Personal project, 1994.

Pangan-panganan is a Javanese term for suicide chess, also known as losing chess or giveaway chess, a chess variant where capturing is compulsory, and where the goal is, strangely enough, to be left without pieces. Pangan-panganan, which literally means mutual consuming (In Javanese you’re not “capturing” a chess piece; you’re “eating” it), is the game that some friends kept challenging me into playing in high school and early college days. Somehow I couldn’t win over them in this game. “But perhaps a computer program could,” I thought one day.

So in 1994 I designed and developed a pangan-panganan computer program for DOS/Windows platform, using good, old Borland Pascal compiler. To simplify things a variant was chosen where stalemate is a draw, and where pawns can only be promoted to queens. Computer plays according to simple brute-force algorithm refined with alpha-beta pruning for efficiency. Unfortunately, my friends were reportedly able to exploit the weakness in my evaluation technique and outplayed the poor computer. But only after a series of entertaining games.

Recently I found that the old Borland’s CRT unit used by the program wasn’t working under my current, faster platform, so I had to recompile the code after substituting the unit with CRT.TPU replacement supplied by Pedt Scragg. I also updated the contact information.


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