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  1. 09 Feb '07 17:12
    Does anyone know of any weak chess engines which play like a human beginner, rather than just making random, often piece-losing, blunders every now and then? I'm looking for something to recommend to children. I've tried just about everything listed on this site:
    http://wbec-ridderkerk.nl/html/enginesindex.htm
    but they all just play fairly strong chess, with the weaker engines playing terrible endgames.

    I was hoping for something which might miss forks and piece winning moves by their opponent (e.g. pawn attacking pinned piece), but not one which will just play their queen onto a square where it can be taken.
  2. 09 Feb '07 17:25
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    Does anyone know of any weak chess engines which play like a human beginner, rather than just making random, often piece-losing, blunders every now and then? I'm looking for something to recommend to children. I've tried just about everything listed on this site:
    http://wbec-ridderkerk.nl/html/enginesindex.htm
    but they all just play fairly strong chess, w ...[text shortened]... nned piece), but not one which will just play their queen onto a square where it can be taken.
    You'd probably be better getting an electronic chess set with a variety of levels, including beginner standard.
  3. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 Feb '07 17:33 / 1 edit
    In order to answer this question a few years ago I started collecting Winboard and UCI engines, and running engine tournaments. It has been over a year since I added any new weak engines. The bottom of my rating list is

    50 Monarch 1.0 : 1954 68 71 120 28.3 % 2115 1.7 %
    51 DelphiMax 2.9 : 1939 174 205 22 22.7 % 2152 0.0 %
    52 Eagle071 : 1932 77 82 120 18.3 % 2192 3.3 %
    53 AjetacWinboard : 1928 71 75 107 25.2 % 2116 7.5 %
    54 Celes 0.77c : 1899 94 102 79 16.5 % 2181 7.6 %
    55 Pooky 2.7 : 1886 70 74 124 22.2 % 2104 4.0 %
    56 Aldebaran 0.7.0 : 1882 67 70 106 23.1 % 2090 17.9 %
    57 Minimax : 1861 69 72 114 21.9 % 2081 12.3 %
    58 Piranha 0.5 : 1778 82 89 125 13.6 % 2100 4.8 %
    59 Lime_v11 : 1742 144 154 70 7.1 % 2188 2.9 %
    60 T.Rex 1.8.5 : 1511 95 0 114 1.3 % 2111 0.9 %

    Even T-Rex, however, is too strong for children that are not stronger than most or all of their peers.

    I've had beginners get a lot of enjoyment from Fritz and Chester, however.
  4. 09 Feb '07 17:38
    hey I thought you were banned fat!?
  5. 09 Feb '07 17:40
    Originally posted by Jusuh
    hey I thought you were banned fat!?
    ... that was a forum ban and it was lifted ages ago. Someone just decided to resurrect that thread. Add to that the fact that the Fat Lad(d)y hasn't played any games here since Dec....

    As to the original question I don't know. Do any of the weaker chessmaster personalities fit the bill. or are they too bad?
  6. 09 Feb '07 17:45
    Originally posted by zebano
    ... that was a forum ban and it was lifted ages ago. Someone just decided to resurrect that thread. Add to that the fact that the Fat Lad(d)y hasn't played any games here since Dec....

    As to the original question I don't know. Do any of the weaker chessmaster personalities fit the bill. or are they too bad?
    I bought ChessMaster 10, and my son likes to play on it, but I don't think it really plays like a beginner. It just blunders a lot on the weaker personalities.
  7. 09 Feb '07 17:47
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    In order to answer this question a few years ago I started collecting Winboard and UCI engines, and running engine tournaments. It has been over a year since I added any new weak engines. The bottom of my rating list is

    50 Monarch 1.0 : 1954 68 71 120 28.3 % 2115 1.7 %
    51 DelphiMax 2.9 : 1939 174 205 ...[text shortened]... l of their peers.

    I've had beginners get a lot of enjoyment from Fritz and Chester, however.
    Wow Wulebgr! That must be quite a set-up you have. Who is at the top of this tournament?

    I recently downloaded the Geko engine, and that is pretty weak and sometimes seems to go for bad plans, which is something I was looking for, The site claims 1600 ELO for that engine, but it seems far, far weaker than that to me. Is this engine in your tournament?
  8. 09 Feb '07 17:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Jusuh
    hey I thought you were banned fat!?
    It was a forum ban which has since been lifted. I've been too busy to play online recently as I put quite a lot of effort into my games here (especially when I get a lousy position!).

    At the current rate of two strong players being banned every week, I should be #1 here by Christmas.
  9. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 Feb '07 17:56
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    Wow Wulebgr! That must be quite a set-up you have. Who is at the top of this tournament?

    I recently downloaded the Geko engine, and that is pretty weak and sometimes seems to go for bad plans, which is something I was looking for, The site claims 1600 ELO for that engine, but it seems far, far weaker than that to me. Is this engine in your tournament?
    It is not one tournament, but dozens. Some engines play in only a few. Some have faults that cause program failures, which I then remove from my computer, although they still appear in the rating list. I run events in Arena (UCI and Winboard engines) and in Fritz (Chessbase and UCI engines).

    Here's the entire Arena list, last updated more than a year ago.

    1 Spike10a : 2463 64 63 100 64.5 % 2359 21.0 %
    2 Ruffian 1.0.1 : 2444 47 46 200 71.0 % 2288 19.0 %
    3 SlowWV2 : 2428 89 84 88 79.5 % 2192 6.8 %
    4 Aristarch 4.50 : 2412 74 71 90 72.8 % 2241 16.7 %
    5 Glaurung : 2411 66 64 120 78.8 % 2184 19.2 %
    6 List 5.12 : 2406 54 53 154 70.5 % 2255 17.5 %
    7 Delfi 4.5 : 2404 45 45 184 67.7 % 2276 26.6 %
    8 Pharaon 3.1 : 2392 56 55 132 66.7 % 2272 21.2 %
    9 Naum 1.7 : 2391 76 73 87 75.9 % 2192 18.4 %
    10 Spike 0.9 : 2385 45 44 186 62.4 % 2297 24.7 %
    11 Delfi 4.6 : 2377 53 52 168 72.6 % 2207 16.7 %
    12 Pharaon 3.3 : 2372 72 70 79 69.0 % 2233 24.1 %
    13 PRODEO : 2370 45 44 195 63.6 % 2274 22.6 %
    14 Yace Paderborn : 2367 49 48 186 63.2 % 2273 13.4 %
    15 Crafty 19.17 : 2364 75 73 81 67.9 % 2234 17.3 %
    16 AnMon 5.50 : 2363 55 55 136 64.3 % 2260 18.4 %
    17 Pharaon 3.2 : 2360 50 49 164 61.0 % 2283 18.3 %
    18 Pharaon 2.62 : 2358 56 55 137 67.9 % 2228 19.0 %
    19 Ktulu 4.2 : 2350 57 56 123 63.4 % 2254 21.1 %
    20 SlowChess 2.94 : 2329 45 45 187 57.8 % 2275 21.4 %
    21 Comet B68 : 2322 66 65 97 62.9 % 2230 16.5 %
    22 Nejmet 3.07 : 2315 57 57 120 62.1 % 2230 20.8 %
    23 Crafty 19.19 : 2314 61 61 100 51.5 % 2303 21.0 %
    24 Baron 1.6.0 : 2301 72 70 100 65.5 % 2190 5.0 %
    25 Dragon 4.6 : 2292 61 60 111 60.8 % 2216 17.1 %
    26 Tao 5.4 : 2287 59 59 118 59.3 % 2221 15.3 %
    27 Trace : 2271 76 75 69 59.4 % 2204 20.3 %
    28 LambChop 10.99 : 2270 50 50 160 53.8 % 2244 15.0 %
    29 Postmodernist v1010a : 2252 53 53 146 51.0 % 2245 14.4 %
    30 Arion 1.6 : 2246 60 59 120 59.2 % 2181 13.3 %
    31 Aice 0.92 : 2215 69 68 94 51.6 % 2204 7.4 %
    32 Hermann 1.31 : 2204 55 55 132 45.5 % 2235 16.7 %
    33 Abrok 5.0 : 2199 43 43 220 51.8 % 2186 11.8 %
    34 Beowulf : 2189 64 64 102 49.5 % 2192 10.8 %
    35 ThorsHammer22 : 2182 59 59 118 50.4 % 2179 12.7 %
    36 Sjeng 12.13 : 2156 60 60 124 43.1 % 2204 7.3 %
    37 Leila 0.42u : 2149 60 61 125 38.8 % 2228 8.8 %
    38 Logic014m : 2128 59 60 126 42.1 % 2184 7.9 %
    39 Beowulf 2.4 : 2112 73 75 84 35.1 % 2218 10.7 %
    40 Drunkenmaster 1.2 : 2108 59 60 128 38.3 % 2191 7.8 %
    41 Matheus 2.3 : 2085 75 77 76 38.2 % 2169 13.2 %
    42 Tornado 0.81.1 : 2079 76 78 78 37.8 % 2165 9.0 %
    43 Bestia 0.90 : 2074 63 64 116 35.3 % 2179 8.6 %
    44 Adam 3 0 : 2062 63 65 118 33.5 % 2181 7.6 %
    45 WJChess : 2056 73 76 93 31.7 % 2190 5.4 %
    46 Alex 1.63.05 : 2013 57 58 135 39.6 % 2086 9.6 %
    47 Madeleine 0.2 : 1999 60 61 130 34.2 % 2113 8.5 %
    48 Lime_v48uci : 1994 106 114 50 26.0 % 2176 4.0 %
    49 Gaia 2.1 : 1988 59 60 129 33.7 % 2106 11.6 %
    50 Monarch 1.0 : 1954 68 71 120 28.3 % 2115 1.7 %
    51 DelphiMax 2.9 : 1939 174 205 22 22.7 % 2152 0.0 %
    52 Eagle071 : 1932 77 82 120 18.3 % 2192 3.3 %
    53 AjetacWinboard : 1928 71 75 107 25.2 % 2116 7.5 %
    54 Celes 0.77c : 1899 94 102 79 16.5 % 2181 7.6 %
    55 Pooky 2.7 : 1886 70 74 124 22.2 % 2104 4.0 %
    56 Aldebaran 0.7.0 : 1882 67 70 106 23.1 % 2090 17.9 %
    57 Minimax : 1861 69 72 114 21.9 % 2081 12.3 %
    58 Piranha 0.5 : 1778 82 89 125 13.6 % 2100 4.8 %
    59 Lime_v11 : 1742 144 154 70 7.1 % 2188 2.9 %
    60 T.Rex 1.8.5 : 1511 95 0 114 1.3 % 2111 0.9 %
  10. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 Feb '07 17:57 / 2 edits
    Here's the combined list that includes Arena and Fritz events (also games I've played against these engines put me in the list):

    Program Elo + - Games Score Av.Op. Draws

    1 Rybka v1.0 Beta.w32 : 2473 76 73 122 86.5 % 2150 15.6 %
    2 Hiarcs 9 : 2470 39 39 257 67.5 % 2343 23.7 %
    3 Hiarcs8 Bareev : 2469 96 92 45 74.4 % 2283 28.9 %
    4 Fritz 7 : 2465 52 51 163 69.9 % 2318 18.4 %
    5 Fruit 2.1 : 2433 63 62 82 57.9 % 2378 32.9 %
    6 Fritz 8 : 2430 50 50 158 61.7 % 2347 19.6 %
    7 Fruit_21 : 2428 72 69 122 83.2 % 2150 15.6 %
    8 Spike10a : 2406 56 55 126 61.9 % 2322 20.6 %
    9 List 512 : 2381 37 36 310 68.1 % 2250 20.6 %
    10 Glaurung : 2381 62 60 132 77.7 % 2165 18.9 %
    11 Ruffian 1.0.1 : 2377 31 31 371 65.2 % 2268 27.0 %
    12 SlowWV2 : 2373 58 57 138 68.5 % 2238 13.8 %
    13 Spike 0.9 : 2369 38 38 253 62.1 % 2283 25.3 %
    14 Naum 1.7 : 2364 72 70 95 74.2 % 2180 17.9 %
    15 Aristarch 4.50 : 2362 37 36 265 61.5 % 2281 27.2 %
    16 Pharaon 3.3 : 2361 69 67 87 69.5 % 2217 24.1 %
    17 Delfi 4.6 : 2348 52 51 176 72.2 % 2183 17.0 %
    18 Delfi 4.5 : 2344 31 31 371 63.5 % 2248 26.1 %
    19 AnMon 5.50 : 2343 52 51 154 64.3 % 2240 19.5 %
    20 Fritz 5.32 : 2338 79 78 67 62.7 % 2248 17.9 %
    21 Pharaon 3.1 : 2331 41 41 217 62.0 % 2246 25.3 %
    22 PRODEO : 2329 43 43 208 61.8 % 2245 21.6 %
    23 Ktulu 4.2 : 2327 48 47 160 60.9 % 2250 25.6 %
    24 Pharaon 3.2 : 2327 48 48 172 61.0 % 2249 18.6 %
    25 List 5.12 : 2325 104 103 34 54.4 % 2294 26.5 %
    26 Yace Paderborn : 2318 34 34 345 59.4 % 2252 18.0 %
    27 Crafty 19.11 : 2312 72 72 64 43.8 % 2355 31.2 %
    28 Crafty 19.01 : 2309 76 76 67 53.0 % 2288 19.4 %
    29 Anaconda 1.0 : 2302 84 84 61 54.9 % 2268 11.5 %
    30 Crafty 19.17 : 2301 41 41 222 57.0 % 2252 21.2 %
    31 SlowChess 2.94 : 2294 44 43 195 57.2 % 2244 22.1 %
    32 SOS.4 for Arena : 2292 122 119 29 56.9 % 2244 17.2 %
    33 Pharaon 2.62 : 2292 42 42 226 60.6 % 2217 18.6 %
    34 Nejmet 3.07 : 2292 54 54 128 61.7 % 2209 23.4 %
    35 Baron 1.6.0 : 2282 68 66 108 64.8 % 2176 5.6 %
    36 Baron 0.99.1 : 2275 108 103 40 70.0 % 2128 20.0 %
    37 Anaconda 1.6.2 : 2271 70 70 76 48.0 % 2285 22.4 %
    38 Dragon 4.6 : 2270 42 41 237 63.3 % 2176 16.9 %
    39 Crafty 18.12 : 2270 118 120 31 45.2 % 2304 12.9 %
    40 Crafty 19.03 : 2254 113 111 29 58.6 % 2193 27.6 %
    41 Crafty 19.19 : 2252 67 68 86 45.3 % 2284 18.6 %
    42 Trace : 2250 72 71 77 57.8 % 2195 19.5 %
    43 Amyan 1.594 : 2250 60 59 102 58.3 % 2191 24.5 %
    44 Comet B68 : 2246 45 45 183 50.3 % 2245 19.7 %
    45 Crafty : 2246 85 84 60 52.5 % 2228 11.7 %
    46 Comet B37 : 2233 75 75 66 49.2 % 2239 22.7 %
    47 Comet B50 : 2228 102 103 37 45.9 % 2257 21.6 %
    48 LambChop 10.99 : 2226 45 45 196 51.5 % 2215 15.3 %
    49 Tao 5.4 : 2220 41 41 240 53.1 % 2198 13.8 %
    50 Postmodernist v1010a : 2219 39 39 254 49.2 % 2224 15.7 %
    51 Arion 1.6 : 2217 57 56 130 56.9 % 2168 13.8 %
    52 Sjeng 12.12 : 2193 77 76 64 53.1 % 2171 21.9 %
    53 SlowChess Blitz . : 2187 70 70 76 50.7 % 2183 22.4 %
    54 Bruja 1.8 : 2185 90 89 53 53.8 % 2158 13.2 %
    55 Snitch 1.0.8 : 2184 77 77 72 50.0 % 2184 11.1 %
    56 Abrok 5.0 : 2184 41 41 241 52.1 % 2170 12.9 %
    57 Aice 0.92 : 2183 65 65 102 49.0 % 2190 9.8 %
    58 Sjeng 12.13 : 2175 49 50 175 46.0 % 2202 9.7 %
    59 Hermann 1.31 : 2173 53 54 140 43.6 % 2218 15.7 %
    60 Aice 0.83 : 2170 82 83 63 48.4 % 2181 11.1 %
    61 Beowulf : 2160 62 62 109 46.3 % 2186 11.9 %
    62 ThorsHammer22 : 2154 57 58 126 48.8 % 2162 11.9 %
    63 Chispa 4.032 : 2138 102 103 38 46.1 % 2165 18.4 %
    64 Adam 2.6b : 2130 82 81 71 55.6 % 2091 4.2 %
    65 Hagrid 0.7.56 : 2124 82 83 65 42.3 % 2178 10.8 %
    66 Homer 1.02 : 2121 57 57 126 44.0 % 2162 15.1 %
    67 Leila 0.42u : 2111 48 48 196 39.0 % 2189 7.7 %
    68 Logic014m : 2099 57 58 135 40.4 % 2167 8.1 %
    69 Drunkenmaster 1.2 : 2093 43 43 238 36.3 % 2190 12.2 %
    70 InmiChess3.06N : 2086 90 94 56 30.4 % 2230 14.3 %
    71 EXchess 4.03 : 2078 86 90 61 30.3 % 2222 14.8 %
    72 Beowulf 2.4 : 2076 71 73 92 32.6 % 2202 10.9 %
    73 Matheus 2.3 : 2067 71 72 84 36.3 % 2165 15.5 %
    74 Tornado 0.81.1 : 2050 74 76 86 34.3 % 2162 8.1 %
    75 WJChess : 2048 131 140 30 28.3 % 2209 10.0 %
    76 Adam 3 0 : 2043 61 63 126 33.3 % 2164 7.9 %
    77 WJChess v1.64 : 2040 70 72 101 31.7 % 2173 5.9 %
    78 Bestia 0.90 : 2037 60 62 134 31.0 % 2177 8.2 %
    79 GNUChes5 : 2037 128 134 28 37.5 % 2125 10.7 %
    80 Madeleine 0.2 : 2016 48 48 204 35.3 % 2121 7.8 %
    81 Mustang 2.42 : 2013 103 107 45 33.3 % 2134 8.9 %
    82 Monarch 1.0 : 2010 51 53 187 33.2 % 2132 4.3 %
    83 Gaia 2.1 : 2000 49 50 188 33.5 % 2119 10.6 %
    84 Alex 1.63.05 : 1998 53 54 162 34.9 % 2106 9.3 %
    85 Grizzly 1.401b : 1983 106 108 39 43.6 % 2028 10.3 %
    86 Killer Queen 1.1 : 1979 88 91 61 36.1 % 2079 6.6 %
    87 Lime_v48uci : 1967 101 109 58 23.3 % 2174 5.2 %
    88 BamBam : 1957 141 156 29 24.1 % 2156 6.9 %
    89 DelphiMax 2.9 : 1954 135 153 36 22.2 % 2172 0.0 %
    90 Alfil v410.2 : 1954 86 90 67 29.9 % 2102 9.0 %
    91 Aldebaran 0.7.0 : 1942 50 51 180 29.2 % 2096 16.1 %
    92 Celes 0.77c : 1929 69 73 127 21.7 % 2153 5.5 %
    93 AjetacWinboard : 1917 71 75 114 22.8 % 2128 7.0 %
    94 Cassandre : 1905 85 88 66 31.1 % 2043 10.6 %
    95 Eagle071 : 1903 76 81 132 16.7 % 2182 3.0 %
    96 Pooky 2.7 : 1898 58 60 185 22.4 % 2114 3.8 %
    97 Zephyr : 1868 116 124 40 25.0 % 2059 10.0 %
    98 Minimax : 1861 70 73 121 20.2 % 2099 10.7 %
    99 Awe153A : 1860 113 120 39 26.9 % 2034 12.8 %
    100 Piranha 0.5 : 1847 61 64 179 18.7 % 2102 6.1 %
    101 Lime_v22 : 1771 214 168 26 7.7 % 2203 7.7 %
    102 T.rex 1.8.5 : 1766 77 84 158 12.7 % 2102 2.5 %
    103 Wulebgr : 1757 116 126 47 18.1 % 2020 10.6 %
    104 Lime_v11 : 1699 143 134 78 6.4 % 2165 2.6 %
    105 T.Rex 1.8.5 : 1558 0 0 30 0.0 % 2158 0.0 %


    Engines listed more than once either reflect different versions (should be evident in the number after the name), or spelling variations dues to how they are configured for the two interfaces. I've cleaned up some, but not all of the spelling irregularities. The rating list is based on an average of 2200, which tends to deflate the top and inflate the bottom. It's based on only a few thousand games--far too few for reliable ratings.
  11. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 Feb '07 18:02 / 1 edit
    I should add that some of these engines are far weaker when they play in Winboard without the opening book I give them as default in the Arena events.
  12. 09 Feb '07 18:18 / 1 edit
    Thanks Wulebgr. I shall download some of those at the bottom of your list and see if they play anything like a weak human.

    Edit: That one at position 103 looks very weak, and does a pretty good imitation of a human. Where can I download that from?
  13. 09 Feb '07 18:32 / 1 edit
    There is one called Golem.. very simple. Basically just tries to control the centre, but quite strong considering how few rules it has..

    Has perhaps 1300-1400 strength
  14. 09 Feb '07 18:35
    I'm not sure what it's strength is, but the old (1985) DOS-based program PSION is available as freeware.

    http://www.classicdosgames.com/psion.html

    My recollection is that PSION does not perform a full width search. Perhaps this makes it play more human-like.
  15. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 Feb '07 18:43 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    Edit: That one at position 103 looks very weak, and does a pretty good imitation of a human. Where can I download that from?
    It plays like a human that is trying to play like a machine, but its owner has not made it available for download. I hear the carbon version uses a nice handicapping method when playing beginners: he plays hard, then offers to turn around the board when checkmate is imminent, giving the kid a chess pencil if he or she finds the checkmate.

    Note the pencils in the pocket. http://xs511.xs.to/xs511/07034/simul3.JPG?a=4