You seem to be getting away from the point of the thread (again).
I assume that which ever engines are in this engine championship, all will be playing with the best settings for each engine.
We all know you have a hang up about Komodo and Chessbase and think they have a plot to rule the engine chess world, but most normal people just accept the fact
of life that Chessbase is (and has been for many years) the main/only company in that field. Live with it
As for the rules being there to help Komodo win etc. etc. I don't know enough (or care) about the tournament. But as Komodo seems to be going alright in many
rating lists etc, I cannot see that it would make very little difference if it wins this 'Championship' or not. At the end of the day they are really only 3 engines
(at this time) that most people would get. Stockfish, Komodo and Houdini, Two of which you have to pay for, however you are able to purchase them without
using Chessbase if you wish.
Now the question was/is Ponder On/Off.
people have given their views about this subject...I do not myself run engine matches. I have more than enough
to do playing my own matches/tournaments etc. But I do like to see what peoples opinions are......sometimes.