Table after 16 rounds
Houdini in the lead ! With 7.5 points in the last 8 games Houdini is 1 point clear of the field. Stockfish had 3 draws, including one that was a huge surprise against Delphil. It is now second together with Jonny that had 8 straight wins. Fire dropped to 4th after two losses and a draw playing against the top contenders. Komodo is still 2 points behind the lead after a good result of 7 points. Only Houdini, Stockfish and Komodo remain unbeaten in the rapids.
Texel with a huge 7.5 result, and Raptor with 6.5 are the only 3000- engines in the top half, Laser is still over-performing with a 50% score. Naum is still under-performing, the only 3000+ engine in the bottom half with less than 50%.
Games that caught my eye
Nirvana - Stockfish: Stockfish used a moment when all Nirvana's pieces were on the queen side to launch a king side attack. Stockfish used the exposed white king to get a material advantage until it was up a rook. Nirvana's first loss of the stage.
Gull - DisasterArea: Gull only managed to get a draw, another good results for DisasterArea.
Protector - Komodo: After 70 moves with both engines shuffling in a static position Komodo found a breakthrough. What looked like a draw became a winning N vs R endgame.
Komodo - Hannibal: An easy win for Komodo. The opening eval advantage turned into a winning RN vs RB ending.
Fizbo - Raptor: A very long game. Fizbo was up a rook against a knight and pawns, and thought it had an advantage. After a long shuffle the position opened up and it was Fizbo's passers against Raptor's rook, Raptor thought it was better. After another long shuffle with 5 pawns for a rook Raptor was able to exchange queens and get a winning endgame.
Houdini - Nirvana: Houdini thought it had a better RN vs RB ending with a pawn advantage, but Nirvana turned it into a drawn rook ending. Houdini down to 3rd place.
Nirvana - Laser: Nirvana thought it was ahead against Laser in a N vs B ending. evals climbed to over 1.5 before coming back down when not enough pawns were left.
Delphil - Stockfish: Only a draw !! After many early exchanges the position was a BB vs BN ending at move 27. Delphil was able to hold, quite a surprise given this was only its second draw of the stage having lost the other 9 games.
Fire - Naum: Naum seemed to be holding a RB vs RB ending, but Fire found a way to advance its two passers to get a winning position.
Rybka - Komodo: Komodo equalized easily but could not get more than a draw. It is getting far behind the table lead.
Laser - Komodo: A 3-fold repetition after 31 moves, great result for Laser, not so great for Komodo. It doesn't seem like it can close the gap to the top.
Stockfish - Fire: Fire played the opening badly and Stockfish took control of the game from move 10. The black king stayed in the center and was under constant attack. With Fire losing material the game ended on move 36. Fire's first loss, and Stockfish is in the lead.
Fire - Houdini: Houdini defeated Fire convincingly playing black. First it had two advanced passers in front of an exposed king, and then Houdini converted this advantage to a winning RN vs RR endgame. Fire with two losses in a row, Houdini and Stockfish leading together.
Komodo - Ginkgo: Komodo showed its endgame strength beating Ginkgo in a RN vs RN endgame, aided by Ginko's no-tablebase handicap. Ginkgo's first loss in the rapids.
Bobcat - Critter: Bobcat surprised Critter in a B vs R ending. Critter blundered and allowed the white king to get behind the unguarded black pawns, creating enough passers for a win.
Nirvana - Fire: Nirvana had an eval advantage out of the opening, Fire was able to equalize and then get more space in a closed position. Playing with no time on the clock Fire opened the position and gained eval, but with pawns running out the game reached a drawn ending.
The Baron - Nirvana: The Baron found a 3-fold repetition to stop Nirvana's pawn from queening. A rare score against a top contender for the Baron.
Gull - Houdini: Houdini in black had little trouble in this game, patiently preparing in a closed position and then opening the position to a RR vs RR ending with connected passers.
Andscacs - Stockfish: Stockfish couldn't find a way to get an advantage in the game, Andscacs finished with a rook sacrifice and 3-fold repetition. Stockfish is 0.5 points behind Houdini.
Stockfish - Chiron: This was a long game in a closed position. Stockfish thought it had an advantage with the opening of the board in a RN vs RB ending, but with time running out it only got a drawn rook endgame.
Houdini - Andscacs: Houdini's eval started to climb on move 28. It combined a passed pawn with an attack on the king, enough to guarantee a win. This puts Houdini 1 point ahead of Stockfish.
Nirvana - Gull: Nirvana chose a RPP for BB imbalance and then was outplayed by Gull. The bishop pair was too strong and Nirvana gave a rook for a bishop to stop it. The extra piece won the game for Gull.