22 October 2021

Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, the Tours

The entire content of last week's post, Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, 'Online = Y' (October 2021), was its own summary:-

After adding the face-to-face (aka offline, aka OTB) events to [the Carlsen TMER], I tackled the online events. The results are documented in the second TMER section titled 'In preparation'.

'The Carlsen TMER' refers to Magnus Carlsen's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (2000-). For this current post, I returned to Carlsen's Prelim Events 2019-21 (August 2021), where I started to explore two series of events: the 'Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour', and the 'Meltwater Champions Chess Tour'. For basic info about the results of individual events, I discovered that Chessgames.com had the most compact, albeit detailed pages. Following are links to individual pages for each event.

Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

The following image shows the section of the TMER that covers the first tour (individual events are coded 'MC-CT').

GM Carlsen's 'Result' for each event (5th column) is indicated, but his 'Score' (6th) is missing. Although it doesn't make much sense to enter overall WLD totals for a sequence of knockout matches, especially where the games were played at varying time controls, something should be present in those fields.

18 October 2021

CCC Changes the Guard

Back in the middle of the summer, in a fortnightly status post on the two main engine competitions, TCEC S21 Sufi Underway; CCC Still Romancing (August 2021), I observed,

The [CCC] site is seeking additional help; see 'CCC Looking for New Server Admin and Developer!' (chess.com). More info, including a job spec and application, is available via the site's Discord platform.

The Discord announcement, signed 'ChessErik' and dated July 2021, pointed to Computer Chess Admin (Developer, Engine Master for CCC) (docs.google.com), which started,

Love computers and chess engines? Chess.com is looking for someone to take over the management of the Computer Chess Championship [CCC] server administration.

The key requirements on that Google Forms page, which has since been marked '>>> Role Has Been Filled <<<', are shown in the following image.

The job spec pointed to two other Chess.com admin pages. The first was How Chess.com's 100-Person Virtual Team Works Together (chess.com; signed 'erik'), a living document. When it originally appeared in August 2017, it announced, 'This month we finally hit 100 team members', but an update dated January 2021, corrected that to:-

We hit 100 team members in 2017. At the start of 2021 we have 250+ team members, and it still feels like a close family!].

The second Chess.com admin page was About Chess.com (first published September 2010, updated frequently). It starts,

Chess.com is #1 in online chess... But who are we? Where did Chess.com come from? Where are we going? • The Beginning: Chess.com started in 2005 when two friends -- Jay and Erik (that's me!) -- decided the world needed a better chess website. We met 10 years earlier in college, where I first became addicted to chess — and Jay was the chess club president. We became friends through our shared passion for the game. [...]

The 'About' page lists Chess.com staff, including the 'CCC Tournament Director; Since August 2021'. I couldn't find an announcement about who was hired for the position, so I'll stop here.

17 October 2021

'The Hand that Guides the [blank]'

My first thought for a title was 'The Hand that Guides the Pieces', but I don't think the player(s) should be lumped together with the chess pieces. My second thought was 'The Hand that Guides the Players', but are the pieces really players? Then I thought of 'The Hand that Guides the Actors' or 'Action'. I'll leave the '[blank]' for now. Maybe I'll think of something more appropriate before I finish the post.

Blind moves © Flickr user lolo ramingo under Creative Commons.

Among the usual tags:-

composition, collage, concept, digital, chess, ...

...was 'Northcote'. What's that? The artist has two more works about chess:-

I 'faved' the second of those last month, when it lost in the final cut to the Flickr favorite featured in The Battle of Braine-l'Alleud (September 2021). Neither of those images used 'Northcote' as a tag.

The image I faved had Akira Tanaka (fr.wikipedia.org; b.1918 Osaka - d.1982 Paris, 'un artiste-peintre japonais') as a tag. Perhaps James Northcote (en.wikipedia.org; b.1746 - d.1831 London; 'a British painter') was another inspiration? Yes, that's it: see File: Chess Players by James Northcote (wikimedia.org).

Another lead for further caissart research are the 29 groups in which the image finds itself. That might serve as an inspiration for me at another time.

15 October 2021

Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, 'Online = Y'

After adding the face-to-face (aka offline, aka OTB) events to Magnus Carlsen's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (TMER; 2000-) -- see the post Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, 'Online = N' (October 2021) -- I tackled the online events. The results are documented in the second TMER section titled 'In preparation'.

11 October 2021

TCEC Testing Cup 9; CCC C960 Blitz Semifinal

What's happening in the world of top-class engine vs. engine competitions? I'll summarize the previous post TCEC VSOB 21, CCC C960 Blitz Championship : Both Underway (September 2021), as follows:-

TCEC: 'VSOB 21' will finally have run for more than five weeks. What's next? 'Cup9'... • CCC: The site is running a 'Chess960 Blitz Championship' with 12 engines in a multi-round all-play-all format.

Fast forward two weeks. Let's take a snapshot of the current status.

TCEC: 'VSOB 21' eventually finished after 616 games, the same number that was scheduled two weeks ago. When I looked at the schedule last week, it had been extended to 720 games, which was apparently (mercifully) reduced afterward. If I can't think of a better idea for an off-week post, I'll take a look at the 616 games. The '!cup9' plan now says,

ETA = expected soon, apologies for the delay! The plan to increase the number of participants from 32 to all participants in the Leagues has been postponed. This change would need elaborate preparatory testing (GUI brackets and byes).

The site is currently performing 'Cup 9 Testing'. For more info on the upcoming event, see TCEC Cup 9 (wiki.chessdom.org). It says:-

This page 'TCEC Cup 9' is used for engine registration, to see which engines and updates have been requested, announced and received. Deadline for updates is 15 October.

I expect the tournament will be well underway by my next report in two weeks. Since the TCEC cup events proceed quickly, it might even be finished.

CCC: In the 'Chess960 Blitz Championship', each engine played 16 games against each of the other 11 engines, for 176 games total. Stockfish, Dragon, and Lc0 finished 1-2-3. Three more engines also qualified into the 'Chess960 Blitz Semifinals' Along the way, Stockfish dropped only one full point, to Lc0.

In the semifinal, the 600 scheduled games finish within a week. At 15 games per round, the event will go 40 rounds, or 20 double rounds. I'll reserve any discussion of the games for my 'Chess960 (FRC)' blog, listed on the sidebar. Is this the first CCC chess960 event? A scan of past reports on this blog revealed nothing else, but I haven't been following the CCC since it started in 2017.

[For further information from the various stakeholders in the engine-to-engine events, see the tab 'TCEC/CCC Links' at the top of this page. • NB: Leela = LC0 = LCzero]

10 October 2021

U.S. Chess HOF Induction at The Muny

First, let's have some definitions: HOF = U.S. Chess Hall of Fame; The Muny (wikipedia.org):-

The St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre (commonly known as The Muny) is an amphitheatre located in St. Louis, Missouri. The theatre seats 11,000 people with about 1,500 free seats in the last nine rows that are available on a first come, first served basis

If that sounds like the recipe for a class act, it is.

2021 U.S. Chess Championships: Opening Ceremony & HOF Inductions (1:27:57) • 'Streamed live on Oct 6, 2021'

The description of the video explained,

Live from The Muny in Forest Park, GM Maurice Ashley hosts the Opening Ceremony and drawing of lots for the 2021 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships. Plus, Dr. Jeanne & Rex Sinquefield are inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

The list of speakers is a good start on a Who's Who of U.S. chess.

0:00:40 GM Maurice Ashley, Master of Ceremonies
0:02:10 Mike Isaacson, Artistic Director and Executive Producer, The Muny
0:05:35 Shannon Bailey, Chief Curator, Hall of Fame
0:09:25 Randy Bauer, Vice President USchess
0:15:20 GM Garry Kasparov
0:24:50 Sunil Weeramantry, Vice President for Scholastic Chess, U.S. Chess Trust
0:31:00 Jeanne Sinquefield, Co-founder St. Louis Chess Club
0:46:30 Rex Sinquefield, Co-founder St. Louis Chess Club
0:53:00 Video, St. Louis Chess Club
1:06:10 Randy Sinquefield (son), President, Spectrum Studios
1:10:30 Tony Rich, Executive Director, St. Louis Chess Club
1:13:00 Drawing of pairing numbers

Great ceremony, great video. U.S. chess is in great hands.

08 October 2021

Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, 'Online = *'

In last week's post, Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, 'Online = N' (October 2021), I finished by saying,

Even though the TMER page is currently one of the messiest pieces I have posted on one of my resources, I uploaded it anyway. I'll come back to it as soon as I can.

The 'TMER page' means Magnus Carlsen's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (2000-). Using material from TWIC ('The Week in Chess' by Mark Crowther), I documented two recent online series -- the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour (2020) and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour (2020-21) -- in an extension to Carlsen's Prelim Events 2019-21 (August 2021).

Then I added relevant explanations to the TMER page itself and uploaded a new version. The 'In preparation' section is a big improvement over the previous version, but there is still much more to be done. Watch this space...