30 November 2015

TCEC Season 8 Superfinal Week 4

In the previous post, TCEC Season 8 Superfinal Week 3, we left Komodo and Stockfish, our cyberchess warriors, with an 'overall score of +5-1=69'. During the intervening week, Komodo added +3-1=16 to the score, bringing the total to +8-2=85 after 95 games.

A little later Chessdom.com announced, Komodo is triple champion, wins the Top Chess Engine Championship 2015! (*), adding, 'Komodo secured the victory with score 50.5 – 44.5'. The rules stipulated,

If the match is theoretically won for one side before game 100, the match will still continue until all 100 games have been played.

so the two engines slugged it out for another +1-0=4, Komodo scoring the lone decisive point. This was an epic match, worthy of inclusion in the long list of such matches stretching back to 1834 Labourdonnais - McDonnell and including the five 1980s-1990 Kasparov - Karpov clashes. It was a real treat for me to switch on my second laptop at any time of the day or night and watch the two antagonists tirelessly clubbing each other with ideas and moves that I can't pretend to understand.

Congratulations to everyone involved in producing this unique event. The live event page, tcec.chessdom.com/live, lists under 'About TCEC',

Special thanks: Martin Thoresen, Marit Thoresen, Paolo Casaschi, Matthias Gemuh and Jeremy Bernstein.

with an additional 'Thank you' to a long list of individuals:-

Marit Thoresen, Anton Mihailov, Paolo Casaschi, Matthias Gemuh, Jeremy Bernstein, Ivan Anev, GM Ioannis Papadopoulos, FM Dennis Monokroussos, Santiago Méndez, Peter Petrov, Nelson Hernandez, Adam Hair, Mark Uniacke, Amir Ban, Miguel Ballicora, Roberto Munter, Robert Houdart, Lukas Cimiotti, Don Dailey, Mark Lefler, Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, Ubaldo Andrea Farina, Marco Costalba, Gary Linscott, Jon Dart, Raimund Heid, L-Å Lander (LaRzZa), Tord Romstad, Giancarlo Delli Colli, Richard Pijl, Ben-Hur Carlos Vieira Langoni Junior, Vadim Demichev, Johannes Zwanzger, Robert Hyatt, Onno Garms, Daniel Shawul, Engin Uestuen, Jim Ablett, Izak Pretorius, Sam Hamilton, Edsel Apostol, Martijn Grimme, Hans van der Zijden, Andrei Olsen, Dean Ellis, Eivind Skifjeld, Paul Frigge, Jon Erik Braenden, Kevin Plant, Frederic Labertit, Alcides Schulz, James I. Hymas, Julien Marcel, Dan Schmidt, Enrico Fagiuoli, Jeffrey Hall, Edwin Meiners, Bill Rust, Bram Mourik, Øystein Schønning-Johansen, Brian Richardson, Kim Burcham, John Rood and everyone who has donated to support TCEC.

(*) At some point, probably between Season 7 and Season 8, TCEC came to mean 'Top Chess Engine Championship' rather than the name 'Thoresen CEC' used in previous competitions. Whatever the name, a footnote to the tcec.chessdom.com/live page adds, 'TCEC is powered by pgn4web and cutechess-cli'.

Once again, congratulations to all!


A curiosity of the last week was game 83, which was played twice. Komodo was winning the game, which was restarted after the TCEC server crashed. The moment was captured and recorded in chat accompanied by the following image.

'Ray Fowler: Here is the position of 83a at the server crash. Notice that the bishops were gone:


Komodo eventually won the replayed game.

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