18 July 2022

Stockfish Wins TCEC Swiss 3 and CCC17 Blitz

My previous post in the TCEC/CCC series, Stockfish Wins TCEC Cup 10; TCEC Swiss 3, CCC17 Blitz both Underway (June 2022), started,

Due to a vacation, it's been four weeks since my fortnightly report on the world's two foremost, ongoing engine vs. engine competitions...

The same situation holds true for this current post. Before catching up to the current status, let's have a summary of the action in that post from four weeks ago:-

TCEC: In 'Cup 10', Stockfish beat LCZero +4-2=4 in a semifinal match, then beat KomodoDragon +2-1=9 in the final match. The site then launched 'Swiss 3' with 48 engines competing over 11 rounds. • CCC: In the 'CCC17 Blitz' event, of the six engines that promoted from the Main stage, Stockfish, Dragon, and Lc0 finished in that order. The same pattern is holding for the Semifinal stage, with Dragon and Lc0 tied for second/third place.

Two posts in two months risks missing important evolutions. Following is what I reckon has happened since then.

TCEC: Stockfish won 'Swiss 3' a half point ahead of LCZero, which was two points ahead of Berserk. KomodoDragon finished in fourth place, a half point behind Berserk and a half point ahead of the next five engines.

After 'Swiss 3', the site ran a 'Stockfish Simul' against the other participants in the event. The TCEC wiki explained,

Stockfish has total 30min+3s TC [time control] for all 47 games against 47 engines while all opponents have full 30min+3s TC and also total 96GiB hash. Played immediately after Swiss 3. Also reverse games played. How Stockfish time is divided depends on opponent strengths. • +31-12=51 (56.5 points for Stockfish).

Six engines managed a +1-0=1 plus score in their two game mini-match against Stockfish. The site then launched FRC5, which is currently in the four engine 'Final League' stage (KomodoDragon is missing). I covered the previous event on my chess960 blog -- see TCEC C960 FRC4 (January 2022) -- and will do the same for TCEC FRC5.

CCC: In the 'CCC17 Blitz' semifinal stage, Stockfish finished well ahead of Dragon and Lc0. The other three engines had substantial minus scores. In the challenger match, Lc0 beat Dragon 246.5/480 (plus-13), earning the right to challenge Stockfish. In the final match, Stockfish beat Lc0 287.5/480 (plus-95), to win the 'CCC17 Blitz' tournament.

Interspersed with the main event, the site ran a couple of bonus events, 'Candidates 2022 Tournament Bonus' and 'Draw Killer Bonus'. I didn't have time to find out more about the two events. The first bonus was obviously related to the 2022 Candidates Tournament, Madrid, but that doesn't help much.

The site is currently conducting the 'CCC18 Rapid' Qualification stage. And so the CCC's cycle of Rapid, Bullet, and Blitz tournaments starts again.

Once again, Stockfish proves to be the dominant engine in 2022. As for the recurring question 'Dragon, LCZero - Who's Better?', LCZero appears to have gained the upper hand. Is there any way to quantify this?

[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; Dragon = KomodoDragon]

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