30 January 2023

Talkchess Talks Top Engines

In last week's post, LCZero Wins TCEC Cup 11; Stockfish Wins CCC19 Bullet (January 2023), I opened,

For the first time in a long while, an engine other than Stockfish won a TCEC or CCC event.

This was also flagged in a Talkchess thread.

  • 2023-01-14: Lc0 wins TCEC Cup 11 Final (talkchess.com) • 'When was the last time Stockfish lost a final? Stockfish is getting weaker and weaker. [...] Or maybe the opponents get stronger.'

Or maybe it's a typical example showing that rating is just a statistical measure of strength. As I reported in the 'LCZero Wins' post,

In the Final match, LCZero and Stockfish tied the regulation games +1-1=10, then LCZero won the second pair of tiebreak games.

Statistically speaking, a lower rated player will win a certain percentage of games. If such a game, according to the rules, turns out to be a decisive game, then the match is over. The same scenario holds for any competition where tiebreak plays a role, e.g. tennis. Sporting results aren't predetermined and that's why they are fun to watch.

As long as I'm on the subject of the Talkchess forum, last seen on this blog in Talkchess Talks Current Topics (September 2022), let's look at some other news reported recently in the forum.

  • 2022-12-04: Stockfish 15.1 is ready • 'Stockfish 15.1 was released after 8 months after Stockfish 15. According to the regression tests Elo difference between Stockfish 15.1 and Stockfish 15 isn't so much [...]'

  • 2022-12-19: Dragon 3.2 Released at KomodoChess.com [lkaufman] • 'KomodoChess.com has released Dragon 3.2, an upgrade of 3.1 which won the 2022 World Computer Chess Championship after a tiebreaking match with Lc0. It has a newer net, search improvements, and speedups compared to Dragon 3.1, which make it about ten elo stronger with normal openings (at CCRL blitz [time control], one to eight threads), also ten elo stronger at FRC (chess960), and twenty elo stronger with "unbalanced human openings".'

Talkchess user 'lkaufman' is GM Larry Kaufman, aka Dr. Komodo, who also featured in the 'Current Topics' post. When he talks about Dragon, everyone listens.

All three Talkchess threads mentioned in this current post go on for many pages. All are worth exploring in more depth.

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