Questions tagged [engines]

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

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62 votes
15 answers
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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 ...
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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. ...
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37 votes
6 answers
20k 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 ...
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  • 481
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 ...
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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, ...
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34 votes
4 answers
30k 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 ...
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32 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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31 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ~ ...
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  • 1,661
31 votes
6 answers
39k 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 ...
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31 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 461
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 ...
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29 votes
9 answers
9k views

How has chess managed to remain a competitive sport despite engine dominance?

As much as people fear losing their jobs to machines that can do them better, Chess has seen the exact opposite take shape. There have been extremely strong chess bots since Kasparov's time, and more ...
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29 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
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28 votes
8 answers
6k 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 ...
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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 ...
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27 votes
3 answers
9k 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)?
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25 votes
8 answers
6k 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 ...
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  • 1,194
25 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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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 ...
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24 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why does chess.com consider this promotion a blunder?

I've just played a game on Chess.com, and I'm surprised that the engine considers a promotion that I made a huge blunder. Like, my position was rated -62.8 (basically a won game), and after I promoted ...
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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 ...
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23 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 339
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 ...
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  • 3,186
23 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are there any moves that humans agree are best which engines cannot see?

Are there any moves from real, preferably reasonably well known games which humans agree are great moves, but which engines cannot see, or, at least, think are weak/average? Here is an example that I ...
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  • 1,751
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 ...
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  • 337
21 votes
8 answers
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 ...
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  • 4,431
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 ...
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  • 515
21 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 3,335
20 votes
4 answers
6k 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, ...
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  • 1,751
20 votes
3 answers
8k views

Undetectable semi-cheating?

I bet I would play already 200 ELO better if I'd only check if my move isn't a complete tactical blunder. This obviously begs the question if engine cheating can be as easily detected if I'd only use ...
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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 ...
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it more helpful to play with a titled player than to play with a chess engine?

I can choose to hire a titled player to play with me; at the same time, playing with the computer is usually free and more flexible. As far as improving one's chess skill is concerned, is there more ...
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  • 7,715
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 ...
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19 votes
5 answers
5k views

Making my own chess engine for a college project

I'm starting my college project to build my own chess engine. The problem is that I have no clue where to start or what to read. I found videos on YouTube but I don't want to be a copycat. I want to ...
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19 votes
6 answers
6k views

How difficult is it to win a winning endgame against an engine?

Consider an endgame like the one shown below (white to move): [fen "5k2/5p2/r7/8/6R1/4b1PP/8/5R1K w - - 0 50"] Stockfish gives white a solid +3 advantage here and that seems appropriate ...
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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 ...
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19 votes
1 answer
3k views

What if both players always play the worst engine move?

There are questions for the worst opening in chess and the worst opening in Chess960, but these only consider the very first move. I'm curious what a game would look like where white plays the worst ...
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19 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 461
19 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 430
18 votes
11 answers
26k 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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18 votes
6 answers
13k 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 ...
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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 ...
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18 votes
3 answers
6k 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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17 votes
13 answers
6k 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 ...
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17 votes
9 answers
4k 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.]
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17 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 273
17 votes
8 answers
19k 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 21.7k
17 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 301
15 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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