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Questions tagged [engines]

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

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15 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is there a way to use Stockfish to see tactics that aren't necessarily great?

Basically - I want to utilize an engine to see tactics through the whole game, regardless of whether they're a good move or not. Sometimes, Stockfish may say a position is absolutely winning, but the ...
1 vote
1 answer
275 views

What is the effect of the processor type for chess infinite analysis using the current version of Stockfish?

To find the best move, the dream of any chess player, chess engines are used extensively. Nowadays, the most popular chess engine is Stockfish. Many chess players, including top chess grandmasters ...
3 votes
1 answer
187 views

Is there any UCI GUI for arbitrary variants?

I have a UCI-compatible chess engine which I modified to play a chess variant (gravity chess, where all non-pawn pieces fall towards increasing rank). However, there's no easy way to play against the ...
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

Chess puzzles and gnuchess/xboard

Just come back to chess after a long pause. I want to set up a position -- a simple one -- and then have gnuchess reply to my moves as I try for a mate. But, with a simple Q+K against K alone, ...
1 vote
2 answers
101 views

Can chess bots adapt to changes?

If there's a chess bot and I changed how the bishop moves so it can move through pieces can it beat me without the need to change the code?
0 votes
0 answers
233 views

Transposition table produces diffrent and wrong search results

I am currently developing my own chess engine in rust. It all was working pretty fine, until I added transposition tables. Where my engine was playing the reasonable move e2e4 at a lower depth, with ...
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How should I configure Stockfish if I want it to play as a 2800 ELO player without the UCI_LimitStrength value?

Stockfish has so many parameters that I'm not sure which one I should change so that it has a strength equivalent to that of a human who has 2800 ELO, well that's one of my wishes, the other is to be ...
0 votes
1 answer
74 views

Two different "accuracies"...why?

Ok, I know it's probably not impressive to most, but I'm on my way to a 1000 rating on chess.com. I'm guessing it's because of different engine strengths or something. I recently played the following ...
1 vote
2 answers
106 views

Does a reinforcement learning style model actually need to be combined with a search algo to produce the best moves?

I have recently been studying up on Machine Learning based chess engines and have begun to develop one of my own. I was wondering, realistically, doesn't the board technically contain all of the data ...
4 votes
1 answer
246 views

Removing engine thinking (variations) PGN comments in Arena Chess

I setup a position in Arena. Then lets engine vs engine plays it after pressing 'Demo' button. The problem is Arena put engine thinking as well into the moves list. (in green font). Check the ...
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

How many positions per second should my homemade engine calculate?

My program prints time spent on executing a function for doing/retracting move, and both take together an average of 00.0002 seconds. That means my engine can analyze at most 5000 positions per second,...
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does centipawn scoring work?/Why is a higher (positive) score horrible while a lower score is better?

I'm a total beginner in Chess. I've known the basic rules for at least 20 years, but have never played it somewhat serious. Only toddler-level. I recently started trying to learn how to play properly. ...
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

"Safe advantage" and "unsafe advantage"

By a safe advantage, I mean it is easy for the side with the advantage to keep it. Winning the game is extremely likely under normal conditions. Example: KQ vs KN is a very safe advantage. By an ...
3 votes
1 answer
109 views

What is the variability of engine evaluations as a function of depth?

Chess engines such as StockFish provide centi-pawn evaluation of positions. Clearly the longer the engine runs the deeper it can search and thus provide more accurate centi-pawn evaluation. Basically, ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there an engine for Duck Chess?

Is there a chess engine for the chess variant Duck Chess? If not, is there a known plan of development of such an engine?
0 votes
3 answers
452 views

Some adjustable chess engines below 3000 elo?

Stockfish, Alphazero, Leela chess zero, Komodo have elo above 3300. I need the names of some adjustable chess engines below 3000 level, from beginner level to Grand Master level (2800 to 3000 elo), ...
0 votes
2 answers
664 views

Chess game/gui in C++/SDL. Integrating Stockfish. Mostly all is working, but is it possible to find all legal moves for a specified square/piece?

I've never worked with Stockfish or anything command line based like this before, so it took me a lot of getting used to in send/receiving the messages etc. I do now have a C++ game project set up and ...
2 votes
0 answers
149 views

Which websites have a ranking and/or a rating list for correspondence chess without engine help?

I am looking for websites that have a ranking and/or a rating list for correspondence chess without engine help. Which ones do exist? For example, lichess.org has correspondence chess without engine ...
3 votes
2 answers
644 views

Lets suppose I develop a chess engine, can I enter it into tournaments? If so, where do I begin?

My question is simple. I recently discovered that chess.com hosts a computer chess championship, and that got me really interested in chess programming. I know its a very difficult field, but let's ...
1 vote
1 answer
496 views

What is the Depth reached by chess-AI agents on a regular computer?

I'm looking for some reference for the number of lookahead steps typically used by chess agents (Stockfish / Leela Chess Zero / others?) From a quick search I found that: the answer depends on: ...
1 vote
1 answer
371 views

Extract evaluation data from Stockfish in Cpp

I am working on a chess player-rating system based on engine evaluations. As part of this I would like to extract evaluation data from Stockfish for the top 10 moves in a given set of positions. ...
1 vote
1 answer
313 views

How can I get a chess engine to play custom chess variants?

How can I get a chess engine to play custom chess variants, for example Los Alamos chess, anti-chess, or chess where pawns can only advance one square?
6 votes
4 answers
2k 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? (...
17 votes
5 answers
6k views

Computers: Hardware or Software?

It is well known that both hardware and software contributed to the total dominance of computers. Has there been an experiment to run a very modern program (say Alpha Zero) on a museum computer (of ...
7 votes
3 answers
222 views

Can chess engines recognize equivalence between two positions?

The positions [FEN "8/4kn2/4br2/8/8/3Q4/4K3/8 w - - 0 1"] with white to move [FEN "8/8/8/2Q5/1K3bk1/5rn1/8/8 w - - 0 1"] with white to move [FEN "8/2nk4/2rb4/8/8/4Q3/3K4/8 w ...
20 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
283 views

Does Stockfish 15.1 view the stage of the game continuously or discretely, if at all?

If I understand correctly, Stockfish (15.1 at the time of asking this) values material differently according to the stage of the game, "stages" being analogous to what we call opening, ...
7 votes
2 answers
874 views

Why is Qf3 losing in this position?

[FEN ""] [startply "16"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 d6 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d3 Bg7 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O e5 7. Ng5 O-O 8. Bxf7+ Rxf7 9. Qf3 Why does the engine go from -1....
2 votes
3 answers
848 views

"How are the scores decided in Chess?" - Correct?

Recent question: How are the scores decided in Chess? It has been argued that PV scores for Stockfish (the engine being used by chess.com) can be interpreted as something like: +1.0 is a pawn ...
3 votes
1 answer
719 views

How do you program a chess bot with specific style?

There are these cute chess.com bots against which you can play, which not only have different strengths but supposedly different playing styles. I haven't researched exactly how "limiting engine ...
1 vote
2 answers
325 views

Example of "lowerbound" and "upperbound" in the UCI protocol

I am having trouble understanding how "upperbound` and "lowerbound" come into play in the UCI protocol. The spec says: lowerbound: the score is just a lower bound. upperbound: the ...
0 votes
2 answers
695 views

Why does stockfish give "-28.8" as the evaluation number for this position?

[FEN "5K2/8/5k2/5b2/6b1/5b1b/4b1b1/7b w - - 0 1"] This game is an immediate draw by insufficient material (Doesn't Stockfish know this?). I am wondering what the reason behind the score &...
27 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
237 views

Is the decline in chess strength in a GM as they age similar to their ascension or different?

I mean, given that GMs or other strong players (I choose strong players because their peak rating vs low has "more data" than that of weaker players but it probably relates to weaker players ...
17 votes
5 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-...
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the Elo rating of a chess computer that can only look 1, 2, 3, ... moves ahead

Has anyone calculated the average Elo rating of a chess computer as a function of the number of half moves or plys ahead it can look. I realise that the Elo is also a function of the choice of move ...
4 votes
1 answer
262 views

Understanding why alpha-beta cannot be naively parallelized

I have seen it suggested in various places (e.g., on Stack Overflow posts) that alpha-beta pruning cannot be "naively" parallelized. To me, an intuitive parallelization of alpha-beta with n ...
3 votes
1 answer
800 views

Factors that contribute to slow move generation in building chess engine

I'm building a toy chess engine. I have a correct but slow move generation. Doing perft on starting position to depth 6 with my engine takes 8 seconds and but takes stockfish 0.5 seconds on my ...
22 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is the deepest Stockfish evaluation of the standard initial position that has ever been done?

Letting Stockfish (14+ NNUE) run for several minutes with lichess' analysis tool on the initial position of a standard chess board lets it reach depths beyond 30 moves, I suppose letting it run for ...
3 votes
1 answer
236 views

Is contempt factor used as a way to make engine games more interesting?

Chess is believed to be a theoretical draw. So top chess engines, which are not too far off from theoretical optimum, tend to reach drawn positions, which are not too exciting. My understanding is ...
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it the case that in practice making moves only decreases your positional score according to computers?

It occurred to me that presumably every chess engine's score is based on the best available continuation move, and thus every other move must be worse (or at least no better). i.e. if there were a ...
18 votes
8 answers
10k views

Why don't chess engines take into account the time left by each player?

Firstly, I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong the way engines are implemented at the moment, by analyzing only the current position regardless of time left by the players. This is great ...
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there an engine evaluation technique that factors in 'time'?

An interesting game played out between Wesley So and Levon Aronion1: [title "Wesley So vs Levon Aronian"] [fen "rn4k1/p2bP1b1/2q5/1pp2p1Q/2p5/8/PP3PPP/3R1RK1 w - - 0 1"] So was in ...
8 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

What engine evaluation does the average randomly generated legal position have?

Would it be accurate to expect a random legal position to tend to evaluate to a white advantage? How does the distribution of evaluations look like?
3 votes
2 answers
316 views

Comparative Advantage of Engine Improvements

I am implementing a chess engine in Python for the first time. Right now, my engine uses a standard alpha-beta search with fixed depth and a simple evaluation function that uses the weighted average ...
15 votes
4 answers
4k views

Can a grandmaster still win against engines if they have a really long consideration time?

Can a grandmaster still win against engines if they have a really long consideration time? For example, say that Stockfish gets 20 minutes and the GM receives days, if not weeks.
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

Evaluation bar cheating - how much does it really give, and how can it be detected?

To start off - due to my anxiety, I do not play any form of chess against other people (except some friends of mine, but that obviously doesn't matter for the context of this post). I recently got ...
0 votes
0 answers
305 views

Scid vs. PC: a hint needed

I have now installed Scid vs. PC and I have made my first move with White with 1. e4. Now the engine computes the position tree. How can I stop it and make it move with Black after some fixed time ? ...
2 votes
0 answers
208 views

Alpha-Beta Pruning and Depth skews checkmate evaluation

I am currently working on a chess engine in golang. I have implemented and tested move generation, making and unmaking. I am working on search and evaluation using Negamax with Alpha Beta pruning, ...

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