Questions tagged [engines]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
36 votes
5 answers
28k 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 ...
user avatar
62 votes
15 answers
18k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,431
10 votes
1 answer
4k 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....
user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
62k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 515
28 votes
4 answers
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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,589
18 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 281
13 votes
2 answers
3k 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, ...
user avatar
  • 21.7k
13 votes
3 answers
4k 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, [Title "White to move"] [FEN "8/8/8/3k3p/3P3K/2P3R1/8/7r w - - 0 1"] which turned out to be a draw. ...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 21.7k
19 votes
5 answers
20k 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
8 answers
7k views

Bishop vs Knight

I read in a book written by Fischer about piece values, and he said that a knight is worth 3 pawns, and a bishop is worth 3,25 pawns. I know that in closed positions knights are better, and I have ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Could a top ranked GM draw against Stockfish using drawish opening lines in classical chess?

We know that are many lines which White can choose which are very drawish at 2700+ level. Drawing is easy to a very good chess player such as Carlsen, who knows dozens of forced draw lines. When I say ...
user avatar
  • 337
5 votes
4 answers
581 views

Kasparov said human+computer beats just computer. What does human bring to the table in such teams?

Its seems to me nowadays computers simply play better, i.e. they consistently choose better moves. Where does human factor come into play, how can a human help engine to beat another engine? Or was ...
user avatar
  • 151
35 votes
2 answers
8k 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, ...
user avatar
  • 3,320
20 votes
4 answers
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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,108
23 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,186
15 votes
2 answers
15k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 151
14 votes
1 answer
66k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,459
25 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
4k 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.
user avatar
  • 637
14 votes
2 answers
655 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?
user avatar
  • 4,063
9 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 461
8 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 181
7 votes
3 answers
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/...
user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
2k 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.
user avatar
  • 645
21 votes
6 answers
10k views

What prevents chess engines from being undetectable?

I see accounts of people getting banned from sites like chess.com for using engines like Stockfish and Komodo (I admit I have used these engines before, but never in an actual match). Now, I believe ...
user avatar
  • 337
8 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 183
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the farthest away a game can be from a guaranteed checkmate?

What is the maximum number of moves away from checkmate that a player can be where checkmate is guaranteed? There are many positions that are a guaranteed win for a player if played perfectly, right? (...
user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can a human defeat an engine in a 10-game match if he is given the White pieces and draw odds in every game?

What would happen in a 10-game match between one of the strongest human player (Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian, Kramnik or Anand) and one of the strongest engine (Komodo, Stockfish or Houdini), but with ...
user avatar
  • 4,459
15 votes
4 answers
5k 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-...
user avatar
  • 21.7k
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can you really learn from playing against computers just like when playing against humans?

I am wondering whether or not playing against chess against a computer will help you get better as quickly as playing against humans. The motivation for this questions come from video gaming. I used ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
8k views

Which is better-Stockfish 10 or AlphaZero?

I know AlphaZero (an AI) is one of the best top chess engines but Stockfish is also improving. Which one is better at chess?
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
508 views

Positions that stump engines

Chess engines are so strong that it is becoming increasingly hard to find positions that they are demonstrably evaluating incorrectly. I'm interested in collecting examples—if there are any&...
user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
507 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 ...
user avatar
  • 71
6 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Python script to let stockfish selfplay 10 games from a given position

I would like to have Stockfish to selfplay 10 games starting from a given position. Game should end after 10 moves. From the python-chess documentation there is an example of playing only one such ...
user avatar
  • 243
4 votes
2 answers
478 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
6k 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).
user avatar
  • 937
4 votes
4 answers
4k views

Programming 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do you use Sesse?

How can I set up a position on Sesse? I've been trying to find a way to set up a position on the blank chessboard for half an hour unsuccessfully. How do you do it?
user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
1 answer
278 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 ...
user avatar
  • 369
3 votes
1 answer
201 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?
user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
533 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 ...
user avatar
  • 65
1 vote
2 answers
339 views

Testing an engine (UCI) against an older version of itself

I am making modifications to a chess engine. I want to get quick feedback on whether the modified version seems stronger than an unmodified version or not, by fighting the older version multiple ...
user avatar
  • 13
23 votes
4 answers
11k 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 ...
user avatar
43 votes
11 answers
23k 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. ...
user avatar
  • 7,468
30 votes
7 answers
19k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 20.4k
20 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
user avatar