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WCCC Rules

Rules For The 15th World Computer-Chess Championship

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June 11-18, 2007

The Board of the ICGA

The 15th World Computer-Chess Championship will take place from June 11 to June 18, 2007 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. At the Maastricht Triennial Meeting in 2002, the ICGA was established and it was decided that the WCCC should be held annually. The observation was clear: all kinds of differences between microcomputers, personal computers, “normal” computers, and supercomputers were in some sense obsolete and the classification thus was considered artificial. So was the division into the classes of single processors and multiprocessors. Even the distinction between amateur and professional was at stake. Is not the real amateur a professional? Or the other way round? For organizational matters we have kept this difference, since for amateurs travelling and housing is already expensive. Being treated as a professional may be agreeable, but if you have to pay for it then it might be less agreeable. As in previous years we have maintained three groups here, viz. the amateurs, the semi-professionals, and the professionals. Below we provide the rules for the 15th World Computer-Chess Championship. It was agreed at the Maastricht meeting that from the 13th World Computer-Chess Championship onwards the Shannon Trophy will be awarded annually. Below, we have split the rules into a section of general rules and a section of tournament rules.

If you have any questions concerning the following rules, write us an e-mail.

General rules

1. The World Computer-Chess Championship 2007 is the 15th in a series of World Computer-Chess Championships. It follows the tournament rules given below.

2. The tournament will be an 11-round Swiss-system event, using standard (non-accelerated) Swiss pairings. The provisional playing schedule is announced on the ICGA website.

3. The winner of the Tournament will be awarded (1) the Shannon Trophy until the start of the 16th World Computer Chess Championship in 2008, and (2) the title of World Computer-Chess Champion 2007. No other titles following from the results of this tournament will be awarded (Hence, no Amateur title, no Microcomputer title, and no single-processor title, as well as no multi-processor title).

4. There will be a separate 9-round Swiss tournament for a permanent Trophy and the title World Computer Speed Chess Champion.

5. Unless otherwise specified, rules of play are identical to those of human tournament play. In particular this holds for claiming a draw with respect to the three-times-repetition rule (see ICGA Journal, Vol. 28, No. 1, News section). If a point is in question, the Tournament Director has the right to make the final decision (with due respect to the Committee of Appeal).

6. Each game is played on a chessboard with a chess clock provided by the Tournament Committee.

7. At the end of each game, both teams are required to send in a game listing to the Tournament Director in electronic (PGN) form.

8. The Tournament Director will be Professor H. Jaap van den Herik. He has the power to designate assistants with the appropriate power to decide in cases of dispute. Dr. Jos Uiterwijk will act as Assistant Tournament Director.

9. In the event of any rule disputes, or changes necessitated by circumstances at the time, the Tournament Director’s decision shall be final (with due respect to the Committee of Appeal).

10. The members of the Appeal Committee will be agreed upon during the participants’ meeting on June 11 2007.

11. The entry fees for the WCCC (exclusive of membership fee of the ICGA for 2007 for at least one person) are as follows:

Amateur: € 25
Semi-professional: € 250
Professional: € 500

The definitions are the same as used in the past. They read as follows. “Amateur”: programmers who have no commercial interest in their program, and are not professional game programmers. Applications for amateur classification must supply information to justify their claim.

“Semi-professional”: Any program submitted by an employee or associate from a games-programming company. The program’s name must not be derived from or similar to a commercial product.

“Professional”: A program whose name is the same as or derived from a commercial product.

Any entry received after May 21, 2007 will be subject to a penalty fee, doubling the above fee.

Entry forms are available at http://amsterdam2007.icga.org.

The acceptance or rejection of an entry will be determined by the ICGA President in consultation with the Tournament Director. Notification of acceptance will be given as soon as possible, and in any event not later than May 21th, provided of course that the entry is received in due time.

> Tournament Rules of the 15th World Computer-Chess Championship

1. Each entry is a computing system and one or more humans who programmed it. At least one of the program developers should attend the WCCC to operate the program, otherwise the entry fee for the program is doubled.

2. Each program must be the original work of the entering developers. Programming teams whose code is derived from or including game-playing code written by others must name all other authors, or the source of such code, in their submission details. Programs which are discovered to be close derivatives of others (e.g., by playing nearly all moves the same), may be declared invalid by the Tournament Director after seeking expert advice. For this purpose a listing of all game-related code running on the system must be available on demand to the Tournament Director.

3. Participants are required to attend an organizational meeting on June 11, 2007 prior to the start of the tournament for the purpose of officially registering for the tournament. Operational rules will be finalized at that meeting.

4. The format of each tournament and the rate of play will generally be determined by the Tournament Director according to the number of programs entered and any other relevant factors. The 15th World Computer-Chess Championship (WCCC) will be a Swiss-system event with 11 rounds in which the rate of play will be 60 moves in 2 hours followed by the rest of the game in 30 minutes.

5. An operator error made when starting a game or in the middle of a game can be corrected only with the approval of the Tournament Director. If an operator enters an incorrect move, the Tournament Director must be notified immediately. Both clocks will be stopped. The game must then be backed up to where the error occurred. Clocks will be corrected and the settings at the time when the error occurred will be reinstated using whatever information is available. Both sides may then adjust their program parameters with the approval of the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director may allow certain program parameters to be changed.

6. All monitors must be positioned so that the operator’s activities are clearly visible to the opponent. An operator may only: [a] enter moves, [b] respond to a request from the computer for clock information, and [c] synchronize the computer clock to the normal chess clock. Misuse of this rule will be punished by the Tournament Director. If an operator needs to enter other information, it must be approved ahead of time by the Tournament Director. The operator may not query the system to see if it is alive without the permission of the Tournament Director.

7. A team must receive permission from the Tournament Director to change from one computing system to another.

8. Tie-breaking: (a) if precisely two participants are tied for first place, two play-off games of one hour per side are to be played. At the longest, such a match may take four hours. Should that match be drawn, then one sudden death game should be played (White 12 minutes, Black 10 minutes); (b) whenever two or more teams have an equal number of points, a tie-ranking order is defined as follows. The dominant ranking is by the sum of the opponents’ scores. If there is still a tie, the sum of the respective programs’ cumulative scores after each round (i.e., score after round-1 + score after round-2 + …. + score after last-round) will be used; (c) if three or more participants are tied for first place, then the two participants ranked most highly are to be determined by the tie-ranking order in (b). This pair of participants then play off as in (a).

9. For the play-off procedure for the first place as given in rule 8, the colour assignment is as follows. In the first match game the colours are reversed with respect to the game played in the tournament. In the sudden-death game the following rules apply: (1) if possible, the colour division in the tournament (play-off match inclusive) will be settled at 7 – 7; if this is impossible then (2) the colours of the game played in the tournament will be reversed.

WCCC2007 Registration Form see http://amsterdam2007.icga.org.

Sudden Death - The outcome of a sudden-death game is defined as follows. White wins the sudden-death game if White wins the game, otherwise Black wins