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4k Event

In the spirit of economizing means, in the spirit of demo competitions, maybe even related to the tiny systems with which the Apollo missions safely conquered the moon, TCEC admin Aloril came up with the idea to organize a competition for tiny engines. After some deliberation, 4kiB used by the demo competitions was agreed upon as a good size for a tiny chess engine based on the fact that there already existed sub 1kiB chess engines and this would have a reasonable amount of additional space to improve strength. It is a good test for efficient programming, because the competing engines will test themselves against similar competitors. TCEC believes this is a first not only for TCEC but also in the larger world of chess programming. It now has become a regular event in the future as long as it is sufficiently successful.


Time control: 30+3. A Pool stage consisting of a 4DRR with reverse games will be played (120 games in total), followed by a 50 games final between the two first placed engines in the pool stage.


Deadline for sending in the engines is 28 December 12:00 UTC.

Participating engines

Provisional list of invitees:

  1. ice4 - update announced -> update to ice4 version v4 submitted = ice4 4
  2. 4ku - invitation received confirmed -> update to 4ku 4.0 submitted = 4ku 4.0
  3. STRO4K - invitation received confirmed -> update to STRO4K 2.0 submitted, logo updated too = STRO4K 2.0
  4. M4sseur - existing version will play for once = M4sseur 1.0
  5. pygone - version 1.5.5 submitted = pygone 1.5.5
  6. moonfish - engine submitted (questionnaire was received earlier already) = moonfish d7b5af5c

Explanation of typography

Explanation of special typography:

  • underlined means possible invite
  • italics - invited for this particular event
  • bold - contact has been sought or established with, the author(s)
  • bold italics - engine and/or update received.
  • struck through - declined or not participating

Final standings



All participants are required and kindly asked to fill in the TCEC questionnaire below, by email:

  1. Who is the main author of your engine’s code?
  2. What is the license(s) under which (if applicable: the various parts of) your engine’s code is/are placed?
  3. Please name the parts and the authors of the code you use for training in case you use a neural network?
  4. In case your engine uses Training Data (NNUE or NN parts): what is the origin of this data? Did you obtain permission for use from the original authors if applicable?
  5. Please name any other engines and authors whose code (if applicable: the various parts of) your engine uses, including any NNUE/NN code if applicable?
  6. Does you engine comply with the unofficial TCEC NNUE Guideline, to the best of your knowledge?
  7. Describe the unique features of your engine, what is with it that no other engines do, or how no other engines work, or was invented for it before others employed a similar thing too?

This questionnaire is a requirement for TCEC participation. Answers are not made public by TCEC, but authors can so do of their own accord.

Apart from this. there exists of course also the Chess Programmer Code of Honor.

Finally, TCEC will not ask again already participating engines that have responded to the questionnaire at an earlier date, to fill in the questionnaire again at every event, every time, because TCEC operates on a basis of mutual trust. At the discretion of the organizers however, new requests for filling in the questionnaire, perhaps with new questions, can happen before or during a future event.