Announcing 2018 TCEC Chess Cup

A league system with chess divisions is not a novelty by TCEC

It has been an year since TCEC switched to league format– 32 participants in four qualification chess divisions with relegation and promotion, a Premier division and a Superfinal to determine the TCEC Chess Champion. The league format has proven superior to any other stage system tried in the computer championship before, bringing balanced chess and keeping the excitement until the last matches.

A league system with chess divisions is not a novelty by TCEC, rather it is a well proven system in many sport competitions. Every such league is often accompanied by a secondary event with a different format called Cup. A most logical step is to include such event in TCEC as well.

TCEC Cup format

The TCEC Cup will take place right after the Premier Chess Division and before the Superfinal, the exact dates will be announced soon. It will be a knockout championship with 32 participants divided into brackets. Each participant will be seeded according to its standing in the TCEC league event with the #1 seed meeting the #32 seed, #2 meeting #31, etc.

The TCEC Cup will consist of a total of 31 matches divided into sixteenth-final, eighth-final, quarter-final, semi-final and final. For an engine to reach the TCEC Cup gold medal it must win a total of five matches. Both participants that lose the semi final will be awarded a bronze medal.

Chess Matches and tiebreaks

Each of the chess matches will consist of 4 pairs of games (8 games, every second with reversed colors and the same opening) with time control 30 mins + 10 sec. In case of an equal score after these games, pairs of tiebreak games with the same time control will be held until a winner is determined.

More details about the TCEC Cup

  • the TCEC Cup is a minor title of the TCEC chess championships, more of which are coming in the year ahead
  • the goal of the TCEC Cup is to give a chance to each engine to show chess strength in head to head competition, not just the participants in the Superfinal
  • traditional chess engines will be equipped with 43 cores, ponder off to maximize performance
  • NN chess engines will be provided with at least 2x Tesla GPUs by Google

TCEC Cup pairings

#1 Premier Division vs Tucano

#2 Premier Divison vs Ivanhoe

#3 Premier Division vs Rodent

#4 Premier Division vs Chess22k

#5 Premier Division vs Senpai

#6 Premier Division vs Wasp
Bobcat vs #7 Premier Division
Nemorino vs #8 Premier Division
Hannibal vs #3 Division 1
Deus X vs #4 Division 1
Pedone vs #5 Division 1
Leela Chess Zero vs #6 Division 1

#7 Division 1 vs Vajolet

#8 Division 1 vs Arasan
Nirvana vs Xiphos
Gull vs Texel

TCEC Cup brackets

(To be announced soon)

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