Computer Chess


Amateur / Freeware Chess Engines


Note: Many of these are Winboard compatible. You will find commercial programs on the Software page.

WBEC-Ridderkerk – Maintains a list of Winboard-compatible engines with download links.

BACE (Source only – you must compile)
Chessterfield – Neural-network based.
Cilk Project – Cilk is a strong program for multi-processor machines. Has source code and info on parallel computing. Not a Winboard engine.
ColChess – Engine for Linux/Unix.
CPP1 – Experimental object-oriented chess engine. Does not use brute force.
Crafty – Source only.
Crazy Bishop – Quite strong. A class library for chess programs also available.
La Dame Blanche
Delfi – plays a human-style game and can emulate a lower-strength opponent.
EG Chess – 3D board and pieces, and you can play against the built-in engine or a friend over a network.
Gerbil – from Bruce Moreland, author of Ferret.
GNU Chess
Green Light Chess
KnightCap – Interesting program for UNIX is supposed to learn as plays. Source code available. No Winboard/Xboard support.
Pax Chess
RD Chess – Has both Windows interface & Winboard support.
Sjeng & Deep Sjeng – Sjeng plays bughouse & crazyhouse; Deep Sjeng is a strong standard chess engine.
Sunsetter – Bughouse / crazyhouse engine — ability to play on a chess server.
TI-Chess – Engine for your TI calculator.



Chess Programming Tutorials & Info /

Computer Chess Miscellaneous


Alberta GAMES Group – An academic research group — includes a respository of papers (in PostScript format) regarding chess and game programming.

Anatomy Of Chess Programs – Short article from ICCA on how chess programs work. Not detailed, but a good intro.

Anticomputer Chess – How do you beat your fancy new program? Find out here.

Bruce Moreland – The chess page of the author of Ferret & Gerbil. Has information about these two programs, plus computer chess programming in general.

ChessBits – In German. Computer Chess magazine. (now defunct)

Chess Programming – Multi-part series from Well-written and thorough.

Chess Programming Theory – Chess programming tutorial.

Computer Chess – Part of a huge HTML document, this section describes the basic architecture of a chess program.

Computer Chess Club – Web-based moderated discussion forum aimed at keeping the posts on-topic (computer chess). Very active.

Dark Thought – Some implementation details on a program called Dark Thought.

Endgame Tablebase Guide – An introduction to endgame tablebases and how to get them working properly.

Endgame Tablebase Server (Nalimov) – An online interface to a complete set of 3, 4, & 5 man endgame tablebases. Can even be accessed directly from a chess engine with the right programming.

Endgame Tablebase Server – Another site to look-up endgames, including depth-to-conversion data.

EPD2WB – Bruce Moreland’s utility to run EPD test suites with Winboard chess engines.

Frank’s Chess Page – Lots of info on lots of Winboard engines. Games, Winboard tournaments, etc.

Game Programming – Selected lectures on how to program board games.

Game Theory: Computer Chess Notes – A short explanation of the techniques of chess programming.

Genetic Algorithms for King-Pawn Endgames – A paper describing experiments to use GA’s in chess programming.

Hossa – Steffen Jakob introduces you to his program Hossa (you may remember his killer Crafty-clone “Brause” that played the Halloween Attack). No executable or source, but a discussion of techniques used and games played.

International Computer Games Association (ICGA) – Organizes computer chess tournaments (including the computer chess championships), and publishes a journal.

KC Chess – Academic report on a project to make a chess program. Good reading if you are just getting into chess programming. Also includes Pascal source code.

Louis Kessler’s Page – Links and some essays on the history of computer chess from one of its early innovators.

Machine Learning in Games – All sorts of great information about programs that learn to play games.

Memory vs. Search in Games – A Ph.D. thesis by Dennis Breuker using computer chess as its main focal point.

Mr. T vs. Deep Blue – It turns out Kasparov was using the wrong strategy.

MTD(f) – Tutorial on the MTD(f) minimax algorithm.

Permanent Brain – [i]In German.[/i] Computer chess games for replay, computer chess history and software museum.

Programming a Computer to Play Chess – The paper that started it all. Claude E. Shannon’s 1949 Bell Labs report on just how a computer might play chess.

Tom’s Simple Chess Program – Simple program shows basics of chess programming.

WBEC-Ridderkerk – Maintains a list of Winboard-compatible engines with download links. Also has computer chess tournaments.

WinBoard / XBoard – You’ll need an interface for all those chess engines.

Winboard / Chess Engine FAQ – If you don’t know what all this Winboard, Crafty, chess engine, etc. nonsense is all about, this is your first stop to get your questions answered.

Winboard Tourney Manager – Utility for running tournaments between Winboard chess engines.