Houdini and Stockfish are playing, the first game they meet in this division, in the season even. They will play 8 times in the division, and 100 games in the superfinal if they both qualify.
This is the last game of the first RR. So far Chiron crashed 3 times and has been disqualified, all its past games ignored. In the new tournament settings all its future games have been canceled, so the season will be shorter than planned by 25%.
Komodo is leading with a +3 score, Stockfish with +1 is the only other engine with an above average score. Houdini has drawn all its games so far, but most of these have been with black (its white game against Chiron ended in a crash and was removed, it is now playing as white against Stockfish). Fire has one win and one loss, Ginkgo has two each. Andscacs has two losses and a win, while Jonny has 4 losses and will be relegated unless another engine starts to crash.
The games are 3 hours long or more, I will not be able to blog continuously through the whole game. We'll see how it goes.
move 14 - Stockfish played a rare move on move 9, right after book. Then on move 11 its king moved forward, no longer allowed to castle. The black rooks are connected and both are on the king side to counter a potential pawn attack by Houdini. Perhaps the black king will find safety on the queen side later.
--- had to go for an hour ---
move 34 - Stockfish managed to hold so far, evals remain close to 0. After exchanging all bishops Houdini attacked with its queen on the queen side, forcing the black king back to the center. Houdini doubled rooks on the open e file and Stockfish exchanged RR for Q. Houdini then won a rook for a knight and the game reached a Q vs RN position. The evals are low and Stockfish will hold, any result other than a draw will be a surprise.
move 39 - Evals are not moving, despite Houdini thinking for 10 minutes on move 36. This may take a while.
move 48 - Stockfish's eval has dropped to 0. The black rook now controlling the 4th rank, not allowing the white king to move forward.
move 55 - Houdini is still hopeful with eval over 0.2. I doubt it will blunder in its optimism, it just takes longer to realize it cannot win.
Houdini lowered its eval on move 64 and the draw rule was activated on move 70. Houdini completes the first round with 6 draws and in joint 3rd with Fire and Ginkgo. Komodo in the lead with a +3 score. Will this season be Komodo's comeback?