Monday, September 25, 2017

Season 10 is almost ready

== UPDATE 8th October 2017 ==
Another delay in the season start. In a post on chessdom the new date is "next week", on the Facebook page it is "around Friday" (the 13th...) and I've seen the 15th mentioned on the chat. The cause for the delay is some "big drama" (Facebook quote again) behind the scenes with the server, but as a result the season will start with a new improved server with 44 cores. This is good news for season 10, I don't mind the delays too much, just get everything ready and let the games begin.

You can also watch Cato - aka Nelson Hernandez - explain the opening selection procedure for season 10.

== UPDATE 3rd October 2017 ==
The latest news is that the season will start on October 10th, see announcement on chessdom.

== Original post 25th September 2017 ==

TCEC season 10 has been announced on chessdom and is due to start in October, about 1-2 weeks from now. The TCEC chat volume is slowly increasing, with the usual participants starting to show up, as well as engine developers and of course Cato. The excitement is definitely building up.

There will be 24 engines in this season's competition, including three new to TCEC: Booot, Nemorino, and Wasp. The obvious favorites continue to be Stockfish, Houdini and Komodo, which will try to show that their new and updated versions are better than last season's as well as their rivals. Other engines that did well last season are Fire, Gull, Andscacs, Jonny and Ginkgo, it will be interesting to see how well they perform this season.

Season 10 will be shorter than season 9, with only three stages. The first stage will be a single RR of all engines, with 8 qualifiers. The time control for this stage will be 60 min + 10 sec/move, faster than previous seasons. The second stage will be two double RRs (each engine pair plays 4 games), 90 min + 10 sec/move, longer but still faster than usual in TCEC. The two best engines of the second stage will compete in the superfinal, the exact format not announced yet but probably 100 games.

The shorter time controls will be a challenge for me, it's hard to follow so many games every day and to find the time to write about the more interesting ones. I will do my best to keep up. I plan to post updates about the games as well as statistics reports for each stage, similar to my posts during the last two seasons.

Let's hope we have a successful and exciting TCEC season, with many interesting games, a little controversy, a reasonable draw rate, and very few technical problems.


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