Division 4 final crosstable
The two NN engines Leela (=LCZero) and DeusX promote to division 3. Wasp was in the race until the very last round. It managed to hold a draw against Leela, but DeusX's win against Senpai meant Wasp finished third, half a point behind DeusX.
The NN engines attracted a lot of attention, Leela in particular has a lot of supporters. One such supporter is the well-known kingscrusher, who offered live commentary of Leela games in the chat and posted analysis videos of these games on his YouTube channel. The chat was crowded and it was hard to keep up with all the posts while watching the game.
A lot of chat posts referred to the DeusX controversy. DeusX is a neural network engine that used the Leela code but used a different learning method. While Leela started from scratch and learned only playing itself, DeusX used human games to train its network. Apart from giving credit to the Leela development team for its code, there was a question whether DeusX should be considered a separate entity, or is it comparable to a Stockfish clone. TCEC decided to let both play in division 4, and there was a continuous argument about this decision in the chat. Since both engines will continue to play in division 3 I suppose the argument will continue.
There was a new TCEC site administrator during this division, indoda_eziphukile. The GUI reverted to the older version with a few changes (I will have to get used to new colors for the board). There were no problems with the system, and no crashes despite the complexity of running two machines that sometimes have to communicate. The archive did not work for the first few days but was fixed later. Well done indoda! We were then informed that for division 3 the site administrator will be replaced yet again. I hope TCEC is looking for a more stable solution.
Division 3 will start soon, with Hannibal, Ethereal, Arasan, Pedone, Bobcat, Nemorino, Leela and DeusX. The NN fans are confident Leela will promote again, it will play with a new network version which is stronger. However, considering that Wasp played in division 3 and was relegated in season 12 I think it is quite possible that division 3 will be too strong for Leela. Another issue to look out for is crashes. Arasan and Hannibal crashed out of division 2 in season 12, I hope their developers found the problems and fixed them for this season.