Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chess960 training engine

Here is a modification of the wonderful Stockfish chess960 engine that I slightly modified to achieve what I think is a better solution to the original skill level code. When a skill level is enabled the engine plays at high strength for the first three moves, even if a skill limit is set or even if search depth has been limited. It also now throws in some variety in it's opening choices to add more interest for opening training.

It's really important to ensure that the engine plays near it's best at the start of a chess960 game because without a book database to refer to, almost all engines will play very poorly if they are constrained by skill level. Often their opening choices don't seem natural even by the standards of a amateur.

The modified Stockfish engine works in all the main chess applications and can be downloaded here in conjunction with Winboard-960: 

Big thanks and full credit to the developers here:

Stockfish, a UCI chess playing engine derived from Glaurung 2.1
Copyright (C) 2004-2008 Tord Romstad (Glaurung author)
Copyright (C) 2008-2012 Marco Costalba, Joona Kiiski, Tord Romstad

Enjoy 960


  1. Hope you enjoy it, Stockfish is my main training engine. This little change means that even on low skill levels, it feels like the engine can at least "see" the whole board and play a somewhat intelligent couple of opening moves. It helps us practice our Chess960 openings as best as is possible with engine.

  2. Updated and recompiled the engine to the 20/5/2013 build.

  3. Updated and recompiled the engine to the latest Stockfish build. This version includes some more refinements for Chess960 opening training.

  4. Updated and recompiled the engine to the latest Stockfish 4.0. An example of the benefit of this engine is that unlike Houdini-3 and unmodified Stockfish on lower skills, this Stockfish 960 training engine won't usually play 1.Ne3 in SP454.