The chess engine Critter, created by the Slovakian software developer Richard Vida, leads Stage 1a of the top world computer chess championship TCEC. Critter collected 4,5/5 after defeating the 3000+ Gull and Equinox, winning against the outsiders Redqueen and Delphi, and drawing with the new version of Gaviota.
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At sole second place is the top rated Houdini 4. It has 4,0/5, after the slow start with two draws against Texel (2839) and Gaviota (2756). In further rounds Houdini finally showed it’s full ability and left no chances for Arminius, Onno, and Hannibal. The difficult matches, however, are ahead for Houdini, as it has not met any of the 3000+ opponents.
At shared third position, with 3,5/5 we find four engines – Texel, Cheng4, Hannibal, and Gull. They occupy positions 3-6, which give a chance for direct qualification for the next stage of TCEC (see detailed rules here). They have a pretty comfortable advantage of 1,5 points ahead of the 3000+ Equinox, and a 2,0 advantage ahead of Gaviota and Onno.
Tune in the live broadcast on the official site for the interesting matches that will decide the battles for the qualification places Do not forget that Stage 1b (with Stockfish, Shredder, etc) and Stage 1c (with Komodo, Rybka, etc) start right after the last game of Stage 1a.
More about TCEC rules here and at the official website (menu “help”).
Replay Gull vs Critter 0 – 1 (110 moves TCEC Stage 1)