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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.


Nowadays – Berserk is one of the strongest open source chess engine according to CCRL ( Computer Chess Rating Lists ) and MCERL ( Mac Chess Engines Rating List ).

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. 


Source: CCRL November 4, 2023. 40/15, 1CPU.

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.


Source: CCRL November 4, 2023. 40/15, 1CPU.

​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.

Zrzut ekranu 2022-11-20 o 14.39.21.png

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

Position #6  -  Move: 1.f4 !!

A hyper challenging study created by Mr. Ladislav Salai jr.

Can an ending with a few pieces be interesting? Yes! The seemingly simple position shown below hides so many possibilities that in 2023 November only Berserk 12 was able to identify the correct continuation to white's win - in 26 seconds.

Study_Ladislav Salai jr._2011.png

Fen: 4K1k1/8/1p5p/1Pp3b1/8/1P3P2/P1B2P2/8 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.

Favorite Games

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Favorite Games

Download the newest Berserk 

Version 12

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