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I'm trying to understand how Stockfish thinks, how it calculates the best move. I'm reading open source code, but it's not clear. I want to know, should I know some theory about algorithms to understand that code? Or is it possible without knowing anything? If there are important algorithms, please tell me what I should learn before reading source code.

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If you are reading the code to become a better player, you won't have much luck. The tricks used are only useful when you have the memory and computational power of a machine.

If instead you are reading it to learn about chess programming, the following wiki is a great resource https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com

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  • I'm programmer, so i know that men can't calculate like computer )) It's interesting for me, how programs can examine positions, also this'll improve my knowledge about programming (by reading code). Thanks for answer. Jun 13 '14 at 7:43
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TSCP is well commented and a good place to learn how chess programs work http://www.tckerrigan.com/Chess/TSCP/

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Before starting diving into stockfish why don't you checkout the smallest chess program in C called nanochess by Oscar Toledo. It has only one file main.c

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