TCEC Stage 2 “a pure lab for beautiful novelties”

This notice appeared on the TCEC (Thoresen Chess Engine Competition) website:

“…Stage 2 will be played without an opening book this Season. This idea was advocated by several TCEC fans and Martin thought it ought to be tried. Initially I was skeptical, but after thinking about it, I could not imagine a better time or a better way to stimulate interest in the tournament. If the aim was entertainment, we had to try it. We will all see what happens and Martin will determine if bookless Stages ought to be a recurring feature in TCEC.” (


“TCEC Stage 2 starts today with average ELO 3000+”

“The second stage of the Top Computer Chess Championship TCEC starts today with a brilliant field of average 3000+ ELO. The favorites Stockfish, Komodo, Houdini, and Gull, as well as ten more engines are starting the competition tonight, live at the official website.”

“This stage of TCEC is unique – the engines will not be allowed to use opening books, making TCEC a pure lab for beautiful novelties. This is the first time TCEC excludes opening books in search of discoveries of novelties and new lines, something very probable given the strength of the engines and the monster processing power of the super-computer behind TCEC.” (

Unfortunately the format is only for Stage 2.

“Stages 3 and 4, being double round robin and allowing engines to play all openings from both sides of the board, do not require the same exacting level of play-balance as Stage 1. Instead, lowering the draw-rate assumes much greater importance as otherwise you will likely see 70-75% of the games ending in draws given the hardware being used, the time control and the strength of the engines that make it into these Stages. Such a high draw-rate could get boring. We have an aversion to anything boring.”

Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (Official Music Video)

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