Questions tagged [engines]

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

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32
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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....
27
votes
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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, ...
13
votes
3answers
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. ...
19
votes
7answers
57k 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
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
votes
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 ...
11
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
31
votes
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, ...
18
votes
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 ...
21
votes
6answers
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
60k 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
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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/...
7
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
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.
11
votes
1answer
504 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?
10
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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.
5
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
467 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? (...
6
votes
4answers
424 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 ...
5
votes
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
267 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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).
3
votes
1answer
199 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
175 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
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
411 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
195 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 ...
39
votes
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. ...
19
votes
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 ...
24
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
32
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
13
votes
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?
18
votes
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
votes
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
940 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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
561 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
9answers
1k 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
votes
4answers
4k views

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

Preferably written in javascript, but the language really doesn't matter.
9
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

I'm confused by UCI Pondering and Time Control

I'm trying to talk to a UCI engine (right now Stockfish, but more generally to all UCI engines) to write my own computer-vs-computer program (I could use Fritz, but I really want to learn more about ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...