The chess engine Onno is off to a good start at the TCEC Season 2, after a win with black in round 1. The 2800+ ELO rated Onno defeated the weakest opponent in the field Firefly 2.6 in a French Tarrasch (Open, Eliskases Variation), after sacrificing three pawns for a knight (replay the game here)
The next game Minkochess 1.3 – Nebula 2 is being played right now, it will be followed by Delphil 3 – Toga II and Junior 13.3 – Arminius . The derby’s of the round Houdini 3 – Sjeng WC2008 and Tornado 4.88 – Stockfish 4 will close the round. All games can be viewed at the official live page of TCEC with special analysis.
This is how Onno and Firefly view the game’s development at move 27. Onno evaluates the position as -1.29 score, while Firefly just realizes it is in trouble
Pairings round 1
1 Houdini 3 – Sjeng WC2008
2 Tornado 4.88 – Stockfish 4
3 Rybka 4.1 – Scorpio 2.76
4 Jonny 6 – Komodo 1063
5 Critter 1.6a – Bugchess2 1.9
6 Crafty 23.6 – Bouquet 1.8
7 Gull 2.2 – Gaviota 0.87a8
8 Arasan 16 – Equinox 2b
9 Naum 4.2 – Exchess 7.15b
10 Octochess 5178 – Hiarcs 14
11 Hannibal 220813 – Alfil 13.1
12 Hamsters 0.71 – Shredder 12
13 Spike 1.4 – Redqueen 1.14
14 The Baron 3.35a – Spark 1
15 Junior 13.3 – Arminius 100813
16 Delphil 3 – Toga II 280513
17 Minkochess 1.3 – Nebula 2
18 Firefly 2.6 – Onno 1.27
Shedule and system of TCEC
As soon as a Stage starts, it will run 24/7 until all games have been played. One game is played at a time – the next one starts automatically. There will be a short break between the Stages, to make sure everything is ok with the computer etc.
Note: this is the current stage! Each season starts off with Stage 1, which is a 7 round Swiss event that consists of 36 engines. The seeding is done by ELO ratings: the highest rated engine meets engine 19, engine 2 meets engine 20 and so on. The top 18 move on to Stage 2, while the rest is out of nTCEC for the current Season. The openings in Stage 1 are chosen randomly per game. The games will be shown from board 18 first, up to board 1 for each round. 126 games are played in Stage 1.
Stage 2 consists of the 18 engines that qualified from Stage 1. It is a single round robin where the openings are chosen randomly. The top 10 move on to Stage 3 while the rest is out of nTCEC for the current Season. 153 games are played in Stage 2.
Stage 3 consists of the 10 engines that qualified from Stage 2. The format for Stage 3 is a double round robin and the openings are chosen randomly per pair so that each engine will play both sides of the same opening against each other. The top 6 will move on to Stage 4 while the rest is out of nTCEC for the current Season. 90 games are played in Stage 3.
Stage 4 consists of the 6 engines that qualified from Stage 3. It is a hexa round robin and will use the same book rules as in Stage 3, meaning that the openings are chosen randomly per pair so that each engine will play both sides of the same opening against each other. The top 2 will qualify to play the Superfinal, while the other 4 engines are out of nTCEC for the current Season. 90 games are played in Stage 4.
After Stage 4 has finished, the top 2 engines will meet in a Superfinal of 48 games. This match is played with 24 different openings so that each engine plays both black and white of the same position. The match will be presented with opening 1 used in games 1 and 2, then opening 2 used in games 3 and 4 etc. If the match is theoretically won for one side before game 48, the match will still continue until all 48 games have been played. In the case of a drawn match there will be a Rapid match of 12 games with a time control of 25′ + 10″. In case it is still tied there will be a Blitz match of 6 games with a time control of 3″ + 2′. When the Superfinal is over, the current Season ends.
The nTCEC Grand Champion
The winner of the Superfinal will be crowned the nTCEC Grand Champion and will keep this title until there is a winner in the next Superfinal. There is no automatic qualification for the reigning Grand Champion, it will have to go all the way through the next Season for it to be able to defend the title.