18 May 2020

CCC Formats

In last week's engine post, TCEC: Stockfish Wins Cup 5, S18 Underway; CCC14?, I wrote,

During 13 seasons, the CCC has never settled into a standard format. What will CCC14 bring?

That reminded me of an earlier post, CCC13 Shapes (March 2020), where I gave myself a possible future action:-

While it might be useful to summarize all of the different CCC formats since the first season (CCC01), I'll have to limit this post to the two most recent seasons. [CCC11 (October 2019) & CCC12 (January 2020)]

The first step was to locate the different posts on this blog that gave the format for a particular CCC season. This was easy with the help of TCEC/CCC 2019 Q1-Q3 Summary (October 2019). The first two posts in that summary were dated the beginning of last year:-

2019-01-07: TCEC S14 Underway
2019-01-14: Chess.com CCC3 Underway

That means the ten months from January to October covered eight CCC seasons, from CCC3 to CCC10. I extracted relevant format info for each of those seasons. This info is not detailed enough to document the actual format used, but it's a start. Many of the posts link to Chess.com articles where the formats are described in more detail.

2019-07-29: TCEC S16 Leagues; CCC9/CCC10 • '[CCC10:] Qualification (13 engines), Quarterfinal (12), Semifinal (6), and Final (2).'

2019-06-03: TCEC S15/S16; CCC8/CCC9 • '[CCC9:] Engines are 1. Stockfish 2. Lc0 3. Allie 4. Laser 5. Xiphos 6. Andscacs 7. Dark Queen Lc0 8. Rofchade 9. Wasp 10. Rubichess 11. Winter 12. Stoofvlees 13. KMC 14. Ethereal 15. Fire 16. Komodo 17. Houdini 18. Leelenstein • There will be 4 stages, qualification/quarterfinal/semifinal/finals'

2019-04-22: TCEC S15 DivP Nears Finish; CCC8 Half-Way • '"CCC 8: Deep Dive is live now, featuring 24 of the world's top chess engines playing at a rapid time control of 15 minutes plus a five-second increment per move." CCC8 uses an escalation format, meaning that the engines enter the competition in reverse order of strength -- last ranked starts first, first ranked last -- and play full mini-matches against each of the engines that have already started play.'

2019-03-25: TCEC S15 Div3 Finishes; CCC7 Starts • 'The [Chess.com CCC6] report outlined the plan for CCC7. [...] That makes four AI/NN engines: Lc0, Antifish, Leelenstein and, Allie. The report continued, [...] Four AI/NN engines, four places in the CCC7 final stage. This is an event worth watching.'

2019-02-18: TCEC S14 Final, CCC5/-6; Part 2/2 • 'CCC6 is currently underway. The rules say, "Qualifiers (5|2) - escalation, 3 rounds, 16 engines, top 8 qualify, SF, Lc0, Komodo & Houdini get buys [sic; 'byes'] • Playoffs (10|10) - 12 engines, 3 rounds, top 8 plus SF, Lc0, Komodo & Houdini, book ON • Finals (10|10) - 2 engines, 200 games, book ON"'

2019-02-11: TCEC S14 Final, CCC5/-6 • 'CCC5 was underway at the time of last week's 'Head Scratching' post. Stockfish emerged the winner, 2.5 points ahead of Lc0, which was 4.5 points ahead of third-placed Lc0-dev. Stockfish then played Lc0 in a 100 game match, which finished yesterday.' • 'Another command ('!CCC6') informs, "Nightbot: CCC 6: The Winter Classic; Classical (standard) games with the eight best engines. Time control: 30/10 classical; Engines: 8; Stages: 1 main, 1 final between top two engines; Stage 1 format: 4x RR (escalation); Stage 1 games: 112; Stage 1 duration: 7 days; Finals games: 100"'

2019-02-04: TCEC/CCC Head Scratching • 'The 'Stockfish Wins [CCC4]' article says, "Lc0 also managed the impressive feat of scoring dead even with Stockfish head-to-head in the tournament, at +3-3=14 in their 20 games together. Lc0 was the only engine to score a win against Stockfish in the event. These two engines began a 100-game bonus match, in progress now, which at press time Stockfish was leading comfortably at 35.5/66."' • 'The Escalation event (labeled 'CCC5') is a round robin format where the lowest rated engines play each other in the early rounds and the highest rated engines start play in the later rounds.'

2019-01-28: Stockfish, Leela et al • Chess.com issued a report on CCC3 S3 [...] along with details about CCC4. • 'CCC4 (S1?) is already underway with Stockfish in the lead.'

2019-01-21: Results: TCEC S14-P / CCC3 S3 • 'CCC3 stage three (the final stage) [has] finished play.'

2019-01-14: Chess.com CCC3 Underway • 'From now on, I'm going to call the events CCC1/CCC2/CCC3/..., unless the name changes again. Another complication, more like a detail, is that the tournaments since CCC1 have been split into three stages. Since CCC3 is currently underway, that means there have been two previous CCCs, right? No, there have been three. Here are my posts on each of the first three [CCCC, CCC1, CCC2]

2018-11-19: Update on Two World Champions • 'CCC 3: Rapid Redux, an all-new championship event with the 16 top engines in the world and a time control of 30 minutes per game plus five seconds increment per move.'

2018-10-15: Catching Up with Engine Competitions • CCC01 & CCC02

2017-12-04: Engine-to-engine, Head-to-head • 'The newcomer was Chess.com's Computer Chess Championship. The announcement, preliminary results, and final results are all stuffed into a single article, which first appeared in September, but carries the date of its last update: 2017-11-16 [CCCC]'

Like most people, I think of a 'season' as lasting three months, four seasons in a year. Then there are specific seasons that happen once a year, like a football season or a TV season. In CCC, we've seen ten seasons in less than a year and a half, 17 months to be exact. That's ten seasons, each with a different format -- makes you wonder, doesn't it.

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