Chess Engine and programing

In this advanced era, competitive chess players cannot survive without practicing and training properly with a good chess engine. A chess engine is a computer program that takes input at any instance of the game and returns the best possible moves in an instant for either side. It is unlike the old days when grandmasters used to spend days solving tricky tactics.

However, you must be thinking how do chess engines work? Before we move further, let’s first go through the history of chess engines to understand their importance.

Chess Engine & Programming Icon

The beginning of Chess Engine

It all started with two greatest scientists of all time known as Alan Turing (the Father of the modern computer known as the Turing Machine) and Claude Shannon (the Father of modern information theory) who initiated the concept of chess engines and simultaneously developed a chess algorithm “Turochamp” which was the greatest creation back in the year 1951. However, this algorithm was never completed by Turing as it was considered too complex to be processed by the early computers. Despite this fact, this Turochamp was able to beat many intermediate players.

How does a chess engine work?

When a chess game starts, white has 20 moves to play with black having an equal amount of moves to answer white. However, after just one move from both sides, the number of possible moves increases by 20*20 that is 400 possible moves. The chess engine complexity increases in the game due to the enormous possible positions at every single move. It is considered that a chess game can have a set of combinations that are more than the atoms in this observable universe. Statistically, there are about 10^80 atoms in this universe and theoretically, there are 10^120 chess variations.

Can chess engines be overpowered by humans?

Many chess grandmasters beat the chess engines in the 90s such as Garry Kasparov who defeated IBM Deep Blue. But, if you are assuming the chess engines from the last decade to the current year 2022, the answer is simply, no!

That is because back in the 90s, the algorithms were designed and processed over super-computers that were unable to process a large amount of data with high speed. However, in this modern time, there is no need for the processing of chess engines as data centers take care of a large amount of data and allow every individual to access the best chess engines in the world through the web and mobile applications.

 The Top 3 Chess Engines You Should Practice In 2022

  1. Stockfish

It is considered one of the best chess engines with the CCRL Rating 3564 and CEGT Rating 3623 which makes stockfish superior among all other engines. This chess engine uses an alpha-beta searching algorithm that is purely designed in C++ programming language. The engine uses over 512 Cores of CPU that increases its performance including late move reductions and aggressive pruning.

  1. Leela Chess Zero

This engine has a CEGT Rating of 3467 and a CCRL Rating of 3463. It uses the concept of a neural network that is derived from the Deepmind’s research about AlphaGo Zero and AlphaZero. The best thing about this chess engine is that the neural network relies on deep learning techniques that learn by playing against themselves million times correspondingly.

  1. Houdini

It is a well-known chess engine that mostly grandmasters practice with as it can defend strongly in any threatened position and escape with a nice draw. Among chess engine championships, Houdini has won around 3 seasons consistently. This chess engine has two different modes, one uses 8 processor cores while the other uses 128 cores along with high processing RAM.

Why you should practice with chess engines?

  • The main advantage of a chess engine, especially nowadays, is to always have a training partner A chess computer is a training partner that can help you analyze your games in an instant.
  • Another good feature of chess computers is that your training partner will always be close to your playing level. The chess computer can automatically raise or lower your performance level depending on how well you play.
  • With best-performing chess engines, you never have to worry about whether your new training partner is too good or way below you. Finding the sweet spot between challenging and daunting is taken care of for you.
  • Analyzing your chess games is a great way to improve after every match regardless of winning or losing. Your chess computer can help you analyze your games and answer questions you may have about other people’s games.
  • Another great advantage that most chess engine offers is the ability to calculate the best possible moves, blunders, and the probability scale that shows your winning or losing statistics.
  • Chess engines can also caption the chess opening names by searching the moves you play and guides you by searching in the existing database.


It is a fact that the beginning of modern technology has changed the way people study chess. In the old days, a chess player had to read a large number of manuals, look for tournament bulletins and search the games of his opponents, find books for training calculations and strategies, etc. Nowadays, everything is just a few clicks away, whether it is a chess website with training exercises, watching video lessons, or searching for opponents’ games.

There is one thing that bothers a lot of people, especially competitive players that chess always starts from the same position, you have to memorize a lot of chess openings and theory to compete. Studying chess can be exhausting because you have to spend a lot of time studying the openings, which frankly is not the most exciting part of chess. Therefore, chess engines are considered the best invention for chess players because, without spending days studying, you can learn whenever you want, solve puzzles, learn through the existing database, and most importantly, consider a chess engine as your partner. After all, it will never let you down and help you in your journey to achieve wonders.