Stockfish is one of the best chess engines around right now, and an excellent working tool. For chess players, using an engine is practically a requisite, and chess engines have allowed chess to evolve so quickly.
It’s incredible to see how humans are starting to play more and more like machines. That’s why it is so important to keep track of the chess engines and how they are performing, at least if you are a fan of chess.
Stockfish has almost always been the best among his fellow computers at playing chess. And it has now become the new world chess engine champion, once again, in beautiful games.
Here is everything you need to know about Stockfish, and a little more!
Top Chess Engine Championship
The Top Chess Engine Championship is an event organized to make different chess engines compete. The events started to take place in 2013, and the idea was to compare chess engines.
Of course, the event has a unique energy, as machines don’t play anything like humans, although inspired by their theory books. Imagine passing the first 15 moves in a blink, and making every move early perfect.
Engines’ chess is practically impossible to replicate for humans in the practice, and very difficult to understand. But that is also what makes it so interesting to analyze as well and learn from it.
It’s also an excellent way to measure all of the engines’ strength and see which one might result in the best. You would want to use the strongest chess engine, right? You should be aware of who wins or loses the chess engine championship to decide!
What is Stockfish’s ELO rating?
Right now at the moment, we are publishing this post, Stockfish 15’s strength is approximately 3560 ELO points. This is just an estimated rating that is relative to the calculated strength of the Stockfish actual version.
However, there is no real way to know how strong is Stockfish, as “strength” is not necessarily a quantitative characteristic.
Humans’ rating is determined by the number of games they win, and how many points a certain win deserves according to FIDE. However, there are essentially two reasons why the “strength” of Stockfish can’t be calculated:
- Stockfish hasn’t participated in FIDE-organized events, and obviously will not, because it is not human. This means that therefore, its” strength” cannot be measured with a system that was meant for humans.
- Stockfish can’t feel emotions, which is an extreme advantage against anything human in general. Also, Stockfish lacks the human important characteristics of chess, like intuition, or creativity.
The meaning of all of this is that engines’ chess is something completely different, a whole another level of chess. So, for this to be comprehended or measured, we would need a completely different system.
A system that measures strength based on the essential characteristics of chess programs, like the speed of calculation for example.
In conclusion, there is no way to know for sure the strength of Stockfish. But to express it in our traditional ELO rating system, it could be 3.000 as it could be 100.000 points.
How can I use Stockfish to improve my chess?
Stockfish, believe it or not, is a chess program that you can download and start using right now on your computer. You can go to the official Stockfish website and download the engine to run it on your computer.
What you can use a computer for is to correct the mistakes that you have made in your previous games. This has proven to be one of the most efficient ways to improve your chess.
A chess engine can help you locate the mistakes and the kind of mistakes you made. But it will not directly replace training, or improve you just by using it.
The reason I say this is because many people make bad use of the chess engine, and it is not beneficial.
For example, playing the engine to improve, is good for your calculation and technique. But using it too much can result in very bad for your intuition and creativity skills, computer chess is not human chess.
Can a human beat Stockfish?
Even if you think is not possible, somebody was able to defeat Stockfish in a game. And not only in a game, but in various games, demonstrating to the whole community that he was able to defeat Stockfish.
You can watch the video of this guy defeating Stockfish right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC2P6VUYu78
However, there are a lot of doubts about it, and it was a little polemic at the beginning. Well, it’s difficult to believe a human defeated Stockfish in a three-minute game.
However, it’s not as unreal as it sounds, as we said, computers chess is so different from human chess. This means, that human chess could be as incompressible for a computer as it could be computers’ chess to us.
And, after all, a computer is programmed to play (not to mention it was programmed by a human). This means, that you will find errors in its programming, or style of play if you know where to look.
Is Stockfish the best chess engine?
Well, as Stockfish is the world chess engine champion right now, you could say it is the best chess engine that exists. However, there was a chess engine, or neural AI to be precise, that defeated Stockfish soundly a few years ago.
AlphaZero was the most shocking and ridiculously strong “chess engine” that played ever. It wasn’t even a chess engine, as it was not created specifically for chess, but it was an artificial intelligence with incredible strength.
But AlphaZero was never released to the public to download, or even try, it disappeared to never come again.
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