Monday, February 12, 2018

Season 11 division 1, final results

Final crosstable after 8RR

The final draw rate is 141/224 (62.9%).

Andscacs was the clear winner of the division. Fizbo finished 2nd but it was a close race that lasted until the last round when Fizbo held a draw against Booot.

Nirvana and Hannibal finished last and will be relegated to division 2 next season. Hannibal had a chance to catch up to Laser in 6th place, but after losing 4 times to Laser it was nearly impossible. Nirvana and Hannibal also crashed twice each in the early rounds of the division, but remained stable after being limited to 16 threads, and avoided disqualification.

The premier division is the next event of season 11, with Stockfish, Houdini, Komodo, Fire, Ginkgo and Chiron, joined by Andscacs and Fizbo. The time control will be 90+10, so we can expect 3 hour games. There will be 6 double RRs, one bookless and 5 with Cato openings. This is going to be a long event with exciting chess by the best engines available. My prediction is that Stockfish (new version) and Houdini will qualify for the superfinal, and that Fizbo will finish last. Andscacs will fight to stay in the premier division.

A few interesting games

Laser - Fizbo: The game reached a RRB vs RBN position on move 20, Fizbo had a pair of connected passers on the queen side, evals close to 0. Fizbo's passers advanced to the 2nd rank before Laser gave a bishop to take them out, Fizbo's eval over 1. The position looked like a draw, but Fizbo outplayed Laser in the endgame. After exchanging a pair of rooks it used its knight to block the white passer, and the king and bishop to target the weak pawns, resulting in a winning position.

Laser - Andscacs: Laser's king remained uncastled and the king side rook was passive in the corner. Andscacs' eval constantly increased as Laser tried to block the black pieces without success. The game was adjudicated a win for Andscacs after Laser lost a bishop and was about to lose more material. Three straight losses for Laser, two in black. Hannibal closed the score gap though it is still behind due to the crash tiebreak.

Booot - Laser: The game reached a bishop ending with same color bishops. Booot was a pawn up and all its pawns were invisible to the bishops, while Laser had one vulnerable pawn. The ending looked tricky to me, the moves did not make sense, but Booot found a way to drive the black king away so it could capture a pawn, enough for a win. Laser's 4th loss and Hannibal is ahead by 0.5 points.

Andscacs - Fizbo: The engines created a R vs BB imbalance early in the game, and by move 36 these were the remaining pieces on the board. Andscacs was 3 pawns up with connected passers on the queen side. When the passers advanced the black bishops were forced to defend, and the pawns majority on the king side was enough for a win. This is Andscacs' first win against Fizbo in the division.

Laser - Hannibal: The game reached a QRN vs QRB position on move 24 with evals close to 0. Gradually Laser improved its position, its knight more effective than the black bishop. Evals increased to over 1.5 when Hannibal traded down to a queen ending, but this was a winning position for Laser. Once again Laser beats Hannibal, it is again ahead by a point.

After RR7 is over Andscacs is 5.5 points ahead of Fizbo in 2nd and 6.5 points ahead of Booot in 3rd. With 7 games left Andscacs is surely going to be the winner of division 1. The race for 2nd place between Fizbo and Booot is still close. It may be decided in the last round when they play each other, Booot in white. At the bottom of the table Nirvana is sure to finish last. Laser had 4 losses in this RR, but two wins and especially a win against Hannibal mean that it is still a point ahead of Hannibal in 7th. This was Laser's 4th win against Hannibal in 7 games without loss, this unusual result is keeping Laser in the division.

Gull - Nirvana: Gull had an eval advantage from the opening, the center was blocked, almost all pieces remained on the board and the engines shuffled for a while. Nirvana advanced pawns on the king side and completed a pawn wall on the king side, and the white pieces could hardly move. Gull realized it was in trouble when Nirvana captured a pawn and created an opening on the queen side. A bishop for pawns sacrifice opened a second hole on the king side, Nirvana exposed the white king and advanced a pair of connected passers. Gull couldn't stop the black pieces on the queen side, the game was adjudicated before it lost more material. An unexpected win for Nirvana and in black.

After 54 rounds Hannibal is 1.5 points behind Laser, and because of the crash tiebreak Hannibal needs 2 wins in the next 2 rounds, together with two Laser losses to avoid relegation. Fizbo is only 0.5 points ahead of Booot, very close and Booot will play white against Fizbo in the last round.

Fizbo - Andscacs: Queens were off the board early in the game, Fizbo was a pawn up with an eval of about 1. Andscacs traded down to a RRN vs RRN position and captured back the pawn, Fizbo's rooks remained active but Andscacs defended well and held the draw. Fizbo and Booot are still 0.5 points apart.

Hannibal - Laser: Hannibal needed a win to have a small chance of surviving the division. It had an eval advantage from the opening but Laser equalized without too much effort. The game ended in a 3-fold repetition on move 30. Hannibal will be relegated and Laser survived.

Booot - Fizbo: Booot had an eval advantage for a while, after Fizbo traded down to a RN vs RN position evals came down to 0 with a drawn result. Fizbo is promoted to play in the premier division, joining Andscacs. 

Featured game: Jonny - Andscacs
Division 1, round 49
Link to game on TCEC

Jonny had an eval advantage of over 1 after the opening, much higher than Andscacs' eval but Jonny is known to exaggerate by a factor of 2.

Here Jonny played b4, forcing Andscacs to move the c5 knight while further exposing its king. The white knights went on the attack and Jonny managed to win a rook for a knight. Despite Jonny's material advantage evals were in favor of Andscacs.

Jonny's king was exposed and under some pressure, and its king side was not fully developed. Andscacs used the pinned c4 pawn and Jonny's reluctance to open files on the queen side to create a connected pair of passers in the center. Evals were over 2 in favor of Andscacs after the engines exchanged queens.

Andscacs was still a trade down but after a few exchanges the game reached a RB vs BB position and the passers were worth at least a rook, giving the win to Andscacs.

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