Division 3 is getting close to the half way point. So far Ethereal is leading with a remarkable result of 8.5/10. Bobcat and Hannibal seem to be heading for relegation, and the remaining 5 engines - including the two NN engines Leela and DeusX - are in the struggle for the second promotion spot. Nemorino has had two early crashes and has been restricted to 16 threads, so far avoiding the 3rd strike and still playing well enough to have a chance of promotion. Pedone and Arasan are the remaining two engines in the race.
We will look at the Arasan-Ethereal game of round 11, Ethereal won the reverse game in round 4.
move 4: diverging from the reverse game right out of book, with a rare move e5. Arasan started optimistic with an eval around 0.5.
move 7: Ethereal eval dropped to 0 quickly. Arasan chose a rare opening line, Ethereal's eval turned slightly negative. Both the white knights are pinned.
move 10: The queen side is open, black has not developed the king side yet, delaying its castling plans. Ethereal gets a pawn, eval back to 0.
move 13: Ethereal with a very long think, but eval still 0. There is no castling in its PV, it created a pawn line across the board and it expects a lot of shuffling.
move 21: Evals are not moving, Ethereal is a pawn ahead, its king has not castled though it now can, Arasan has a bishop pair, both queens have been pushed back. Both engines seem to be playing defensively, unless there is some breakthrough I think the game will continue with a long shuffle and a draw.
move 24: Arasan is planning to trade bishops, another long think from Ethereal, again eval stays at 0.
move 33: All bishops are gone. Arasan got its pawn back and now its eval is also at 0. Perhaps the game will end at move 40 with the draw rule?
move 40: Ethereal's eval started to jump, reaching negative 0.6. Is the white back rank vulnerable? After queens are exchanged only RN vs RN left. Both evals are negative but not high, still drawish?
move 50: The queen side pawns are gone and evals are not going anywhere. Still looks like a draw, waiting for the engines to lower the eval so the game will be adjudicated.
move 60: The engines finally dropped their eval to 0. Is the end near? The 50-move counter is at 34.
move 69: Finally adjudicated by the draw rule. Arasan holds the reverse game, neither engine had a significant advantage in the game. Ethereal still unbeaten in the division, Arasan still strong in the promotion race.