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Tcec season 17

The meaning of «tcec season 17»

The 17th season of the Top Chess Engine Championship began on 2 January 2020 and ended on 22 April 2020. TCEC Season 16 3rd-place finisher Leela Chess Zero won the championship, defeating the defending champion Stockfish 52.5-47.5 in the superfinal.

Season 17 featured for the first time two separate leagues, one for GPU-based engines and one for CPU-based engines. TCEC also raised the computing power available to both CPU and GPU engines. The hardware for CPU engines was doubled to 88 cores, while the hardware for GPU engines was raised to 4 RTX 2080 Ti's.[1]

In keeping with its identity as a competition run at long time controls on high-end hardware,[2][3] TCEC secured a hardware upgrade for the competing CPU engines.[4] Among other changes, the number of cores available is doubled from 44 to 88, the operating system used is now Linux, and Syzygy endgame tablebases are now cached directly in the RAM for faster access. Because this upgrade advantages CPU engines compared to GPU engines, TCEC split the qualification paths to Premier Division by introducing separate leagues for CPU and GPU engines. While an upgrade to the GPU servers is being secured, the CPU leagues are played first.

For CPU engines, there will first be a Qualification League consisting of 16 engines, followed by League 2 (16 engines) and League 1 (16 engines). In the Qualification League the top 6 engines promote. In League 2 the top 4 engines promote. The engines in each league are seeded based on their performances in previous seasons. For GPU engines, there will be one league only, with up to 16 competitors. The top 2 GPU engines will then contest a playoff against the top 4 CPU engines in League 1, with the four highest-placing engines promoting to Premier Division.

Premier Division is also expanded from 8 engines to 10. Six engines – Stockfish, Komodo, Houdini, Leela Chess Zero, AllieStein, and Stoofvlees – are seeded directly to Premier Division, based on their top 6 finishes in the previous season. Finally, the top two engines in Premier Division qualify for the 100-game superfinal match.

After not competing for five seasons, Season 11 Div 3 engine Defenchess trailblazed the qualification league. It scored 18 wins while conceding no losses, finishing 3.5 points clear at the top. It was the only undefeated engine. Demolito and Winter also locked up two of the promotion spots smoothly, but the remaining three slots were closely contested. Among the competitors, Igel was the only engine to not lose to Defenchess and Demolito, but it lost to bottom-half engines FabChess and Topple. Comparatively, iCE was whitewashed by Defenchess and Igel, but it turned in a strong performance against its other rivals, losing only one other game to Winter. Pirarucu went through a tense moment when it lost to Winter in the penultimate round; however, it pulled out a win with Black against Topple to promote. 7th-placed Minic was in a promotion spot all the way up to the final round, when it lost to Gogobello while iCE beat Counter. This left the two tied at 17.5 points. Minic had the better Sonneborn–Berger score, but it also had one crash, and the number of crashes was the first tiebreak. Nonetheless, in a stroke of good fortune for Minic (and 8th-placed PeSTO), the League Two engines chess22k and Fritz crashed three times during testing for the division. By TCEC rules, if this happened, the author(s) would have to update the engine or it is disqualified. chess22k's and Fritz's authors were not able to update the engines in time, resulting in Minic and PeSTO promoting as lucky losers.[5][6]

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