Is there a world-class chess engine that can be configured so that it equally likes to draw and win?

I imagine the engine would really like making exchanges, for example.

What would happen if you placed the engine against top-of-the-line Stockfish? If it would basically never lose, it would be strong evidence (but obviously, not a proof) that chess is a draw with perfect play.

  • Komodo is world class engine and it's UCI option 'Drawscore' may be close to what you look for, but may be not. It can hardly make better results against Stockfish. Mainly it will draw some games that would otherwise won. I think the option is there mainly to avoid draws but no reason not to use the other way to like draws more.
    – hoacin
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 7:43
  • But ok, it will lose less games and that was your question really about...
    – hoacin
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 7:54

2 Answers 2


Stockfish, Houdini and Komodo (many other engines too) can all be configured like what you said. This is known as Contempt. In Komodo, the name is Drawscore (same thing). If you give enough negative value to the option, the engine will not push for a win even it sees it.

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Ubisoft's Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition allowed users to play against computer personalities. One was described as being a drawmaster:


[RATING] 2561

[BIOGRAPHY] Logan is an English professor at a small, prestigious college in the Northeast. As faculty advisor for the college chess team, he enjoys the opportunity of playing against the bright young minds of his school and helping shape the strengths and strategies of his protégés.

[STYLE] Logan is called the 'drawmaster'. His openings tend to be drawish and he will often play for a draw even when ahead. He is rated at 2561.

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