Okay it isn't really a contest. But I know that we have tried to get a chess game contest going for a while, and everyone thinks it is too hard, or we don't get enough entries, or whatever. And then the thread dies a slow death.
Here is my proposal. A group "contest". The goal is to get a functioning c++ chess game written right here on the forum, as a group. Sort of crazy, but consider:
1) People can volunteer to write certain portions, and then post what they come up with. Many people may have little portions written already, for instance I know that I have a minimax + alpha beta pruning routine written that could be tossed in. Once the code is posted, people can feel free to comment, improve, etc.
2) Some people may not have the time or inclination to actually write the code, but they may have enough time to research some particular sub-topic, and report back to the group. Which in turn could be the starting point for someone to write some code for that particular section.
3) Some people only like writing the GUI, while others like anything but writing a GUI. In this project, you're free to write the part that you like best. Or we could skip a GUI, and simply have someone research how to interface with winboard (a free interface I think).
If you like the idea, say so, and let us know which part you want to research. Some research topics include: Zobrist Keys, Bitboards, negamax, minimax, alpha beta pruning, iterative deepening, null move heuristic, winboard interfacing, transposition tables/hash tables, chess computer heuristics, opening books, and endgame tablebases.
Well...what do you think?