Archive for January, 2019

Artemiev Retakes Lead Heading To Final Round Of Gibraltar Chess Festival

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Round 10 of the 2019 Gibraltar Chess Festival is going to be a throwback. All the way back to Tuesday, when the 20-year-old GM Vladislav Artemiev was even two days younger.
In yesterday's round nine, he retook sole possession of first place in t…

Source: Chess.com – Play. Learn. Share.

February 2019 FIDE Rating List

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

official logo

FIDE publishes February 2019 FIDE Rating List. The list of top players is published at Top lists page of FIDE ratings website. All players can check new ratings at the main page of FIDE ratings website.

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

‘My motivation has dropped:’ chess legend Vladimir Kramnik announces retirement at 43

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Prominent Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik has decided to end his professional chess career explaining that he wants “to try doing something else” since his motivation as a chess player has “significantly dropped.” The 43-year-old former chess champion publicly announced his retirement at Tata Steel Chess Tournament in the Netherlands. In what turned out to be his career-ending competition, Kramnik finished last, in 14th place. “I already decided to finish my professional chess career a couple of months ago and now, after having played my last tournament, I would like to announce it publicly,” Kramnik said. “The life of a professional chess player was a great journey and I am very thankful to chess for all it has given me. It has sometimes been difficult, sometimes more successful than I could ever imagine, but in any case, it has been …

Source: GameKnot online chess news

TCEC Season 12 – the 12th Top Chess Engine Championship

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

tcec14Written by Guy Haworth and Nelson Hernandez
Reading, UK and Maryland, USA

This is the second in a new series of analytical articles on past TCEC events. The main text can be read below on this webpage, and at the bottom you will find a link to the full layouted article in pdf format, including the important tables, graphs and images.

TCEC is very grateful to the authors for their kind permission to publish these substantial and scholarly analyses of its events!

Introduction

After the successes of TCEC Season 11 (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018a), the Top Chess Engine Championship moved straight on to Season 12, starting April 18th 2018 with the same divisional structure if somewhat evolved.
Five divisions, each of eight engines, played two or more ‘DRR’ double round robin phases each, with promotions and relegations following. Classic tempi gradually lengthened and the Premier division’s top two engines played a 100-game match to determine the Grand Champion. The strategy for the selection of mandated openings was finessed from division to division. The revised TCEC engine line-up is illustrated and listed in Fig. 1 and Table 1.

Besides using FIDE’s 3x-repetition and 50-move drawing rules, TCEC terminated a game at move 40 or later if both engines had |eval| < 0.05 for ten consecutive plies in the current phase, i.e., since the last pawn-advance and/or capture. TCEC12 fell in line with most of the participating engines by adjudicating endgames using the Syzygy DTZ50″ EGTs rather than the Gaviota DTM EGTs which do not recognise the 50-move rule. 5-man EGTs were used for the divisions and 6-man EGTs were used for the Superfinal. Games which were apparently decisive were terminated by TCEC if both engines consistently agreed for the last eight plies that the evaluation is at least 6.5 or at most -6.5.
ELO ranged from 2714 to 3554, averaging 3143. Four new engines joined the fray this time:

  • LEELA CHESS ZERO, a new-architecture UCT/NN engine from a large community,
  • RODENT by the Polish chess programmer Pawel Koziol,
  • TUCANO by the Brazilian professional software developer/programmer Alcides Schulz, and
  • XIPHOS by the Serbian mathematician and computer scientist Milos Tatarevic.

The formidable 44-core server of TCEC11 was used unchanged in TCEC12.

Division 4, two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 30′+10″/m

A principal focus was the participation of the exciting LEELA CHESS ZERO, a neural-network-architecture engine inspired by the innovations of Deep Mind’s ALPHAZERO (Silver et al, 2017). The 14 most common two-move openings in the second author’s CATOBASE (Hernandez, 2018) were allocated to rounds 1-7 and 15-21, and with colours reversed for rounds 8-14 and 22-28, see Table 2.

The results, as played, are as in Table 3 though a rule introduced in TCEC11 required that the participation of SCORPIO be scratched as it had three technical crashes. The seven connection breaks with the server were thought to be caused by deadlock conditions in the engine. These losses in fact made no difference to the final ranking on this occasion. LC0 did not in fact progress but will be greatly helped by GPU assistance in a future season. The generic statistical review of TCEC12 results and terminations is given for each phase of TCEC12 in Table 11.

For division 4, all rounds have four games so game r.n is game 4r-4+n in the pgn files (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018b) and the colour-flipped pairings of engines are 28 games apart. This division had 10.8% of its wins below the diagonal of the eventual x-table. ETHEREAL alone was much improved, undefeated and a strong first while XIPHOS kept RODENT III in a distant third place, beating it 4-0.

Division 3, two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 30′+10″/m

In this division, the same fourteen openings were mandated as for Division 4 and used in the same order. This time however, the colour-reversed game followed immediately rather than 28 games later, giving an earlier balanced view on the bilateral contests. Rounds were therefore of eight games rather than four and were numbered from 1 to 14.

Draws under the 50-move rule are very rare in TCEC, less than 1% of terminations. This is because most engines seem to monitor the ply-count, zero their evaluations as they see it reaching 100, and allow TCEC draw-adjudication to take its course. Game 13.1/97, CHESSBRAINVB-WASP, was however a 50m-rule draw: CHESSBRAINVB retained hopes of a win to the end, despite being a pawn down.

CHESSBRAINVB was a clear winner but the race for the second promotion-spot was close. XIPHOS pulled off its second promotion this season, despite having lost its head-to-head matches with fellow candidates ETHEREAL and PEDONE. ETHEREAL more than justified its promotion to Division 3.

Division 2, two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 30′+10″/m

Fourteen of the most frequent 100 two-move openings in CATOBASE were allocated to rounds 1-14 with, again, the colour-reversed games being played immediately.

This time, FRITZ and TEXEL won promotion but the newly promoted XIPHOS and CHESSBRAINVB took the next two places. There were 10 technical crashes in the division, and both ARASAN and HANNIBAL were disqualified and relegated for disconnecting from the server: a pity as they had both scored wins against FRITZ. VAJOLET no doubt counted itself lucky to survive.

Division 1, two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 60′+10″/m

The normalised Sonneborn-Berger scores suggest that this was the most closely-contested division of TCEC12. Eventually, GINKGO and JONNY triumphed though FIZBO and BOOOT kept the result in doubt until almost the end. Thankfully, we did not see another rash of engine-disconnect fails, the one ultimately irrelevant incident being g8.8/64, FRITZ–JONNY. FRITZ as Black had beaten JONNY in their first, g1.7/7, encounter and hung on to its recent promotion: TEXEL did not.

Division P, four DRR phases, 56 rounds, 224 games, tempo 90′+10″/m

STOCKFISH was the only unbeaten engine but was still second with a Performance ELO of 3443, 121 down on its nominal 3554. KOMODO lost its eight-game match against STOCKFISH but had a better harvest of wins against the bottom three engines. HOUDINI made up the three engines that stretched away from the others. CHIRON crashed three times in the first round and was pulled from the event.

The TCEC12 Superfinal match: 100 games, tempo 120′+15″/m

The Superfinal between STOCKFISH and KOMODO surprised in two ways. First, it was not close and secondly, the win-rate was high. STOCKFISH won 29-9, 23/6 as White and 6/3 as Black so White also dominated Black 29-9. In terms of the fifty two-game pairs, STOCKFISH won 22 pairs 1?-? and the g71-72 pair 2-0: KOMODO won 4 pairs 1?-?. GM Thechesspuzzler (2018) created a Youtube stream for the TCEC12 Superfinal. Wool (2018) provided some useful chessic insight on TCEC12 as a whole.

Summary

We gather together some generic statistics for the Divisions and Superfinal in Tables 11 and 12. These will help aficionados and analysts of computer chess to identify the particular games of interest to them later. The pgn files and further data are included with the e-repository version of this note (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018). Our congratulations go once again to the TCEC audience who made for a lively discussion forum, to all participants, particularly to those who gained promotion and to the TCEC12 Grand Champion, STOCKFISH and all its supporters.

REFERENCES

  • CPW (2018). https://tinyurl.com/icga046. Biographies of programs and authors.
  • de Man, R. (2018). http://tablebase.sesse.net/syzygy/. Site providing 5- and 6-man DTZ50? EGTs.
  • ‘GM Thechesspuzzler’ (2018). https://tinyurl.com/icgaj036. TCEC video playlists.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2018a). TCEC11: the 11th Top Chess Engine Championship. ICGA Journal 40(3). See also http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/75899/ for supporting data – results, statistics and pgn files.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2018b). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/76985/. TCEC12: the 12th Top Chess Engine Championship. This article plus supporting data – results, statistics and pgn files.
  • Silver, D. et al (2017) https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.01815 Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm.
  • TCEC (2018) http://tcec.chessdom.com. Current and past TCEC tournaments.
  • Twitch (2018). https://www.twitch.tv/. A video/chat platform and community for gamers.
  • Wool, A. (2018) http://mytcecexperience.blogspot.co.uk/ TCEC blog.

Full article

To read the full article in pdf, click HERE

Chessdom

Artemiev Retakes Lead Going Into Final Round Of Gibraltar Chess Festival

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Round 10 of the 2019 Gibraltar Chess Festival is going to be a throwback. All the way back to Tuesday, when the 20-year-old GM Vladislav Artemiev was even two days younger.
In yesterday's round nine, he retook sole possession of first place in t…

Source: Chess.com – Play. Learn. Share.

Stockfish Wins Computer Chess Championship Bullet; ‘Escalation’ Next

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Stockfish added another Computer Chess Championship to its trophy rack, emerging as the winner of CCC 4: Bullet Brawl. The champion engine remains the winner of all Chess.com computer events, and now can claim dominance in the fastest time control…

Source: Chess.com – Play. Learn. Share.

Cecil’s Saturday Puzzle -January 26, 2019

Thursday, January 31st, 2019
from the Winnipeg Free Press
White to mate in 2 (Funk)

Source: Chess Manitoba

The 2019 January TNT has been rated by the CFC

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

CFC has rated the event -  see the Crosstable here

Congratulations to the following who achieved new peak established ratings:

Yemi Abioye 2032
Larry Samson 1737
Roy Proulx 1907

Source: Chess Manitoba

Gibraltar Chess Festival: 3 Leaders After Round 8

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

There's been a slinky effect at the 2019 Gibraltar Chess Festival, with seemingly alternating rounds of a sole leader, followed by the leading score group bunching up again.
After GM Vladislav Artemiev stretched the slinky by beating GM Hikaru N…

Source: Chess.com – Play. Learn. Share.

Three Leaders After Round Eight Of Gibraltar Chess Festival

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

There's been a slinky effect at the 2019 Gibraltar Chess Festival, with seemingly alternating rounds of a sole leader, followed by the leading score group bunching up again.
After GM Vladislav Artemiev stretched the slinky by beating GM Hikaru N…

Source: Chess.com – Play. Learn. Share.

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