is currently beating me in the final of the February monthly championship (though Scot has already won it).

  • Judy at 2003-09-18

    Hey, Nick, you could play under your own name, just limit yourself to a maxium of 7 letter words. (Just a thought to give any of your opponents half a chance) LOL

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