World Computer Chess Championship

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The World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) is an annual event organized by the ICGA, where computer chess engines compete against each other.


The World Computer Chess Championship was created and organized by David Levy, Ben Mittman and Monroe Newborn in 1974, as suggested by the Soviet programmers of Kaissa [1] :

Since 1972 (1970 Editor) in the USA and Canada were hold the yearly championships of North America among the chess programs, organized by the ACM. The team of Kaissa directed the organizers of these tournaments to the thought to conduct a world championship, whose organization within the framework its regular congress took upon itself.


Since 1977 the WCCC was organized by the ICCA, which was founded 1977 in Toronto.

Shannon Trophy

The Champion is awarded by the Shannon Trophy [2] [3] .

Shanny.jpg The

Shannon Trophy

for the

World Computer Chess Champion!

In Memoriam

Claude Shannon



Edition Origin ICGA Participants Champion
1st WCCC 1974 Stockholm Sweden WCCC 1974 13 Kaissa
2nd WCCC 1977 Toronto Canada WCCC 1977 16 Chess 4.6
3rd WCCC 1980 Linz Austria WCCC 1980 18 Belle
4th WCCC 1983 New York USA WCCC 1983 22 Cray Blitz
5th WCCC 1986 Cologne West Germany WCCC 1986 22 Cray Blitz
6th WCCC 1989 Edmonton Canada WCCC 1989 24 Deep Thought
7th WCCC 1992 Madrid Spain WCCC 1992 22 ChessMachine
8th WCCC 1995 Shatin Hong Kong - China WCCC 1995 24 Fritz
9th WCCC 1999 Paderborn Germany WCCC 1999 30 Shredder
10th WCCC 2002 Maastricht The Netherlands WCCC 2002 18 Junior
11th WCCC 2003 Graz Austria WCCC 2003 16 Shredder
12th WCCC 2004 Ramat-Gan Israel WCCC 2004 14 Junior
13th WCCC 2005 Reykjavík Iceland WCCC 2005 12 Zappa
14th WCCC 2006 Turin Italy WCCC 2006 18 Junior
15th WCCC 2007 Amsterdam The Netherlands WCCC 2007 11 Zappa [5]
16th WCCC 2008 Beijing China WCCC 2008 9 HIARCS [6]
17th WCCC 2009 Pamplona Spain WCCC 2009 9 Junior, Shredder, Deep Sjeng [7]
18th WCCC 2010 JAIST, Kanazawa Japan WCCC 2010 9 Rondo, Thinker [8]
19th WCCC 2011 Tilburg University, Tilburg The Netherlands WCCC 2011 9 Junior
20th WCCC 2013 Keio University Kyōsei-kan, Yokohama Japan WCCC 2013 6 Junior
21st WCCC 2015 Leiden University, Leiden The Netherlands WCCC 2015 9 Jonny
22nd WCCC 2016 Leiden University, Leiden The Netherlands WCCC 2016 6 Komodo
23rd WCCC 2017 Leiden University, Leiden The Netherlands WCCC 2017 4 Komodo
24th WCCC 2018 Stockholm Sweden WCCC 2018 8 Komodo
25th WCCC 2019 Macau China WCCC 2019 6 Komodo
Santiago de Compostela Spain cancelled

Hardware Limit

In 2009, ICGA president David Levy surprised potential participants of the WCCC 2009 with an disputed short term decision, an 8-cores hardware limit [10] , a topic heavily discussed in various CC forums [11] . As a consequence, the ICGA initiated an opinion formation related to that issue with respect to future World Computer Chess Championships [12].

World Chess Software Championship

In September 2009, the ICGA announced following decision [13] : As a result of this input from the participants the ICGA has decided upon the following for the 2010 WCCC and subsequent years:

  1. The World Computer Chess Championship for the Shannon Trophy will be contested by teams who have no Restriction placed on them as to their choice of hardware.
  2. A new tournament will be introduced called the "World Chess Software Championship" to be held at the same location and during the same period as the WCCC. This will be a uniform platform event using computers loaned by the host organisation. In each game played in this tournament the two computers will be, so far as is possible, identical with respect to their hardware capabilities: number of cores, processor speed, memory size.
  3. Participants may compete in either or both of these tournaments for a single entry fee.
  4. The time control for the WCCC will be such as to aim for a 4-hour playing session, namely all moves in 1 hour 45 minutes plus an increment of 15 seconds per move.
  5. The time limit for the WCSC will be such as to aim for a 2-hour playing session, namely all moves in 45 minutes plus an increment of 15 seconds per move.
  6. The WCCC will be an 11-round Swiss System event if there are more than 12 entries, otherwise an all-play-all event.
  7. The number of rounds for the WCSC will be decided according to the number of entries in both events but there will be at least 9 rounds in the WCSC.
  8. There will as usual be a rest day for an excursion and time set aside for the speed championship.

David Levy President ICGA

Rybka Disqualification 2011

In June 2011, the ICGA has disqualified and banned Rybka and its programmer Vasik Rajlich from previous and future World Computer Chess Championships. The ICGA accuses Rajlich of plagiarizing two other programs, Crafty and Fruit, and demands that he returns the trophies and prize money of the World Computer Chess Championships in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 [14], see ICGA Investigations.

A New Format 2017

On June 07, 2017, a few weeks before the upcoming WCCC 2017 in Leiden, ICGA president David Levy announced a new format (excerpt) [15][16] [17]: 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).

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.

See also





2010 ...

2015 ...

2020 ...

External Links


  1. История “Каиссы” Михаил Донской History of Kaissa by Mikhail Donskoy, (Russian), from Russian Virtual Computer Museum
  2. The Shannon Trophy Photo from
  3. The Shannon Trophy Photo from the CSVN Site
  4. Ban on Deep Junior from Combinatorics and more - Gil Kalai’s blog
  5. After the disqualification of Rybka in June 2011, Zappa is World Computer Chess Champion 2007
  6. After the disqualification of Rybka in June 2011, HIARCS is World Computer Chess Champion 2008
  7. After the disqualification of Rybka in June 2011, Junior, Shredder and Deep Sjeng are World Computer Chess Champions 2009
  8. After the disqualification of Rybka in June 2011, Rondo and Thinker are World Computer Chess Champions 2010
  9. WCCC Rules Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 11-18, 2007, The Board of the ICGA
  10. Clarification of the 8-cores rule for the WCCC (updated)
  11. Hardware limits in the WCCC from The ICGA Forum
  12. Future World Computer Chess Championships by Harvey Williamson, Hiarcs Chess Forum, June 12, 2009
  13. WCCC 2010 by Harvey Williamson, Hiarcs Forum, September 28, 2009
  14. Rybka disqualified and banned from World Computer Chess Championships | ChessVibes by Peter Doggers, June 29, 2011 ([ Wayback Machine)
  15. Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championship by Mark Lefler, CCC, June 07, 2017
  16. Important announcement: World Computer Chess Championship – A New Format by Mark Lefler on behalf of David Levy, ICGA, June 07, 2017
  17. Fifteenth International Conference on Advances in Computer Games 2017
  18. 2013 (ICGA Tournaments)
  19. ICGA Olympiad 2013: Yokohama, Aug 12-18! by Harm Geert Muller, CCC, December 21, 2012

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