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I want to invest my hard-earned money to buy a chess engine which can help me to:

  • analyze games easily
  • experiment with different opening repertoire
  • strategical analysis
  • positional play

I don't expect an answer like, all are good enough to beat a human player, etc. I am not looking for an engine whom I can beat, as I know it's not humanly possible for a 1600 rated player to beat these engines, but my purposes are different (as given above).

So, if you have or use any of these engines, please let me know a comparative detail on which one I should go for.

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Don't forget to factor in extras such as end game tables and opening books. –  Tony Ennis Dec 22 '12 at 15:56
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I'm not clear on what sort of comparison you are looking for. Have you used any of these or other engines for analysis before? Is there some feature in particular that you're after? To some degree, any engine works as well as any other (assuming sufficient strength) as a tool for analysis etc. –  ETD Dec 23 '12 at 15:21
    
@Ed Dean: An engine with a 3000+ rating, is sufficient and strong enough.what i am looking for is features that are embedded with these.for your question`Have you used any of these or other engines for analysis before?`it's a matter of commonsense, that a player with a 1600+ rating obviously might have used something earlier,but i haven't used any of these listed above (Rybka, Fritz, or Houdini) or else i won't have asked this question here. I have used Chessmaster GM earlier, and experimented with Crafty, fruit etc.open source engines won't provide xtra features tat a commercial one provides. –  kingsmasher1 Dec 24 '12 at 8:12
    
@kingsmasher1, you answer my question with: "it's a matter of commonsense, that a player with a 1600+ rating obviously might have used something earlier." OK, but you might not have as well, which is why my request for clarification wasn't unreasonable at all. "but i haven't used any of these listed above ... or else i won't have asked this question here." It could have been the case, say, that you had used one of these before but not the others, so again I don't think my question was unreasonable. Best of luck. –  ETD Dec 24 '12 at 14:34
    
@EdDean: Thanks, but finally i ordered a Houdini 3 Pro today with Chessbase (Fritz) interface, the argument being it is the strongest, and the interface provides lots of features like "lets check", "engine cloud", "endgame heuristics" etc. Eagerly waiting for that to arrive. Lets see, how good really it is and what more it has to offer once it arrives. –  kingsmasher1 Dec 24 '12 at 14:51
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2 Answers 2

I would suggest you look into some open source engines. And tools for analysis. These will be free. Some will be quite fully featured and very very powerful:

Stockfish. Rating: 3121 Critter (free) Rating: 3207

Also, look into SCID: an information database to which you can import millions of games and pair the database with analysis engines, add chess move-engines etc. -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane%27s_Chess_Information_Database

note 1: there are millions (literally) of master games which have been annotated, and can be downloaded in zipped .pgn files, then which can be imported to SCID for play through etc. So analysis, openings, endgames etc, can all be analysed via scid though whichever engines you decide on (no reason to only have one).

note 2: Crafty finished in second place in the 2010 Fifth Annual ACCA Americas' Computer Chess Championships. Crafty lost only one game to the first place winner Thinker.

note 3: In various computer chess rankings Stockfish 2.1.1 was second or third behind the top gratis program Houdini and the free program Critter.

Good Luck!

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I don't think the OP is looking for maximum playing strength so much as for top-notch analysis capabilities. –  Tony Ennis Dec 23 '12 at 0:42
    
Thanks. But can you please also compare these? Deep Rybka vs Houdini Pro vs Deep Fritz? –  kingsmasher1 Dec 23 '12 at 5:10
    
@kingsmasher1, out of curiosity do you have much programming experience? As a mathematician, I am a relative novice in chess-engine development: my suggestions are meant to point you in a learning/cost maximization direction. However, I am -myself- working on a stats/pattern matching evaluation engine. Please ask community here to help you compare said engines: I am sure they/we can be of help. –  Diabellical Dec 23 '12 at 8:28
    
I am a software developer by profession, having 6 years of professional experience. I have worked with Motorola, Nokia-Siemens-Networks, Sony, and currently at Novell. C, C++ are my primary skill-sets, on Linux platform. However, i won't take the pain of analyzing their source code to see which is a more full-proof and bug free one. –  kingsmasher1 Dec 23 '12 at 9:00
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@kingsmasher1, great C.V. My point was to suggest looking into some analysis tools which are free (as in beer as well (not just to dive into code)). Sorry I could not be of more help. –  Diabellical Dec 23 '12 at 16:11
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About a year ago, I chose Houdini. I had read that Houdini excelled at position evaluations while the other engines tried to excel with tactics but seemed inferior with positional concepts. Using Houdini and comparing it with Fritz, I agree that it is positionally stronger. I also observe that Houdini is very strong with tactics. Houdini can quickly find mat in 15 and other things that are beyond my comprehension. But position play and position evaluations are far more important since those concepts often have a longer range impact.

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