"The Boxing Match" - The January 1994 Programmer Of The Month (POTM) contest.
		(deadline is midnight of New Year's Day, Sat. 1/1/94)

--------------------------------   THIS IS A SAMPLE ARENA.  32x16 SPOTS.
--------------------------------     (WITH A FEW (o) YOU CAN'T USE)
--------------------------------   YOUR WEAPONS ARE SQUARE BOXES: 1x1, 2x2,
--------------------------------     3x3, 4x4, .... through 16x16
--------------------------------   YOUR OPPONENTS HAVE THE SAME WEAPONS.
---------------o-o--------------   ON YOUR TURN, YOU CAPTURE ONE BOX WORTH
------------------o------------o   OF UNUSED ARENA - THEN YOUR OPPONENTS DO
--oo---------------o------------   THE SAME ON THEIR TURN ...
--oo----------------------------   IF YOU CAPTURE THE LAST SPOT - YOU WIN.
--------------------------------   YOU PLAY, HEAD-TO-HEAD, AGAINST OTHER
------------------------------oo   ENTRANTS - CAN YOU BEAT THEM????

      <---- 32 wide ---->	      ( 16 tall )


The game details:

1. THE ARENA:  	is 32x16 and remains 32x16 always;

		has vacant (available) spots marked with "-"s (hyphens,
			dashes, minus signs - ya know, THAT thing);

		has unavailable spots marked with something else:

		a) "o" (lower case letter o) to denote unavailable 
			spots on the original arena board - the
			number and location of these unavailable 
			spots is up to me and may change for each game;
		b) YOUR "mark" indicating that you occupied 
			this spot on an earlier move.
		c) some other character to indicate a move made
			by another player during a previous turn,
			probably a letter or a number - but maybe not.

2. THE PLAY:	consists of occupying a square box on the arena board 
			by marking it with your "mark", at least ONE
			spot must be marked on your turn - unless the
			arena is already full;

		you may occupy any size square box on your turn, 
			from 1x1 up to 16x16;

		your move may cover ONLY previously unoccupied spots
			(those currently containing a "-").

3. WINNING:	if you fill in the last vacant spot on the arena board,
		you win the game.

====================================== SCORING ....

1. If you fill the last vacant spot on the arena board, you will be awarded
	with a WIN.  Your SCORE will be the number of your MARKS on the
	final board (which may be more or less than your opponents!).

2. For each game, all players who do not WIN will be awarded a ZERO SCORE!
	Note that there will be two players per game in Stage 1, but
	there may be more players in a Stage 2 game.

3. The judging will take place in two stages:

	Stage 1:  I will define three different starting arenas (X,Y,Z).
		  Your entry will play six games against every other
		  entry I receive - one on one, head to head.  There
		  will be two games in each arena, one where you go first
		  and one where you go second.

		  This "match" of six games will result in you having
		  some number of WINS (0-6) and some SCORE (0-2979??)

	Stage 1 - making the cut!

		  After everyone has had a "match" with everyone else,
		  stage one is complete.  I will count up everyone's WINS.
		  (If I get N entries, you will play 6*(N-1) games against
			the other (N-1) participants ...)

		  That entry with the most WINs will win the POTM!

		  IF two (or more) entries have the same number of WINs,
		  the entry with the highest total SCOREs will win the POTM.

		  IF two (or more) entries have the same number of WINs
			AND the same total SCORE ... then (and only then) 
			will I need Stage 2 - with luck I can avoid it!!!


		  I will define a single arena (X) for stage 2.  If there
		  are N entries left at this stage, I will run a game that
		  allows all N to play in sequence.  In fact, I will run
		  N! (N factorial) such games so that every possible order
		  of play is accounted for.

		  Again - most WINs will win, after that the highest total
			SCORE will be used as a tiebreaker only.

		  If there are STILL ties - I'll slash my wrists and
		  award duplicate cash "prizes" to those still involved!

====================================== SAMPLE PARTIAL GAME .... 

oAAAAA-----BBBBBBBBBBB--BBBBBBBB   We start off with 20 unusable spots ("o")
-AAAAA-----BBBBBBBBBBB--BBBBBBBB   1. player "A" marks a 9x9 box (lower left)
-AAAAA-----BBBBBBBBBBB-oBBBBBBBB   2. player "B" takes an 8x8 at the top right
-AAAAA-----BBBBBBBBBBB--BBBBBBBB   3. player "A" answers with 5x5 at top left
-AAAAAooo--BBBBBBBBBBB--BBBBBBBB   4. player "B" finds an 11x11
--AAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBB--BBBBBBBB   5. player "A" sticks a 6x6 near the bottom
--AAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBo-BBBBBBBB                   right
--AAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBB----AAAAAA      Who will win the battle?  ya know, I
ooAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBB----AAAAAA      don't know!  The player that covers
-oAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBB----AAAAAA      the last vacant spot will claim victory!

====================================== YOUR PROGRAM ....


1. Your executable (call it a.out) will be executed as follows:

	cat old.arena | a.out A > new.arena         where:

	a.out takes ONE single character argument ... which is
		the MARK it is to make (A in the example).
	a.out gets the current arena from standard input
	a.out writes the updated arena on standard output

    Note that you should be able to test your program by running it
    against itself repeatedly ... as follows:

    cat start.arena | a.out A | a.out B | a.out A | a.out B > 4move.arena
                            ^         ^         ^         ^
                            don't forget: ARG 1 is the MARK to use!


2. Each time a.out runs, it should mark a new box (of any size) onto the
    arena described in the standard input - following the game rules and
    using the MARK in arg1 to mark the new square - and then place the
    resulting arena on standard output.  Only one move per execution, and
    each move MUST legally place a square box of some size greater than zero.
    The only exception is described in rule three.

3. If there are NO vacant spots on the arena presented in the standard
    input, then copy the input to standard output without modification.
    When this occurs, the game is obviously over!

4. Both the input file and output file (stdin and stdout) should have
    exactly 528 characters in it:  32x16=512 plus 16 "\n" new-lines.
    (In other words, a simple editable file - no tricks!)  The ONLY 
    difference between the input and output is a square box marked with 
    the character given by argument one - in spots that were previously
    marked with "-"s.

5. Your entry may use a temporary file over the course of the game
	to keep track of information between your MOVES in a game.
	This file MUST be located in /tmp and be named arena.{ARG1}  
	(where ARG1 is the MARK your program uses to mark its moves).
	I will remove the file after every game. The following is
	illegal (as is anything that defeats the intent of these rules):

	a) you cannot use any other files (besides /tmp/arena.{ARG1})
		 to save ANY information
	b) you cannot read or tamper with an opponents file
	c) you cannot save information between games

	The intent is to allow you to deduce some strategy from the
	history of moves your opponent(s) have made thus far in
	the CURRENT game.

		Abuse of this rule will cause disqualification 
			(please don't make me look!)

6. If your program takes more than one second per move - I will probably
	throw it away - maybe - if I feel like it ... don't push the
	limit ... particularly on the early moves!  The rule will be flexible,
	since the target machine is uncertain ... if it runs in a second per
	move on YOUR machine, I'll probably accept it.

=============================  HOW TO ENTER ===========================

1.  For those of you who previously participated - there may be a mid-POTM
    change - the POTM will may no longer be run on an Amdahl - it may be
    run on a SparcStation 2 running Solaris 2.2 - or maybe on a Sequent ... 
    but continue to send your mail to homxb!fah or uuto to homxb!fah.  If
    I do need to make this change - I'll keep everyone informed and do the
    best I can to work through the porting issues!

2.  You send me source code .... if I can get it to compile
    then you are in ... I will go to all reasonable lengths to get it
    to compile (debug runs, test programs, whatever).

3.  Send your entry to 

		homxb!fah  or  attmail!hicinbothem

    via email - [OR] (if you are able), I'd prefer:

		uuto entry.source homxb!fah

4.  One entry per email address ... your most recent entry is the one that
    will count.  Enter early to get the portability issues worked out - then
    resend as often as you wish.

5.  There will be a weekly list of entrants circulated to anyone who enters.
    This status-board will contain email addresses and names of the folks
    who have entered thus far.  Talking is allowed, but alliances are NOT
    allowed - you gotta use the same strategy against all opponents.  But of
    course, you wouldn't even have CONSIDERED it .....


=Fred			homxb!fah	attmail!hicinbothem
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