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Computer Tournament

Automated Computer Tournaments can be run with any XBoard or UCI engine installed via the Analysis Engines widget.

Support for different engines is good, but some older xboard engines don't work well. For more information about engine compatibility, see below.

Getting Started

First, select the details of your tournament. Configurable items include: the Number of Competitors, Tournament Name, Time-Control Method and Period. If using the per-game time control, Show Clocks will display the engine's remaining time.

Time per Game is the best time control method. The first spinbox is the base time for the game, the second spinbox is the per-move increment. Both times are in seconds.

Time per Move games allow a generous time slice, and only forfeits an engine if it takes over 175% of its nominal move period.

Permanent Thinking allows engines to play at their strongest. For UCI engines, it enables pondering, and sets Xboard engines to hard mode. Permanent Thinking does not work with non-standard start positions.

Use book gives UCI engines access to polyglot opening books, enabling a greater variety of play. Book moves are selected in frequency according to their weight.

Scid's GUI does use more resources than other tournament managers, so, for short time controlled games, it is good practice to disable engine logs, move animations, and to hide the clocks, gameinfo and pgn windows. Engine logging is enabled/disabled in Analysis Engines. A zero log size disables logging.

Games are saved after each is completed, so open an appropriate base, or just use the Clipbase. When the tournament is over, press "Close".

If a game drags on for any reason, three buttons allow for manual adjudication. The Pause Game button does not take effect instantaneously, but first waits for the current move to be made before pausing further progress.

Once the tournament is completed, be sure to have a look at the Crosstable window to see the results summary.


* Scid vs PC's Gui does take more CPU overhead than other Computer Tournament managers, but effort is made to not include this time in each engine's time-slice. Additionally, the Clock Widgets take a small CPU slice - around .0005 seconds per move on my 2600MHz Core2Quad.

* For some general information about Computer Tournaments, try this Chessbase link.


* Move options to a menu Options-> Tournament


The author has tested quite a few engines under Linux, and a lesser number with Windows and Macs. These include:

Gnu Chess 5
Hoi Chess
Red Queen
Shredder Classic 4
Strelka 5
Toga (Fruit)
Umko 1.1

Komodo performs well, but some versions have broken time-per-move time control. Pervious versions of Phalanx had no time control, but it now works well. Gnuchess may need the "-x" parameter to work in xboard mode (but recent versions also support UCI), and only versions > 5.07 will properly handle time-per-game time control. Faile seems not to work well with time-per-move. Arasanx UCI <= 14.1 does not work with Permanent Thinking.