28 January 2019

Stockfish, Leela et al

Looking at last week's post on chess engine tournaments, Results: TCEC S14-P / CCC3 S3, a few current trends are clear:-

  • Stockfish is the dominant engine today.
  • The top three engines over the past several years -- Stockfish, Komodo, Houdini -- have been joined by Leela (aka LCZero or LC0).
  • The near-term battle for overall engine dominance will be fought between Stockfish and Leela.

By 'current trends', I mean the situation as we roll over from 2018 into 2019. Before I get further into a discussion of those three bullets, let's take a snapshot of today's situation at the ongoing engine competitions.


TCEC: The TCEC Cup 2 event is in the 'OctoFinal' (Round of 16) stage.

CCC: Chess.com issued a report on CCC3 S3, Stockfish Wins Rapid Computer Championship Over Lc0; Bullet Chess Next, along with details about CCC4. I found no mention of the results of the 'Stockfish vs. Antifish (Lc0)' match that was running a week ago, but can work them out from the PGN if necessary. CCC4 (S1?) is already underway with Stockfish in the lead.


Back to those 'current trends', the battles between Stockfish and Leela promise to be the center of attention during 2019. In the TCEC S14 Premier ('P') division, Stockfish won their minimatch with +1-0=5. In the CCC3 stage 3 ('S3') event, Stockfish won +7-4=37, after drawing Leela in S1 with +0-0=4 and beating it in S2 with +6-0=6.

In TCEC S14-P, Leela outperformed its rating by +341 points. The other engines underperformed. Will Leela's rapid improvement continue? The TCEC and CCC events will provide the answer.

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