AlphaZero Match Will Be Replicated In Computer Chess Champs

AlphaZero Match Will Be Replicated In Computer Chess Champs

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AlphaZero is the subject of much controversy in the chess world. Some today (a majority of our members!) insist that it is still the strongest chess engine the world has ever seen, that Google DeepMind's chess-playing neural network is still superior to the latest versions of Stockfish and Leela Chess Zero.

A recent poll on

Others are of the opposite opinion. They believe that AlphaZero's match against Stockfish was a sham, that Stockfish was handicapped, and if playing at full strength, Stockfish would have won.

While can't bring AlphaZero out of hiding, we will be replicating the full AlphaZero vs. Stockfish 8 match in the Computer Chess Championship. The open-source Leela Chess Zero will be standing in for AlphaZero. Anyone who has seen Leela's recent games could be forgiven for mistaking her for AlphaZero. On numerous occasions she has left her opponents—even the mighty Stockfish—helpless after some shocking sacrifice. This is no coincidence; Leela was designed to be a copy of AlphaZero, using DeepMind's descriptions as a guide.

The match will begin today, August 3rd, at 6 a.m. PT, 3 p.m. CET and can be watched at The match will consist of 200 games, played at a time control 10 minutes with a five-second increment. The openings will be the same as played by AlphaZero. Hardware will also be balanced to the original match conditions. The full match should last about a week.

The predictive consensus in the engine community is that the upcoming match will be extremely one-sided... which is fantastic for the viewers, who will get to see new AlphaZero-esque brilliancies played live!

Do you think Lc0 is AlphaZero reborn? Can she show herself the stronger engine? Be sure to watch live!

Rules and Regulations:

  • Settings will be chosen by a representative from each engine.
  • Lc0 26.1 will be using network 384x30-t60-4175.pb.gz
  • Openings will be taken from the 2016 TCEC superfinal, as in the original match.
  • Games that DeepMind started with randomized move selection, will have 6-ply forced openings to recreate the games that AlphaZero actually played.

Want to see some of Leela's best games?

Try our Play Like Leela course featuring many of Leela's best games!

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