Crosstable after RR2
Komodo is in the lead, one point ahead of Houdini and Stockfish. So far there have been only draws within the top 3 engines and their score is determined by their performance against the lower ranked opponents. Komodo is doing well, an improvement compared to last season. Houdini started with 6 draws, but came back in the reverse games. All three are looking good and anything can happen.
Chiron crashed 3 times in its first 5 games and was disqualified with automatic relegation. Jonny is the at the bottom of the table and is most likely to be the second relegated engine, it has no wins so far and Ginkgo is one point away in 6th.
A few interesting games
Stockfish - Jonny: Jonny held on until move 22 when it was tempted to take a pawn. Stockfish responded with a deadly king side attack while most of the black pieces were on the queen side. The game was over on move 31, just before Jonny started to lose material.
Jonny - Chiron: The game reached a R vs NN imbalance on move 15, Jonny two pawns up with an eval over 1. The engines started to shuffle in a closed position, Jonny avoided the 50-move draw and then evals became negative after move 100. The position opened a little and Chiron took over, the white king was in danger and Chiron used this to win a rook for a bishop and create a queen side passer. This led to a winning QR vs QRB position. Second loss for Jonny.
Fire - Ginkgo: Fire pushed its king side pawns leaving its king unprotected and the queen side undeveloped. Evals gradually increased, Ginkgo's king was trapped in the corner with a white pawn on f6.The position opened up and Fire won a pawn, and then a mate threat caused Ginkgo's defense to collapse, a win for Fire.
Komodo - Jonny: Komodo's eval started to increase on move 21 and was over 1 after a few moves. It opened the king side and Jonny had to be careful to defend its king. After a series of exchanges Komodo reduced to an opposite color bishops ending two pawns up, good for a win. Three losses in a row for Jonny, looks like it is going to be the punching bag of the division.
Houdini - Chiron: Chiron crashed in a losing position, this is Chiron's second crash in 4 games and it will probably be disqualified soon.
Komodo - Andscacs: Andscacs grabbed a pawn with its queen, evals were close to 0 until move 25. The black king was exposed and moved without castling, Komodo's eval jumped over 2 a few moves later. It attacked through the open diagonals, the black king was in danger even after Komodo sacrificed a knight. Andscacs tried to counter, giving back the material and pushing pawns against the white king, but it was hopeless. The pressure was too great, the game was adjudicated in a QRR vs QRN position with a white pawn on the 7th rank.
Andscacs - Jonny: Andscacs had an advantage from the opening. On move 30 Andscacs had a rook for a knight and a queen side passer with eval over 1.5. On move 43 the game reached a RR vs RN position, with Jonny up a pawn and evals above 2. It took more than 30 moves for Andscacs to find the path to a win, could Jonny have held? Now 4 losses to Jonny in 5 games.
Ginkgo - Komodo: Evals were close to 0 after 40 moves, then Komodo started to take over. Evals jumped over 1 after Komodo created a passer on the king side. Ginkgo gave a pawn and tried to counter with an attack on the black king. Komodo's eval continued to increase, it reduced to a winning BN vs RN position with passers on both sides. Komodo's 3rd win in the first RR, it is leading the table.
Chiron - Stockfish: Chiron crashed for the third time, and it is disqualified in the first RR.
Stockfish - Fire: See featured game below. First loss for Fire, a qualilty win for
Stockfish in 2nd place with a +2 score.
Andscacs - Ginkgo: Evals were close to 0 until move 32. Ginkgo had a pawn majority on the queen side, it started to push pawns and its eval started to climb. When it got a passer to the 3rd rank Ginkgo's eval was over 2. Andscacs gave a pawn and got nothing in return, when Ginkgo pushed a second passer to the 3rd rank the game was over. A small surprise, a win in black for Ginkgo, recall it promoted from division 1.
Ginkgo - Jonny: Evals remained close to 0 until move 42. After all the king side pawns were gone Ginkgo's king walked to the queen side for a little more safety. Jonny's king had no pawn support and the evals increased gradually. In a series of exchanges Ginkgo gave two rooks for a queen and the game reached a QN vs RRB position, evals around 1.5. For a while Jonny managed to hold but Ginkgo's queen was able to capture the two remaining black pawns and Jonny had no counter. Ginkgo's pawns started to advance and the game was soon over. Back to back wins for Ginkgo, it now has a 0 score.
Andscacs - Houdini: Material was equal, Andscacs controlled the center and had a weak bishop, Houdini had a pawn majority on the queen side and had a strong central knight. Evals remained close to 0 until move 48, then Houdini created a passer on the queen side and sent its queen forward. A mate threat caused Andscacs' defense to collapse, the game was adjudicated with Houdini up a rook for a bishop with connected passers. This is the first Houdini win of the division.
Houdini - Ginkgo: Houdini had a small eval advantage from the start, and although material remained equal the eval gradually increased. The black king was in the corner and the black pieces could hardly move, while Houdini slowly gathered its pieces for the attack. The king side opened and Houdini added two pawns to the attack, when the game was adjudicated Houdini saw mate in its PV, material still equal. Houdini's 2nd win, the usual top-3 is forming again.
Ginkgo - Stockfish: Stockfish placed a pawn-bishop formation deep in white territory on move 20, and evals started to increase for black. More black pieces joined the attack on the king side, Ginkgo exchanged pieces and gave a rook for the annoying bishop. The evals jumped higher, the white king was exposed and Stockfish's rooks had open files. Stockfish sacrificed a rook, exchanged queens and used the advanced pawn to get the rook back. The game reached a BN vs RN position, Ginkgo couldn't protect its pawns and Stockfish was soon winning. Stockfish joins Komodo in the lead with a +3 score.
Komodo - Ginkgo: The evals were close to 0 for 50 moves, then the small eval advantage Komodo had started to increase. It had a central passer, and after a few exchanges Komodo created a second passer, connected with the first. Ginkgo was a pawn up and it reduced to a double rook ending, the white central passers were too strong when they started to march. Komodo completes a double win against Ginkgo, regains the lead with +4.
Houdini - Jonny: Houdini had an eval advantage from the start, it gave a pawn to create an advanced passer on move 21. Houdini gave a second pawn and then exchanged its passer for a knight, evals over 1. The game reached a QBN vs QB position, Jonny had a passer on the 2nd rank but Houdini controlled the queening square. The white knight was very active, threatening the king and targeting Jonny's pawns. Houdini captured a pawn and exchanged queens, leading to a won BN vs B position. Houdini with a +3 score, joint second place with Stockfish.
Komodo - Fire: Komodo had an eval advantage from the start that increased gradually, it had a strong central knight and a space advantage. The engines shuffled behind their pawn lines, then after a series of exchanges Fire got rid of the white knight, it had a passer on the queen side while Komodo had a central passer. Evals started to jump as Komodo exchanged a pair of rooks, king safety became important as the black king was exposed while the white king had pawn support. Fire exchanged down to a rook ending, Komodo's rook controlled the 7th rank and could capture pawns easily. Komodo was 3 pawns up after a few moves and the game was adjudicated. Komodo extending its lead with a +5 score, Fire's second loss.
Featured game: Stockfish - Fire
Premier division, round 6
Link to game on TCEC
Stockfish had an eval advantage from the start. The engines exchanged the DSBs early and Fire's king position had dark squares weakness, it tried to compensate with its queen and knights.
Stockfish pushed pawns on the king side, with evals increasing. After exchanging the remaining bishops Stockfish's eval was over 2, the pawn line on the king side looked dangerous as the pawns were ready to charge.
Stockfish opened the g file and its eval jumped over 3. The white knights took over the center and Stockfish increased the pressure on the black king. Fire gave a rook to remove one of the white knights, after exchanging a pair of rooks the game reached a QRN vs QNN position.
Fire's king was still under threat, and Stockfish pushed its central pawns as well. The game was adjudicated before
Fire lost more material.