Top Chess Engine Championship

Top Chess Engine Championship, formerly known as Thoresen Chess Engines Competition (TCEC or nTCEC), is a computer chess tournament that has been run since 2010. It was organized, directed, and hosted by Martin Thoresen until the end of Season 6; from Season 7 onward it has been organized by Chessdom. It is often regarded as the Unofficial World Computer Chess Championship because of its strong participant line-up and long time-control matches on high-end hardware, giving rise to very high-class chess.[1][2] The tournament has attracted nearly all the top engines compared to the World Computer Chess Championship.

After a short break in 2012,[3] TCEC was restarted in early 2013 (as nTCEC)[4] and is currently active (renamed as TCEC in early 2014) with 24/7 live broadcasts of chess matches on its website.

Since season 5, TCEC has been sponsored by Chessdom Arena.[5][6]

Overview edit

Basic structure of competition edit

The TCEC competition is divided into seasons, where each season happens over a course of a few months, with matches played round-the-clock and broadcast live over the internet. Each season is divided into several tournaments: a Leagues Season, a Cup, a Swiss tournament, a Fischer Random Chess tournament. Additionally, seasons contain various bonus contests, like the 'Viewer Submitted Opening Bonus'.

Prior to season 21, there was originally one tournament in each season. This tournament consisted of several qualifying stages and one "superfinal", and the winner of the superfinal is called the "TCEC Grand Champion" until the next season. Prior to season 11, the tournament used a cup format, while starting in Season 11, the tournament used a division system. Starting in season 13, there was also a cup tournament consisting of the top 32 engines in the main tournament, resulting in a 5-round single elimination tournament.[7]

Engine settings/characteristics edit

Pondering is set to off. All engines run on mostly the same hardware[8] and use the same opening book, which is set by the organizers and changed in every stage. Large pages are disabled, but access to various endgame tablebases is permitted. Engines are allowed updates between stages; if there is a critical play-limiting bug, they are also allowed to be updated once during the stage. In previous seasons, if an engine crashes 3 times in one event, it is disqualified to avoid distorting the results for the other engines; however, starting in TCEC Season 20, an engine is allowed to crash any number of times without being disqualified from the current event, although the engine will still be disqualified from future events unless the crash is fixed.[9] TCEC generates an Elo rating list from the matches played during the tournament. An initial rating is given to any new participant based on its rating in other chess engine rating lists.

Criteria for entering the competition edit

There is no definite criterion for entering into the competition, other than inviting the top participants under active development from various rating lists which can run on their Linux platform. Originally, TCEC used Windows instead of Linux. In addition, either XBoard or UCI protocol are required to participate. [10]

Usually chess engines that support multiprocessor mode are preferred (8-cores or higher), and engines in active development are given preference. Since TCEC 12, engines like LCZero which use GPUs for neural processing were supported.

Initially, the list of participants was personally chosen by Thoresen before the start of a season. His stated goal was to include "every major engine that is not a direct clone".[11] In TCEC 13, DeusX was banned due to being a clone of Leela, and in TCEC 20, Houdini, Fire, Rybka (engine in Fritz up to TCEC 16), and Critter were banned due to allegations of plagiarism.

Tournament results edit

The number within the brackets () denote the number of times the engine has won the particular competition.

TCEC Seasons edit

Season Date TCEC Grand Champion Elite match/Superfinal score Runner-Up
TCEC Season 1 Dec 2010 – Feb 2011 Houdini 1.5a (1)1 + 12 = 23 - 5 Rybka 4.0
TCEC Season 2 Feb – Apr 2011 Houdini 1.5a (2) + 9 = 26 - 5 Rybka 4.1
TCEC Season 3 Apr – May 2011 N/A (season not completed)
TCEC Season 42 Jan – May 2013 Houdini 3 (3) + 6 = 38 - 4 Stockfish 250413
TCEC Season 53 Aug – Dec 2013 Komodo 1142 (1) + 10 = 30 - 8 Stockfish 191113
TCEC Season 6 Feb – May 2014 Stockfish 170514 (1) + 13 = 45 - 6 Komodo 7x
TCEC Season 74 Sep – Dec 2014 Komodo 1333 (2) + 7 = 53 - 4 Stockfish 141214
TCEC Season 8 Aug – Nov 2015 Komodo 9.3x (3) + 9 = 89 - 2 Stockfish 021115
TCEC Season 9 May – Dec 2016 Stockfish 8 (2) + 17 = 75 - 8 Houdini 5
TCEC Season 10 Oct – Dec 2017 Houdini 6.03 (4)1 + 15 = 76 - 9 Komodo 1970.00
TCEC Season 11 Jan – Apr 2018 Stockfish 260318 (3) + 20 = 78 - 2 Houdini 6.03
TCEC Season 12 Apr – Jul 2018 Stockfish 180614 (4) + 29 = 62 - 9 Komodo 12.1.1
TCEC Season 13 Aug – Nov 2018 Stockfish 18102108 (5) + 16 = 78 - 6 Komodo 2155.00
TCEC Season 14 Nov 2018 – Feb 2019 Stockfish 190203 (6) + 10 = 81 - 9 LCZero v0.20.2-32930
TCEC Season 15 Mar – May 2019 LCZero v0.21.1-nT40.T8.610 (1) + 14 = 79 - 7 Stockfish 19050918
TCEC Season 16 Jul – Oct 2019 Stockfish 19092522 (7) + 14 = 81 - 5 AllieStein v0.5-dev_7b41f8c-n11
TCEC Season 17 Jan – Apr 2020 LCZero v0.24-sv-t60-3010 (2) + 17 = 71 - 12 Stockfish 20200407DC
TCEC Season 18 May – Jul 2020 Stockfish 202006170741 (8) + 23 = 61 - 16 LCZero v0.25.1-svjio-t60-3972-mlh
TCEC Season 19 Aug – Oct 2020 Stockfish 202009282242_nn-baeb9ef2d183 (9) + 18 = 73 - 9 LCZero v0.26.3-rc1_T60.SV.JH.92-190
TCEC Season 20 Dec 2020 – Feb 2021 Stockfish 20210113 (10) + 14 = 78 - 8 LCZero 0.27.0d-Tilps-dje-magic_JH.94-100
TCEC Leagues Season 21 May – Aug 2021 Stockfish 14_202107131735 (11) + 19 = 74 - 7 LCZero 0.28-dev+_69626
TCEC Leagues Season 22 Jan – Apr 2022 Stockfish dev15_20220401 (12) + 28 = 63 - 9 KomodoDragon 2894.00
TCEC Leagues Season 23 Aug – Nov 2022 Stockfish dev16_20221027 (13) + 27 = 63 - 10 LCZero 0.30-dag-9a9c42d
TCEC Leagues Season 24 Feb – Apr 2023 Stockfish dev-20230409 (14) + 20 = 64 - 16 LCZero 0.30-dag-a9b25c2b
TCEC Leagues Season 25 Aug – Oct 2023 Stockfish dev-20231010 (15) + 27 = 50 - 23 LCZero 0.31-dag-e429eeb-BT3
1 Houdini has been disqualified since season 20 and its results in previous seasons, except those of Houdini 4 and earlier versions, have been nullified.[12][13][14]
2 Originally named "nTCEC Season 1".
3 Originally named "nTCEC Season 2".
4 Season 7 did not use endgame table bases at all and Stage two did not use opening books either.

TCEC Cups edit

Tournament Date Winner Finals score Runner-up
TCEC Cup 1 Oct 2018 Stockfish 270918 (1) + 1 = 7 - 0 Houdini 6.03
TCEC Cup 2 Jan 2019 LCZero v0.20.1-32742 (1) + 1 = 7 - 0 Houdini 6.03
TCEC Cup 3 May 2019 LCZero v0.21.1-nT40.T6.532 (2) + 2 = 7 - 1 Stockfish 19042711
TCEC Cup 4 Oct 2019 Stockfish 19100908 (2) + 1 = 7 - 0 LCZero v0.22.0-nT2
TCEC Cup 5 Apr 2020 Stockfish 202004181536 (3) + 1 = 3 - 0 LCZero v0.24-sv-t60-3010
TCEC Cup 6 Jul 2020 AllieStein v0.7_dev2-net_15.0 (1) + 1 = 3 - 0 LCZero v0.26.0_sv-t60-4229-mlh_opt2
TCEC Cup 7 Nov 2020 Stockfish 2020102823_nn-2eb2e0707c2b (4) + 1 = 3 - 0 LCZero v0.26.3_T60.SV.JH.92-270
TCEC Cup 8 Feb 2021 Stockfish 202102202249 (5) + 1 = 7 - 0 LCZero 0.27.0-pr1509_JH.94-100
TCEC Cup 9 Oct 2021 Stockfish dev15_20211015 (6) + 1 = 3 - 0 LCZero 0.28-dev+_609958
TCEC Cup 10 May 2022 Stockfish dev16_2022051413 (7) + 2 = 9 - 1 KomodoDragon 3
TCEC Cup 11 Jan 2023 LCZero 0.30-dag-dcb4ece9-BT2-3250000 (3) + 2 = 13 - 1 Stockfish dev16_202301021914
TCEC Cup 12 Jul 2023 Stockfish dev-20230713 (8) + 10 = 9 - 9 LCZero 0.31-dag-dd64c7e-T1

TCEC Swiss edit

Tournament Date Winner Runner-up
TCEC Swiss 1 Apr 2021 KomodoDragon 2679.08 (1) Stockfish 20210310
TCEC Swiss 2 Nov – Dec 2021 KomodoDragon 2.5.1 (2) Stockfish 14.1_20211101
TCEC Swiss 3 May – Jul 2022 Stockfish dev16_20220521 (1) LCZero 0.30-dev+_783363
TCEC Swiss 4 Jan – Feb 2023 Stockfish dev-20230114 (2) LCZero 0.30-dag-6b5f9451, KomodoDragon 3.2
TCEC Swiss 5 Jun - Jul 2023 Stockfish dev-20230614 (3) LCZero 0.31-dag-dd64c7e-T1
TCEC Swiss 6 Jan – Feb 2024 Stockfish dev-20240114 (4), LCZero 0.31-dag-a487796-BT3 (1) KomodoDragon 3.3

TCEC FRC (Fischer Random Chess) edit

Tournament Date Winner Final/Superfinal score Runner-up
TCEC FRC 1 Oct – Nov 2019 Stockfish 191107 (1) + 10 = 10 - 0 AllieStein v0.5_c328142-n11.1
TCEC FRC 2 Nov 2020 Stockfish 202011101829_nn-c3ca321c51c9 (2) + 8 = 42 - 0 LCZero v0.26.3_T60.SV.JH.92-330
TCEC FRC 3 Mar 2021 KomodoDragon 2671.00 (1) + 2 = 47 - 1 Stockfish 20210226
TCEC FRC 4 Dec 2021 – Jan 2022 Stockfish dev15_2021121915 (3) + 13 = 28 - 9 LCZero 0.29-dev+_610826
TCEC FRC 5 Jul 2022 Stockfish dev16_20220705 (4) + 17 = 20 - 13 LCZero 0.30-dag-bord_784038
TCEC FRC 6 May 2023 Stockfish dev-20230507 (5) + 15 = 23 - 12 LCZero 0.31-dag-1f90473-T1

TCEC DFRC (double Fischer Random Chess) edit

In DFRC, the start positions of the pieces are randomized independently for both players.

Tournament Date Winner Final score Runner-up
TCEC DFRC 1 Jul – Aug 2022 Stockfish dev16_202207131801 (1) + 18 = 23 - 9 LCZero 0.30-dag-bord-dfrc_784038
TCEC DFRC 2 May - Jun 2023 Stockfish dev-20230528 (2) + 10 = 33 - 7 LCZero 0.31-dag-590cd9ba-T1
TCEC FRD 1 Nov - Dec 2023 Stockfish dev-20231116 (3) + 11 = 29 - 10 LCZero 0.31-dag-a487796-BT3

Other TCEC tournaments edit

Tournament Date Winner Runner-up
TCEC Season 6 FRC Jun – Jul 2014 Stockfish 260614 Houdini 4
TCEC Season 9 Rapid1 Sep 2016 Houdini 200716 Komodo 1692.19
TCEC Season 10 Rapid Dec 2017 Stockfish 051117 Houdini 6.03
TCEC Season 10 Blitz Dec 2017 Komodo 1959.00 Stockfish 051117
TCEC Season 23 Chess Bonus Aug 2022 Stockfish dev16_202208061357 KomodoDragon 3.1
TCEC Season 23 4k Engine Event Dec 2022 ice4 9e94b82 4ku 1.0
1 Double round robin tournament.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Kosteniuk, Alexandra (August 15, 2013). "TCEC Computer Chess Championship New Season starts August 26th". Chess News Blog. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Roeder, Oliver (January 25, 2022). "We Taught Computers To Play Chess — And Then They Left Us Behind". Fivethirtyeight. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  3. ^ Thoresen, Martin (May 28, 2011). "TCEC announcement: End of project". Talkchess. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  4. ^ Thoresen, Martin (January 12, 2013). "Official (re)launch of TCEC - website is up!". Talkchess. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Thoresen, Martin (August 15, 2013). "TCEC and Chessdom announces partnership". TCEC. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  6. ^ "TCEC computer chess championship New Season starts August 26th". Chessdom. Chessdom. August 15, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  7. ^ "Announcing TCEC Cup 2018 | Chessdom".
  8. ^ Until season 13, all engines ran on the same hardware; however, in season 13 the entrance of two neural network engines caused TCEC to use different hardware for the two types of engines. "TCEC Season 13 – the advance of the NNs". Chessdom. 2 August 2018.
  9. ^ "TCEC Leagues Season Rules, 15.Crashes".
  10. ^ "Rules". TCEC Wiki.
  11. ^ Chabris, Christopher. "Martin Thoresen's World Chess Championship".
  12. ^ "Open Source Community Critical Of Chessbase, Fat Fritz 2". chess.com. 25 February 2021.
  13. ^ "ChessBase's Fat Fritz 2 condemned as 'rip-off' Stockfish clone". chess24. 22 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Engines and authors - TCEC wiki".

Sources edit

External links edit