13 January 2020


VSOB stands for 'Viewer Submitted Openings Bonus'. For the last two months of 2019, the TCEC ran a series of adhoc VSOB engine-vs-engine tournaments, apparently to test an infrastructure upgrade. I reported on these events in a series of posts:-

Although I largely ignored the VSOB events while they were running, I made a mental note to look at them when they were done. Once TCEC S17 was finally underway, it was the right time to follow through. I downloaded the PGN files from the TCEC archive, loaded them into a database, and discovered that the 17 events covered 741 games. The following chart shows the number of games per event (identified by the PGN 'Event' tag) and a count of the game results ('Result' tag) for each event.

Most of the PGN game scores also included an 'Opening' tag. A quick analysis of these tags indicated that openings for individual games were chosen at random from a set of openings assigned to a specific VSOB event. The base PGN files for use in specific events appear to be recorded on the index All pages - TCEC wiki (chessdom.org).

What did this exercise prove? For me, not very much, except to satisfy my curiosity about the events themselves. I might come back to the downloaded PGN files a second time, but I'm not convinced there is anything to be learned from them.

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