30 March 2021

The Yahoos' Database Flags Cheating

Just like the last two months, most recently in The Yahoos' Database Flags PogChamps (February 2021), I asked Google News to tell me what it considered the top chess stories of the past month. Just like last month, it gave me exactly 100 stories for consideration.

The table on the left shows which sources had at least two stories. For the third month running, Chess.com headed the list, and it was followed by four other chess sites. (NB: Chesskid.com is a subsidiary of Chess.com.)

For the first time in the three months that I've been conducting this exercise, a non-chess site had three stories. There were two such sites: the Financial Times and WIRED.

The one story that received the most attention was about alleged cheating. It was a two-part story. The first part was about the alleged cheating incident; the second part was about a test put to the alleged cheater. Here are separate reports on the two parts:-

Since the alleged cheating incident happened on Chess.com, it's only fair to give that site's point of view:-

In other news, it's hard to say if the 'Queen's Gambit' craze has run its course or not. One related story popped up on several sources. Here's one example:-

The story noted,

Netflix congratulated the star [Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon] on Twitter. The praise is well-founded. The show continues to be a winner for the chess industry, which is still riding a popularity wave more than four months after the show debuted.

As for last month's hot topic, PogChamps 3, it was nowhere to be found. Time for PogChamps 4? Maybe we'll see it next month.

29 March 2021

TCEC 'Swiss 1', CCC 'Streamer Bots Battle' Both Underway

Two weeks ago, the subject of this blog's fortnightly post on the world's top engine vs. engine competitions was TCEC FRC3, CCC Rapid 2021 : Both Finals Underway (March 2021). To summarize that post:-

TCEC: In the TCEC Cup 8 final match, Stockfish beat LCZero +1-0=7. FRC3 has reached the final match, where Stockfish and KomodoDragon are tied with one win each. • CCC: Stockfish is crushing Lc0 in the final match of the Rapid 2021.

After the finals finished, the two sites switched to other events. So what are they doing today?

TCEC: For a report on TCEC FRC3, see the post TCEC C960 FRC3 (March 2021), on my chess960 blog. There I wrote,

In the 'FRC 3' final, KomodoDragon beat Stockfish by a score of +2-1=47.

Even more importantly, I quoted the TCEC Wiki:-

The TCEC Fischer Random Chess will as of now be a regular part of seasonal events [S21 is next].

After TCEC FRC3, the site started its first Swiss tournament, cleverly named 'Swiss 1'. We got a taste of the format last month in TCEC Side Events; CCC 'Rapid 2021' Nearing Semifinal (February 2021):-

The site is running a series of bonus events mingled with test events. [...] The test events included four 'Swiss Test' tournaments, each having 42 versions of Stockfish, with events and engines configured using varying conditions.

For the format of the current Swiss tournament, see TCEC Swiss 1 - TCEC wiki (wiki.chessdom.org). In brief:-

The TCEC Swiss 1 uses the TCEC Swiss Tournament System with the following configuration:
* 11 double rounds.
* Group seeding with 40 engines divided in 8 groups.

That referenced wiki page, TCEC Swiss Tournament System - TCEC wiki (ditto), explains the rules. Warning! : It's an explanation that only a mathematician could love. 'Swiss 1' has 38 engines in competition and is currently in the fourth of its 11 'double rounds'.

CCC: Stockfish won the Rapid 2021 final match, beating Lc0 by a score of 280.0-220.0. After a series of bonus / exhibition events, the site is now running something called 'Chess.com Bots: Streamers Battle' with 16 bots participating. I couldn't find any info about the event except the names of the 16 bots, starting with the strongest: Eric, Aman, etc.

Until now I've managed to avoid paying attention to the 'Chess.com Streamer Bots'. I'll make amends by featuring them in the next off-week engine post.

[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]

28 March 2021

Is It Only About Money?

For this edition of The Sociology of Chess (November 2016), I wanted to use another Youtube video from the recent post, TCEC/CCC HTTP '!Command's (March 2021). The only problem was : of the 30 or so videos on the list for that post, most of them had nothing to do with chess. Although there were plenty of clips like Aiaaira - the National Anthem of Abkhazia (youtube.com; Wikipedia: 'a partially recognized state in the South Caucasus, recognised by most countries as part of Georgia, which views the region as an autonomous republic'), the handful of videos that had anything to do with chess were on un-sociable topics like chess programming.

Luckily I also had the short list from the most recent featured video Chess Can Be Heavy (also March 2021), which was 100% about chess and which had a few good clips for the series on sociology. The one I chose harks back to another video post in the series, The Dilemma of Women's Chess (July 2020).

Making $100K+ A Year Playing Chess On Twitch (8:21) • '[Published on] Feb 18, 2021'

The description of the CNBC 'Make It' video says,

Alexandra Botez, 25, is a professional Twitch streamer who makes six figures playing chess online. She and her sister Andrea Botez, 18, have over 650,000 followers and are signed with Team Envy, a global esports and entertainment company. 2020 was a big year for chess as the popular Netflix show ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ attracted millions of new users to Chess.com.

As usually is the case with popular videos -- this one is approaching 250.000 views -- the comments are half the entertainment. Example:-

Many people think these sisters only play chess, but they do more than play chess. They will play 'Among Us', chat with their Followers, talk about their ex-boyfriends, and even collaborate with Mr. Beast. Their content is really entertaining.

'Among Us', 'Mr. Beast'? I had to look them up. Or how about a little history:-

'Queen's Gambit has done a ton for bringing attention to the game!' • 'The streamer xQc blew up chess on Twitch by streaming it to his audience.' • 'I disagree. Pogchamps 1 and 2 really blew up chess.' • 'xQc made Pogchamps possible.' • 'Chess blew up on Twitch prior but for sure the Queen's Gambit brought it to a larger audience.' • 'It was Hikaru who really blew it up.' • 'xQc blew up Hikaru' • etc.

One name, Graham Stephan, was mentioned again and again:-

I can't wait for Graham Stephan to react to this.

Ditto, 'simps':-

There are enough simps out there for her to even get to 1M [followers?]. There are so many better players and actual GMs who make videos but people watch her just to look at her or chat with her.

Maybe chess isn't the story at all:-

'"Making $100K+ a year just chatting on Twitch" should be the title, right?' • 'Title could have read "Making $100K being a chick on Twitch".'

I could go on and on, but finally, when all is said and done:-

'This is just really a phenomenal story. Thank you, CNBC Make It, for this one and many others.' • 'Wow, thanks for sharing your story!'

Amen to that!

26 March 2021

U.S. Chess Service Awards

In last week's post, The U.S. Chess Awards (March 2021), I did a small analysis of those awards:-

I started to wonder how many different awards have been made through the years. It turns out that there have been 25, shown in the following chart, of which 20 awards were made in 2020.

After writing the post, I started looking at past winners. One of the names I discovered was former USCF Executive Director Al Lawrence. He is also one of America's top chess journalists, last seen in 2019 CJA Awards - Part 2 (August 2019):-

'Chess Journalist of the Year' went to the incomparable Al Lawrence.

According to my database, Lawrence has received two different U.S. Chess awards:-

2002 Special Service Award: Dewain Barber, Ralph Bowman, Mark Glickman, Al Lawrence, Mike Nolan
2015 Distinguished Service Award: Al Lawrence, Pal Benko

Both of those awards were 'Service Awards', of which there are four different categories. The following table shows the first year of each service award and the number of times it was awarded. Not all awards were made every year:-

1979, x 40: Distinguished Service Award
1980, x 35: Meritorious Service Award
1983, x 35: Special Service Award
1994, x 27: Scholastic Service Award

Since it's not immediately obvious what differentiates the first three awards -- Distinguished, Meritorious, and Special -- I'll look at those in another post.

22 March 2021

TCEC/CCC HTTP '!Command's

The tab 'TCEC/CCC Links' at the top of this page lists two different '!Command's, one for TCEC and one for CCC. Behind these small databases is a world of information about computer chess. The 'Search' command near the top the two pages is a keyword search on the content of the particular database. One of the most useful searches is 'http' (without the quotes), which brings up links to other resources on the web. Both databases yield hundreds of 'http' results:-

  • TCEC: Showing 1 to 100 of 459 entries (2,155 total entries)
  • CCC: Showing 1 to 100 of 248 entries (1,296 total entries)

Since those results represent too many directions to explore in a reasonable amount of time, better is to work with specific web domains. For example, the keyword 'youtube' yields dozens of videos (even better is 'youtu' to pick up youtu.be addresses). Many of the videos are unrelated to computer chess, but are still interesting in their own ways. I especially liked the following clip, perhaps because I lived and worked in Paris for five years.

A Trip Through Paris, France in late 1890s (6:06) • '[Published on] Mar 2, 2020'

The description starts...

Upscaled with neural networks footage from the dawn of film taken in Belle Époque era, Paris, France from 1896-1900.

...and continues with a brief explanation of techniques used to create the video. With more than 5.000.000 views and 16.000 comments, the video strikes the right chord in many viewers.

Another '!Command' keyword -- related to 'http' -- worth exploring is 'chess.com'. This returns links to talkchess.com, tcec-chess.com, and of course, chess.com. Other 'http'-related keywords I looked at were 'wiki', 'github', 'google', 'discord', 'twitch', 'lichess', 'chessprogramming', and 'patreon'.

I could spend hours exploring those directions. Maybe I'll come back to them another time.

21 March 2021

Inside the Musée de Cluny

We've already seen chess ouside the Paris museum Musée de Cluny (March 2013; 'In courtyard at Musée de Cluny'); now let's go inside. That post quoted Wikipedia's description, 'The Musée National du Moyen Âge', which translates to 'National Museum of the Middle Ages'.

Vitrail : les joueurs d'échecs, 1450; Musée de Cluny © Flickr user Pierre under Creative Commons.

The photo had no description, so we're forced to rely on the title. In English it translates to

Stained glass window : the chess players, 1450

The museum's web site has a page on the exhibit titled, Chess Players : Musée de Cluny. It says,

This panel of civil stained glass, produced in the 15th century, comes from the Hôtel de la Bessée in Villefranche-sur-Saône. [...] Though very popular among the cultivated aristocratic elite, few examples of civil stained glass remain today. • Height: 54.2 cm; Width: 54 cm

By 'civil stained glass', I understand stained glass outside of a church setting. The exhibit is also mentioned in Paris in Spring (chess-museum.com), which is a report on 'The 17th CCI [Chess Collectors International] World Convention - Paris, 2-6 May [2016]'. The page says,

In Cluny we not only found some well known chess sets of medieval origin, but also the fabulous glass window showing a lady playing chess with a gentleman of the times. [...] Superb scene of an amorously tinged chess game, beautfiul details -- window background, headgear, the checkered floor tiles, the back tapestry.

This is the second time in less than a year that I've mentioned Chess-museum.com. The first was Georgian Player, Regency Set (May 2020). How does one go about exploring such a vast repository of chess history?

19 March 2021

The U.S. Chess Awards

Last week in U.S. Chess Cities of the Year (March 2021), I explained,

The award for 'Chess City of the Year' is one of many awards made annually by the U.S. Chess Federation. I covered these a few years back in The USCF Awards (May 2015), where I collected the awards issued up to that time in a database. For this current post I dragged that database out of cold storage, then added the awards made since 2015.

I started to wonder how many different awards have been made through the years. It turns out that there have been 25, shown in the following chart, of which 20 awards were made in 2020.

That first line should read 'ACCESSIBILITY AND SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES PERSON OF THE YEAR', but I ran out of space. The second column shows the number of times an award has been made. The third and fourth columns show the first and last years each award was made, where my data stops at the year 2020. The 'ACCESSIBILITY' award, first made in 2018, is therefore the newest of the 25 awards.

Also worth noting: the U.S. federation used to give 'JOURNALIST' awards -- 'JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD' and 'THE GALLERY OF DISTINGUISHED CHESS JOURNALISTS' -- but these stopped several years ago, perhaps because they duplicated the CJA awards (last seen on this blog in 2020 CJA Awards - Part 2, October 2020). The list of 'U.S. CHESS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES' stops in 2014, but these awards have continued up to the present. I imagine they are not made at the same time as the other awards and therefore not included in the annual group announcement.

The post mentioned above, USCF Awards (May 2015), listed the 'KOLTANOWSKI AWARDS' through 2015. If I have the time and the energy, I'll take a closer look at some of the other most prestigious awards. Their winners represent the 'Who's Who' of organized U.S. chess.

15 March 2021

TCEC FRC3, CCC Rapid 2021 : Both Finals Underway

The previous post on the world's premier engine vs. engine tournaments, TCEC Cup 8, CCC Rapid 2021 : Semifinals Both Underway (March 2021), was all about semifinals. Here is a summary:-

TCEC: In TCEC Cup 8, the 32 starting engines have been winnowed to four engines in the semifinal. The final match will finish this week. The next event is scheduled to be FRC3, 'Fischer Random Chess 3 with the 16(+) Season 20 FRC engines'. • CCC: The Rapid 2021 'Elite Round' of six engines should finish in a few days. The top two will qualify into the 500 game final match.

This post is all about semifinals. Here is the current situation:-

TCEC: In the TCEC Cup 8 semifinal, Stockfish beat KomodoDragon +1-0=5 and LCZero beat AllieStein +1-0=11. In the final match, Stockfish beat LCZero +1-0=7. In all three matches, a single decisive game determined the winner.

FRC3 has reached the final match, where Stockfish and KomodoDragon are tied with one win each after 29 of the 50 games have been played. The following chart from the TCEC Wiki shows the different stages of the event.

TCEC FRC 3 (wiki.chessdom.org)

After the final match finishes, I'll have more to say about the tournament on my chess960 blog. I covered the previous edition in TCEC FRC2 (December 2020). In that event, Stockfish beat LCZero +8-0=42.

CCC: Stockfish is crushing Lc0 in the final match, which should finish this week. In the minimatch between the two engines for the qualifying 'Elite Round', Stockfish won +14-5=21. Looking ahead, what are the CCC's plans? Both the CCC club and the Discord channel are ghost towns.

[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]

14 March 2021

Chess Can Be Heavy

'We watched the movie Queen's Gambit and it was impressive. We started playing chess ourselves and got a lot out of it: good sportsmanship, knowledge, challenges. It just seemed fitting to do something in the snow out in the back yard.'

Giant chess set built of ice (1:57) • '[Published on] Feb 16, 2021'

The description of the video says,

Vicki Carr and her daughter, Kim, built a huge chess set out of ice in their back yard.

Noting the family name and the Youtube channel, Ottawa Citizen, gives us a related story and another video: Ice cold checkmate: Manotick family builds life-sized chessboard in backyard (ottawa.ctvnews.ca). There we learn,

The chess pieces stand about two to three feet tall, with some pieces of solid snow and ice weighing more than 40 pounds. It took Carr and her mom Vicki a month to build the chessboard in their backyard.

For more cool ideas on this blog, see the previous posts, Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture (February 2010), and An Ice Rook (January 2013).

12 March 2021

U.S. Chess Cities of the Year

In a recent post, The Philadelphia Connection (March 2021), I noted,

In 2019 we learned, Philadelphia Named 'Chess City of the Year' (uschess.org): 'The city of brotherly love was singled out this year for a number of reasons...'

The award for 'Chess City of the Year' is one of many awards made annually by the U.S. Chess Federation. I covered these a few years back in The USCF Awards (May 2015), where I collected the awards issued up to that time in a database:-

I found a summary of all awards in the 2013 USCF Yearbook, added the awards for 2014 & 2015, loaded the lists into a database, and ran some simple queries.

For this current post I dragged that database out of cold storage, then added the awards made since 2015 (all links USchess.org):-

Although the first awards were made in 1979, the 'Chess City' award was started in 1983. Following is a list of the winners to date:-

1983 Pasadena, California
1984 New York, New York
1985 Foxboro, Massachusetts
1986 Charlotte, North Carolina; Somerset, New Jersey
1987 Pulaski, Virginia; Terre Haute, Indiana
1988 Albuquerque, New Mexico; Memphis, Tennessee; Southfield, Michigan
1989 Knoxville, Tennessee; Peoria, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Tempe, Arizona; Lexington, Kentucky
1993 Durango, Colorado; Reno, Nevada
1994 Bloomington, Illinois; New York, New York
1995 Chicago, Illinois; Key West, Florida
1996 Tucson, Arizona; New York, New York
1997 Knoxville, Tennessee; Sioux Falls, South Dakota
1998 Peoria, Arizona
1999 San Francisco, California; Gilbert, Arizona
2000 Louisville, Kentucky; Dallas, Texas
2001 Kansas City, Missouri
2002 Miami, Florida; New York City; Seattle, Washington
2003 Nashville, Tennessee
2004 Lindsborg, Kansas
2005 Minneapolis, Minnesota
2006 Crossville, Tennessee; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
2007 Stillwater, Oklahoma
2008 Tulsa, Oklahoma; Lubbock, Texas
2009 St. Louis, Missouri
2010 Nashville, Tennessee
2011 St. Louis, Missouri
2012 Los Angeles, California
2013 Chicago, Illinois
2014 Brownsville, TX
2015 Sunrise, FL
2016 Louisville, KY
2017 Franklin County, MS
2018 Charlotte, NC
2019 Philadelphia, PA
2020 New York, NY

Of the 38 years that have passed since the first award to Pasadena, only 35 years saw awards. For some reason, 1990 through 1992 are missing. Was this a mistake in the construction of the list, a reaction to the five awards made in 1989, or something else?

New York City heads the list in total number of awards: 1984, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2020. It might be interesting to determine which other cities received multiple awards, but that will have to wait until another time, if ever. It would definitely be interesting to learn the stories behind, e.g. '2015 Sunrise, FL', but that would be far more work than I am accustomed to doing.

08 March 2021

The Condemnation of Fat Fritz

Two weeks ago, in an off-week engine post, The Transformation of Fat Fritz (February 2021), I noted,

For the past few years, whenever there was a controversy in the world of chess engines, Fat Fritz was somewhere nearby.

What was the controversy?

Signed, 'The Stockfish, Leela Chess Zero and Lichess teams', the message started,

A few days ago, ChessBase released Fat Fritz 2, described on their website as the "new number one" chess engine "with a massive new neural network, trained by Albert Silver with the original Fat Fritz." They advertise Fat Fritz 2 as using novel strong ideas compared to existing chess engines, but in reality Fat Fritz 2 is just Stockfish with a different neural network and minimal changes that are neither innovative nor appear to make the engine stronger.

The accusation was soon echoed by two of the most important chess news sites:-

  • 2021-02-22: ChessBase?s Fat Fritz 2 condemned as "rip-off" Stockfish clone (chess24.com; Colin McGourty; comments) • 'Stockfish and Leela Chess Zero developers have joined together with Lichess to condemn what they see as false advertising by ChessBase of the recently released Fat Fritz 2 chess software.'

  • 2021-02-25: Open Source Community Critical Of Chessbase, Fat Fritz 2 (chess.com; PeterDoggers) • 'The development teams behind the two most successful and influential open-source chess programs, Stockfish and Leela Chess Zero, have issued statements denouncing the commercial program Fat Fritz 2 and the company Chessbase that is selling the program for 99.90 euros.'

What did the engine experts have to say about the development? The storm of feedback started the day that ChessBase made its initial announcement.

That discussion alone totals 50 pages with 10 posts per page. Add another two dozen threads on the same subject on the Talkchess forum. This controversy could go on for months, maybe years. ChessBase GmbH certainly knows how to generate free publicity for itself.

07 March 2021

The Philadelphia Connection

The previous post in Top eBay Chess Items by Price (March 2010), was Not Typical of This Artist (February 2021). I wrote, 'In this long-running series it's been nine months since we last saw a painting.' Now we have two in a row.

The item pictured below was titled 'Original Signed Morris Berd Chess Player Watercolor Gouache Painting'. The eBay search result said, '$799 or Best Offer'; the item listing said, 'Sold for US $799'. I've never understood why eBay presents this ambiguity about the price, but so it does.

The item description said,

Signed Morris Berd, "Chess Player", Watercolor Gouache Painting. It’s in the original frame. Untouched. Overall size including the frame. 19 1/2" by 25 1/2", visible painting size is 17 3/4" by 24"

The artist has a biography at Berd, Morris - Woodmere Art Museum (woodmereartmuseum.org; Philadelphia). It starts,

Morris Berd (1914 - 2007), born in Philadelphia, PA, was a longtime instructor at his alma mater, the University of the Arts [Philadelphia] and a mentor to several generations of Philadelphia artists.

In 2019 we learned, Philadelphia Named Chess City of the Year (uschess.org; by Jennifer Shahade): 'The city of brotherly love was singled out this year for a number of reasons...' The first reason was, 'Philadelphia is home to some of the most important Open events on the calendar, such as the World Open, the Philadelphia Open, the Liberty Bell Open and the National Chess Congress.'

02 March 2021

March 1971 & 1996 'On the Cover'

In last month's post, February 1971 & 1996 'On the Cover' (February 2021), we saw that 'international chess was in the U.S. chess spotlight so many years ago'. This month the spotlight returns to U.S. chess.

Left: ?
Right: 'Wolff Scores! Wins Interplay U.S. Championship Ring'

Chess Life & Review (50 Years Ago)

International Grandmaster Robert Byrne, winner of the 1970 American Open in Santa Monica, California. Photo by Beth Cassidy.

This is at least the second use of the same Byrne photo in CL. Another was seen in October 1966 'On the Cover' (October 2016).

Chess Life (25 Years Ago)

Serving on Viswanathan Anand's team of seconds certainly did not hurt Patrick Wolff's game. He tied for first place in the 1995 Interplay U.S. Championship with Alexander Ivanov and Nick de Firmian. He won the playoff competition for possession of the Championship Ring, designed by Heraldica Imports, which sponsors the $100,000 New York Open every year.

We are very fortunate to have Interplay Productions as the main sponsor for both the Interplay U.S. Championship, and the Interplay U.S. Women's Championship. Interplay's enthusiastic support led to an exhibition match between Patrick Wolff and Anjelina Belakovskaya (who tied for the Women's title with Sharon Burtman), which was won by Wolff, +1-0=1.

Looking backward, the 1996 side of last month's 'On the Cover' featured the Kasparov - Anand match. Looking forward, I found a Larry Evans story, Grandmasters Disenchanted with USCF (sun-sentinel.com [cached]; October 1996), that informed,

The 43rd USA Championship quietly came and went last July. Few people heard about it until it was over. Once again 14 stars competed for our highest title in an obscure location with scarcely any advance publicity. Defending champ Patrick Wolff declined his invitation because he is entering law school. In an article initially rejected but later published in Chess Life, a journal of record, he scolded the U.S. Chess Federation for not showcasing its premier event.

As for Interplay, in its page on Interplay Entertainment, Wikipedia informs,

Interplay Entertainment Corp. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Los Angeles. The company was founded in 1983 as Interplay Productions [...] Interplay started publishing its own games, starting with Neuromancer and Battle Chess, in 1988, and then moved on to publish and distribute games from other companies, while continuing internal game development.

And for Battle Chess, Wikipedia explains,

Battle Chess is a computer game version of chess with animated three-dimensional graphics. It was originally developed and released by Interplay Entertainment for the Amiga in 1988 and subsequently on many other systems, including [...] In 1991, Battle Chess Enhanced was released by Interplay for the PC, featuring improved VGA graphics and a symphonic musical score that played from the CD-ROM. Battle Chess was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, resulting in two official follow-ups as well as several inspired games. Its remake, Battle Chess: Game of Kings, was released on Steam on December 11, 2015.

The Wikipedia page on the U.S. Chess Championship gives limited space to the many early sponsors of the event. Only sponsors since 1999 are mentioned.

01 March 2021

TCEC Cup 8, CCC Rapid 2021 : Semifinals Both Underway

The previous report on the two world class ongoing engine vs. engine competitions was TCEC Side Events; CCC 'Rapid 2021' Nearing Semifinal (February 2021). Following is a summary of that report.

TCEC: The site is running a series of bonus events mingled with test events. Next on the plans for upcoming events is '!Cup8'. • CCC: In the multi-stage 'Rapid 2021', the 10 engine 'NN vs Classic' is underway. Next stage: 6 engine 'Elite Round'.

Both of the 'Next' events are currently underway. What's the current status?

TCEC: In TCEC Cup 8, the 32 starting engines have been winnowed to four engines in the semifinal: Stockfish vs. KomodoDragon & LCZero vs. AllieStein. The final match will finish this week. For the results of the previous cup, see Stockfish Wins TCEC Cup 7; CCC GPUs Back (November 2020). The next event is scheduled to be FRC3, 'Fischer Random Chess 3 with the 16(+) Season 20 FRC engines'.

CCC: Six engines qualified from the 'NN vs Classic' stage to the 'Elite Round'. The following crosstable for 'NN vs Classic' shows that the two engines finishing 7th and 8th -- SlowChess & Ethereal -- qualified.

Why is this? The rules specify:-

Elite Round: Engines ranked #1 to #6 of the "NN vs Classic" event. One engine max from the same engine family.

Missing from the 'Elite Round' are Stockfish Classic (finished 3rd) and Komodo (6th). This must be because they are in the same family as Stockfish (1st) and Dragon (4th). In both cases the NNUE member of the family finished ahead of the non-NNUE member.

The 'Elite Round' should finish in a few days. The top three engines -- Stockfish, Lc0, & Dragon -- are well ahead of the bottom three. It is nearly certain that two of those top three will qualify into the 500 game final match.

[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]