Crosstable after RR2
Stockfish is leading after a +2 score in the RR. Komodo, Leela and Houdini are in the fight for 2nd place. Komodo enjoyed a second crash result, without the crashes it would be in third place. Leela won two games in the RR, its first wins in the division. Houdini lost a game to Stockfish, its first loss.
At the bottom of the table there are 4 engines fighting against relegation. KomodoMCTS is playing well when it is not crashing, however with two crashes so far there is a real possibility it will be disqualified. Fire had a disappointing RR with a -3 score, it will probably lose its status of the last few seasons as the 4th best engine.
A few interesting games
Stockfish - Houdini: Stockfish had a small eval advantage, there were almost no exchanges in the first 32 moves. Stockfish went a pawn up with eval over 1, though Houdini had a passer that had to be blocked. After a few exchanges and some shuffling Houdini pushed a pawn on the king side and evals started to increase. Stockfish pushed its queen side pawns and then reduced to a N vs B ending.The game was adjudicated and the PV showed how Stockfish can capture black pawns and win.
Leela - Fire: See featured game below.
Komodo - Fire: Queens and knights were off early. Komodo's eval started to increase while it offered a rook for a bishop. Fire did not accept at first, when it took the exchange it gave it back and only RB vs RB were left. Komodo's eval stayed around 2 for a while, then it jumped over 6 as Komodo's king advanced and with a bishop sacrifice Komodo created a central passer on the 7th rank. Fire kept playing, it gave back the bishop and captured the passer. However the rook ending two pawns up was a win for Komodo. Komodo's first win that wasn't a crash.
Leela - Andscacs: Leela had an eval over 1 after the position opened up. The engines exchanged pieces until only RB vs BN remained, Andscacs two pawns up. The bishops were of opposite colors, Andscacs placed its pawns so the white bishop couldn't attack them, its pieces in a fortress. The engines shuffled for a long while, then captured pawns until only one black pawn was left. Andscacs blundered the 7 man position, without tablebase support, it lost its pawn and the game was adjudicated as a tablebase win. It should be noted that the winning sequence was over 60 moves long, with a capture after 49 moves, almost a cursed win.
Andscacs - Stockfish: Andscacs gave a rook for a knight and created a central passer. Evals were close to 0 for over 30 moves, then Stockfish took over. It managed to reduce to a B vs R ending, the rook was strong behind the white pawns and the bishop could not defend them all. The game was adjucated as Andscacs was about to lose all its pawns.
KomodoMCTS - Fire: Evals were low for the first 30 moves. The position was open, Fire had a central passer and KomodoMCTS had a pawn majority on the queen side. Evals increased very slowly, then started to jump as the engines exchanged most of the remaining pieces. The game reached a queen ending, KomodoMCTS created a queen side passer while the black king was too exposed and on the other side. Fire couldn't stop the passer and the game was adjudicated.
Featured game: Leela - Fire
Premier division, round 10
Link to game on TCEC
Leela had a small eval advantage from the start. On move 22 Fire created a
queen side passer, and it pushed it to the 4th rank but didn't have the support to push
it further. Leela had more space on the king side, but Fire's king looked safe enough.
Leela slowly moved pieces to the king side and its eval increased over 1. At the same time Fire focused on the
queen side, and it left the black king with only a few defenders. Leela gave a pawn
and increased the pressure on the king side, Fire thought it was safe
and was slow to respond.
Evals started to jump when Leela opened the king side. Fire realized its king was in danger while too many pieces were on the queen side. Leela gave a knight to move another defender out of the way,
the black king was exposed with all the white pieces attacking.
The game was
adjudicated before Fire lost material and the PVs showed mate.