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Questions tagged [engines]

An engine is any machine or computer program that plays chess.

28
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5answers
18k views

How do chess engines “think”?

What I want to know is how engines are programmed to find moves. I'm sure they first calculate the most forcing lines such as captures and checks. But what about subtle, deep positional moves? They ...
45
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15answers
14k views

A purely self-trained chess AI

Insofar as I understand, it appears that, before moving, all strong chess software examines thousands or millions of possible, future positions; evaluates each future position according to some ...
26
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4answers
6k views

What is the status for seven man end game table bases?

There are complete (or nearly complete) six man end game table bases available for download, and even online. What is the status of seven man table bases? Is there still active development in this ...
10
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2answers
919 views

Randomness in engine play

If I get two engines to play against each other with the same colours, will the same game result every time? If not, where does the randomness in engine play come from? (Neglecting the opening book, ...
28
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2answers
6k views

Understanding AlphaZero

Very recently, the news came out that Alphabet's DeepMind research team have extended their machine learning engine to play both Shogi and chess. Apparently, after only a few hours of self-learning, ...
18
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7answers
55k views

Free online analysis engine?

Is there an online analysis engine that allows you to enter a PGN and get a game analysis, showing where suboptimal moves were made? I know there are programs for download/purchase that do this, but ...
15
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5answers
16k views

How many moves ahead does Anand calculate in his mind?

I always wondered about this! How many moves ahead can strong players like Anand actually 'see' during the game? How does the calculation of a supercomputer like Deep Blue differ from that of strong ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Computer evaluations: How trustworthy are they?

Fritz 12 with Rybka gave a friend of mine an evaluation of +3 for white in this endgame position, which turned out to be a draw. But I've heard that +3 from a computer means a guaranteed win with ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Returning scores for all possible moves from a chess engine

I am looking for a way to return scores for all possible moves from a chess engine (preferably, Stockfish). The UCI protocol does not seem to require it, but is seems like a useful feature to include....
14
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3answers
2k views

Computers in correspondence chess

In competitive correspondence chess, can humans win at all against computers? Do humans contribute at all to the game? Provided that it is allowed by the rules, I fail to see how it is not just ...
9
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8answers
2k views

Bishop vs Knight

I read in a book write by Fischer about piece values, and he said that a knight value 3 pawns, and a bishop values 3,25 pawns. I know that in the close positions knights are better, and I also read in ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Why do chess engines sometimes miss good moves (or take forever to spot)?

It is not the first time that I found a greatly superior move than the chess engine did, it even takes them a while to understand these moves after you make them. For example, the move 15 ... Bf2 in ...
19
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6answers
959 views

How to determine the value of a piece from scratch?

Assume we have a standard chess set setup, but we make a slight change so that (for example) pawns can now move two squares forward on any move rather than just on their initial move. Even assuming ...
13
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1answer
55k views

How to download Stockfish and install it on the Fritz/ChessBase GUI?

I'm on Windows 8. I have the Fritz/ChessBase GUI since I bought both Fritz 12 and Houdini 3 Pro. I would like to know how exactly can I download and install the free latest version (and most powerful ...
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4answers
11k views

Are the best engines better than the best humans?

I think the title asks it all. Under match conditions, would the best chess engines routinely beat the best grandmasters? If you say yes, have there been enough matches played under tournament ...
19
votes
1answer
832 views

Is computer chess exhibiting the predicted “draw death”?

At various times, even going back 100 years or more, people have been predicting the "draw death" of chess meaning that top players will get so good that every game will be a draw. In the 1984 World ...
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2answers
5k views

How does a chess engine mimic an Elo rating

I am a fairly new chess player (say 1400) and I would like to play against Stockfish and win some of the time. If I change the strength to 1400 then what does the algorithm actually do ? Does it make ...
7
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3answers
2k views

strongest chess engine

Can somebody tell me where can i find an updated list of the strongest chess engines. I want to find out a comparison (ordered list of engines) Information on wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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5answers
1k views

What are the first moves chosen (White), by brute force chess engines?

Title says it all. Feel free to add comment, theory, or explanation. Just to clarify, this is only regarding turn 1 of White, and no proceeding turns after it.
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2answers
2k views

How can I know the Elo rating of my chess engine?

I built an uci compatible chess engine, and I would like to know its Elo rating. What is the easiest way to get it? I would like something that works both on Linux and Windows.
9
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1answer
448 views

Has AI changed opening theory, and if so, how?

Pre-AI, it's hard to imagine that opening moves had changed much. Following the birth of computer engines, has AI changed opening theory, and if so, how?
8
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3answers
2k views

Which interface protocol should I implement for my chess engine?

I am writing a chess engine in C++ https://github.com/RomainGoussault/Deepov. I know there are several interface protocols out there (UCI, Winboard protocol, etc) and I don't know which to implement. ...
5
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3answers
3k views

What is the optimal way to use Stockfish programmatically?

I have Stockfish compiled on my machine. Instead of just running the Stockfish program in the terminal, is it possible to interact with it in a separate program? For example, some basic things I ...
11
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2answers
457 views

Why does NN + MCTS & AB + handwritten eval dominate engine chess?

As I understand it engines can be divided into four groups right now: those that use Alpha-beta (AB) + those that use Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) for search, and those that use handwritten ...
6
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4answers
380 views

Will computer knowledge reach a perfect game, after expanding prepared openings/endgames?

If computers just check in an openings-DB what to do in the first 10, 15 or even 20 moves, and if they just check the endgames-DB at the endgame; wouldn't it reach a point where they have a DB of ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Make chess engine play a particular position

I want to be able to train my mating skills by making a chess engine play positions that others have resigned from. Is there a way to make a chess engine play a particular position? I am using ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Chess programs that mimic some amateurs

Is there such a thing as a chess program that at random times can vary it's strength of play between say a beginner and an expert? Or maybe a program that a certain random times makes subtle or ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Can computer software that doesn't use databases still beat best in world?

Are there strong chess engines that can beat most of the good chess engines without using databases (like opening databases), solely using brute force?
3
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2answers
152 views

What's is the Least significant File and Least Significant Rank?

I'm Reading this tutorial and there are 2 definitions that confuse me : https://chessprogramming.wikispaces.com/Square+Mapping+Considerations What's is the Least significant File and Least ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Programming the Three-fold repetition for my chess engine

I'm making a chess engine that has to implement a three-fold repetition as my AI vs AI engine repeats the same moves over and over again (Have a look at my post here - My chess AI makes the same ...
2
votes
2answers
261 views

Engine output: FEN string when blundering

What is the best way to go through a database of my games and have the computer generate a FEN string as well as the next move any time I make an error greater than, say, a minor piece loss? I've ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

To what move depth should you analyze a chess position

I'm trying to learn a chess opening and using a chess engine (stockfish8) to analyze the position but I'm wondering what move depth should I set it to (e.g., 25, 30 35 half moves).
21
votes
7answers
12k views

Hardware used in AlphaZero vs Stockfish match

I understand that AlphaZero has to use a different kind of hardware than regular Stockfish. I would expect that the hardware has a large effect on engine strength. That's why I wonder whether there ...
9
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1answer
2k views

How not to use a chess engine?

How not to use a chess engine? What are the bad practices when using a chess engine, and the good ones? How trustworthy are their suggestions and evaluations?
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1answer
2k views

What algorithms and heuristics are popular in computer chess?

Computer chess has exploded in the last twenty years, with a computer world championship being established and many chess computer designers becoming quite profitable from their endeavors. Some of ...
10
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4answers
448 views

Studies that have been cooked by computers

A study is unlike a regular chess problem. Instead of "mate in 3" (for instance), a study's instructions are something like "White to draw" (for instance). What this means is to find a line of play ...
9
votes
8answers
889 views

Are chess engines detrimental for lower-rated players?

To give some context, I just started playing OTB and am only 1225 USCF. My online chess rating isn't much stronger though, it's about 1650 with standard time controls. Chess engines are a great tool,...
3
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4answers
3k views

Which is the smallest chess engine with ELO at least 2000?

Preferably written in javascript, but the language really doesn't matter.
10
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6answers
3k views

Is there a chess engine that does NOT use brute-force search?

Every chess engine I've ever heard of (including all I found listed on Wikipedia) uses brute-force search with an evaluation function (minmax algorithm) to decide on its move. This is not how most ...
8
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7answers
2k views

Is there a computer program that generates quality chess problems?

Is there a chess engine that automatically generates quality chess problems. For example I will input 3 - it produces a mate in 3 problem. But the problem shouldn't be so obvious that one can solve in ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How to create your own opening book for your own chess engine?

I am currently working on a chess engine in Java. I am using the minimax algorithm with alpha-beta pruning to select the best move. However, it is inefficient to use the algorithm for selecting ...
4
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2answers
4k views

How to get position evaluation with UCI?

I am trying to get score about current position directly with UCI (I am using latest stockfish). After reading the protocol I see that these commands ask engine to analyse the position: uci ...
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5answers
1k views

How did the engines improve since Deep Blue?

Computer chess engines have gotten better since Deep Blue beat Kasparov in 1997. Did the algorithms get better, or were the improvements mostly due to the same algorithms running faster thanks to ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why can a chess move improve the chance of winning, according to the computer?

When watching the Sinquefield cup on http://grandchesstour.org/, it is possible to try different moves, and see how the computer evaluates the standing after your suggested move. Now, most moves ...
9
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1answer
3k views

How do I use the analysis output of a UCI engine?

I'm trying to analyze some of my games with the Stockfish UCI engine. I'd like to make sure I'm interpreting the output correctly. Using this screenshot as an example. Can someone explain to me all ...
9
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5answers
435 views

When playing a computer opponent what situations should I create to give myself a better chance of winning?

Normally when I play against a computer I try to avoid any positions where I feel the knowledge-base of the computer would give it an advantage. For example I find computers very strong in typical ...
8
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3answers
2k views

How do top players use computers to improve their play?

This question is inspired by yesterday's matches between Hikaru Nakamura + Rybka vs Stockfish. Nakamura was allowed to use an older version of Rybka to help him, and Stockfish was allowed to play with ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Did Stockfish have access to an opening book in its games against AlphaZero?

I have seen some commentary that implies that Stockfish did not have access to an opening book in its much-reported match with AlphaZero, but I cannot find a conclusive citation, and my inability to ...
8
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1answer
249 views

engines keep playing same game

Just finished writing customizing a chess engine by basically adding a bitboard to the freely availably tscp engine. Now I'm testing it out in winboard and notice that often the two machines will play ...
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3answers
4k views

Engine not necessarily playing strong but “attractive”

Does anyone know a chess engine that is not programmed to be as strong as possible, but to play "attractive" chess ? The program should have an aggressive style and play for mate attacks, even if ...