Ενημέρωση

Task Force for the Reform of the FIDE Statutes

FIDE - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 15:33



In February 2019 the newly established Task Force for the Reform of the FIDE Statutes started its operations. The main activities of this ambitious working group are related to a deep analysis of relevant FIDE documents, the team brainstorming, discussion and agreement on a new logical restructuring and clear terminology. During the whole process a regular communication with FIDE responsible people is a vital condition for preparing new FIDE Statutes to be approved by the respective FIDE General Assembly by the end of 2019. The main objective of the Task Force efforts is to recommend new FIDE Statutes to serve as a formal base for FIDE as a modern, lean, transparent and efficient sport organisation.

First meeting of the Task Force was held in Lausanne on 16-17 February 2019. During an intensive and creative discussion the members agreed on main pillars of the future FIDE Statutes, more clear and logical structure and suggestions leading to a modern and flexible management in line of a good and professional governance that should be one of first important signals to future potential sponsors and partners of a chess community. By the next meeting that was agreed to happen at the beginning of April again in Lausanne, the members agreed to come with a very first draft of the FIDE Statutes including with more detailed suggestions especially in the areas of Financial and Tournament Regulations. Of course relevant and not only financial and tournament stakeholders will be consulted during the work of the Task Force plus it was agreed to suggest to the Constitutional Commission to have a common plenary meeting at some reasonable point in order to finalise a good product.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich visited Guam

FIDE - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 14:37



FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich played the ceremonial first moves against Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio of Guam to mark the opening of the 2019 Zone 3.6 Championships being held here between February 18-23. 

The previous evening the Guam Chess Federation hosted a wonderful Welcome Dinner at the Star Pacific Hotel in Tumon which is the venue for the tournament. Addresses were given by Guam Chess President Roger Orio, The Honorable Alberto C. Lamorena III, Presiding Judge of Guam, Zhu Chen former Women’s World Champion and Paul Spiller, president of Zone 3.6.

The guests and players were entertained by the Natibu Dance Academy, guest singer Erica Faye S Tubera and the Flag Ceremony and national anthems were undertaken by the George Washington High School Colour Guard.





Categories: Ενημέρωση

Road to Candidates

FIDE - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 13:49



FIDE is pleased to inform that FIDE Presidential Board approved the Qualification system for the 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament.

A. 1 place – 2018 FIDE World Championship Match, Runner up 
One place is reserved for GM Caruana: the runner-up of the 2018 World Championship Match.   

B. 2 places – 2019 FIDE World Cup 
Two places are reserved for the finalists of the 2019 FIDE World Cup. If GM Carlsen and/or GM Caruana is (are) among the finalists, the reserved place(s) is (are) awarded to the next non-qualifying player(s) of the 2019 FIDE World Cup.   

C. 1 place – 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 
One place is reserved for the winner of the 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament. If the winner also qualifies via Clause A or B, or is GM Carlsen, the reserved place is awarded to the next non-qualifying player in the final standings.   

D. 2 places – 2019 FIDE Grand Prix Series 
Two places are reserved for the players who finish 1st and 2nd in the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix Series. If either one of these players also qualifies via Clauses A, B, or C, and/or is GM Carlsen, the reserved place(s) is (are) awarded to the next non-qualifying player in the final ranking.   

E. 1 place – Highest Average FIDE Rating (Standard Rating Lists, Feb. 2019—Jan. 2020) 
One place is reserved for the player with the highest average FIDE rating. For the purpose of deciding the qualifier, the average ELO rating from the twelve (12) FIDE Standard Rating Lists from February 2019 to January 2020 is used. In the event of a tie, the average is recalculated to the second decimal place. If the averages are still tied, the player with the greatest total number of rated games during the period earns the spot. If that player also qualifies via Clauses A, B, C or D or is GM Carlsen, the reserved place is awarded to the next non-qualifying player (based on the same criteria).   

In order to be eligible via Clause E, players should have 30 standard rated games played within twelve FIDE Standard Rating Lists from February 2019 to January 2020, including at least 18 standard rated games played within six (6) FIDE Standard Rating Lists from August 2019 to January 2020.   

If any of the qualifying players is unable to attend, his place is awarded to the next non-qualifying player (based on Clause E).   

F. 1 place – Player nominated by the Organizer 
The Organizer of the 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament has the right to nominate a player who meets at least one of the following criteria (provided that he participates in at least two events listed below in b., c. and d.): 
a. The player from the top-10 players by average FIDE rating as per Clause E; 
b. The player placed third in the 2019 FIDE World Cup (if the third player is qualified - then the player placed fourth, but not any further); 
c. The best non-qualifying player from the 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss; 
d. The best non-qualifying player from the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix Series.

Full Regulations will be approved at the FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Astana.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

2019 FIDE World Cup Regulations

FIDE - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 13:07



FIDE is pleased to announce the 2019 FIDE World Cup Regulations that were approved by the Presidential Board.

Two players will qualify from this prestigious event to Candidates 2020.

REGULATIONS

Categories: Ενημέρωση

IMSA World Masters Championship-Hengshui, China 2019

FIDE - Sun, 02/17/2019 - 12:11



Qualifiers and reserve players according to the Regulations list, are invited to send in their registration form and a copy of their passport with validity for more than six months by email to office@fide.com, mohd.al-mudahka@fide.com and emil.sutovsky@fide.com before Thursday 28th February 2019 for the IMSA World Masters Championship 2019.

Download: Regulations for IMSA World Masters Championship 2019

Download: Registration form

All general queries should be addressed to mohd.al-mudahka@fide.com

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Isle of Man to host the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament

FIDE - Sat, 02/16/2019 - 20:21



FIDE is pleased to award its inaugural Grand Swiss Tournament to the Isle of Man, after the bidding procedure that was closed on February 9, 2019.

The Grand Swiss will take place on the Isle of Man from October 7, 2019 (arrival day) to October 21, 2019 (departure day) in cooperation with chess.com.

One qualification spot to the Candidates 2020 will be determined in the event. The prize fund of the tournament is 400,000 US dollars, with an additional 32,500 US dollars allocated as special women’s prizes.

A total of 160 players are expected to take part, of which 105 will be determined according to the published Grand Swiss Regulations, plus another 15 players nominated by FIDE according to the amendment to the regulations to be approved no later than March 31, 2019. A further 40 participants will be nominated by the organizers, including a number of top female players, some of the world's best young players, local players etc.

FIDE is grateful to the Isle of Man organizational team for the perfectly prepared application and is confident about an excellent organization of the tournament, that will probably be the strongest Swiss system tournament in the history of chess.



Categories: Ενημέρωση

IMSA World Masters Championship-Hengshui, China 2019

FIDE - Sat, 02/16/2019 - 13:54

IMSA World Masters Championship - Hengshui, China 2019



Qualifiers and reserve players are invited to send in their registration form, along with a copy of their passport with validity for more than six months by email to office@fide.com ,mohd.al-mudahka@fide.com and emil.sutovsky@fide.com by no later than Thursday 28th February 2019 for IMSA World Masters Championship 2019.
Download: Regulations for IMSA World Masters Championship 2019

Download: Registration form

All general queries should be addressed to mohd.al-mudahka@fide.com

































Categories: Ενημέρωση

Chess will be a candidate to join the Olympic Games in Paris 2024

FIDE - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:14



The President of the International Chess Federation Arkady Dvorkovich has officially launched a campaign for chess to be included as a sport at the Paris Olympic Games 2024. Alongside with the President of the French Chess Federation Bachar Kouatly, the French NOC President Mr. Denis Masseglia and officials of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee attended the ceremony. The attendees played some games with the International Master Sophie Millet, six times French Champion.

The official launch took place on Tuesday 12th February in Paris, the birthplace of the International Chess Federation, where it was founded on 20th July 1924. Paris was also the venue of the 1st international chess tournament organised by FIDE, an organization that has now affiliated federations from 189 countries.

Chess was an exhibition sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney but has never featured on the full programme. Dvorkovich, the former Russian Deputy Prime Minister who was also the head of organisation at the Soccer World Cup in 2018, hopes to make it happen this time. Paris 2024 are due to submit their recommendations for new sports before the International Olympic Committee Executive Board meets in Lausanne from March 26 to 28. The IOC Session in June will then offer provisional approval before the new additions are officially confirmed by the Executive Board in December 2020.

The inclusion of chess in the Olympics would be an outstanding symbolic gift for FIDE’s 100th anniversary in 2024.  


FIDE Deputy President and President of French Chess Federation Bachar Kouatly, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, French NOC President Denis Masseglia


Arkady Dvorkovich vs Sophie Milliet 6 times French champion
Categories: Ενημέρωση

2019 FIDE World Team Championships: Invitation

FIDE - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 09:38



This is the official invitation to all National Chess Federations who are participating in the FIDE World Team Championship 2019, which will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, from the 4th of March (arrival) till the 15th of March (departure) 2019. The Championship will be organized and held by Kazakhstan Chess Federation and under the auspices of FIDE.


INVITATION for World Team Chess Championship 2019

INVITATION for Women's World Team Chess Championship 2019

More information here

Nominations of Principals for 2019 FIDE WTCC



Categories: Ενημέρωση

TCEC Cup 2 report

Chessdom - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 00:46

Written by Guy Haworth and Nelson Hernandez
Reading, UK and Maryland, USA

This is the third in a new series of analytical articles on past TCEC events. The main text can be read below on this webpage, and at the bottom you will find a link to the full layouted article in pdf format, including the important tables, graphs and images.

TCEC is very grateful to the authors for their kind permission to publish these substantial and scholarly analyses of its events!

Introduction

The knockout format of TCEC Cup 1 (Haworth and Hernandez, 2019a/b) was well received by its audience and was adopted as a regular interlude between the TCEC Seasons’ Division P and Superfinal. TCEC Cup 2 was nested within TCEC14 (Haworth and Hernandez, 2019c/d) and began on January 17th 2019 with 32 chess engines and only a few minor changes from the inaugural Cup event. The ‘standard pairing’ was again used, with seed s playing seed 26-r-s+1 in round r if the wins all go to the higher seed. Thus, seed s1 plays s32, s16, …, s2 if all survive long enough. STOCKFISH was top seed as the TCEC Cup holder but would have been anyway because of its TCEC14 placing as used for the other engines. It is worth noting that the TCEC14 discounting of HANNIBAL’s games because of ‘technical breaks’ affected others’ seeding. PEDONE was s23 rather than s21: ARASAN and VAJOLET stepped up one, given the residual points and tiebreaks. Fig. 1 depicts the logos of the engines in seed order. Basic engine details have been published elsewhere (CPW, 2019; Haworth and Hernandez, 2019d) but some fourteen engines as indicated in Fig. 2 were upgraded for the Cup, again a testimony
to the energy and enthusiasm of their authors.

The format was of 8-game matches at the Rapid tempo of 30′+5″/m rather than the ‘+10″/m’ of TCEC Cup 1. This time, all eight games were played whatever the running score. Openings were repeated with colours reversed after every odd-numbered game. The first few ply in all games were randomly selected from two sets of openings created by the second author here, their relative frequency reflecting that seen in human play: over 200 four-ply openings constituted the repertoire for the opening round of 32 and over 300 twelve-ply openings served thereafter. Tiebreaks were resolved, this time at end of round, by further pairs of games with openings after game 16 from 232 TCEC Superfinal 9-13 options. There was no Armageddon backstop even though the longest TCEC Cup 1 match went to 20 games. Adjudications were as for TCEC14.

As in TCEC Cup 1, interest focused on actual performance ‘%P’ compared with expected performance ‘E%P’ implied by TCEC ELO difference ‘ELO Δ’. The accuracy of the TCEC ELOs, the upgrades to nearly half the field and the character of the random openings would be the main influences.

Round 1

As expected, STOCKFISH opened its campaign with an 8-0 salvo. ‘LC0’ LEELA CHESS ZERO also achieved this feat but was notably more cautious in securing its wins, preferring the gentle ascent of sunlit uplands to a knife-edge scramble up a slippery mountain ridge with its greater risks. A newly refreshed ETHEREAL also scored the whitewash that three higher seeds did not. KOMODO, HOUDINI (twice), FIRE, CHIRON, LASER, FRITZ, GINKGO and remarkably, middling seeds XIPHOS and BOOOT qualified without losing a game. JONNY staged the one ‘come from behind’ victory at the last gasp, winning games seven and eight against ARASAN. The only upset of the seedings came in the third match, new-version ROFCHADE scoring 4½ rather than an expected 1½ and furthermore, ensuring that TCEC14 Division 3 would be represented in the second round.

Surprisingly, there were no ‘Act II’ tie-breaks to play out, perhaps because of the halved 5 move-increment. However, Round 2 was delayed by the setup and replay of the HOUDINI match, this time featuring the submitted WASP 3.54 which had, in error, not made it to the board in the normal course of events. Both matches are included in Table 1. The openings used were different but the end result was the same and even more in HOUDINI’s favour.

Round 2

Eleven of the sixteen victorious engines were sporting new versions for this event so TCEC’s ELO ratings were going to get a more severe examination. Only FIZBO was missing from the fancied half of the line-up. At this point, the second author here drew on his bank of 12-ply rather than 4-ply openings, arguably to the disadvantage of LC0 according to its proponents.

STOCKFISH opened the round as befits the Cup holder – 7-1, the ELO prediction. Game five ended in repetition after only ten calculated moves when the engines bit on a Pringle, a saddle-shape in their joint evaluation surface. GINKGO scored two firsts, one bad one good: the first ‘disconnect’ of the event and the first round two win by the underdog, albeit after the match was decided. The team of unfancied seeds did better than par but still, they all lost: there were no ‘come back’ wins or tiebreaks.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals, small final and final

The locker room for the quarter-finals therefore had the look of a Division P reunion, the top eight seeds perhaps thinking of negotiating their own TV contract. Who knows where AI may lead. STOCKFISH came through easily enough and again without loss but just short of ‘ELO expectations’. HOUDINI and FIRE also came to their match without a loss: something had to give. In their last 22 TCEC games, HOUDINI was +2=19-1 but FIRE came in a new version. The result was the first 4-4 tiebreak, indeed a deadlock of 8 draws – an echo of Carlsen-Caruana, 2018. The tiebreak was played after the other two matches, with the engines unfortunately not able to consider their positions meanwhile.

KOMODO–ETHEREAL was on next. The drawfest continued with the exception of the fourth game in which KOMODO emerged three pawns to the good in the ending. The TCEC adjudication pre-empted an interesting demonstration of technique here. ‘LC0’ LEELA began confidently enough with a win as Black against ANDSCACS: it is as well that engines do not get discouraged. Two more draws followed: it is tough at the top, defences are strong and, though the odd result may go one way or the other, there is little to choose between these engines. ANDSCACS however was notably devoid of the EGT support that LC0 enjoyed. With the advantage of two connected passed pawns and a neat R-v-BN demonstration, LC0 won the ending of game 4: match-score 3-1. LC0 continued undefeated and even won the last game to return arguably the most impressive performance of the quarter-final. The HOUDINI-FIRE tiebreak finished the round with, surprisingly, a 0-1 win for HOUDINI after just two more games. In this way with some suspense, the top four seeds went forward to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals opened with a remarkable nineteen draws: eight by STOCKFISH–HOUDINI and three more after the eight by LC0–KOMODO. Has this ever happened before in computer chess? The deadlock was broken when HOUDINI took control of the open d-file on move 58, eventually lined up its Alekhine’s gun (Chessgames, 2019a/b) on move 80, cramped up Black’s position, created a passed-pawn with a neat tactic, and pushed that pawn to the seventh rank on move 100. STOCKFISH may have seen the advantage before HOUDINI but even so, it was too late to counter. With STOCKFISH a minor piece down, the ‘TCEC win’ adjudication followed quickly. Maybe not the biggest-shock result in TCEC history but certainly the biggest shock-result, especially given that HOUDINI had not been updated for some eighteen months. HOUDINI can beat STOCKFISH in a short match even if this is odds-against. ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019a) covered this game well on the day.

And so to the tiebreaker face-off between KOMODO and LEELA CHESS ZERO, the latter not an engine to rush its pleasures or its recognition of the TCEC deci-pawn ‘draw-zone’. This would be a tight match, KOMODO having beaten LC0 +1=5-0 in their recent head-to-head but LC0 was in a new version here, improving on even the LC0 that earned a place in the TCEC14 Superfinal. Sad that psychology does not play a part in computer chess. Eight draws took us into the second phase of the tiebreak, featuring Jeroen Noomen’s TCEC 9-13 Superfinal Opening book. This, by design, includes more volatile opening positions than other TCEC opening books, thus promoting a higher proportion of decisive games. Even so, LC0 surprisingly did the double immediately to qualify for the final. TCEC at this point introduced a bronze medal ‘small final’ between STOCKFISH and KOMODO which STOCKFISH duly won +2=5-1 sustaining only its second loss of the tournament. That game was the second half of a 1-0/1-0 pair so perhaps the opening handed too big a carrot to White. Apart from that game, KOMODO did not seem to build advantage.

The contest opened with seven draws and we pass quickly over to the game in which LC0 as White scored the decisive win. The evaluation, depth and EGT-support curves of Fig. 2 tell a tale. LC0 dramatically revised its expectations on finding 27. h5, Figs. 2 and 3a. Its situational awareness was clearly superior: it was significantly ahead of HOUDINI which only grew alarmed after 29. f4! and 32. … Nbd7, Fig. 3b: it was even ahead of the mega-threaded and 7-man-EGT-armed STOCKFISH, usually the leading prophet of doom. There is hope for humans yet: the audience had been saying for some time that the optics were at least dramatic – White with two bishops eyeing the black king’s h8-corner, relatively developed pieces and more freedom. LC0 was notably less dependent on depth of search as

the game went on and consulted the EGTs far less than HOUDINI did. After 35. Nxe5, Fig. 3c, LC0’s confidence increased again and after 39. … Rb8 as in Fig. 3d, remarkably the best option, HOUDINI was the exchange down and clearly in trouble at ‘-3’. With 54. Rb3 as in Fig. 3e, LC0 gave up a rook for a knight and converted pawn but by this time both engines knew the game was over. LEELA superfan ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019b) covers this game in detail, indicating some even less attractive byways for Black.

So, this special moment took on extra significance. An engine based on an artificial neural network and ‘MCTS’ Monte-Carlo Tree Searching had taken top step on a TCEC podium. Congratulations must go to Gian-Carlo Pascutto, Gary Linscott, Alexander Lyashuk (Chessdom, 2019) and the choir of angels ‘in the cloud’ who contributed to its self-play training.

A summary

Clearly, the Shannon (1950) mould, now over sixty years old, has been badly cracked if not completely broken. How this has been done is only semi-clear and even then, only to a few. Many will want to do their homework on the new paradigm, the ‘DCNN’ deep convolutional neural network architecture as exemplified by ALPHAZERO and LEELA CHESS ZERO. The ‘zero’ indicates that neither has been trained on human games but there is human input in the adoption of the DCNN approach and, of course, in the definition of the game domain and of what constitutes learning. We hope that further reading of the available sources (Sadler and Regan, 2019; Silver et al, 2017/18) will demystify the magic of these new machines.

Advised by Sadler (2018), what can we say about LEELA’s style of play? Compared to what we have seen before, it seems to be more strategic and less tactical, more interested in space and movement than in material, more interested in the prophylactic reduction of its opponent’s options. Questions remain about LEELA’s tactical ability where one would expect minimax to be more effective, where a narrow ‘study like’ path has to be found despite the presence of serious dangers.

MCTS has changed the game in several domains as evidenced by past articles in this journal and results at past ICGA Computer Olympiads. Was TD-GAMMON (Tesauro, 1995) the first demonstration of the new way? The combination of two concepts, MCTS and DCNN, has clearly been key: the future may combine further sets of ideas, e.g., MCTS and minimax-search. When should resources be shifted from one towards the other? We can expect to see new types of computer-chess engine in the future.

On a broader canvas, it appears that once again computer chess has been the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly vehicle of choice for artificial intelligence research, showing the way forward for new kinds of analysis and insight. Improved early-detection in the medical field, driven by better computer vision, is a laudable priority with potential impact rivalling Hopkins’ invention of the fibrescope and his contribution to medical optics (Hopkins and Kapany, 1954/5; McCombie and Smith, 1998).

Wrapping up this report, we give the usual generic statistics on the defined openings and game-lengths, plus a selection of interesting endgames that arose, see Tables 6-8. Fuller data and the somewhat annotated pgn files of TCEC Cup 2 are available (Haworth and Hernandez, 2019c). Congratulations to the winning and unbeaten LEELA CHESS ZERO team (Linscott, 2018), also focusing on their TCEC14 Superfinal against STOCKFISH (Haworth and Hernandez, 2019d). Special thanks should also go to all the semi-finalists who produced such close matches: there is little between them. Once again, let us point out that this event would not be the same without the administrators’ efforts, the participation of the entire field of thirty-two engines and the audience in the ‘online lounge’ who contribute an enjoyable mix of questions and information, leavened by interspersed jokes and off-topic comments.

References
  • Chessdom (2019). https://tinyurl.com/icgaj048. Interview with Alexander Lyashuk, core member of the LEELA CHESS ZERO team.
  • Chessgames (2019a). https://tinyurl.com/icgaj041. The ‘Alekhine’s Gun’ game against Nimzovitsch.
  • Chessgames (2019b). https://tinyurl.com/icgaj052. Lagno–Wenjun, WWCC 2018, Alekhine’s Gun.
  • CPW (2019) https://tinyurl.com/icga046. Biographies of chess engines, authors and developers.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2019a). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/80284/. TCEC Cup 1. This note plus annotated statistics and pgn files. Submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2019b). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/78820/. TCEC13: the 13th Top Chess Engine Championship. Submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2019c). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/81390/. TCEC Cup 2. This note plus annotated statistics and pgn files. Submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2019d). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/82052/. TCEC14: the 14th Top Chess Engine Championship. To be submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Hopkins, H. H. and Kapany, N. S. (1954). A Flexible Fibrescope, using Static Scanning. Nature 173, 39-41.
  • Hopkins, H. H. and Kapany, N. S. (1955). Transparent Fibres for the Transmission of Optical Images. Optica Acta, 1(4), 164-170.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019a). http://tinyurl.com/icgaj039. HOUDINI-STOCKFISH, semi-final game 12.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019b). https://tinyurl.com/icgaj040. LC0-HOUDINI, final game 5.
  • Konoval, Y. (2019). Private communication of DTC(onversion) depths for some positions.
  • Linscott, G. (2018). https://github.com/LeelaChessZero/lc0/wiki LC0 on Github.
  • McCombie, C. W. and Smith, J. C. (1998). Harold Horace Hopkins. 6 December 1918 – 22 October 1994. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 44, 239–252.
  • Sadler, M. (2018). https://tinyurl.com/icgaj045. Sadler on ALPHAZERO’s play.
  • Sadler, M. and Regan, N. (2019). Game Changer: AlphaZero’s Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI. New in Chess. ISBN-13: 978-9056918187.
  • Shannon, C. E. (1950). Programming a Computer for Playing Chess. The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, 41(314), 256-275. doi: 10.1080/14786445008521796.
  • Silver, D. et al (2017). Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learn-ing Algorithm. arXiv: 1712.01815.
  • Silver, D. et al (2018). A general reinforcement learning algorithm that masters chess, shogi, and Go through self-play. Science, 362(6419), 1140-1144. doi: 10.1126/science.aar6404.
  • Tesauro (1995). Temporal Difference
Full article

To read the full article in pdf, click HERE

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE Women's Grand-Prix Press release

FIDE - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 12:43


FIDE extends the deadline for bids
to organize the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019-2020.

FIDE received a number of requests from the organizers interested to hold the Women's Grand Prix 2019-2020 events. Some of them asked FIDE to extend the deadline for the formal bids in order to find additional sponsors and receive government support. Considering the best conditions for the participants as its priority, FIDE has decided to extend the deadline for the bids until February 26, 2019.

The final decision on the venues will be taken at the meeting of the FIDE Presidential Board Meeting on March 5-6, 2019.
Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE activities review by Chess Media

FIDE - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 10:45


The recent article at one of the biggest chess media websites Chess.com shows positive reaction of Chess society to FIDE new Management activities in various fields and efforts to bring chess to a new level.

Please read more at Chess.com.
Categories: Ενημέρωση

2019 Grand Prix: Where Chess Meets Start-up Nations

FIDE - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 12:57



FIDE and World Chess are pleased to announce the 2019 Grand Prix Series cities and dates.

1st leg: May 16th – 30th - Moscow, Russia
2nd leg: July 11th – 25th Jurmala/Riga, Latvia 
3rd leg: November 4th – 18th - Hamburg, Germany
4th leg: December 10th – 24th - Tel-Aviv, Israel

Cities:
Grand Prix Series 2019 will be taking place in the cities where chess is one of the most popular games: multicultural Moscow; rapidly growing fintech centres Jurmala and Riga; one of European chess capitals, Hamburg, and Tel Aviv, home to one of the most developed tech communities in the world.

Grand Prix format changed to make it exciting for players and fans: A knock-out system where in every tournament 16 grandmasters fight for the spots in the Candidates Tournament and a chance to dethrone the current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway. There will be four rounds in each Grand Prix tournament. Each round consists of two games with classical time control, and series of tie-breaks (rapid, blitz, and sudden death) in case of a tie. Unlike in many other chess events, there will be very few draws, and a winner in every round.

Rules and players
FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series 2019 will be contested by 22 players. Twenty of the World’s top chess players, representing a dozen of countries East and West, qualified to GP Series by their average FIDE rating. List of qualified players and reserves has been published by FIDE, and players are expected to sign contracts until February 14, 2019. Regulations for the Series are released today.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich says: We believe that the new Grand Prix format and the choice for the cities make the Series much more attractive than before, and as a chess fan, I look forward to following these exciting events.

Ilya Merenzon, World Chess CEO, says: Chess is now synonymous with hi-tech culture, and we are very excited to bring the Grand Prix Series to these amazing start-up nations and will ensure that this year chess will be a substantial part of the tech hype!


Regulations

Player Contract

Qualified Players and Reserves

 

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Elista FIDE Office 20th Anniversary

FIDE - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 11:31



FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich congratulates Elista FIDE office on the occasion of the 20 years since its establishment.



Dear friends!

On behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board and myself, it is a great pleasure to most cordially congratulate you on the occasion of the 20 years since the establishment of the Elista FIDE office.

The entire chess family joins me in appreciation of your constant efforts to serve the national federations - members of FIDE, chess players and officials, on a very professional level in all spheres of our activities.

Since the very day when after the decision of the Board in Ankara, in 1999, the office in Elista was founded following the kind invitation of K. Ilyumzhinov, under a supervision of several FIDE officials and employees, including Messrs. W. Iclicki, D. Jarrett, C. Abundo and Ms. P. Tsedenova, the office has been instrumental in providing a wide range of chess-related services in a very high level.

I would like to wish all the former and current employees of the Elista FIDE office further professional success and all the best on behalf of all of us.


Gens Una Sumus


Arkady Dvorkovich
FIDE President


Congratulations of FIDE President (pdf)

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich at the Moscow Open 2019

FIDE - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 15:38



On Sunday evening, February 3rd, Arkady Dvorkovich participated in the closing ceremony of the 15th Moscow Open chess festival. It was held in the Russian State Social University (RSSU). Together with RSSU Rector Natalia Pochinok, Vice President of Moscow CF Nikita Kim and other officials, Arkady Dvorkovich awarded the prize winners.

Tournament official website








Categories: Ενημέρωση

Interview with Alexander Lyashuk about the recent success of Lc0

Chessdom - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 14:51

Lc0 qualified for the Superfinal of the TCEC Championship and also won the TCEC Cup

The neural network chess engine Lc0 (aka Leela Chess Zero) is making the headlines with its performance in the Top Chess Engine Championship. First it qualified to the Superfinal of the competition by finishing second in the Premier Division, and a few weeks after it conquered its first major computer chess title by winning the TCEC Cup.

Live now: Follow the Superfinal of TCEC Stockfish vs Lc0

Chessdom spoke to one of the head admins and leading developers of the project Alexander Lyashuk about the history of the engine, its road in competitive chess, development details, and the future of computer chess in general.

 

Congratulations! Lc0 has finally conquered its first major title by winning the TCEC Cup

Indeed, a first major title for Lc0. That does feel really good, although I have to admit that this time it did not happen without some luck. :) Stockfish was eliminated before Leela had a chance to meet it, and that obviously helped a lot.

Anyway, it’s a great achievement for the team, and I’d like to mention that it’s not just the developers who made that progress possible. The main driver of the effort is actually the community, which contributes their computing power to help Leela learn, the people who do lots of strength testing, and the ones who run youtube videos and twitch streams, or just keep the morale up by being active in chat and forum.

Also, a big thanks to TCEC for providing a platform to showcase our progress and get the community excited about the Lc0 project. It’s indisputable that without TCEC Leela would be much less popular.

Lc0 is a very young project. It has been active for about an year. Is this the most meteoric rise to the top that computer chess has witnessed

There are two major dates which can be thought as a project start. The first one is Gary’s [Gary Linscott] official project announcement and start of a GitHub repository. That happened around 2-7 January 2018. Others think, that the actual start of the Leela training pipeline should be counted as the real start. That happened somewhere in the beginning of March 2018.

No matter which date we take as a start of the project, it is indeed probably the fastest rise of a chess engine. Although one can argue whether it’s a fair comparison in terms of developers achievement. Traditionally, developing a chess engine needed lots of chess expertise and trial and error. The developer has to fight with his bare hands for every 3 Elo points. If a developer takes a vacation, Elo growth stops. With Leela we of course do development and infrastructure maintenance work too, but all in all we just wait and Leela becomes stronger. We can go on a vacation, return in 1 week — and Leela magically learnt something new by itself.

Also, I’d like to remind that major part of Leela’s ideas come from DeepMind’s paper. Only recently we started to experiment with neural network architecture ideas which differ from what was written there. But all along the way, AlphaZero was the guide of our project.

Ed. note: Read about the entrance of Leela into competitive chess

The first time Lc0 appeared in a competition was in S12 of TCEC. Back then there was no GPU, it was just running on CPU. But that was also a time when the fanbase !boom began. Looking back at this moment, what are your thoughts?

It is good that TCEC now has GPUs. :) But back then I didn’t really expect TCEC to to make that serious investment in GPUs. For S13 I tried to urgently write a Leela backend to be able to parallelize work to 47 CPU cores, but then it was announced that the competition will have GPUs, so I could relax.

Yes, community growth really exploded with Leela entering TCEC, and we actually always have had a problem (a good problem to have!) that development couldn’t keep up with the number of contributors. It’s still kind of like this: there are lots of people contributing, there are lots of good ideas, too little time to implement.

Now from the look of history, what do you think about the technical difficulties experienced along the way?

That GPU overheating was a good source of burrito memes and jokes about poor Leela’s thermal management. :) Technical difficulties are unavoidable when you try something new. Maybe Leela didn’t show its real strength there, but it allowed her to play more games in the next season 14 (all the way through Div3).

More importantly, it led to changes in Leela’s time management, so now it’s more robust when run on stable hardware.

Currently Test30 net is triumphing. Test 40 is in developing and testing phase. Do you expect it to surpass Test 30? If yes, when? And how much ELO will that mean for Lc0?

Actually I didn’t have time to follow test 40 for the last 2 weeks, and 2 weeks for Leela is an eternity! But from other devs I heard a secret plan of keeping Leela play only draws in TCEC Cup for some weeks in order to delay TCEC Superfinal and send test 40 there. :)

So there is a hope that test 40 will take the lead soon.

A new paper was released by A0 recently, was it helpful in Lc0′s success this year?

It was really helpful as it filled in the remaining parts of a puzzle that we had. (Our findings are summarized here).

For some missing parts, we felt that there is something to be fixed, but didn’t dare to contradict the words of DeepMind’s pre-print. For example, we had an observation that Leela hardly ever changes the best move after 1 million nodes or so. There were different ideas to encourage more exploration as search goes, but in the end, it turned out that so-called “puct constant” was not a constant.

The Superfinal is coming. Lc0 has decisive games against every opponent this season except Stockfish. Is the Superfinal a chance to do that?

Beating Stockfish in S14 is not the most probable result, but it’s surely possible. I’m sure there will be interesting wins and maybe a bit of a drama as usual. It will be the most entertaining TCEC superfinal in recent years, and I hope lots of people will enjoy it.

And what what do you expect from Lc0 in S15?

If you search through our Discord server chat history, I did a prediction early in May there that Leela will win S15. I still hold this prediction. :)

Well, as a side note, I expected S15 to start around October 2018, so to be fair, I was a bit overly optimistic regarding the growth of Leela’s skills… Or maybe it’s vice versa, Leela noticed that there’s still a long time until S15 and relaxed. :)

Do you think the computer chess world is moving towards an era where the NNs will dominate over the AB engines?

First let’s clarify a terminology. There is a search algorithm (AB vs MCTS), and there is evaluation function (handwritten vs NN-based). Leela uses MCTS+NN, Stockfish uses AB+handwritten, but any combination is possible. For example, Komodo MCTS uses MCTS+handwritten, and Scorpio NN uses (as far as I heard) AB+NN.

I’m sure, that purely NN-driven chess engines will take over the Top-5 pretty soon. Currently the main drawback of NN-based evaluation function is it’s slowness compared to handwritten ones, but evaluation of neural networks will speed up and improve.

Classical engines with fast handwritten eval functions also don’t stay at one place though. Stockfish keeps the growth momentum really well, for example. It’s also nice to see that Leela also helps with that growth, providing ideas for Stockfish patches.

There was another NN engine participating this season – Scorpio NN. What do you think of the project of Daniel Shawul?

DeepMind’s publication demonstrated a new area to explore in chess engine world and I’m happy to see that another engine also picked that idea to try. I will be really curious to see its progress and wish it all the best in gaining ELO.

But I would also like to see other NN-based engines appear! Because to fill Top-5 with NN engines, we need at least 5 NN engines!

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich visited Almaty, Kazakhstan

FIDE - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 11:12



On January, 31 – February, 1 FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich visited Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Arkady Dvorkovich had a meeting with the President of Kazakhstan Chess Federation Galimzhan Yessenov, visited Zhansaya Abdumalik Chess Academy, had a number of meetings with representatives of state and institutional bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, got acquainted with the work of the innovation park “TechGarden”, and took part in the second forum “Innovative Ecosystem of Eurasia”.

Following the meeting with the Minister of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, FIDE announced that World Team Championships will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan on March, 4 - 15. It is assumed that FIDE Presidential Board meeting will be held during this tournament.


CEO Sanzhar Kettebekov shows TechGarden’s achievements to Arkady Dvorkovich


President of Kazakhstan Chess Federation Galimzhan Yessenov and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich


Arkady Dvorkovich with Daniyar Ashirov, Zhansaya’s father and founder of Zhansaya Abdumalik Chess Academy in the class named after Judit Polgar


A chess tournament was held in the Academy on the occasion of FIDE President’s visit


More than 500 children learn chess in Zhansaya Abdumalik Academy with about 20 professional experienced teachers


FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and KCF President Galimzhan Yessenov awarded the prize-winners


From left to right: GM Darmen Sadvakasov, Kazakhstan NOC Secretary General Saken Mussaibekov, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, Minister of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan Arystanbek Mukhamediuly, President of Kazakhstan Chess Federation Galimzhan Yessenov, Member of the Presidium of Kazakhstan CF Serik Akhanov, Executive Director of Kazakhstan CF Irina Grishchenko

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Nominations of Principals for 2019 FIDE WTCC

FIDE - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 09:13



Nominations of Principals for the 2019 World Team Championships in Kazakhstan:

Chief Arbiter:  A. Sorokina (Belarus)       Deputy Arbiters: B. Postovsky (USA)   O. Rinas (Kazakhstan)     Appeals Committee:  D. Sadvakasov (Kazakhstan) - Chairman   A. Iashvili (Georgia)    J. Nisban (Singapore)     Fair-play officers:  A. Moskvin (Russia)    L. Rustamov (Azerbaijan)   T. Lopang (Botswana)     Press Officer: Y. Pelletier (Switzerland)    

 


Participating countries

2019 WTCC REGULATIONS

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE and Ugra Chess Federation signed an agreement on World Cup 2019

FIDE - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 18:12



FIDE and Ugra Chess Federation signed an agreement on World Cup 2019.

Following the wrap of Moscow open chess festival in Russian State Social University, the meeting between FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and President of Ugra Chess Federation Vasily Filipenko took place in the historical rector’s parlor on February, 3.



They signed an agreement between FIDE and Ugra Chess Federation on conducting World Cup 2019 in Khanty-Mansiysk from September, 9 to October, 4. Tournament’s prize fund sums up to 1,6 million US dollars. Ugra’s capital will host World Cup for the 5th time.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Stockfish wins the Premier Division, Lc0 qualifies for the Superfinal

Chessdom - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 15:00

Stockfish, winner of the Premier Division of TCEC S14

The dominance of Stockfish in the Top Chess Engine Championship continues full steam ahead. The open source engine by Marco Costalba, Joona Kiiski, Gary Linscott and a huge community of contributors, won the Premier Division of Season 14 convincingly, not losing a single game along the way. With the victory Stockfish qualifies for the Superfinal, where it will be looking for a 4th consecutive and 6th overall TCEC title.

Stockfish wins TCEC S11
Stockfish wins TCEC S12
Stockfish wins TCEC S13

For the first time in history Stockfish will be in a situation where the “big 3″ of computer chess in not existent anymore. Lc0 aka Leela Chess Zero – the Neural Network built as an open source adaptation of DeepMind’s recent Alpha Zero artificial intelligence demonstration project – has broken the dominance the “big 3″ and has taken second position in the Premier Division ahead of Komodo (3rd) and Houdini (4th).

Live now: TCEC Superfinal at the official website

This is going to be the first match of Stockfish and Lc0 on the highest level of computer chess. The two could not meet in the recently concluded the TCEC Cup, due to a shocking loss of Stockfish to Houdini. In a mid-division test it was demonstrated that Lc0 is highly superior to Stockfish 8, mimicking the conditions and results of the SF8 – Alpha Zero match. However, Stockfish 10 is going to play the Superfinal, and it is much superior to the Stockfish 8 version, which makes the task for Lc0 exponentially more difficult.

This sentiment is shared among the computer chess fans. Out of the over 1000 (and counting) votes in the poll, 65% expect a Stockfish win in the Superfinal, while 35% expect Lc0 to be victorious. However, both Stockfish and Lc0 are going to line-up new versions compared to the TCEC Cup and anything can happen.

About the TCEC Superfinal

The Superfinal is a match between the winner of the Premier Division – Stockfish – and the second placed in the Premier Division – Lc0. It is a 100 games match, which is played with 50 different openings so that each engine plays both black and white of the same position. The match will be presented with opening 1 used in games 1 and 2, then opening 2 used in games 3 and 4 etc. If the match is theoretically won for one side before game 100, the match will still continue until all 100 games have been played. In the case of a drawn match there will be a rapid match of 16 games with a time control of 25′ + 10″ with random openings selected from earlier in the same Season. In case it is still tied there will be a Blitz match of 8 games with a time control of 3′ + 2″. When the Superfinal is over, the current Season ends. The winner is crowned the Grand Champion of TCEC.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Pages

Subscribe to Σκακιστική Ακαδημία Γαζίου aggregator - Ενημέρωση