This dedicated page created as a special expression of respect for Jay Honnold's work and the fruit of his labor:
the Berserk chess engine.
Released for the first time in February 2021 and licensed under the GPL v3.0.
An unusual chess engine with a unique style of play.
Dynamic development, available source code in GitHub – that means open possibility of self-compilation of the Berserk engine by interested people.
Adding to this Jay's excellent and friendly on-going contact with the chess community - this is a very positive characteristic of the author and his Berserk engine.
Berserk 6 and later use NNUE's own position evaluation (proprietary architecture), which is improved in each new version of this engine.
Berserk is one of the few chess engines that I use regularly to analyze chess games. I love to watch when Berserk plays matches or in tournaments against other engines. And there is a lot to look at! Berserk has an uncanny ability to find... interesting game lines, plans and continuations.
Here are some examples from my practice.
Position #1 - Move: 49. Kf1 !!
This is from a correspondence game played with white by the author of this article in 2014.
At the time, neither engine "saw" a winning line for white based on white's King maneuver from the g1 field to the e1 field.
In 2022, some engines see white's positional advantage but only a few engines are able to give a winning maneuver within minutes - Berserk is one such engine ( 44 seconds ).
Fen: r6k/4qp1n/3r1np1/p1pPp1B1/PpP1P2P/1P3R2/5RQ1/3B2K1 w - - 0 49
Position #2 - Move: 1.Qf6+ !
Below is an chess position invented by Mr. Lyudmil Tsetkov. Very difficult to solve by contemporary modern engines. The Berserk engine, which has a wonderful ability to "look beyond the horizon" found a winning and impressive move and continuation lines almost immediately !
Fen: 1r3r2/4bpkp/1qb1p1p1/3pP1P1/p1pP1Q2/PpP2N1R/1Pn1B2P/3RB2K w - - 0 1
Position #3 - Move: 1.Qxb5
Another very difficult position for chess engines but relatively easy for the human chess player. And in this case the Berserk engine gives the right move after a while.
Fen: 4n3/4k3/p4n2/Pp1p1p1p/QPpPpPpP/2P1P1P1/1R3BK1/7R w - - 0 1
Position #4 - Move: 1.Nb6 !
A simple ending, an easy draw ? See the speed at which Berserk finds a win for the white.
Fen: q1Nk4/1p2p3/p1P5/8/KP6/8/4P3/7R w - - 0 1
Position #5 - Move: 1.Qxe5 !!
"Gusev's Immortal" - Here is one of the most famous and difficult positions, which for decades remained unsolvable - beyond the capabilities for chess engines. Even today, 99% of the engines are unable to indicate the correct first move not to mention the subsequent correct continuation.
Berserk 11 finds the beautiful Queen move almost immediately.
Fen: 4q1kr/p6p/1prQPppB/4n3/4P3/2P5/PP2B2P/R5K1 w - - 0 1
Berserk is an engine that plays at a very high level distinguished by its "human" approach and ability to find amazing moves, ideas and novelties.
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