28 October 2019

TCEC Cup 4 Finals & CCC11 R1 Underway

After last week's TCEC/CCC 2019 Q1-Q3 Summary, I thought about continuing to follow the two ongoing, world class engine-vs-engine tournaments. It's not like they need my attention, or that I have anything special to offer. I finally decided to continue with the series. Chess engines are in a transition phase -- will the traditional CPU A/B engines (like Stockfish) remain competitive, or will the newer GPU AI/NN engines (like Leela) become dominant? -- in the same way that chess engines started to dominate human players in the 1990s. I would like to see firsthand how the struggle between the engine technologies evolves.

The last weekly report in the series was two weeks ago: Stockfish Wins TCEC S16; CCC11 Underway. To summarize it:-

TCEC: Stockfish beat AllieStein +14-5=81 in the S16 final match, aka Superfinal. • CCC: The 'CCC11 Qualification' is underway with 12 engines competing.

What's happened in the intervening weeks?

TCEC: After starting with 32 engines, 'Cup 4' has progressed through the first four rounds -- round of 32, of 16, quarterfinal, and semifinal -- and is now playing the matches to settle 1st through 4th places. A/B engine Stockfish is playing AI/NN engine LCZero for 1st & 2nd places, while A/B engine Komodo is playing AI/NN engine AllieStein for 3rd & 4th. It might as well be a team match, the A/B engines vs. the AI/NN engines.

CCC: The following chart captures a portion of the final crosstable for the 'CCC11 Qualification' stage. Only the full results of the first six engines, Leelenstein 1st, are shown.

Chess.com issued a report on the first stage, CCC11 Qualification Finished; Bullet Testing Now. The following stage, 'CCC11 Round 1', is underway with Stockfish leading. That stage will last for another week. The live play 'Info' tab lays out the format for each stage of the competition:-

Qualification : 12 engines, 2 rounds [CCC10 places 1-3 and four others qualify]
Round 1 : 12 engines, 2 rounds [Places 1-8 advance]
Round 2 : 8 engines, 3 rounds [Places 1-6 advance]
Round 3 : 6 engines, 5 rounds [Places 1-4 advance]
Semifinal : 4 engines, 12 rounds [Places 1-2 advance]
Final : 2 engines, 75 rounds

Time control: 30|5
Opening Book: CCC MegaBook (216 openings, openings =20plies

As for my plans for this blog, instead of a weekly report on the two competitions, I'll report every two weeks. That rhythm is sufficient to follow the tournaments without having to spend too much time on them. It also allows for an occasional post on the off-week, to go a little deeper into the underlying issues. For example, why haven't the AI/NN engines, which have advanced so quickly, dominated completely?

[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]

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