Coding Challenge Wrap-Up: Who Won at Sevens

This was the contest I thought would never get started. Although the game Sevens is easy to play, getting the bot-runner code to run the compiled bots proved to be harder that I thought. I solved it for C, C++ and C# easily enough: These are all languages that produced a compiled .exe, but for running Java programs it took a bit longer.

Dice Coding Challenge Winner BadgeThen, when I solved that and started running the contest, it turned out that several of the 19 bots were buggy and either crashed or just didn’t return the expected results. At that point I instigated quality control, a series of tests for standard positions in the game and only bots that passed all tests were allowed in the contest. After a few days, most bots had reached the minimum standard. Sixteen made it to the contest proper.

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I’d have run more rounds, but each round of four games with four players took almost two minutes. So 100 rounds took over three hours to run. There’s no faster way of running executables. DLLs might have been a bit too complicated, and of course Java doesn’t do them. Anyway, the competition ran 570 rounds over several weeks, each consisting of four games between four bots. After each round, the list of bots was sorted by score so they would be better matched in the next round.


Congratulations to James Wilson, whose bot Silver Coconut in C# won 28.42 percent of all games, though not by a big margin over Rick Matter’s and Olin Gallet’s Java bots. You can see that it doesn’t really matter whether it was C/C++ or C# (c) or Java (j) in the list below.

  1. James Wilson (c) Played 570 and Won 162 Score = 0.2842
  2. Rick Matter (j) Played 570 and Won 161 Score = 0.2825
  3. Olin Gallet (j) Played 570 and Won 160 Score = 0.2807
  4. Lubo Antonov (c) Played 570 and Won 150 Score = 0.2632
  5. Charles J Daniels (c) Played 570 and Won 149 Score = 0.2614
  6. Stephen Burris (c) Played 570 and Won 146 Score = 0.2561
  7. Kallol Mandal (j) Played 570 and Won 145 Score = 0.2544
  8. Teresa Carrigan (j) Played 570 and Won 142 Score = 0.2491
  9. Larry Smith (j) Played 570 and Won 141 Score = 0.2474
  10. Delbert Aud (j) Played 570 and Won 140 Score = 0.2456
  11. Michael Gould (j) Played 570 and Won 140 Score = 0.2456
  12. Jay Nagel (c) Played 570 and Won 135 Score = 0.2368
  13. Lara Karabiner (j) Played 570 and Won 134 Score = 0.2351
  14. Ivan Meyer (c) Played 570 and Won 129 Score = 0.2263
  15. Lonesha Akaaba (j) Played 570 and Won 123 Score = 0.2158
  16. Sandeep Desai (c) Played 570 and Won 106 Score = 0.186

The Contest Continues

But the question remains: Does luck play a bigger part than skill? To this end, I’ve been carrying on running games myself and have written my own bot. If anyone wants to play, contact me at, and the results will appear on The same rules apply as published earlier, but I’ll add them to the site. It’s free, there’s no charges nor will there ever be.

Finally, I’ll soon start publishing the bot source code on SourceForge. However, it’s not fair on anyone who is still playing, so their code will remain unpublished for a few weeks longer.

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