Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
chess engines
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How to get chess engines?

Chess engines are amazing tools for chess players, they provide a lot of facilities for the player to grow. Depending on how you use them you can get really good results, and you will have an incredible source of information.

One doesn’t even imagine how far can go with a chess engine, from analyzing chess games to making engines’ tournaments to analyze results. Some engines allow you to configure them, an example, to study openings is making the engine play other engine using that opening.

This way you will have a lot of information about how to play that opening. Then, compare these results to human games, you can make important advances.

You can get chess engines online, download them and use them in a program, it’s simple and easy. You will need to download an interface, which you can have for free, right here.

Most of them will allow you the basic functions like playing the engine, analyzing, and training. We recommend you read a guide on how to use them properly, it’s worth the investment.

What can I use a chess engine for?

chess robot

Some players get confused when we talk about “improving in chess with an engine” and many may see it as a waste of time. But that’s because people don’t actually know how to improve in chess using a chess engine. Typical, is not that a chess engine can’t help you improve, is that you don’t know how to use it correctly.

You can use it to analyze grandmasters’ chess games and take the best ideas out of those games. You can use it to analyze your own chess games and localize the mistakes and blunders to fix them.

You can replay lost games and improve your play, and your technique. You can improve your chess skills at a practical level, you just need the correct methodology.

The chess engine is special to learn how to calculate, it’s perfect to improve the preciseness and “adjust” your moves. However, this does not mean you can’t use them to learn the strategy and main ideas in openings.

Pretty much all of the chess books that you can find were based on computer analysis. This is why the chess engine represents a great advance for chess, and it definitely defined a different era for chess.

The best chess engine free

chess engines play

There are a couple of options to use as a chess engine, and they have interesting differences one from the other. The most popular option would be Stockfish, however, here you will read how to choose the best chess engine of your preference:

You can evaluate the way the engines play, and you can also see them in action any time you want. Visit chess.com and there it is the Computer chess championship, where you can see all of the engines playing between themselves.

You can use: Komodo, Gull, Houdini, and many others, all of these chess engines are not free to use for all the users. Other chess engines are private and have specific usages and were made just for competition.

You can get most of the chess engines free on the web, and they will all provide you good material to study and are appropriate.

Different engines may have different evaluations for certain positions and are interesting to see how they evaluate them. This is because their database is different and the things they consider as “advantages” or “disadvantages” are different one from the other. Using different engines for different is good, it will give you different appreciations of chess.

Interesting facts about chess engines

chess engines pieces

There is a new technology for chess engines that are giving good results and shocked the whole chess community for the great advance. AlphaZero is a chess engine developed by Google DeepMind, which is a special Google project.

AlphaZero was suddenly created and it was tested against the most powerful chess engine of that time: Stockfish. It was a 100 games match, and the results were simply stunning. AlphaZero demonstrated great superiority to Stockfish, maybe because it was implementing new technologies.

Neuronal Network (NN) was the name of the new algorithm with artificial intelligence that tan AlphaZero to the victory. In simple words, this is an artificial intelligence that can learn how to play chess (but is not exactly to play chess).

It learned the game by playing thousands of games against itself and improved on its own. This engine is not available for the public, but you can watch its previous games. And, you can play against its sister “Leela Chess Zero” (Lc0).

Another chess engine works the same way, but this was made just to play chess. The interesting part is that the more you play with this engine, the stronger it becomes, awesome!

Use a chess engine free online

chess computer king

If you don’t want to install an interface (GUI) in your computer to use chess engines, you can use them online. Different web pages offer this option to their users, but you will have to register on their pages.

Pretty much any of the principal chess sites like chess.com or lichess.org offer you a chess engine to use. This works as an online GUI, you can analyze games, have reviews replay positions, or play with the computer.

Some pages will offer you even more special options, but you will have to pay to have full access to all of them. You can also use these sites’ databases with millions of games to analyze and learn from them.

Analyzing your own game can help you improve dramatically, we suggest you look for information and tutorials on how to learn chess with an engine. Don’t forget you can also configure the chess engines to have a better experience and are not difficult.

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