Computer Playing


Chess Wizard: A powerful chess playing and learning software

How to let the computer make move?
Press down Computer White or Computer Black button at the right side of the toolbar, then the computer will make move for White or Black.
Before the computer makes out a move, it will be in thinking with the Stop / Move Now button (looks like a red light) lightened.
More time will be taken by the computer if you increase the level.
You can click Stop / Move Now to let the computer move immediately if you have no patience to wait for thinking.
When starting a new game, the computer will choose white or black according to Computer's Role choice in Preferences dialog.
The board will be rotated automatically for you when the computer chooses white.
If you do not like to rotate the board automatically, you can remove Auto Rotate check box in Preferences dialog.
You can press down Show Analysis button to show the computer's thinking details, including Depth, Score and Principal Variation.
If the right several buttons are disabled (in gray), which means the engine is not loaded, you can click Load Engine in Computer menu, then choose STOCKFISH.EXE in Chess Wizard folder to load the default engine.
How to change the level of computer?
Press Level button in the toolbar, then you can choose the recommended levels (from Peabrain to Overwhelming), or choose Time Control or Limited Depth mode.
Time Control mode is usually used to practise a real official game, where Chess Wizard will time for both human and computer. The human side can continue to move after time over, which is different from the official game.
Overwhelming is equivalent to a limited depth with 24 plies, while Peabrain is only equivalent to 2 plies. If Peabrain is still too difficult to you, you can choose Limited Depth with just 1 ply.
What does 'Score' stand for in Show Analysis window?
The score is generally estimated by the material balance from the computer's point of view in centipawns, which means a positive value for the computer's advantage and a negative value for disadvantage. For example, +100 means the computer makes a pawn's advantage than human.
A value near 10000 means a checkmate detected. For example, +9998 means the computer is to win in 2 moves, while -9998 means human can win in 2 moves.
What is 'Ponder'?
When playing with computer, you can check Ponder in Computer menu, then the computer will think in your turn, which can save the computer's time and slightly strengthen the level.
If you always like to turn on ponder, you can check Ponder Next box in Preferences dialog. Then the Ponder menu will automatically checked once starting a new game.
Here is the ponder approach for the computer:
Once the computer makes a move, it will guess a move for you and think the response to the guessed move in your turn. If you really makes the guessed move, called 'Ponder Hit', the computer then saves time. Otherwise, the computer must think again, just like no ponder happens.
The guessed move is displayed in brackets in Show Analysis window and in the status bar.
Ponder is unavailable when both Computer White and Computer Black are pressed down.
How to analyze a position in a game?
Press down Show Analysis button without either Computer White or Computer Black pressed down, then the computer will think for the current position and pop up thinking details.
You can also press Analyse in New Window button to open a new Chess Wizard window, and get the thinking details for positions in different variations.
How to obtain other engines?
Chess Wizard uses Stockfish as its default engine. More engines can be found here.
You must click Load Engine in Computer menu to load a downloaded engine. Chess Wizard will automatically load that engine when started next time. (But slave engine will not be loaded automatically.)
How to let two different engines play against each other?
You can click Load Slave button in Engine Settings dialog to load another engine, called 'Slave Engine'.
These two engines will play against each other when both Computer White and Computer Black pressed down. White or black depends on whether Slave White box is checked in Engine Settings dialog.
How to design an engine?
Designing a chess engine with strong AI looks like an arduous task. If you are interested in it, you can find resources from Chess Programming Wiki.
How to debug an engine in Chess Wizard?
If Log File box is checked in Engine Settings dialog, the communication between Chess Wizard and engine will be written in log file in HTML format.
You can click View button to open the log file in your browser, and refresh the browser to get the latest logs.
In the HTML log file, requests (commands that Chess Wizard sends to the engine) are displayed in red and responses (information that Chess Wizard receives from the engine) are in blue. When a slave engine loaded, requests to the slave are displayed in magenta and responses from the slave are in teal.
You can find Send button in Engine Settings dialog to send UCI requests to the engine directly, and responses are listed below.
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