Charly's Column – Stockfish

Charly's Column – Stockfish

Article from Issue 242/2021

In the absence of an IBM supercomputer at his data center in Germany's Lower Rhine region, Charly has to make do with a Linux desktop, Stockfish, and chs in order to follow in the footsteps of chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

Writer Raymond Chandler called chess "as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency." But that doesn't put us off, does it?

In 1996, the media frenzy was huge when the Deep Blue chess computer developed by IBM beat the reigning world champion Garry Kasparov [1]. However, Deep Blue was also a veritable wall cabinet with power consumption to match. Today there are powerful open source chess engines for the home Linux desktop. One of the most powerful engines goes by the name of Stockfish [2]. It has been in development for more than 10 years and has now reached version 12.

However, Stockfish only provides the artificial chess intelligence. You also need a user interface (i.e., a game board). As a chess aficionado, I decided to use chs, which is written in Python. Chs lets you play against the Stockfish engine in your terminal. First, you need to install Stockfish and the Python installer pip before calling pip to install chs (Listing 1).


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