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Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championship –

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:12 pm
by mjlef
The following will be posted on the ICGA website sometime today. David wanted this distributed quickly and asked me to post it here. Mark

Dear Aficionados of the ICGA,

The director of the ICGA, David Levy, has an important message about changes in the World Computer Chess Championship in light of the low number of entries this year.


David Levy – ICGA President

The ICGA recently took a straw poll amongst the past contestants at the World Computer Chess Championship. Our aim was to discover the main reasons why the number of entries for this year’s championship was so low. What we learned is that there are two main reasons: (a) The costs of participating in the event makes it unattractive; and (b) It is not so interesting for those contestants coming from different countries to compete every year in the same location. Clearly the ICGA must take these problems on board and find a way to perpetuate the World Computer Chess Championship despite these problems. What we are going to do is to start a new era for our World Championship, by changing the format as follows.

Starting in 2018 the World Computer Chess Championship will be played as a match, between the reigning World Champion and a challenger chosen by a process which will be discussed amongst the ICGA Board and participants from recent years’ championships. That discussion will commence very soon after this year’s World Championship, which is taking place in Leiden from July 3rd-7th. This new format is akin to the FIDE World Championship (for human Chess players)

Each contestant in the World Championship match will receive 2,000 Euro from the ICGA to offset their expenses in coming to the match. And there will be no entry fee. Furthermore, I believe that it will be relatively easy to find sponsors for a World Championship match, which will enable the ICGA to move the match to different locations each year according to wherever we can find the most attractive sponsorship offer. Our aim will be to secure sponsorship each year which is not only sufficient to cover the costs of the event but also to create an attractive prize fund for the two contestants, which prize fund will be split 60%-40%.

For the 2017 World Computer Chess Championship we are changing the format, removing the entry fee, and offering an expenses budget to each of the contestants. Our aim for 2017 will be to attract the strongest participants. There will be only 4 contestants, each of whom will receive 1,000 Euro for their expenses from the ICGA. The Komodo team have already indicated their acceptance, and we very much hope that some of the former World Champions and other leading programs will now find the event attractive and apply to participate.

The World Championship will be an-all-play all event of 9 rounds, in which each program will play each of the others 3 times. The playing schedule will be as previously announced on our web site www.icga.org with the opening ceremony and players’ meeting at 10:00am on Monday July 3rd and the final round played on the morning of July 7th, with play-off games if necessary in the afternoon. The program which finishes in second place this year will automatically be offered the challenger position for next year’s title match.

The closing date for entries for 2017 has been changed – it is now Sunday June 18th. So by that date the ICGA hopes to receive applications from at least at least three leading programming teams, who together with the Komodo team will make the four contestants for this year’s World Championship. If there are more than three strong programs applying to participate alongside Komodo in this year’s event the ICGA will make its selection of the successful applications not later than Tuesday June 20th.

Please apply as soon as possible – send your application and any questions you might have to:

m.arntz@liacs.leidenuniv.nl, or
jaapvandenherik@gmail.com


Kind regards,

Monique Arntz for

David Levy &
Jaap van den Herik

Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championship

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:37 am
by Sean Evans
http://en.chessbase.com/post/computer-c ... new-format

Another reason programs do not want to play is many programs are derivatives and know they will be caught like Rybka was caught cheating!

Speaking of derivatives is Andscacs participating in the tourney? If not, why not?!

Sean

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:48 am
by Cumnor
Seems the link to ICGA not working for me, have they changed the web site address or no longer exists?

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:54 am
by zenpawn
Cumnor wrote:Seems the link to ICGA not working for me, have they changed the web site address or no longer exists?
The link in the text above scooped up the comma. Just delete that punctuation from the end of the URL in your browser's address bar.

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:55 am
by cdani
Sean Evans wrote:http://en.chessbase.com/post/computer-c ... new-format

Another reason programs do not want to play is many programs are derivatives and know they will be caught like Rybka was caught cheating!

Speaking of derivatives is Andscacs participating in the tourney? If not, why not?!

Sean
Again just your imagination.

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:31 pm
by Henk
Sean Evans wrote:http://en.chessbase.com/post/computer-c ... new-format

Another reason programs do not want to play is many programs are derivatives and know they will be caught like Rybka was caught cheating!

Speaking of derivatives is Andscacs participating in the tourney? If not, why not?!

Sean
Microsoft also learned a lot from Apple and Netscape.

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:05 pm
by Hai
Nice to see Stockfish the old and new winner of ccwc.

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:36 pm
by jdart
It sounds like a reasonable proposal, except in cases of >3 entrants I am not clear what their selection procedure would be.

--Jon

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:39 pm
by Evert
While I commend the organisers for trying to figure out why the number of contestants is low, and take steps accordingly, I can't help but feel that there are other reasons at play, that the organisers have little or no way to impact.

First of all, as an academic research enterprise, computer chess seems to be "done". AI research seems to have moved on from chess. I'd have said Go and perhaps Shogi are interesting successor fields, but...

Second, as a commercial enterprise, computer chess is also not as interesting as it used to be. Back in the day, having the strongest program meant something. Today, many programs are so far beyond human strength it doesn't really matter which one you pick (for amateurs). So having the strongest program isn't as big of a deal anymore. There's still some interest and some market, but it's smaller.

Third, there are a fair number of strong amateur programs. Cost (addressed by the organisers in terms of money) and time become an issue there. Not everyone can just take time out of work to operate a program, and finding someone to do it for you is a hassle. Plus, let's be honest, who needs human operators to make moves in 2017?

So while I hope that they can keep interesting and lively tournaments going, I rather suspect it just delays the inevitable, where the world computer chess championship becomes something much more small-scale.

Re: Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championshi

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:55 pm
by Daniel Anulliero
Sean Evans wrote:http://en.chessbase.com/post/computer-c ... new-format

Another reason programs do not want to play is many programs are derivatives and know they will be caught like Rybka was caught cheating!

Speaking of derivatives is Andscacs participating in the tourney? If not, why not?!

Sean
Aha the king of the troll is back ! Lol