For the first issue of our 2018 volume of the ICGA journal, we are happy to return to our roots and bring you two articles on the latest research for the games chess and shogi. The first article, by John Fishburn, investigates the construction of a chess opening book based on computer search rather than historic game records. The work is interesting in that this automatic search-based approach can be tailor-made to play against a particular player or computer program, if a probabilistic model of the opponent’s opening moves can be provided.
The second article, by Takafumi Nakamichi and Takeshi Ito, describes a method of tweaking the playing strength of shogi programs so that they may fit the skill level of a human opponent, while simultaneously resembling the way a human plays so that more enjoyment can be achieved.
In addition, we follow up the coverage for the 2017 events in Leiden in this issue, with the reports on the 7th World Chess Software Championship and the World Speed Computer Chess Championship in 2017.
We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Prof. Yoshimasa Tsuruoka to our editorial board. We look forward to bringing our readers more up-to-date research and news in the community of computer games research in 2018.