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10 Strongest Free Chess Engines [all above 3000 ELO] E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

logo-stickfishChess engines play a huge role in 21st century chess. Mostly due to their presence we now see 15, 14, 13 and even 12 year old grandmasters, something that was unthinkable just 20 years ago.

Ability to have a precise analysis of any given position changed the way players are preparing for the competition.  Here is the list of 10 strongest free chess engines in the world.


Note: the engines were tested on identical 64-bit 4 CPUs machines. 

1. Stockfish DD, ELO 3247

Stockfish is the most powerful, free, open source chess engine in the world. Rated only 20 ELO points below the top commercial chess engine Houdini 4, Stockfish is definitely a great alternative for most chess players.

Stockfish plays better and faster than humans. And it's one of the strongest chess engines in the world, appearing near or at the top of most chess engine rating lists.

Official Website

2. Critter 1.6a, ELO 3173

Critter is one of the youngest and strongest chess engines in the world. The first version was created in 2008. Critter does not have a distinct playing style (yet) and relies more on tactics. All I can say, it's doing it pretty well.

Official Website

3. Fire 3.0, ELO 3159

Fire is another awfully strong chess engine, rated almost 300 points higher than the highest rated human chess player. After a multiple updates from the publisher, Fire scores high on many of  the top computer rating lists.

Official Website

4. Gull 2.3, ELO 3155

Gull is a free, fast and very strong open source chess engine.

Official Website

5. Strelka 5.5, ELO 3118

Strelka is a Russian designed chess engine which is now one of the strongest in the world. It is especially good at quick time control chess such as blitz and bullet.

Official Website

6. Hannibal 1.4b, ELO 3092

Hannibal is a state-of-the-art chess engine with a distinct playing style. Hannibal is a strategic player and relies on its very selective search, good endgame knowledge and an understanding of material imbalances.

Official Website

7. Protector 1.5.0 , ELO 3071

Protector is yet another very strong chess engine, rated above 3000 ELO.

Official Website

8. BlackMamba 2.0, ELO 3068

BlackMamba  build to imitate strengths of human players (such as piece sacrifices) but not the mistakes.

Official Website

9. Spike 1.4, ELO 3035

Spike  was developed from the scratch but uses many ideas already tested on our two other engines: Cheetah and IceSpell. It has an aggressive playing style and "spiking" its opponents.

Official Website

10. Spark 1.0, ELO ~3000

Spark is a new chess engine with a unique playing style. 

Official Website

What is your favorite chess engine?

If you like this article you may want to check our the following:

Credits:

The ratings used in the article are from CCRL as of March 1, 2014.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:07
 

Comments  

 
0 #11 ProjectResolute 2016-09-06 16:55
It's a very great selection of chess engines, although it should be updated. Stockfish 7 is currently rated 3338. Also, many commercial chess engines have earlier free versions available to download. Komodo 10.1, for example, has a rating of 3373 and it's free version, komodo 8, has a rating of 3296!
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0 #10 robert 2014-05-31 02:59
Houdini 1.5 is free... and so is Komodo version 3.
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0 #9 Costello 2014-05-30 03:55
Quoting MarkH:
I find the opening book of some lower-rated programs is superior to Houdini and that tactical ability or positional play can be as good or better too. But, where Houdini, and perhaps other 3000+ programs, shines is the late middle-game where it sees into the long-variations of the endgame much better. That's not really much to recommend it over a 2600 program. Are these qualities somewhat the same with other programs?


Houdini it`s not free man...& others...
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+5 #8 MarkH 2014-03-21 10:46
I find the opening book of some lower-rated programs is superior to Houdini and that tactical ability or positional play can be as good or better too. But, where Houdini, and perhaps other 3000+ programs, shines is the late middle-game where it sees into the long-variations of the endgame much better. That's not really much to recommend it over a 2600 program. Are these qualities somewhat the same with other programs?
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+2 #7 Yury 2014-03-20 21:08
Hello everyone, the number 6 was omitted by mistake :P Thanks to everyone who brought that to my attention. Now it's all set, enjoy!
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+2 #6 Brakelmann 2014-03-19 01:14
I mustn't think about those engines, because my chess capabillities are centuries away from theme :-) .
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+2 #5 Daniel 2014-03-15 05:20
There is no #6,why its been omitted, How about Fritz? or Shredder? How does this engines fared with the rest.
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0 #4 Amilcar 2014-03-14 10:33
What about the HIARCS engine? I Knew HIARCS beat Houdini...
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+3 #3 Costello 2014-03-14 09:10
@koravi Houdini it`s comercial...not free...but it`s mentioned ...read again number one...
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0 #2 Alfredo 2014-03-13 18:13
¿number 6?
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