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I want to write a program to stop a chess game if Stockfish decides that checkmate is unavoidable for a player as a learning exercise. I downloaded Stockfish for Mac and it gives what it thinks is the best move but I can't figure out how to get it to show those more specific notes

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Stockfish is an UCI chess engine, so you shouldn't mess up with the engine. You will need to write a new chess GUI.

Useful links:

  • I have no problem writing a new GUI, but I am incapable of rewriting Stockfish. I'm asking how to integrate Stockfish with whatever program I write so that it gives me those specific notes – Drew Rightenburg Aug 22 '17 at 1:11
  • @DrewRightenburg The links give you idea how to integrate your GUI with the UCI protocol. My links are accurate and good. Please note your question has been asked several times here. – SmallChess Aug 22 '17 at 1:26
  • For example, the second link tells you how to use UCI output for detecting checkmates. The third link is about connecting UCI engine with your GUI. – SmallChess Aug 22 '17 at 1:27
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You can't. Stockfish is just a chess engine and engines dont have such functionality.

Those notes are created by Lichess application not by Stockfish. Lichess manipulates engine outputs to deliver sophisticated functionality.

If you like you can develop an application of a chess engine for this kind of feature using Stockfish or any other engine. UCI protocol (which is a standard protocol for engines) can help you developing such application.

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