Ginkgo crashed 4 times in the division and was disqualified. This means that Ginkgo is automatically relegated, and removing its games changes the table somewhat but does not change the promotions and other relegation.
Leela won division 1 convincngly, and KomodoMCTS finished 2nd. These two engines started in the lower divisions this season and both reach the premier division which is the final destination. This means that we will have a NN GPU engine in the premier division for the first time, as well as two Komodo versions playing.
Fritz is relegated together with Ginkgo. Fritz did not win any games in the division. It's a shame that Ginkgo crashed out, it would have been close to 3rd place if it were more stable.
A few interesting games
KomodoMCTS - Fizbo: Fizbo gave a pawn and opened the center, but did not get a strong attack. When Fizbo moved a rook forward KomodoMCTS trapped it. A series of exchanges that included a queen sacrifice and pawn promotion by Fizbo resulted in a QN vs QB position, KomodoMCTS two pawns up. Fizbo got one pawn back but KomodoMCTS reduced to a winning N vs B ending.
Leela - Jonny: Evals increased quickly though material was equal. Leela pushed pawns on the king side, trapping a bishop and keeping the black king in the corner. After reducing to a NN vs BN position Leela captured a pawn. It took Jonny a long time to untangle its king and bishop, Leela exchanged down to a knight ending and captured a second pawn for the win.
Fizbo - Laser: For 35 moves the position was equal, then evals started to jump. Fizbo sacrificed a knight on the king side, then got it back on the queen side and was a pawn up. Only RBB vs RBN remained, Laser lost a knight and tried to eliminate the white pawns. However Fizbo kept one pawn, enough for a win in a BB vs B position.
Jonny - Chiron: Chiron gave a rook for a knight early in the game. Evals increased for a while, Jonny's eval peaked over 2, but then the engines started to shuffle and the evals did not change. The engines reduced to a QR vs QN position and evals climbed again, this time Jonny found a winning path in a queen ending with a pawn up.
Leela - Fizbo: The game reached a bishop ending (same color) on move 32. Leela outplayed Fizbo, despite being a pawn down Leela created two passers and forced the black bishop and king to block them. This left the white king free, enough to win the game.
Fizbo - Jonny: Evals started to increase after Fizbo opened the king side, exposing the black king to attack. Jonny's king was close to being mated, by the time it was safe Fizbo was a pawn up in a RN vs RB position. Fizbo then captured another pawn, and two connected passers secured the win.
Leela - Laser: There were several early exchanges, Leela had a pawn majority on the queen side with a protected knight on c6. After some shuffling the engines exchanged queens and evals resumed their increase. Leela reduced to a won rook ending with 3 pawns up.
Ginkgo - Fizbo: Ginkgo went two pawns up with connected passers on the queen side. The white king stayed in the center and the white king side rook was stuck, but Fizbo could not get an attack going. Fizbo gave another pawn to open the king side, then it gave a rook for a knight, still its counter was too weak. Ginkgo started to push its queen side pawns and the game was adjudicated. Too bad that Ginkgo already crashed 3 times, it is still playing but the games will not be counted in the final crosstable.
With one RR left Leela is leading the table, 1.5 points ahead of KomodoMCTS and 3 points ahead of Fizbo (after removing Ginkgo related points). If the Fritz - Leela game will be replayed the lead will probably increase. It is quite safe to say Leela will win this division and promote. The bottom of the table is also decided after the disappointing crashing out of Ginkgo. Fritz is 2.5 points below Jonny, its only win is a questionable Leela crash. The only open race is for 2nd place between KomodoMCTS and Fizbo.
Fizbo - KomodoMCTS: Fizbo gave a knight for two pawns, opened the king side and exposed the black king. Evals started to increase after Fizbo created a queen side passer, and then it captured two more pawns and created passers in the center. Fizbo sacrificed a rook to promote one of the pawns to a queen in a Q vs RN position, winning after the white king came forward to support. There were two white wins in this opening. With this result Fizbo is only 0.5 points behind.
Fritz - Chiron: The game reached a RB vs RB position on move 27, and seemed to be heading for a draw. 35 moves later Chiron found a way to capture a pawn. Fritz' position collapsed and Chiron won in a slow endgame. A double win for Chiron in this opening.
Laser - Fizbo: Laser had a small eval advantage from the start, it started to increase after move 30. Laser made threats on the king side while Fizbo's pieces were far from its king, then Laser captured a pawn on the queen side. The king side attack was over with a series of exchanges that left a double rook ending with Laser 2 pawns up, enough for a win. Another opening with two white wins.
KomodoMCTS extends its lead to 1 point after drawing against Leela, 5 rounds to go.
Fizbo - Leela: Fizbo played the openng badly, giving a pawn without real compensation. Leela had a small eval advantage from the start that increased gradually. Leela pushed pawns on the king side and won a rook for a bishop. Fizbo could not hold back the king side attack, it lost more material and the game was adjudicated when it was a rook down. A double win for Leela in this opening.
Fizbo with two losses in a row, KomodoMCTS drew against Chiron and its lead is 1.5 points with 4 rounds to go. Both engines still have a game against Ginkgo which will not count, so really only 3 games left each. Fizbo's chances are very low.
Jonny - Ginkgo: The game reached a RRB vs RRN position on move 19. Ginkgo took over after opening the king side and driving the white king away with its rooks. Eventually Jonny lost a bishop and the game.
Fizbo only managed a draw against Fritz while KomodoMCTS played against Ginkgo. Fizbo is 1 point behind with two games to play, KomodoMCTS has 3 more games.
Chiron - Leela: See featured game below. This was Leela's first and only loss in the division.
Leela - Ginkgo: Leela gave two pawns and developed a king side attack while the black king remained in the center and the black queen was far away. Ginkgo had to walk its king to the queen side, Leela reduced to a double rook ending, it had a pawn advantage and an active king which were enough for a win.
KomodoMCTS - Laser: After a series of exchanges only QN vs RRN remained on move 21. Evals started to increase as KomodoMCTS used its queen side majority to create a passer. Eventually Laser had to lose a rook to stop the passer, losing the game.
Fizbo only drew against Chiron, KomodoMCTS is leading by 1.5 points. Since Fizbo has only one more game to play KomodoMCTS secures 2nd place and promotion to the premier division.
Jonny - Fritz: Jonny outplayed Fritz in a QRB vs QRB ending.
Laser - Leela: Laser gave a rook for a bishop and pawns, it held the position until move 34. Leela broke through the pawn wall and won a bishop. Laser was up 4 pawns in a QRB vs QB position, but after queens were exchanged Leela's rook picked up the white pawns for a win. A double win for Leela in this opening.
Ginkgo - Chiron: Chiron's queen moved forward and Ginkgo trapped it. Chiron managed to exchange queens, but was a pawn down in a RN vs RB ending with its pieces stuck on the king side. By the time Chiron activated its pieces Ginkgo captured a pawn on the queen side, the game was adjudicated with Ginkgo 3 pawns up.
Leela - Fritz: What a rollercoaster game! The engines started shuffling on move 28, and a few pawn moves extended the shuffle to move 136. At this point Leela opened the queen side with exchanges, and shuffling resumed. Leela started to get optimistic, after 40 moves it broke through the center and created a passer. Fritz gave a rook for a bishop to stop the passer and the game reached a R vs B ending on move 198. Leela's eval reached over 7 and started to crawl back down, it didn't see a way to improve. Leela allowed Fritz to push a passer to the 2nd rank, its bishop protecting two crucial pawns, it seemed Leela had lost its chance of winning. Evals came down close to 0, Leela sacrificed a pawn on move 280 to continue playing, and then evals started to increase again. This time Leela did find a way to capture the passer and get the win, the game was finally adjudicated on move 308.
KomodoMCTS - Jonny: Jonny went for a BB vs R imbalance with a passer on the 3rd rank. When Jonny exchanged queens KomodoMCTS' eval started to increase. Jonny's pieces were passive and KomodoMCTS had a strong bishop pair, KomodoMCTS captured two pawns and exchanged down to a winning BB vs R ending.
Featured game: Chiron - Leela
Division 1, round 25
Link to game on TCEC
Chiron had an eval advantage though it gave 2 pawns early in the game.
As compensation it had very strong bishops and a rook on the 7th rank.
Leela captured a third pawn, it had 3 passers on the
queen side and its queen partially trapped in front.
Chiron captured a bishop and material was seemingly equal. Chiron's eval started to increase, Leela didn't see any danger and it pushed its queen side pawns forward. Chiron seemed to sacrifice a bishop, but it couldn't be taken beacuse of a mate threat. Then Leela saw what was coming and its eval jumped over 2, too late.
The bishop still could not be taken, the f7 pawn is pinned and cannot take the white queen. The black king was in immediate danger and the black queen was hanging. Leela was forced to exchange pieces and lose its queen, reaching a QRN vs RRN position. Chiron had to deal with the black
passers on the queen side, Leela fought back by capturing the remaining
white pawns. The game reached a QN vs RN ending.
Leela tried to build a
fortress, but it couldn't stop the white queen from getting to the back rank. Chiron found a way to drive away the black king and the game was adjudicated.