My Chess Project – A Free Chess Program

ChiChess - Free Chess ProgramChiChess is a free chess program, developed over a period of 6 months. It started as a project to improve an existing chess program I had written many years previously. I am not a great chess player by any means, but I wanted something that could challenge me at a reasonable level. I succeeded and ChiChess beats me every time.

I’ve come to a place with it that I don’t really know how to develop it much further, so I’m happy to give it away to anyone who wants it.

ChiChess should be a challenge to a strong county player, though would not fair well against the strongest settings of modern commercial chess engines. Not bad for a free chess program.

ChiChess currently only runs on a PC running Microsoft Windows 10 (probably Windows 8.1 as well). It was written using  Free Pascal (Lazarus IDE), so it is possible to port it over to Linux and Apple MacOS. I don’t have the time to do that at the moment. It is compiled as a 32-bit program.

It uses many common techniques of modern chess engines including transposition tables, quiescent searches, null-move search, principal variation, killer-moves, etc. It has a user-configurable opening book library and you can set up board positions to solve puzzles.

The playing levels are set by adjusting the playing time.

Installing ChiChess

Download the program by clicking on the link below or be clicking  here.  Run the installation program executable file. Once it installs, run the program and set the length of ‘thinking’ time by clicking on Game->Time For Move.

I never got round to writing the help for this program, but since it is a free chess program you can’t really complain too much. Most of the menus and options are self-explanatory, but below is a little more help:

Set the Transposition Table Size

The transposition table is a kind of a database of positions ChiChess has found, linked to a score for the position. This really reduces the number of positions the program has to search for.  Experiment with this value in Options->Transposition Table Size. The default value is 200MBytes; perhaps try 500 MBytes.  The larger this value the larger the table.

Openings Database

ChiChess has an opening book library/database stored in a configurable text file. This is found in program’s folder and is called chessdb.txt. Have a look at this text file in a text editor; the format is quite obvious, but I’d be happy to explain it if anyone is interested.

You can also had your own openings by playing the game move by move in 2-player mode and then click Options->Add Moves To Database.

If you don’t want to use the opening database then untick Options->Use Book Openings

Speak Moves

If you have the Microsoft speech installed then you can get ChiChess to speak the moves to you by ticking Options->Speak Moves

Showing Moves

There is a handy option for beginners to highlight on the board all available moves for a piece.

  • The green squares show the highlighted piece can freely move to that square.
  • The yellow squares indicate that the piece can move there but the square is also attacked by an enemy and defended by another of your pieces.
  • Red squares mean that you can move your piece there, but it will be attacked by an enemy piece and it won’t be defended.

Important Note

If you would like explanation of any other features or notice a bug or two then let me know on the comments. I may get time to fix them. I will update this post if versions change or bugs are fixed.

Disclaimer: This is free chess software. I have checked it for malware using Norton Security before uploading it. You should always check downloaded files yourself with your own anti-malware software – it’s a good rule to have, especially for Windows computers.

I accept absolutely no obligation to support this free chess program or for any responsibility for possible damage caused by downloading it from this or another website. I am not responsible for any copies made of this software. 

The design belongs to and it may not be distributed for money or other profit or altered in any way.

Free Chess – Download My Program and Enjoy

Download here – I hope you enjoy it.

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