Questions tagged [engines]

Questions relating to chess engines: any computer program that is able to play/analyze chess positions.

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How do you nerf Stockfish to analyze the same position multiple times?

I want to make some statistics by analyzing the same position, multiple times, at different levels of Stockfish. Precisely, I would like Stockfish to analyze a specific position at different "...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

What does it mean when stockfish evaluates a move as an inaccuracy after previously thinking it was the best move?

I stumbled onto this position from a game posted on reddit. Stockfish gives the best move as cxd4, which it evaluates as +2. If you play cxd4, it then says cxd4 was an inaccuracy (only being +1), and ...
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  • 181
-2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Why does Stockfish miss mate in 5 with only two legal moves?

I'm interested to understand what is going on for Stockfish on Lichess here. There are only two legal moves for Black, and it gives the position mate-in-14 for white. When asked to play its ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
49 views

If you play an engine in Arena, how do you send it setoption commands?

I really want to play two engines against each other, one with a tablebase path and one without, but I assume this is just a special case of the question in the title.
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4 votes
3 answers
150 views

Why does f3 weaken white's position here?

Take this game: r2qkbnr/ppp2ppp/8/3pp3/1n1P3N/4P1B1/PPbQ1PPP/RN2KB1R b KQkq - 1 7 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nc6 3. Nf3 Bf5 4. e3 Nb4 5. Nh4?? Bxc2 6. Qd2 e5 7. Bg3 Be4 (7... Bxb1 8. Rxb1) 8. f3 Bxb1 9. Rxb1 I'...
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3 votes
0 answers
201 views

Are engines impaired by the 50-move rule?

Are we missing too much from the 50-move rule implementation to engines, whether HCE (Hand-crafted evaluation) or/and NN (Neural Network)? We know that certain endgames are a win without the rule. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
88 views

Testing Mate Possibility Without Use of King

I would like to be able to convince myself of the possibility (or lack thereof) of mate using various piece combinations in which the attacker doesn't use their own king. I'd like to approach this by ...
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  • 183
1 vote
2 answers
124 views

Help with evaluating this position

rn2k2r/ppp2p2/4bn1p/2bp4/8/1B3N1P/PPP2PP1/RNB1R1K1 w Qkq - 0 1 I am having trouble evaluating this position, I believe the activity of the pieces is equal, besides the week h6 pawn I cannot see why ...
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2 votes
0 answers
41 views

Issue with connecting engine to lichess bot (uci communication)

My engine is responding correctly to the first inputs from the GUI (as above), but when it receives go movetime 10000 it just crashes and I don't know why. When I test my engine manually in CMD I get ...
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  • 103
5 votes
2 answers
497 views

The ultimate decision of the eternal bishop vs knight question

The following is...disturbing. [FEN "bbbbkbbb/bbbbbbbb/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] Black is about 15*3-38, say 10 units up (as Black will also grab a pawn and exchange on b2 or ...
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4 votes
0 answers
93 views

Why do these convergent lines evaluate differently?

I recently analyzed alternative lines for this puzzle on chess.com. [Event "French Championship"] [Site "Val d'Isere FRA"] [Date "2002.08.23"] [Round "5"] [...
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  • 141
1 vote
1 answer
191 views

Why is my chess engine that uses minimax with alpha-beta pruning so slow, even at depth 3?

I have little experience with any sort of chess AI and am at a complete loss as to why it still takes a couple of seconds to calculate a decent move even at just depth 3. Here is the code: private ...
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  • 27
1 vote
1 answer
122 views

Lichess Cloud Evaluation Flaw?

In the following position that's in the Traxler Counterattack: https://lichess.org/analysis/r1b1k2N/ppp1q1pp/5n2/3Pp3/2Bn4/8/PPPP1bPP/RNBQ1K1R_w_q_-_1_9 [fen "r1b1k2N/ppp1q1pp/5n2/3Pp3/2Bn4/8/...
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-1 votes
3 answers
148 views

Hamppe-Meitner, the final verdict?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Na4 Bxf2+ For those of you who never heard of Hamppe-Meitner. Now I dimly remember that a super engine somewhere found a White win, but even the bringer of the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
180 views

Do engines have a larger advantage over a human at long or short time controls?

Question: Title question, basically: do engines have a larger advantage over a human at long or short time controls? Have any studies been done on this? Context for the question: On a reddit thread ...
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1 vote
1 answer
134 views

Optimising Stockfish parameters when batch-analyzing with python-chess

I am running a python script that analyzes a large batch of PGN games (each of ~5,000 games) across and exports the games evaluations. It calls Stockfish 14 to analyze each game at depth 20. **[EDIT: ...
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1 vote
1 answer
165 views

What's the strongest non-ML chess engine?

What's the current strongest Chess Engine built solely on heuristics, no neural networks or any kind of deep learning?
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5 votes
2 answers
118 views

Do modern chess engines learn material values through self-play?

I have a simple question about how Chess engines like Stockfish and Leela value material. Do they use traditional material values (i.e. 1 for pawn, 3 for knight/bishop, 5 for rook, 9 for queen), or do ...
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12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Looking for free versions of older chess engines

In connection with another project, I am looking on the internet for some free versions of older chess engines, such as some of the old Chessmaster engines from the 1990s. I would even take an old ...
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2 votes
2 answers
98 views

Python Efficient Board Scoring Function To Use As Placeholder

I'm building a chess engine in Python. I'd like to find a board evaluation function that would be easy to put into my engine as a placeholder while I work on other aspects of the engine first. I would ...
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3 votes
1 answer
142 views

Using pgn-extract to output FEN + evaluation

I'm using pgn-extract to convert a PGN database into FEN + evaluations. My goal is something like this: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 b6 3. a3 Bb7 Into this: rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq e3 ...
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  • 88
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

Approximating a rating for too strong engines

Suppose we have an extremely strong engine that happens to win every game it participates in even against the most powerful engines and players. If it continues to win every game, its rating (for ...
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  • 221
1 vote
4 answers
149 views

For fixed-depth search, how much is the efficiency different between odd and even moves?

If a chess engine calculates in even depth, in the final position, it has to move again, whereas if it calculates at the odd depth, then the opponent has to move at the end of calculation (ignoring ...
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  • 173
1 vote
1 answer
166 views

Average number of moves until checkmate for two players of unequal strenth

Suppose a game is played, until checkmate, between players of unequal strength, say 1800 vs 2800. What would be the average number of moves be for, say, 1000 games? I also ponder 2000 vs 2800 and 2200 ...
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9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Evaluation bar cheating - how much does it really give, and how can it be detected?

To start off - due to my anxiety, I do not play any form of chess against other people (except some friends of mine, but that obviously doesn't matter for the context of this post). I recently got ...
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  • 65
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

What does "hashfull 1000" mean in Stockfish?

When I use Stockfish, the "hashfull" value climbs up to 1000 and then stays there. I was wondering what this means. The documentation says : * hashfull <x> the hash is x permill full, ...
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  • 153
3 votes
1 answer
416 views

What is the best chess engine for 1 CPU?

We have now GPUs, Quad-cores, i7s, i5s, i3s, and so on. However, I am wondering what is the best chess engine for 1 CPU. ChessBase offers Fritz 11 for free. Fritz 11 works very well with 1 CPU. Also, ...
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  • 269
5 votes
1 answer
90 views

Clarifications on the number of nodes explored per seconds

I am trying to understand exactly what is meant when a chess engine is reporting a number of explored nodes per second. For example, on a single thread, Stockfish is reporting about 1.5 million nodes ...
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11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Where can you play against AlphaZero?

I have read a few articles about the game between Stockfish and AlphaZero. But is there a place where anyone can play against AlphaZero?
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  • 835
20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it more helpful to play with a titled player than to play with a chess engine?

I can choose to hire a titled player to play with me; at the same time, playing with the computer is usually free and more flexible. As far as improving one's chess skill is concerned, is there more ...
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  • 7,705
-3 votes
2 answers
138 views

What do you think will happen when chess gets solved? [closed]

When some ultra strong computer discovers the perfect game of chess, will chess as a game die?
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  • 9
4 votes
1 answer
137 views

How to compare Stockfish move preference every 1000 nodes

I would like to test how Stockfish or other Engines change their moves and evaluations as the number of nodes increases. Is there a way to run Stockfish (or another engine) and force it to output its ...
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4 votes
6 answers
15k views

Why don’t chess engines use Node.js?

I agree that this might look like a question that Google has the answer to, but I could not find the answer. C++ is a language that many chess engines are built on, like Stockfish and Leela Chess Zero,...
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  • 835
2 votes
1 answer
173 views

Chess engine in python

Are there any open-source chess engines that are written in primarily or fully in python? For example, Stockfish is written in primarily C++.
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  • 835
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is this position a forced mate?

I was playing a game against one of the chess.com bots, as shown below (I was playing as white). On analysing the game afterwards, I'm aware I made a lot of mistakes, but the one I'm really confused ...
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  • 185
5 votes
2 answers
153 views

How to evaluate whether a position will result in a draw vs a decisive outcome?

Suppose 2 positions both have 'equal' evaluations according to the engine, but the first position has strong, easy-to-spot moves which lead to a drawn endgame, whereas the second game is extremely ...
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  • 1,751
-2 votes
1 answer
101 views

"Strong ICCF players" What is your input into the game? [duplicate]

This question is directed to the experienced ICCF players. My question is basically what is the input that the human player has into the game. I was just wondering because with the use opening books, ...
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  • 2,108
6 votes
0 answers
98 views

What is the human influence in modern correspondence chess? [duplicate]

On most websites, such as chess.com and lichess.org, computers aren't allowed, but when playing under ICCF rules engines are allowed. With the increase in strength of engines especially from the ...
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  • 2,108
6 votes
2 answers
551 views

Why don't engines show explicitly that a certain move takes to a threefold repetition (instead of just showing 0.00)?

I get that from the point of view of the engine there's no difference; equal is equal. But for a human analyzing with an engine, I find quite important to note that a move takes to a balanced position ...
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  • 1,613
4 votes
2 answers
459 views

Engine's 2nd best move

Especially for checking studies (maybe also for teaching), it would be helpful to have an engine finding the second best move and assess it (or even give refutations of all alternatives). For a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
186 views

Bitboard chess engine design

What are the best approaches to designing a chess engine? What classes/structures should it have? How are they connected to each other? I'm building a chess engine but I often find myself overwhelmed. ...
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  • 103
7 votes
3 answers
427 views

What do chess engine evaluation scores (+1.3, -3.2) really mean?

I know that chess engine evaluations like +1.3 intuitively mean that White is evaluated to have an advantage equivalent to 1.3 pawns of material, or that -3.2 means that Black is evaluated to have an ...
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  • 261
19 votes
5 answers
5k views

Making my own chess engine for a college project

I'm starting my college project to build my own chess engine. The problem is that I have no clue where to start or what to read. I found videos on YouTube but I don't want to be a copycat. I want to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
213 views

Move generation for sliding pieces and Hyperbola Quintessence

I'm working on a bitboard-based chess engine at the moment and I have managed to generate pseudo-legal moves for knights, kings and pawns. However, I'm still trying to wrap my head around sliding ...
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  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Search function for chess engines

I'm creating a bitboard based chess engine in c++ and I'm trying to write the search function. It currently looks something like this double search(Position& pos, int depth, double alpha, double ...
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1 vote
1 answer
103 views

Evaluation function in a bitboard based chess engine

How do you go about writing an evaluation function for a bitboard bases chess engine? I want to start of simple and only evaluate based on piece value, and where the pieces stand. For example a knight ...
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2 votes
1 answer
217 views

What is the longest known 7-piece checkmate?

What is the longest known 7-piece checkmate?
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0 votes
1 answer
93 views

Is it possible to manually input a command to Arena Chess GUI?

I want to manually input a single UCI command into my modded version of Stockfish to access my added functionality(a chat feature) and the incredibly useful eval command and then get the output. I'm ...
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2 votes
0 answers
110 views

Understanding Null move pruning

I have trouble understanding null move pruning. I understand the concept of a free move for the side that just played a move, but what I don't understand is the code part: int score = -negamax(-beta,-...
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1 vote
0 answers
99 views

Is this a possibly faster way to find pinned pieces using magic hash?

Okay so this is something that I came up with while working on my own engine, but I am not sure if anyone has ever tried. Basically I am using a separate set of magic hashed longs to store pieces and ...
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