A new computer chess player, Altair, joins the struggle on Chessengeria.com.
Altair - a first-magnitude star in the constellation Aquila.
Altair by a programmer nicknamed Alex2262 is an open-source chess engine. It is a relatively "young" project that saw the light of day in late 2022.
The latest version of Altair 2.0.0 was released a dozen hours earlier and, looking at its specifications, is an engine that uses proven programming techniques.
Reverse Futility Pruning
Null Move Pruning
Idea similar to Internal Iterative Deepening
Principal Variation Search
Late Move Reductions
After playing 600 games, the debutant has reached 2642 Elo, the playing level of a strong human grandmaster.
Source: MCERL (ongoing)
Let's take a look at what Altair 2.0.0 can do.
White: Phalanx 25, Black: Altair 2.0.0
The following position was created after the two Knights opened in a rare engine choice.
The position has some similarities to the Italian opening - that is, a rather balanced and calm game from both sides, characterized by maneuvers aimed at long-term strategies.
The Altair is concentrating its forces on the King's wing.
Phalanx seeks breakthrough on Queen's wing.
Black occupies good squares closer to the white King's position. White, on the other hand, despite the activation of its figures, has not made significant gains on the Queen's wing.
Could it be that Phalanx has no idea how to continue playing ?
Yes, it looks like it.
Altair wastes no time and hits one of the white King's defenders.
Phalanx does not accept the sacrifice of the Black Knight. As he calculated correctly, this would lead to his swift defeat. White begins a painstaking defense.
At the cost of two pawns, Phalanx has regained control, but the prospects for any chance of Phalanx taking the initiative are not likely to be seen.
Altair is pushing harder.
Black removes one of the key defenders of the white King.
And this time the whites do not accept the sacrifice. Phalanx, is a chess engine that is very rarely put in such a situation and in most cases, it (Phalanx) does to its opponents what Altair is now doing to it.
Altair slowly but relentlessly "finishes" its opponent.
Altair plays one of the last chords of the game. It offers the black Queen in a beautiful way. If Phalanx accepts the sacrifice, then the game is over immediately (64.Qxf5 Rxg1#)
Phalanx is desperate to give up its Queen. The game will not last much longer.
The game shown above, is the beauty of chess shown on the example of a duel of engines from the not top shelf.
It proves that not only, for example, Stockfish or any other super-powerful engine is needed to enjoy the beauty of chess & computer chess.
Congratulations to the author of the Altair chess engine for such a successful debut in the MCERL competition!
Feel free to download Altair 2.0.0
Linux arm64 & x64 – Compiled by Darius
Mac Apple Silicon & Intel – Compiled by Darius
Windows x64 – Compiled by Darius
* Diagrams generated in the ChessMaster GM Edition program.