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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danieltran danieltran 9/6/2018 12:57
They are afraid oh GM Stock Fish 🎏
Wembley Wembley 8/5/2018 08:40
I've now got 4 different versions of Chessbase Komodo 12; which one, if any, is playing in this tournament?
Nightplayer Nightplayer 7/17/2018 08:23
Without Stockfish and Houdini, I don't consider it as a real Championship.
chronograph chronograph 7/16/2018 09:29
Seems Leela Chess Zero lost to Komodo on time in the first round.
fons3 fons3 7/15/2018 02:34
Btw, Leela Chess just beat the latest full force Stockfish in a long time control at that event, though it was some kind of unofficial game, not sure on the details.
fons3 fons3 7/15/2018 01:30
Chris Whittington goes into more detail here:!topic/lczero/S-rhiPLnbHg

There might be better links out there to explain it but I just follow Leela, I'm otherwise not into computer chess.

Btw, why would Leela Chess not be considered an "original program"? It's open source yes, but so what?
garyklien garyklien 7/14/2018 09:34
@raylopex, your comment was irrelevant to what the others were typing.

We are talking about the real strongest programs showing up for competition, not belittling the travesty that is people making money over reporting what actually happens!!!!
RayLopez RayLopez 7/14/2018 08:18
Where is Rybka? Where is Fritz 16? Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? (Now that's a trip down memory lane)
pantsik pantsik 7/14/2018 02:52
Though Houdini is commercial and still missing.
pantsik pantsik 7/14/2018 02:51
@ChrisWhittington: Agreed 100%.
ChrisWhittington ChrisWhittington 7/14/2018 12:27
This "ICGA" is a pretend organisation and it is NO world championship. Programmers and programming teams decline to attend it on ethical grounds. Strongest chess program is not there. The multiple "fake" tournaments, one for software champion, one for blitz champion, one for this, and one for that were always designed to give out as many "pretend" titles as possible for commercials to "pretend" each one was "world champion". The whole thing is a joke belonging to a bygone age. Games are not even live streamed. Ridiculous. TCEC Championshop and the Rating Lists do a much better job of rating chess programs.
pantsik pantsik 7/14/2018 04:21
What is this farce? No.1 and No.3 strongest programs are missing. Waste of time.
Rama Rama 7/14/2018 01:29
This is funny. If Komodo wins then they will use the 'Championship' title to sell more software. And for the many people who have never heard of the TCEC, that will be convincing.
chesserch chesserch 7/13/2018 10:45
Where is Deep Mind!
thirteen thirteen 7/13/2018 05:47
No Stockfish, no seriously interesting competition! Just some bunch of 'also ran' programs. Those participants include 'near' best and SOME numbers right down any 'pecking list' [even another League] if you only care to be faithful to a current, genuine, software leader. Come on you guys!!! MONEY FOR OLD ROPE. Like where is Houdini?
Albeit with the unknown Leela. Time wasting and money throwing away in Stockholm.
Surely I am not the only one to notice this set up, as amateurs [like me] also read this site habitually.
CostaMaison3 CostaMaison3 7/13/2018 04:20
where is Stockfish?
garyklien garyklien 7/13/2018 04:06
Wow just realized stockfish is not in this...even though it trounced Komodo in the tcec superfinals....

This won't be a true world championship... :(