Season 8 of the Top Chess Engine Championship TCEC started this August 21st. After the qualifying groups, marked by a convincing victory by Komodo in Stage 1a and a Bobby Fischer 11,0/11 score for Stockfish in Stage 1b, the top twelve competitors were collected in a common double round robin Stage 2.
Already 8 rounds of TCEC Stage 2 have been played. The stage proves to be one of the most exciting in the history of the competition, with many unexpected results, solid chess games, and exciting turnarounds.
Stockfish continues undefeated and leads with 6,5/8. However, it has not been an easy walk for “The Fish”. In round 2 it was held to a draw by the newcomer Nirvana and later on by Hannibal and Gull. Stockfish still has to play the two medalists of last season – Komodo and Houdini – in the first part of the double round robin event.
The defending champion Komodo is in a similar situation. With 6,0/8 at sole second position, “The Lizard” has been held four times to a draw – by Hannibal, Gull, Texel, and Fire.
The top six positions award qualification for next stage and most of the other participants have a realistic shot at qualifying. Nirvana is at sole third position with 5,0/6, closely followed by Hannibal and Houdini. The important sixth position is shared by Gull and Ginkgo, but they are not safe as in lose proximity are the high rated Texel, Protector, and Fire. Only Chiron and The Baron seem out of contention for the qualification, however, they certainly can influence it by scoring points.
Ginkgo 1.3, the newcomer at the TCEC competition, deserves an honorable mention, as it played the most exciting game of the stage so far. It’s opponent Houdini had white and was pressing right from the start. After having long term advantage, Houdini overestimated its chances and Ginkgo created the masterpiece of Stage 2. Replay the game here with the engine’s analysis
Stage 2 continues, follow the live games at the official website
TCEC Stage 2 round 8 standings
1. Stockfish 6,5/8
2. Komodo 6,0/8
3. Nirvana 5,0/8
4-5. Hannibal 4,5/8
4-5. Houdini 4,5/8
6-7. Gull 4,0/8
6-7. Ginkgo 4,0/8
8. Texel 3,5/8
9-10. Protector 3,0/8
9-10. Fire 3,0/8
11. Chiron 2,5/8
12. The Baron 1,5/8