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Questions tagged [engines]

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

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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 ...
36
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11answers
20k 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. ...
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6answers
16k 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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
26
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2answers
2k 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 ...
23
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6answers
21k 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 ...
21
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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 ...
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8answers
4k 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 ...
20
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4answers
2k 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 ...
19
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8answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
19
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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 ...
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 ...
17
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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 ...
16
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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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3answers
6k 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 ...
16
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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 ...
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 ...
15
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6answers
7k 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 ...
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 ...
14
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
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10answers
19k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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2answers
412 views
+50

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 ...
12
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10answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
12
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3answers
685 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
12
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2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
11answers
9k views

Free, simple chess program for beginners

I can't play chess very well, and want a computer game to play against. I've tried two so far - Chessbase (Fritz 5.32) and Crafty Chess. Both had the same problem that even on the lowest difficulty ...
11
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2answers
3k views

What was the first chess engine that could beat the world champion on a standard desktop?

What was the first chess engine that could beat the world chess champion when running on a standard desktop playing at standard speeds (i.e. not blitz chess)? For concreteness, say a $1000 PC.
11
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4answers
837 views

Instructive chess positions (and famous games/studies containing these) that engines do not understand well

Basically, I would like to ask people to share their knowledge on famous and/or particularly instructive examples of chess positions, which chess engines do not understand well (i.e. do not evaluate ...
11
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5answers
697 views

Why do people say today's chess is dominated by computers?

Everytime I read articles on chess, I see people who say that chess nowadays is dominated by computers. For example if you look for a thread on the subject 'fischer vs carlsen' (just an example) you ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Why does Fritz prefer under-promotion in this position

Why does Fritz prefer under-promotion in this position - how can underpromotion to bishop evaluate so much higher than normal queen promotion? Can this be a bug in the Fritz 14 chess engine?
11
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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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Computer endgame strength without tablebases

I have seen that engines aren't particularly strong in the openings without access to a book. How strong are modern engines in the endgame when they are not allowed access to tablebases? E.g., can ...
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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

How to represent chess state with a bitboard

I'm interested in programming a chess engine and using bitboards to represent the state of the game. I know there are a few open source chess engines that use bitboards, but its not so easy to look at ...
10
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6answers
7k views

Deep Rybka vs Deep Fritz vs Houdini vs (other), which one to buy?

I want to invest my hard-earned money to buy a chess engine which can help me to: analyze games easily experiment with different opening repertoire strategical analysis positional play I don't ...
10
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4answers
4k views

Why is Chinese chess (xiangqi) harder for computers than international chess?

Why is Chinese chess (xiangqi) harder for computers than international chess? When one looks at Chinese chess in comparison to international chess, one cannot help but notice how extremely limited ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

Does depth (number of ply) still matter once it is high enough?

This isn't real, just imagine this happening. Computer A is supercomputer. It can calculate 30 ply deep within 20 seconds. Computer B is supercomputer. It can calculate 15 ply deep within 20 seconds....
10
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3answers
1k views

How do people use chess software to improve their practical skills?

I'm currently using chesstempo to get better at tactics, reading books on strategy, analyzing grandmasters' games, etc. My current rating is around 1800 and I am planning to gain 200-300 points ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Are there any bughouse chess engines?

A friend told me its very hard to implement a bughouse chess engine because it requires much more processor power than a regular chess engine. Are there any bughouse engines out there ? if not, what ...
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, ...