Live Now: The New Computer Chess Championship
A new Chess.com Computer Chess Championship.

Live Now: The New Computer Chess Championship

pete
pete
Aug 31, 2018, 12:00 PM |
267 | Chess.com News

The Chess.com Computer Chess Championship (CCCC) is back with a new, always-on format and more chess engines as Chess.com makes a major investment in the future of computer chess. 

Update: CCCC 1: Rapid Rumble is now live!

After joining forces with the Komodo chess team earlier this year, Chess.com continues its commitment to computer chess with its most ambitious computer chess tournament yet.

The new Computer Chess Championship, available at www.Chess.com/cccc, will pit the strongest chess engines in the world against one another in a variety of formats, settings, and time controls. The tournaments will run one after another so computer chess fans will always have something to watch.

The first tournament, CCCC 1: Rapid Rumble, will feature 24 of the world's strongest engines and will begin on Aug. 31. 

cccc 1: rapid rumble

Chess.com has invested in the most powerful computer of any engine tournament to date, featuring 96 cores of Intel's latest Platinum processors. Any GPU engines, including the machine-learning Lc0, will run on a GPU-optimized configuration boasting four Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. Chess.com developers are working with the Lc0 community so that the engine plays its best in the tournament. See the full technical specifications below. 

The spectator interface was designed from the ground up to provide the best viewing experience for serious and casual fans alike. The new CCCC will be easy to follow, but will also allow viewers to dive into each engine's thinking, as all engines will display live principal variations (PVs)—a real-time peek into their thinking process and the lines they are considering. 

the new computer chess championship ui

The new Computer Chess Championship interface.

CCCC events will include the top chess engines in the world, chosen and tested for strength and stability, and seeded according to rating as specified by the most recent CCRL 40/40 list. Interesting and experimental engines may also be included. Engine authors have the option to submit development or optimized versions of their programs before the start of each event.

"Computer chess matches are the wave of the future, and often provide more instructive moments than they are given credit for," said IM Daniel Rensch, chief chess officer of Chess.com. "One of the most interesting, fun events I've ever commented on was the first Chess.com Computer Chess Championship in 2017 with GM Robert Hess, and I'm looking forward to what this new system and season will bring."

With the updated format, Chess.com will be continuously streaming the Computer Chess Championship on a dedicated Twitch channel, where chess fans and curious gamers can gather to watch the games, root for their favorite engines, and chat during the tournament.

The computer chess championship will be available 24/7 on Twitch.

The computer chess championship will be available 24/7 on Twitch.

First Event:

The inaugural Computer Chess Championship in the new format will be called CCCC 1: Rapid Rumble, and will be a round-robin of 24 of strongest chess engines available. The tournament will run on top-of-the-line hardware and the latest software.

  • Time controls: Rapid (15|5)
  • 46 threads per engine
  • 8192 MB hash
  • 6-man Syzygy and 5-man Gaviota TBs
  • All other UCI options set to default
  • Games will be played to completion (mate or draw) with no adjudication except for threefold repetition and the 50-move rule.
  • Tiebreaks will be determined utilizing the Sonneborn-Berger score

Stage 1

  • Start date: Aug. 31
  • Round robin
  • 24 engines
  • Ponder: on
  • 15|5 time control
  • Each engine plays every other engine twice (once as White, once as Black)
  • No opening book
  • Expected duration: 15 days

Stage 2

  • Round robin
  • Top 8 engines from stage 1
  • Ponder: off
  • 15|5 time control
  • Each engine plays every other engine 10 times
  • Opening book: 4-ply book
  • Expected duration: 8 days

Stage 3

  • Heads up
  • Top 2 engines from stage 2
  • 15|5 time control
  • 200 games
  • Opening book: 100 hand-selected opening positions
  • Expected duration: 6 days

Technical Specifications:

The CCCC will run on cutting-edge technology.

CPU Engines:

  • CPUs: 2 x Intel Xeon Platinum 8168 @ 2.70 GHz 33 MB L3
  • Cores: 48 physical (96 logical)
  • RAM: 256GB DDR4-2666 ECC Registered RDIMM
  • SSD: 2x Crucial MX300 (1TB) in RAID1
  • OS: Windows Server 2016

GPU Engines:

  • GPU: 4x Tesla V100 (64 GB GPU memory)
  • CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2686 v4 @ 2.30 GHz
  • Cores: 16 physical (32 virtual)
  • RAM: 256 GB

Participants:

The following 24 engines will play in the first new-format CCCC:

cccc 1: rapid rumble engines

Crash And Unfinished Games Rules:

In the event that one of the participating engines crashes, stalls, or disconnects during a game, our tournament software will automatically replay the game. The replayed game will be for exhibition only and only the original game will be scored. At the end of the tournament, the game in question will be examined by the tournament director and the Chess.com team to determine proper adjudication, as follows:

  • If the engine that crashed was in a winning position, the game will be adjudicated as a draw.
  • If the position was a clear draw, the game will be adjudicated as a win for the crashing engine's opponent.
  • Otherwise, the game will be adjudicated as a loss for the crashing engine.
  • If a neutral event occurs due to a technical error by the CCC system or anything outside the two engines playing, the game will be restarted as a new game from move 1.

The original game will be adjudicated and will count if the result of the restarted game does not match the result of the original game.
Games must complete four full moves (8 plies) to be official.

Requirements:

The engines had to meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Currently under development (at least one release in the last two years)
  • 3000+ Elo (exceptions may be allowed)
  • Must support SMP with a minimum of eight threads
  • Must be 100 percent stable during significant testing on our computer chess hardware
  • Endgame tablebase support preferred 

Team:

The CCCC is brought to you by the Chess.com team, including Norm (technical and tournament Director), Joe (developer), Lucien (developer), Dallin (design), Marina (engine avatars), and Jesse (sysadmin support).

Follow all the action live at www.Chess.com/cccc, and let us know what you think of the new tournament and interface in the comments. Check back frequently at the Computer Chess Championship site for results and upcoming events. 

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