31 December 2014

Guardian of the WCCC

Earlier this year, in a post on the World Chess Championship : Computer Chess (WCCC), titled WCCC Ain't What It Used to Be (February 2014), I wrote,
The three most recent events -- 2010, 2011, & 2013 -- have seen two separate competitions, hardware and software, where the software event is not considered as important as the equivalent TCEC competitions. It's time to acknowledge that the ICGA tournaments are not real World Championships.

The ICGA is the International Computer Games Association, a group more inclined to awarding titles through procedural decisions than through competitions. I was reminded of this in a recent blog post, The New Chess World Champion (with extensive comments) by IM Kenneth Regan, best known in the chess world for his work on computer cheating and last seen in this blog in The 'No Cheating' Jigsaw Puzzle. Dr. Regan wrote,

Today we salute Komodo for winning the 7th Thoresen Chess Engines Competition (TCEC), which some regard as the de-facto world computer chess championship.

The phrase 'De-facto World Computer Chess Championship' bears repeating and echoes the Wikipedia page on the Thoresen Chess Engines Competition.

TCEC is often regarded as the Unofficial World Computer Chess Championship because of its strong participant line-up and long time control matches on high-end hardware, giving rise to very high-class chess. [along with a couple of links to support the argument]

What does the ICGA [link redirects] have to say?

ICGA Events July 2015 • Posted on December 25, 2014 by Aske Plaat • We are expecting to organize the ICGA Events in early July of 2015. • The Events will consist of
- The ACG2015 Advances in Computer Games Conference
- The World Computer Chess Championship
- The World Computer Software Championship
- The Speed Computer Chess Championship
- The Computer Olympiad

We expect to be able to provide more details in January of 2015

The post previous to this is titled 'Complaints against the Chess programs LOOP and THINKER' by 'David Levy : ICGA President'.

The ICGA has received formal complaints against the Chess programs LOOP and THINKER, both of which have participated in the World Computer Chess Championship.

The computer chess world appears to pay little attention to these procedural disputes. Who appointed the ICGA guardian of the WCCC?

24 December 2014

2014 FIDE General Assembly : Whither the World Championship?

Just like last year's annual 'Whither' post, 2013 FIDE Executive Board : Whither the World Championship?, the documents released by FIDE for its big meeting are less interesting than in previous years. Maybe the organization is running more smoothly; maybe they are less willing to air their dirty laundry in public; maybe both.

First let's hear what FIDE President Ilyumzhinov had to say in August about the main events. If you need help finding the originals of the documents referenced below, see the post on my main blog, FIDE's 'Chess in Schools' 2014.

As you are aware, the World Championship match which ended by victory of Norwegian wonder child Magnus Carlsen, took place in Chennai in November 2013. Please join me once again in congratulations to this remarkable Grand Master and Norwegian Chess Federation with its outstanding success. I would also like to note, that World Champion is also a top rated player in the world. The match was organized superbly and for this I’m especially grateful to Vice President of FIDE, Mr. Sundar, All India Chess Association and the match organizing committee. The match prize fund was 2,55 mln USD with the total budget of the event exceeding 5 mln USD.

During my discussion with the Tamil Nadu State President H. E. Ms. Jayaram Jayalalithaa, I expressed my gratitude for my patience as all of you know Chennai had been candidate for this match 2 years earlier and I also thanked Tamil Nadu State Government for the support of the development of the chess, especially for inclusion of chess into school curriculum in this province. This match would set a good model of interaction between a National Chess Federation with local state and government bodies in respect of development of chess.

Next important event for us the Candidate Tournament. Once again brilliantly organized by Khanty-Mansiysk. The Mayor of Khanty-Mansiysk, President of the Ugra Vasily Filipenko is present here among our guests and I would like him to pass our most sincere gratitude to the leadership and the government of Ugra and personally Governor Natalya Komarova. It’s a pleasant fact that the interest to this event broadcast was higher than the once to the previous Candidate Tournament in London. Chess lovers in 207 countries and territories visited the official site and could enjoy the games transmissions through Chess casting application created by FIDE. This year’s calendar was full of the vents organized in Khanty-Mansiysk with the above mentioned tournaments and the Presidential Board in March, 4th Womens’ Grand Prix stage in April, followed by Women’s World Rapid and Blitz Championships.

The 5th stage of the Women’s Grand Prix was organized in June in a picturesque Lopota in Georgia and a final 6th tournament was moved, will take place in Sharjah instead of Mongolia. The change was due a serious illness of the President of the Mongolian Chess Federation which unfortunately interfered with the activity with this federation.

Dubai has successfully organized Men’s World Rapid and Blitz Championship with the unique situation when one player Magnus Carlsen has having become World Champion in all the formats.

We are going to announce final schedule for the new series of the Men’s Grand Prix Tournament. This year 2 legs will be organized in October-November in Baku and Tashkent respectively and the other two legs will take place early next year.

The Opening Ceremony of the World Championship match between Magnus Calrsen and Viswanathan Anand is scheduled in November 7th of Sochi. The match will take place in the Olympic Park area which is 5 minute drive the international airport. The managers and the representatives of both teams can select their accommodation from the substantial number of new hotels built for the winter Olympics. The match will be held in EXPO Centre which was home for the Winter Olympics media centre and is equipped with latest technologies.

Then let's hear from the Presidential Board in November about forthcoming events.

4.5. Agon. Annex 13 is a letter from Agon with a change in the Agon/FIDE interface team.

5.11. Women’s Chess Commission. Annex 33 is Commission’s report for Tromso GA. Annex 34 is proposed regulations for FIDE Online Women’s World Blitz Championship 2014 for Tromso GA. Annex 35 is Minutes of the Commission’s meeting held in Tromso.

5.21.1. FIDE World Cup 2015. The event shall be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, 10 September – 4 October 2015.

5.21.2. FIDE World Cup 2017. The event shall be held in Batumi, Georgia, 1-25 September 2017.

5.21.3. FIDE World Championship Match 2014. The event is being held in Sochi, Russia, 7-28 November.

5.21.4. FIDE Candidates’ Matches 2016. Venue to be decided.

5.21.5. FIDE Grand-Prix series. Mr. G. Borg to report. Baku, Azerbaijan : 1-15 October 2014; Tashkent, Uzbekistan : 20 October - 4 November 2014; Tbilisi, Georgia : 14-28 February 2015; Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia : 13-27 May 2015.

5.21.6. FIDE Women’s Grand-Prix series. Mr. G. Borg to report.

5.21.7. FIDE Women’s World Championship 2014. The event is postponed. Mr. G. Borg to report.

5.21.8. FIDE Women’s World Championship Match 2015. Bids open 1st January - close 31st March 2015. The event will be held from 11 to 31 October 2015.

I don't have much to add here. It's Christmas Eve and there are better things to do!

17 December 2014

Label Maintenance

The LABELS listed to the right -- C00:1946-48, C01:1949-51, etc. -- are a useful technique to group posts dealing with a specific World Championship cycle. For many years the numbering was straightforward: one cycle ended and the following year another started. This worked until the infamous C15:1991-93 cycle, when the World Championship split into two because of the Kasparov - Short title match. The scheduling of title events became increasingly erratic.

After the title reunification in C22:2005-07, the scheduling started to improve slowly, but for a number of cycles the chess world was faced with overlapping cycles where a new cycle started before the previous cycle had finished. For example, the 2009 World Cup at Khanty-Mansiysk (C24) was played before the 2010 Anand - Topalov title match of the previous cycle (C23).

When I started this blog in 2007, I was never sure how long a cycle was going to last. When a new cycle started I used a question mark ('?') to indicate the end of a cycle, e.g. C25:2011-?. When a cycle finished, I could eliminate the '?', but after Blogger.com changed its interface a few years ago, I wasn't sure how to do this without changing each post separately. Fortunately, a technique for a global change exists and I used it to close the most recent cycles, e.g. C25:2011-13.

Now that FIDE has brought the World Championship into a steady two year cycle, we can predict when a cycle will end, making the question mark unnecessary. I eliminated it for the current cycle C27:2015-16, and hope that FIDE will be able to maintain a two-year rhythm. World class chess needs the stability.

[Reference: A post on Google.com, I have a question about my labels..., explains the technique for making a global change to labels.]

10 December 2014

Carlsen - Anand II, Wrapup

The Carlsen - Anand title match ended a few weeks ago, and I'd like to do a post just like last year's Carlsen - Anand, Wrapup (2013). First, here are the posts from this blog.

Next, here are the posts from my main blog.

A lot more can be said about the match -- and has been said on other web resources -- so I expect there will be other posts to come. In any case, after two big matches in two years, we now have to wait two years for the next match. Who will Carlsen's next challenger be?

03 December 2014

2014 Carlsen - Anand

I added the crosstable and PGN to my page on the 2014 Carlsen - Anand title match. I also added what appears to be the official logo, first noted on this blog a few weeks ago in Carlsen - Anand II, the First Week. Here's another image worth preserving:-

From: sochi2014.fide.com

Awards and Medals: FIDE/Agon and Adamas, Russia's premier jewelry company, join forces to mark great sporting achievements with great awards. The medals that have been awarded by President Putin to Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand, were made from silver and represent remarkable craftsmanship and design.

With this match, FIDE aligned all World Championship events on a two year cycle. Will we see Carlsen - Anand III in 2016?