The 24th ICGA World Championship

by ChessBase
7/13/2018 – The 24th World Computer Chess Championship will start in Stockholm on Friday. Three titles are at stake: the software world champion, the open computer chess world champion and a blitz world champion. The two-time defending champion is Komodo. | Photo: Komodo operator Erdogan Guenes

Komodo 12 Komodo 12

In computer chess there is no getting past Komodo, a two-time ICGA Computer World Chess Champion. Find out how Komodo can take your game to the next level!


Computer chess

The 24th Computer Chess World Championship of the ICGA (International Computer Games Association) takes place this time in Stockholm and thus returns to its place of origin, because the very first World Computer Chess Championship took place in 1974 also in the Swedish capital. At that time, the Soviet program Kaissa by Mikhail Donskoy (1948-2009, ChessBase obituary) won the competition.

The Kaissa developers Arlazarov and Donskoy at the 3rd World Computer Chess Championship in Linz, 1980 | Photo: Monroe Newborn /

That was still in the pioneer days of computer chess. For the developers, these tournaments were a highlight at the time, because you could compare your results and talk to colleagues. In the meantime, a lot has changed.

The venue is the Stockholm fair halls. Ten programs registered for the World Championship. The open category has with no limits on the hardware employed, whereas the software world championship pits all programs against each other on the same platforms and specs. Finally, a blitz chess tournament will be held.

The participants first met on Thursday at a conference on Artificial Intelligence, which runs in parallel to the chess competition. Today, July 13th the blitz competition is held (unfortunately not broadcast live).

The software world championship will follow on July 14th and 15th. From July 16th to the 19th the Open World Championship will be held.

Komodo is the two-time defending champion and is represented in Stockholm by its opening book author Erdogan Günes (pictured). The maximum number of participants for each of the three tournaments was twelve, and the following ten programs have registered for the tournaments of the World Championships:

Erdogan Guenes

The Baron 
Grid Ginkgo 
Leela Chess Zero

The participation of Leela Chess Zero is followed with interest. This program follows the same approach as the Google Alpha Zero project, but on much weaker hardware than the Google affords. Participation in the ICGA Computer World Chess Championships is subject to strict conditions. The participating programs must be "original programs". Since Leela Chess Zero is an open source project, all involved developers have had to agree.

For the developers, there is also prize money at stake, with a total prize fund of €2,500 euros for the open competition and the software category and €500 euros for the rapid.

Komodo 12

In computer chess there is no getting past Komodo, a two-time ICGA Computer World Chess Champion. Find out how Komodo can take your game to the next level!


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