Two rounds of TCEC Season 10 are now over. Stockfish, the current champion, is in the lead with 2,0/2 after defeating Chiron and Jonny. Stockfish shares the first position with four other engines – Houdini, Texel, Ginkgo and Hannibal.
This is an exciting and unexpected start of a computer championship, as from the twenty four games played the prevailing results are decisive. There are a total of 8 wins for white, nine wins for black, and 7 draws.
The current leaders have protagonized the best games of the event so far. After defeating Chiron, Stockfish went on to win against Jonny. It was an offbeat opening – a Sicilian with 2…Nc6 3.b3 – where Stockfish showed that there is a lot of life in the position and squeezed most out of the high depth opportunities to seal the victory
Texel by Peter Osterlund (Sweden) has had an amazing start. It’s most notable victory came in round 2 against a direct competitor for qualification for the next round, Fizbo. The game was a QGD: Ragozin, Vienna, 6.e4 c5 7.Bxc4, 8…Qa5. In a position that looked like a fortress from a human point of view, Texel gave back the exchange and with fantastic endgame skills won the Queen + pawns ending that again looked like a definite draw.
Ginkgo 2 was merciless against the single core Hakkapeliitta and Fruit. It’s games were totally dominant from the beginning to the end. The first one was an English: Anglo-Dutch victory for white, while in the second Ginkgo defended well in the Dutch: Leningrad, Main Line, 7.Nc3 Nc6 and proved a good way to take advantage with black.
Hannibal, the fourth leader after round 2, played a nice Trompowsky: 2…Ne4 3.h4 c5 4.d5 . It is a season where Hannibal has high hopes of qualifying to the next stage, and all await its games against the top three – Komodo, Stockfish, and Houdini
Houdini is the fifth engine with full points after two rounds. It achieved a notable victory with black against a direct competitor for the medals.
The honorable mention of the round goes to Komodo, the engine of the late Don Dailey, currently developed by Mark Lefler and Larry Kaufman. Komodo is a three times TCEC champion and this season is one of the top three contenders for the title once again. It started with a draw with black against Fizbo in Reti: KIA, but played a true masterpiece in round 2. There it soundly defeated Wasp in a game that deserves a replay