Questions tagged [engines]

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

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52
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15answers
15k 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 ...
40
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11answers
21k views

How is Alpha Zero “more human”?

I have a possibly naive question about AlphaZero. I have seen it described as playing in a "more human" style than other computers, but whatever it does, it gains about 100 ELO points by doing it. ...
35
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6answers
18k views

Suggestion for a good chess engine on Linux

I'm using GNUChess with the Knights client (Knights doesn't seem to be THAT mature; crashes are common). Is there any equivalent of Chessmaster on Linux? What about good clients to play on servers ...
32
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9answers
19k views

Is Stockfish 11 (level 20) beatable?

I have heard many people saying, “Hah! I beat Stockfish,” and one saying, “I am the best chess player ever! I beat Stockfish.” So I wonder if it is possible, just to know whether I should try to beat ...
32
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5answers
22k 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 ...
30
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4answers
5k views

Why does Stockfish undervalue pawns when compared to the classical “a piece is worth three pawns” approach?

I was taking a look at values engines give to pawns and piece and was quite shocked by Stockfish values for middlegame (Mg): PawnValueMg = 128 KnightValueMg = 721 ~ 5.6 pawns BishopValueMg = 825 ~ ...
30
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2answers
7k 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, ...
28
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2answers
3k views

How computers have changed the way humans play chess

A few years ago Vishy Anand mentioned in an interview that computers had changed the way humans play chess. Obviously computers help a lot in opening preparation, but what other concrete examples are ...
28
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3answers
4k views

Is there an engine that finds the best “practical” move?

A standard chess engine will find the move it considers best assuming best play from both sides. But this move might lead to an insignificant advantage or a tricky line that can easily result in ...
27
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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 ...
26
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4answers
6k views

Should a chess engine be aware of opposite-side castling?

I often hear chess experts and chess articles say that when opposite side castling occurs on the board that it is important to launch an attack on the enemy player as fast as possible. Up to the point ...
25
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4answers
3k views

Deep Blue vs Kasparov - Aftermath

Evaluating 200M positions per second and having a search tree of 20+ moves might not be enough to beat a World Champion if a computer searches in the wrong direction or if it's evaluating positions a ...
25
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6answers
29k views

How to install stockfish on ubuntu?

Is there an easy guide how to install stockfish on ubuntu? From the main site I can not find any information and github repository does not provide many details. I would really appreciate if someone ...
24
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7answers
5k views

Would an ensemble of chess engines beat the best one?

In many areas such as prediction and classification, ensemble methods tend to outperform individual methods. This made me wonder if it would make sense to pick a few of the top chess engines and work ...
24
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4answers
8k views

What is the worst opening move in Chess960 for White?

Is there a first move for white in Chess960 in which white can immediately blunder a piece or lose a significant advantage (say -2.0 or so)?
24
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7answers
14k 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 ...
22
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8answers
5k views

Are computers destroying chess?

These days I have been watching the candidates tournament, and I couldn't avoid noticing that players are reeling/scared of computer home preparation "a little bit too much". For example: 1) In the ...
22
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7answers
1k 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 ...
21
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5answers
4k views

Is it possible that a radically different but equally effective playstyle exists?

There seems to be an established "chess canon", whereby general principles exist for long term strategy in the game. There is a well-characterized set of openings, a small subset of which are even ...
20
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4answers
7k views

Creating chess engine, machine learning vs. traditional engine?

I am both an avid chess player and computer programmer. I would say that playing chess and programming are the two things I spend the most time doing. Naturally, I am wanting to create my own engine ...
20
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8answers
2k views

A new AI wins at go. Can a similar AI win at chess? Can it achieve pure self-training?

One of the more popular questions asked on this site regards the prospect of a purely self-trained chess AI. Today, ChessBase is distracted from its coverage of the FIDE Candidates tournament to ...
20
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1answer
1k 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 ...
19
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4answers
5k views

How often do grandmasters miss checkmate?

Although top players are extremely good at finding checkmate, the number of permutations of moves in just 3 moves can be hundreds of thousands, and the farther out the possible mate (e.g. mate in 4, ...
19
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7answers
58k 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 ...
19
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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 ...
18
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4answers
4k 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 ...
18
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5answers
18k 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 ...
18
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3answers
8k views

Will quantum computers solve chess?

The theory is that there are more that 10^40 positions, and a computer that works with an atomic scale has to be impossibly large(As in galaxy-scale large), and well beyond our current level of ...
18
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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 ...
17
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5answers
4k views

Do chess engines store all of the previously analysed positions between moves

I am starting to play with chess engines. I notice that the best chess engines can take several minutes to move. I am wondering why. Before each move the engine examines all legal future moves to some ...
16
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6answers
9k views

CPU v. GPU for chess engines

GPUs are better at certain types of calculations, e.g. generating bitcoins and performing climate simulations. Would chess engines benefit if they calculated with GPUs instead of CPUs? Maybe some ...
16
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3answers
3k 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 ...
15
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12answers
4k views

Is there a single best move in every position?

If it were possible to analyse every possible outcome of a position, would there ever be a single move that could be considered "best"? I know that this is how computers evaluate positions, but they ...
15
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9answers
3k views

Could a chess engine do retro analysis?

If I took a legal chess position, to what extent could an engine work out the previous moves? [in some other board games such as Othello such game reconstruction is done easily with an engine.]
15
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11answers
21k views

Alternatives to chessbase on OS X

Most of my chess preparation and studying used to revolve around ChessBase products. I stored my databases and notes in .cbh files, used computers with the ChessBase interface to study and do ...
15
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3answers
7k views

Bad Stockfish evaluation

This is the study [fen "3B4/1r2p3/r2p1p2/bkp1P1p1/1p1P1PPp/p1P4P/PPBK4/8 w - - 0 1 "] As you can see, Stockfish gives an absolute decisive win for black, though it is clearly a draw!! Check it out ...
15
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3answers
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 qnd see how the computer evaluates the position after your suggested move. Most moves will ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Why are there no more exhibition games between top players and computers?

The 1997 match between Kasparov and Deep Blue is likely the most famous chess match in history. This is because it was ground breaking - for the first time ever a computer had beaten the best player ...
15
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2answers
2k views

How do chess engines decide which best line to play when the game outcome is within their horizon?

Inspired by the Hot Network Question "In this puzzle, why does white play dxe5?", when a chess engine is in a position that it can definitively call lost, drawn, or won, what policy is used to decide ...
15
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2answers
1k 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 ...
14
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4answers
3k views

How to tell that this is a draw

In an endgame I played as Black, after the rooks were exchanged, the below position was reached. A funky stalemate quickly ensued. [FEN "8/5ppk/5p1p/8/3K1P2/6P1/7P/8 b - - 0 1"] [startflipped ""] 1.....
14
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8answers
15k views

What is an accurate way to evaluate chess positions?

I've been interested for a while about a computer chess AI algorithms (and got the chance to work on one at some point) like Minimax, and as the core component of these algorithms is the so-called ...
14
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3answers
2k views

How does engine strength scale with hardware?

Say I run Komodo on my 4-core machine. How much stronger would Komodo be if I used an 8-core machine? A 40-core machine? A 4000-core machine? Is there a general relation for this? Also, does this ...
14
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2answers
14k 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 ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Is Houdini 6 a Stockfish clone?

I've been hearing this claim being bandied about quite a lot and I'm wondering if there's any substance to it. Apparently the details are in a certain thread on Talkchess, but it's not viewable to non-...
14
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3answers
811 views

How can I find good tactics problems?

Say you have a database of a lot of games. How would you go about finding good tactics problems? I suppose you would search until there was a spot where the score shifted, and there was only one good ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Alternative approaches to chess engine programming

As far as I understand, roughly speaking, chess engines work by: calculating all possible variations (game tree) up to some depth evaluating the final position based on some criteria (material, piece ...
14
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1answer
61k 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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Can an Irwin Cheat Detector catch a user who is using a Leela chess bot for cheating?

I’m a big fan of chess cheat detection apps, like Irwin that was created by lichess.org. But I heard that there is a new bot called Leela that is teaching herself how to play chess, and to think in a ...
14
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2answers
5k views

How do I learn Chess Programming?

Basically I have seen that people write a lot of chess algorithms, and ask questions in this forum, which I fumble to answer appropriately. I see the code, but unable to make out whether it is correct ...

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