Are there any programs out there that take a completely won position and compute the minimum checkmate depth (say if it is around 50 moves)?


2 Answers 2


You need to use mate search function of a chess engine.

Some engines have this function, for example, Houdini 4: http://www.cruxis.com/chess/manual/index.html?game_play.htm

You can activate it using UCI parameters, or more easily, using a Fritz GUI on Windows as it has a mate search button, which makes life easier.


Look up Endgame Tablebases for this kind of thing. These are programs that have SOLVED all chess positions of 7 or less pieces.

Regular chess engines will give you definite evals and mates, but cant calculate 50 moves deep.

  • 2
    I'm familiar with tablebases, and I understand how they can be used to help solve for complicated positions. That said, regular chess engines regularly calculate 50 moves deep. I run Stockfish and it does it all the time. However, it prunes quite a bit, and doesn't do backwards regression to show that the mates it finds are actual mates. For instance, it will say mate in 35, and then a little later it might say mate in 38 (after is goes to another branch it pruned). Feb 19, 2016 at 2:12
  • 1
    So I'm looking for a program that initially prunes like Stockfish (so it can find really good moves, leading to mate) and then shows that none of the other possibilities give faster mates than that. Feb 19, 2016 at 2:13
  • Definite evals?
    – ferit
    Feb 20, 2016 at 17:38
  • @Saibot, evaluations Feb 20, 2016 at 17:40
  • @InfiniteFlashChess I mean "definite"?
    – ferit
    Feb 20, 2016 at 17:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.