Yoni Wilkenfeld at The New Atlantis:
Last August, two dozen of the strongest chess players in the world met for a new kind of tournament. The ground rules were unforgiving: Each player would start with only fifteen minutes on the clock per game, competing in scores of back-to-back games against all the others multiple times. Players were eliminated in stages until only two remained, who would go on to play two hundred games to decide the champion. Competitors hailed from around the world, though a sizeable minority were American. All would face the constant scrutiny of fans through an online broadcast of the tournament on Twitch, a streaming website. A month of grueling play later, a victor emerged: Stockfish 220818, the strongest chess computer to date.
While many past computer chess competitions had the human programmers convene in person, in the Computer Chess Championship, teams submitted their software to run on the servers of Chess.com, which hosted the event. The Twitch feed showed not only the live game play, but “a real-time peek into” each program’s “thinking process and the lines they are considering,” said a post announcing the tournament. The website ran a single game at a time, back to back, with uninterrupted play for a month.