Stockfish Wins Computer Chess Championship Rapid; Lc0 Finishes 3rd
Stockfish was the decisive winner in the first event of the Computer Chess Championship: Rapid Rumble.

Stockfish Wins Computer Chess Championship Rapid; Lc0 Finishes 3rd

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The chess engine Stockfish proved its might with a decisive victory over Houdini in the 200-game final match of the Computer Chess Championship's first event, the Rapid Rumble.

Stockfish scored 120/200 in a match that was never in doubt. Houdini, which admirably proved itself superior to the other 22 engines in the tournament, could manage just four wins over Stockfish in the final 200 games. Like all stages of CCCC 1, the games were played at the rapid time control of 15+5.

The last stage was nothing short of a coronation for Stockfish, which is now unquestionably the strongest traditional chess engine in history.

stockfish vs houdini standings

The machine-learning engine Lc0 ("Leela") won a short third-place match over a competitive Komodo engine. Lc0 won five games to Komodo's three in 30 games to secure third place in the overall tournament.

A small issue of a repeated opening occurred in game three, but the tournament director determined it was a technical error that did not affect the competitive balance of the match, and the results stood. 

lc0 vs komodo standings

CCCC 1: bonus games:

CCCC 1: Rapid Rumble now moves on to its bonus games, which are already in progress at The bonus games are being contested by the top six engines in CCCC 1, in the form of 150 odds-chess games in a total of five positions.

You can read the full details of the bonus games here.

The Lc0 engine got off to a fast start in the bonus games, beating the reigning Computer Chess Champion Stockfish despite Lc0 starting down a pawn in the odds-chess position. In typical Leela style, the engine underpromoted to a rook to drive the win home. Leela could have promoted to a bishop to checkmate Stockfish, but chose—this time—not to troll its champion opponent. 

The win by Lc0 was the only victory in the 30 odds games by the engine down a pawn to start, which is truly an accomplishment in computer chess, where the opponent doesn't make tactical errors. 

CCCC 1: finals PGN and selected games:

Computer chess fans can download the full, 200-game PGN of Stockfish vs Houdini for the finals here.

The PGN for the 30-game match between Lc0 and Komodo can be downloaded here.

The former American world chess champion Bobby Fischer considered the King's Gambit opening discredited, and perhaps he was proven right all these years later. Stockfish demonstrated how to punish the King's Gambit early in the finals, picking up the full point with Black in this instructive game:

The persistence prize of the tournament must go to Lc0, who took 239 moves to grind out a positional win vs Komodo in the third-place match. Once again, Leela underpromoted to a rook to win, which is becoming its signature move.

CCC 2: Blitz Battle

Up next in the Computer Chess Championship is the second event, this time with some new shooters (more engines), updated versions (and new Leela nets), and an exciting blitz time control of 5/2.

Watch for an official announcement of CCC 2 with full details, participants, format, and schedule. The event is slated to begin shortly after the end of the CCCC 1 bonus games, the week of October 8.

You can follow all the Computer Chess Championship action on with the new and groundbreaking user interface, or head to to enjoy some AI-composed music while watching the games stream.

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