TCEC Swiss rules

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TCEC Swiss - Rules & Information


1. Event

a. For all TCEC Events, engines will be invited by the organizers.
b. The TCEC Swiss is an 11 Double Rounds Swiss tournament format played in TCEC, including all invited qualifying participants.
c. These engines will be seeded according to their respective final results in TCEC Season's and/or last FRC Event's final standings, to the discretion of the organizers.
d. If the winner of the last completed TCEC Swiss participates, it will be seeded number 1.

2. TCEC Swiss Tournament Event format

a. The participating engines will be equal-distance group-seeded into a number of sections, each consisting of a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 7 engines, leading to the first round of Monrad system pairing. The exact order, number, and the size of, these pairing groups will be determined by the tournament organizers, mostly depending on the number of participating engines.
b. Each pair will play a double round, so each engine plays the other once with each color, reversing the opening in the second game.
c. Each game will use a randomly automated chosen opening, called book exit.
d. The overall structure and the detailed seeded pairing procedure for rounds of the Monrad system used in the TCEC Swiss is described on the special page TCEC Swiss Tournament System.
e. At the end of 11 rounds the winner(s) will be the engine(s) with the highest number of points. In case of a tie, the following tiebreak paragraph will determine the ranking between the engines.

3. Tiebreaks

If necessary, tiebreaks shall be used to determine the final rankings. The following criteria will be used, in the order as presented below:
1. The Sonneborn-Berger is the first criterion
2. r-mobility tiebreak is the second criterion.
3. The third criterion is the greatest number of wins.
4. The fourth criterion is the direct encounter(s) between the tied engines.
5. In the event engines are even then still tied, these engines will share those places. The next place in ranking will start at an appropriate number, taking into account the number of engines ranked higher (e.g. if there is a two engine tie at first place, the next engine will have third place etc.).

4. Openings books

a. All matchups will be played with a randomly chosen book exit from a Book created by Nelson Hernandez.

5. Time control

a. Time control will be 30 mins + 3 secs increment per move for all games in a match.
b. If an engine loses on time, that results in a loss and will be registered as such. The game will not be replayed.

6. Game ending

a. A game can end in a draw by three-fold repetition, 50-move rule, stalemate, tablebase adjudication, and the TCEC draw rule under 6.b..
b. The improved TCEC draw rule applies when a game has reached a position with 6 or fewer pieces (including kings, excluding pawns) and where the engine evaluation of the move leading to the position was in [-0.25,0.25]. The game is adjudicated as a draw if the draw rule applies on 8 consecutive plies. The counter resets to 0 in the follwing cases: (1) if the draw rule ceases to apply because of a pawn promotion causing a 7th piece to appear, or (2) an evaluation outside of the [-0.25,0.25] range or the absence of an evaluation by an engine appears. There is no reset for capture or pawn move, and no stipulated minimum move number for adjudication.
c. Cutechess-cli will adjudicate positions with 6 pieces automatically with Syzygy tablebases.
d. A game is won by mate, opponent's illegal move, opponent's resignation, or by tablebase adjudication.
e. If an engine loses on time, that results in a loss and will be registered as such. The game will not be replayed. (5.b)

7. Crashes

a. Engine crashes are counted as losses.
b. 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 equal to or 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 equal to or less than ABS(0.15) 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.
c. Whether a game is immediately restarted or played rather at the end of the round will be decided by the responsible TCEC staff.
d. In case of a system crash or server disconnect the system should pause the tournament. If however that inadvertently did not happen, and this at the end of a pairing round leads to a wrong automated new round pairing and new games already played with this wrong pairing, these games and the pairings will be invalidated, and the tournament restarted from the game and point where the system crash or server disconnect occurred, which is where the system should have paused as mentioned above.

8. Engine Updates

a. Under no circumstances are updates and fixes to engines allowed once the Swiss tournament has started.

Further information

See also