Saitek Challenge Game 1

I’m playing a ten game match between my old Saitek chess computer (circa 1993) and MadChess, a chess engine I wrote. The first game is complete. MadChess won convincingly. MadChess protected its king while attacking the opposing king, busting open the white defense and winning two pawns. MadChess played Bf1 then pushed the f pawn. After winning a bishop when the f pawn promoted, MadChess pushed the h pawn. The white king was unable to stop the pawn’s advance and MadChess promoted it to a queen, coordinated its movements with the black bishop, and checkmated the white king on the… Continue Reading

Saitek Challenge Game 0

I became fascinated with the game of chess when I was a teenager.  My parents enrolled me in a park district chess club, so I could receive instruction and play a few games. In addition to chess club, I’d play occasionally against friends. However, I did not have a reliable lineup of opponents always ready to play a game. So I decided to save my money and buy a chess computer. In 1993 I bought the Saitek Kasparov Olympiad. Playing against it definitely improved my game. But I never could defeat it on level four or higher (searching ahead four… Continue Reading

Debut Tournament

MadChess made its debut in Graham Banks’ 40th Amateur Tournament in Division 7. The format was a fourteen engine quadruple round-robin. Time control was 40 moves in 25 minutes, repeating. The tournament ran from Thursday, April 25th to Tuesday, May 14th. I am very pleased with MadChess’ performance. Finished in eighth place. Scored better than 50%. Won a game against 11 of 13 opponents. Had an equal or winning record against 7 of 13 opponents. 40th Amateur D7 2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 1 Capivara LK 0.09a01a 64-bit 2298 -4… Continue Reading

Shifting Focus

Those of you who’ve written a chess engine understand how difficult it is to refrain from tinkering with the code. One always has ideas for more efficient algorithms or more concise code. These ideas need expression, need testing and verification. But at some point, due to the cruel law of diminishing returns, one has to walk away and work on other problems. I feel I’ve reached that point. I’d like to shift my focus from improving the playing strength of MadChess to writing a Graphical User Interface (GUI). To that end, I spent time today reading about the latest Microsoft… Continue Reading

Testing MadChess 1.3

I am testing MadChess 1.3 at rapid time controls (15 min / game + 10 sec / move). You can follow the games on the Live Games page. I’m running four instances of the Shredder GUI. I wrote a script to transfer tournament standings and games to this website, using the Windows FTP command line utility. I registered a task in the Windows Task Scheduler to run the script every five minutes. Earlier I tested MadChess 1.3 at faster time controls and got these results: Bullet ( 2 min / game +  1 sec / move): 2153 +/- 22 Elo… Continue Reading