TCEC Cup 4 rules
TCEC Cup 4 - Rules & Information
- a. The TCEC Cup 4 is a knockout format played in TCEC, including all qualifying participants.
- b. The 32 qualifying engines consist of the 8 participants of Premier Division, The 24 other participants are all engines having participated in League 1, and the top 14 engines of League 2. Due to promotions and relegations these add up to 32.
- c. These engines will be seeded according to their respective final results in TCEC Season 16's Leagues and Premier Division.
- d. The winner of TCEC Cup 3 will be seeded number 1.
2. TCEC Cup knockout matches format
- a. The TCEC Cup 4 will take place right after the TCEC Season 16 Superfinal.
- b. It will be a knockout championship with the 32 participants divided into brackets.
- c. Each participant will be seeded according to its final standing in the TCEC league event with the #1 seed meeting the #32 seed, #2 meeting #31, etc.
- d. The TCEC Cup 4 will consist of a total of 32 matches divided into 8 rounds: round of 32 or sixteenth-finals, eighth-finals, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
- e. For an engine to win the TCEC Cup gold medal it must win a total of five matches. The two losing semifinalists will play a match for 3rd and 4th place (`small final’).
3. Matches and tiebreaks
- a. Each of the matches will initially consist of 4 pairs of games (8 games, every second with reversed colors and the same opening). Cutechess-cli will adjudicate the match if a decisive result has been reached within 8 games.
- b. In case of an equal score after these 8 games, tiebreakers will be played out at the end of the Cup round. First the 4 pairs of games will be played out for a round, before playing out the tiebreakers therefore.
- c. Tiebreakers will be played according to the following rules:
- i. If a match is tied after its scheduled regular 8 games, game-pairs using the same book- exit for both sides will be played until a decisive game-pair occurs. The book-exits will be selected at random from the book used in that phase of the Cup (BOOK A-E), up to a maximum of four game-pairs (i.e. eight games in total).
- ii. If no winner has been decided after four game-pairs, more game-pairs will be played until there is a decisive game-pair result.
- iii. If the match is still drawn after 32 games the time control (TC) will be shorter with each next 4 pairs of games, according to the following steps (always indicated as minutes base time + seconds increment per move completed: 8 games at 16m+4s, 8 games at 8m+3s, 8 games at 4m+2s, 8 games at 2m+1s, and finally pairs of 1m+1s will be played until a decisive pair is reached.
4. Openings books
- a. All matches are played with a book exit from one of the five books in use: A through E.
- b. No bookless games will be played in the TCEC Cup.
- c. All games take place in pairs in which both engines each play each side of every book exit. Engines will play both sides of each position selected. Openings chosen will roughly approximate human games in terms of their frequency. A new opening should thus occur every other game, then the reverse game is played, so two games in a row from the same starting book position. Because each engine will thus play both sides of every opening, fairness is guaranteed.
- d. BOOK A created by Nelson Hernandez, containing 2 move exits in a panoramic range of ECO codes, will be used in the first round of 32.
- e. BOOK B created by Nelson Hernandez, containing 4 move exits in a panoramic range of ECO codes, will be used in the second round, or eighth finals.
- f. BOOK C created by Nelson Hernandez, containing 6 move exits in a panoramic range of ECO codes, will be used in the third round, or quarter finals.
- g. BOOK D created by Nelson Hernandez, containing 8 move exits in a panoramic range of ECO codes, will be used in the fourth round, or semifinals.
- h. BOOK E is an opening positions compilation by Nelson Hernandez with unique positions from the former Superfinal books TCEC Season 9-15, created by Jeroen Noomen for a higher level of decisiveness in a panoramic range of ECO codes; this book will be used throughout in the final.
- i. All five books will be used randomized.
5. Time control
- a. Time control will be 30 mins + 5 secs increment per move for the normal games in a match, as well as for the tiebreakers up to and including game 32. As described in 3.c.iii, time control will change as of game 33 in tiebreakers.
- b. If an engine loses on time, that result will not be changed nor the game replayed.
- c. If the TCEC game server locks up at any time during a game (BSOD, freeze etc), that game will be restarted unless the last position was a 6-man or less tablebase position, then it will be manually adjudicated.
- d. Whether a game is immediately restarted or played rather at the end of the round will be decided by the responsible TCEC staff.
6. Game adjudication
- a. A game can be drawn by the normal 3-fold repetition rule or the 50-move rule.
- b. A game can also be drawn at move 35 or later if the eval from both playing engines are within +0.08 to -0.08 pawns for the last 5 moves, or 10 plies. If there is a pawn advance, or a capture of any kind, this draw rule will reset and start over. In the website this rule is shown as "TCEC draw rule" with a number indicating how many plies there are left until it kicks in.
- c. The game will be adjudicated as won for one side if both playing engines have an eval of at least 10.0 pawns (or -10.00 in case of a black win) for 4 consecutive moves, or 8 plies - this rule is in effect as soon as the game starts. In the website this rule is shown as "TCEC win rule" with a number indicating how many plies there are left until it kicks in.
- d. Cutechess-cli will adjudicate 6-men or less endgame positions automatically with Syzygy tablebases.
- a. Crashes are counted as losses.
- b. If an engine loses on time, the result will not be changed or the game replayed.
- c. In case of a server disconnect, or time loss due to lag, or other interruptions not caused by the engines there are five possible scenarios:
- i. If the web server crashes, the game continues unaffected, and broadcasting will be resumed as soon as possible;
- ii. If the evaluation of both engines is more than ABS(10) at the moment of game server interruption, the game is scored as a win;
- iii. If the evaluation of both engines is less than ABS(0.10) at the moment of game server interruption, and both engines have completed 35 moves, the game is scored as a draw;
- iv. If a game interrupts with 7 pieces on the board, position on the board at the instant of game server interruption will be adjudicated according to 7-man EGTB;
- v. In all other cases the game is restarted from the position that the two engines reached before the disconnect, with time compensation to fill up the cache.
8. Engine Updates
- a. Under no circumstances are updates to engines allowed once the Cup competition has started.
9. Engine Ratings
- a. Because the TCEC Cup works with a different time control, TCEC ratings are not affected by the engines' results in the Cup. A separate rating list may in time be created for this event and time control.
Current TCEC CPU server
- CPUs: 2 x Intel Xeon E5 2699 v4 @ 2.8 GHz
- Cores: 44 physical
- Motherboard: Supermicro X10DRL-i
- RAM: 64 GB DDR4 ECC
- SSD: Crucial CT250M500 240 GB
- Chassis: Supermicro
- OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
Current TCEC GPU server
- GPUs: 1 x 2080 ti + 1 x 2080
- CPU: Quad Core i5 3570k
- RAM: 32 GB DDR3-2400
- SSD:Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB
- Battery backup: CP1350PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS System