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Deep Shredder 13 - Review

It took me a long time to figure out what to write at the beginning of my review of the Deep Shredder 13 chess program and engine for Windows.


  • Does it matter that the engine Deep Shredder 13 (DS13 for short) has won the World Championship of chess engines 19 times ?

  • Does it matter that the author of Shredder Mr. Stefan Meyer-Kahlen is one of the creators of UCI (Universal Chess Interface) which is used by almost all chess engines nowadays ?

  • Does it matter that Deep Shredder 13 has the so-called Triple Brain - a unique tool to combine the advantages of two different chess engines during analysis or game play ?

  • Does it matter that Shredder has been present in the computer chess world since 1995 ?

  • Does it matter that Shredder is available on all popular hardware platforms such as but not limited to: Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS ?

  • Does it matter that Shredder is purchased in over 100 countries ?


Does it matter that....



Everything I wrote matters !


The most successful chess program that for the last several decades has been the computer partner for chess players around the world when playing, learning, training or analyzing chess.


Shredder was and is a chess program that made and continues to make beautiful computer chess history.

And it is this chess program - Deep Shredder 13 - that I have come to review for you, dear readers.


First, let's take a look at some of the data in the table below.

Table of Deep Shredder 13 specifications.

Deep Shredder 13 released in October 2016. In 2022 we can use its updated version available for the latest Windows family systems.


The program and chess engine Deep Shredder 13 is also available for other operating systems such as Linux and Mac. Unfortunately, the versions for these operating systems are truncated compared to the Windows version reviewed in this article.


On the internet "birds are chirping" that Mr. Stefan Meyer-Kahlen is working on the next version of Shredder.


So it is worth taking a look at Deep Shredder 13 and through this review we will try to answer the question, is Deep Shredder 13 still the leading product in the chess software market in 2022 ? Can Deep Shredder 13 compete with other modern chess software such as Fritz or Hiarcs Chess Explorer ?



Like the reviews of other chess programs on this blog, this one is divided into several topic segments. This is to make it easier for readers to possibly compare different programs.


Deep Shredder 13 in comparison with the other two versions (Shredder Classic, Shredder 13 Windows) is the best equipped version containing:

  • Latest Shredder user interface

  • The strongest and latest Shredder chess engine.

  • All 5 men endgame super fast Shredderbases

  • Extra large opening book with latest opening theory

  • Runs on all cores simultaneously

  • Best performance on your computer


DS13 user gets a complete set for playing, learning and analysis along with a chess engine.



Interface, Appearance, Access to Program Features.


DS13 has a customizable interface. The elements-windows and toolbar-can be active or inactive.


After launching, the program greets us with a Tip of the Day window from which we can learn a lot of interesting and useful information and tips.


The toolbar contains icons with shortcuts to the most frequently used functions. You can customize it according to your preferences by adding or removing elements. You can also change the size of the icons.


If we so desire, the DS13 look can be minimalist...


...With several windows active...


...With a chessboard of various sizes...


...And colors...


Of course, there is also the option to change the theme of the chess board and pieces.


A three-dimensional chessboard is also available.


However, I have my favorite set with warmer colors, because I spend a lot of time working in front of a computer monitor and it makes my eyes less tired.


Access to the most frequently used functions is provided by the toolbar at the top of the interface. Using the drop-down menu, you get use of all the other functions and capabilities DS13.


Some panels have context icons that when right-clicked, open windows.



The interface and all DS13 messages have been translated into several languages, which will certainly please users who prefer to use this program in their native language :-)


To sum up this part of the review, I have mixed feelings.

The interface is a little outdated by today's standards. The font in some panels is either too small or too large. Some embedded color themes and piece sets are not very clear.


Example 1:


Example 2:


The 3D chessboard - I wasn't able to comfortably play a single chess game using the 3D chessboard.

It is a pity that there is no dark mode available, although you can compensate for this a bit by choosing a theme with slightly warmer colors.


It is good that the program allows modifications and thus you can customize its appearance, window layout, font size and colors.

On the attached images above I tried to show the most interesting themes and interface elements.


In general, if you are lucky enough to find the right theme for you, or if you take your time and set up the DS13 interface according to your own preferences, you will definitely enjoy using this program.



Power of play.


In addition to an impressive number of Championship wins, in the past Shredder has topped the rankings multiple times.

The name of the engine does not come by chance, over the years the Shredder chess engine has made a name for itself as a merciless shredder of its rivals.


Shredder has "always" been seen as a chess engine with great knowledge and a very balanced evaluation of chess positions.

It is these qualities that often determined that Shredder was and still is one of the most chosen engines for training and accurate chess analysis.


It is worth noting that the reviewed Deep Shredder 13 engine (in May 2022) is almost 6 years old, which in the world of computer chess is a whole era.

Despite this, DS13 will play two matches against modern and contemporary chess engines so that we can evaluate "how the old Master" will do in this challenge.

Also, DS13 will play in the tournament along with some of the strongest engines currently available.


First, the Toga IV engine released in March 2022.

Toga IV uses a modern NNUE (Efficiently Updatable Neural Network) and is currently a dynamically developed chess engine.

Each engine had 4 CPU at its service and 1 minute per game; Deep Shredder 13 GUI and opening book.


Deep Shredder 13 won that match, winning 18 more games than Toga IV. 56 Elo points difference in this match between these two engines.

Deep Shredder 13 vs Toga IV_100 games
.zip
Download ZIP • 29KB

And two images showing what a match between two engines might look like.


An eye-pleasing, easy-to-read view.


Next, result from match consisting of 100 games Deep Shredder 13 against the Fritz 18 Neuronal.

Fritz 18 Neuronal is one of ChessBase's flagship and modern chess engines that is currently in sales and further active development. Just a month ago, at the end of April 2022, the Fritz 18 was upgraded to Neuronal version, making it even more powerful.

Each engine had 4 CPU at its service and 1 minute per game; Fritz 18 GUI, Prefect 2021 opening book.


Result:


Fritz 18 Neuronal won this match, scoring 62 more Elo points.

Is this a convincing victory ? In my opinion, absolutely not.

Out of 100 games, the almost 6-year-old Deep Shredder 13 against Fritz 18 Neuronal - the latest version of the commercial engine - was able to win 18 chess games and as many as 44 draws.

Deep Shredder 13 vs Fritz 18 Neuronal_100 games
.zip
Download ZIP • 31KB

And a little more challenge for Deep Shredder 13 and more computer opponents. There were 15 engines in the tournament. Each engine had 4 CPU at its service, game time 1 minute per game +1 second extra for each move. DS13 GUI, Perfect 2021 opening book.


Below is the tournament table with results.


Tournament_Deep Shredder 13 & others
.zip
Download ZIP • 34KB

Deep Shredder 13 finished in a good 7th place at the top of the table achieving a ranking of 3165 Elo !

DS13 was up against some of the strongest current engines such as Dragon 3 by Komodo, Stockfish 15 or Berserk 8.5.1. The tournament also featured other renowned chess engines such as former World Champion Deep Junior, Deep Hiarcs and once one of the strongest engines Zappa.

The DS13 gave way to the newest and most modern chess engines, outperforming all other rivals in this tournament.


Deep Shredder 13 currently (May 2022) is still a strong chess engine capable of winning against challenging opponents.

It is evident from the match and tournament results achieved that it is inferior to the world's top chess engines. However, let me emphasize again, this engine is almost 6 years old, does not use the latest techniques (e.g. NNUE) and is able to win against some modern engines (Toga IV). This is a good sign for the future; the new version of the Shredder engine will certainly be more powerful and perhaps join the top of the strongest chess engines.



Syle of play.


The most natural way to recognize Deep Shredder 13 style of play is to play games against it. Which I did :-)


I played 30 games in ranked mode with adaptive strengths enabled.

Time for each player: 3 minutes + 2 seconds after each move.


Below are 16 of the 30 ranked games I played against Deep Shredder 13. These are games from round 15 to 30. I don't have the earlier ones (1-14) because I lost them due to a external hard drive failure.

chessengeria.com vs Deep Shredder 13_rating games
.zip
Download ZIP • 6KB

Let's start at the end - with the ranking I achieved according to the DS13 measurement.

2010 Elo, after 30 chess games.


For comparison, Hiarcs Chess Explorer Pro calculated my ranking at 2216 Elo after 31 games.

And on the PlayChess server, where I regularly take part in tournaments, my average ranking usually oscillates around 2150-2250 Elo.


According to my feelings and experience, ranked games opposite DS13 are hard. My first few chess games against opponents rated 1600-1800 I alternated between winning and losing. Any "human improvisation" on my part, tactical or strategic traps - most of the time - did not result in victory at best - and usually led to my defeats.

The games in which I won - almost all of them were long, where I laboriously built up a strategic advantage and after 50-60 moves led to the surrender of my computer opponent.


In general, you can "feel" that Deep Shredder 13 even playing at lower ranking levels has extensive chess knowledge. In practice he very rarely makes tactical mistakes; strategically it plays well or at least correctly.

This is not the way people play on that rating levels. Not for 30 games in a row.

Therefore, when playing against DS13, I felt all the time that I was playing against a computer opponent who is programmed to make some strategic inaccuracy or tactical mistake once in a while (rarely) - but always at level 1400, 1600 or whatever level Shredder is currently playing at. People playing at level 1600 will sometimes play a move at level 1000 or 1200 during the same game and sometimes a move or moves at level 1800 or even higher than 2200 will appear in the same game. Shredder always plays at the same level during one gme - this is my subjective feeling.

I was "banging my head against the wall"; to each game I had to approach with maximum focus.

I will add more in the section describing training opportunities with DS13.



It's one thing to play with DS13 in ranked mode, but how will the engine do when analyzing games played by people - very high level games ?


I have chosen games from games played by humans, with difficult positions for chess engines.


My goal is to test the Deep Shredder 13 engine on 10 positions giving it a maximum of three minutes of thought per move. I have assumed that these will be positions played by people who have allotted up to a few minutes for a move. Therefore, I did not take into account positions created in correspondence games.

During testing, DS13 used 4 CPUs and a 1024MB Hash table.


We start with a relatively simple position for a man to solve - the only effective option is to break the black pawn barrier by sacrificing the Queen.

DS13 failed to find the correct Qxb5.

The engine sees a very big white advantage, but does not indicate a winning continuation.


In the following final position, the elegant c5 wins! This time DS13 found the best move after 2 minutes and 42 seconds.


And another ending, this time much more complex. DS13 failed to find the correct ...Rxb3.


The following position is from a match between then World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and the computer Deep Blue. G.Kasparov surrendered the game in this position, although the draw was led by Qe3!! The correct continuation was noticed by DS13 after only 6 seconds.


Another position involving titled players. A tactical Queen play to the d3 square DS13 finds after 29 seconds of thinking time.


In the following position, on the other hand, the winning move is Knight's "quiet and inconspicuous" move to field c7. For many years this was an unsolvable position for many chess engines in a reasonable amount of thinking time.

DS13 failed to find the correct ...Nc7.


In the following position many chess players are able to point out the strongest move Qf6+ although it is harder with justification :-).

DS13 failed to find the correct Qf6+ in 3 minutes, and during the analysis I saw that in under 3 minutes DS13 started to consider the best move, which is confirmed in the analysis after 4 minutes and 5 seconds.


One of the most difficult positions for chess engines. To successfully launch an attack on the black King, white must clear the lines for Rooks by maneuvering with the King. DS13 perfectly "feels" this position and almost immediately proposes the strongest move Kf2!!


In this position, what can white do with one less piece and a black king in the middle?

Of course, destroy the black King's position by hitting the Rook on e7 !

The chess player notices that after removing the black pawn - the defender of the enemy King - another white Rook, Bishop and Queen joins the attack. The attack of these three strong figures guarantees at least a draw.

For a human this maneuver is relatively easy to see, for a chess engine giving up one more piece (Rook) is not so obvious. In this chess game 15-year-old Carlsen did not play well and the game was won by Svidler. In this position there is theoretically a draw.


DS13 saw the best move after 87 seconds.


And finally, a position in which GM Anish Giri played a beautiful move with a pawn on a4.

This is an extremely difficult position for chess engines, as the solution requires sacrificing the pawn and then exchanging Rooks. This seemingly contradicts the chess rule of avoiding sacrifices and exchanging pieces - if the opponent has a material advantage.

In this position, the sacrifice of a pawn and exchange of Rooks by white is justified because the binding of the black Knight by the white Bishop is inevitable without the loss of that Knight - leading to black's defeat.

DS indicated the best move after only 3 seconds.


To conclude this section, Deep Shredder 13 plays in a balanced style; it can find tactical hits in very complex positions, as well as non-obvious continuations in positions requiring deep strategic understanding. This balance means that he doesn't always point out the correct solutions in the shortest time, but he can usually point out the best continuation line after some thought.

He has a great knowledge of chess, which you can especially feel during direct matches in ranking or training mode, and you can also see it watching him play against other engines, with whom he usually achieves good results (wins and draws).



Training.


Before you start playing ranked games against a computer opponent, it's a good idea to check out the training options for each phase of the game that DS13 offers.


Opening Training.


We have a wide selection of dozens of different chess openings available. From the shortest and simplest ones to long and complicated variations.


Some examples.





After choosing the opening and the game side, the program will make the appropriate setting on the chessboard - you can start training / playing / analyzing / learning.


Endgame Training.


As in opening training, we have sets of endings grouped thematically.

The sets are well thought out, we can choose the most common ones e.g. rook or pawn endings or the more difficult ones with uneven material.



After choosing the endgame and the game side, the program will make the appropriate setting on the chessboard - you can start training / playing / analyzing / learning.


Middlegame Training.


To train the middle part of the chess game, DS13 offers puzzles. There are over 1000 of them. Depending on your needs, you can choose puzzles of varying difficulty from the easiest to the most difficult.





The puzzles are interesting, at different stages of the game. Sometimes very easy, sometimes you have to think a lot to find the right move.

You can always ask the Trainer for a Hint and/or get information about the Attacked Pieces.



Puzzles are great and fun way to train the middle part of the game, but also other phases. If you don't have time for a full game, but want to stimulate your "grey cells", choose puzzles :)



Handicap Games.


This can be a way to play against a stronger opponent with a chance to win. DS13 offers many handicap options to choose from.


Some examples.






Training - playing chess with Shredder.


The DS13 allows you to precisely select the playing strength from Begginer with limited knowledge of chess openings...

...to the Grandmaster with full use of the knowledge of chess openings.


There is also a full game force setting limited only by the hardware resources of our computer.


The playing strength slider can be moved, so there is no obstacle to manually set yourself, for example, the level of an intermediate player who does not have much knowledge of chess openings.


Before starting chess training, it's a good idea to check the Coach is Watching option, which will allow the Coach to make a running commentary during the game.


If you plan to play at least a few chess games, it is a good idea to check the Auto Adjust Strength option. Then our opponent's game strength will be automatically adjusted depending on our progress.


Just before the game starts, DS13 offers choice of rating and non-rating games...

...and a selection of opponents with different playing strengths.

if we have already played a few chess games and calculated the ranking, we can choose an opponent with my strength.


When you play with Coach is Watching enabled, it comments on the chessboard situation if a mistake is made. Of course, we can ask for a hint at any time during the game.


If you want to practice playing on time, you can choose the pace of play that interests you.


To show how the computer trainer works, I have collected below in the form of pictures the different types of messages it gives during the game.


The initial phase of the game, just after the start. Clear view. No distractions.


When you click on the Moves tab, the coach will show you all the available moves to make in the current position on the chessboard.


After each move, the program automatically (this can be turned off) records in notation, among other things, the evaluation of the position and the thinking time for that move.

When you click on a piece, the trainer shows you with colored dots where you can place the clicked piece.

Squares that are safe for movement are colored green, squares that are not recommended are colored pink/red.


At the end of a game won by the user, if it did not end in a mate, the Coach surrenders the chess game and offers to continue the game. We do not have to agree to this.


At the end of each game, the Coach shows a window with information about the ranking achieved by the student, informing with what strength the program will play the next game.




During a practice - ranking game with undo moves disabled, if we want to undo a move, the Trainer will communicate that we cannot do so.


If we offer a draw and the opponent does not agree, we will receive a message to that effect.


If all available time is used up, Coach will not forget to let us know.


When you lose a ranked chess game (also during training), the strength of your computer opponent's game is automatically lowered in the next game.


After playing a few games, it is worth checking our progress. This is done using the My Results option.



During the practice game, clicking on the question mark icon...

...we get a hint from the Coach marked with a green arrow on the chessboard.


Deep Shredder 13 in training mode plays a variety of different styles of play. He can play positionally and also attack by sacrificing material.

Cool example below. In a situation where I managed to defend myself, and my opponent was worse off materially - he offered me a draw ;-))


And below is an interesting position where I strategically outplayed my opponent. Despite equal material, DS13 offered me a draw. I didn't accept and won the game :)


Above, are examples illustrating Deep Shredder 13's behavior during a training game, quite accurately simulating human play and behavior. It definitely made the gameplay more interesting!


When the coach determines that you made a mistake in your last move, then will respond with a message suggesting a better move and offering to take back.


Example 1



Example 2




Chess960 Game...


Another added training option is the ability to choose to play chess in the Chess960 (Fischer random chess) variant format.

The Manual for DS13 says roughly something like this: "(...) You can use your brain right from the start instead of learning long opening lines." ;-)


Example of Chess960 run.



Analysis.


In practice all engines are supported: those working according to the UCI protocol and those using the WinBoard protocol (usually older chess engines like Crafty, Phalanx).


Using a single chess engine, you can analyze one continuation line or multiple continuation lines at the same time (if the engine supports it).



Single line analysis - this is a standard feature found in many chess programs. It is worth noting that the Shredder GUI program displays a lot of useful information during analysis (e.g. hash table usage, analysis time and depth, etc.) in an organized and readable way.



Analysis of selected moves.


This is an extremely useful feature in the work of a creative chess player. What is it actually about? For example: in a certain position you are not sure if this or that move is the right one. You have turned on the analysis, but it goes on and on, and you don't see any significant progress, the engine doesn't indicate any significant continuation. And at this point it is worthwhile to use the analysis of the selected move(s). Surely you have some of your types, maybe two, maybe three moves, of which this one is potentially the best one.


The DS13 manual says:

"Hold down the Ctrl key when entering a move on the board. This will tell Shredder to only analyze this move. You can repeat this to select any number of moves to analyze. If you enter a move again with the Ctrl key pressed it will be removed from the list of moves to analyze. Compared to a normal analysis the program can search faster as not all moves need to be examined. However, it is up to you to pick the right moves for analyzing. Similarly, you can enter a move with the Shift key pressed to exclude the move from the search. You can use this feature if you do not like the best move suggested by Shredder.

"


OK, so let's examine the possibilities of such an analysis.


This is the first of two examples. In our review, in the content above - we tested the Deep Shredder 13 in very difficult positions. DS13 had 3 minutes to solve each position.


Below is one such position where Deep Shredder failed to find the right move in the required time.

This time, after choosing the move 1.Qxb5 and starting his analysis, Shredder rated the move higher after only 10 seconds than he did during 3 minutes of traditional analysis. After 2 minutes, DS13 found a continuation leading to a mate!


And one more example from the set of test positions. During a traditional analysis, DS13 found the correct move 1.Rxe7 leading to a draw after 87 seconds. When the analysis of the selected move was turned on, the move was found almost immediately, before the first second of thought!


Analysis of selected moves is a very powerful tool that can give you an advantage or even win against the toughest opponent.

I think that such a great analytical tool which is the analysis of selected/selected moves - should be more exposed for the user to use.

Deep Shredder 13 interface has no direct reference / shortcut to this tool. Only in the manual is this tool described.


With this tool, you can much more quickly identify relevant/important moves, novelties (!), find the best continuations and further game plans.

This tool can be a secret weapon in the hands of a correspondence chess player.

Undoubtedly, the more chess knowledge and experience the user has, the best results will come from using such a tool.



Multi-Engine Analysis.


The Shredder interface allows you to use multiple chess engines simultaneously.

You can use up to 10 engines simultaneously in Shredder (!!).


Example 1.


Example 2.


Looking for ideas, concepts, new continuations - given enough hardware resources (e.g. 1 CPU for 1 engine) - we get a great analytical tool!



Triple Brain.


According to Shredder User Manual:

"The Triple Brain is a new and unique concept to combine the strengths of two different chess engines. Two 'normal' chess engines are analyzing a position and a third program determines which move alternative is the best. In Shredder this module is called Triple Brain. In his own engine window the Triple Brain shows an evaluation value between 0 and 100%. This value indicates how sure the Triple Brain is when choosing a move."


Triple Brain is a great and extremely useful tool in analytical work. Very effective during hard analysis of correspondence games and searching for e.g. new ideas in chess openings.


Example 1.


Example 2.


Example 3.


Example 4.


Irreplaceable in difficult and complex positions where two engines and a control program work together to find the solution / best move / continuation !



Analyse Positions.


Analyse Positions is a tool to automatically analyze all positions grouped in one file. Shredder supports files in .EPD, .PGN and .CBF formats.

Such an option can be useful, for example, to test the chess engine in different positions, in different configuration settings, etc.


Below are three examples of position analysis taken from the arasan21.epd test prepared by Mr. Jon Dart.


DS13 found the correct move ...e4.


DS13 did not find the correct move. The best move is 1.Bxh6.


DS13 found the correct move 1.Kb2.


When the analysis is completed Shredder displays a statistics with the solution times for all positions. Also two files with the statistics will be generated in the Shredder directory. One is in EPD format and one in CSV format which can be directly imported in many spread sheet programs for further examination.


Below is an example of a .CSV file with data (results after Bratko-Kopec test).



Analyse Game.


You've played some cool chess games in an online tournament, or managed to win against DS13 in a practice game, or just want to analyze the latest game of your favorite chess player. Nothing prevents you from using the Analyse Game tool.


It is worth noting that when analyzing a chess game, Shredder works at its maximum strength by default. This ensures great analysis quality.

Shredder allows you to change the analysis parameters. For example, you can specify the sides to analyze (white / black, both), the number of moves to analyze, etc.


And what's important - the analysis time. The longer the analysis time of e.g. each move, the better the analysis and the more accurate the evaluation of moves and continuation lines (variants).

How much time to give Shredder to analyze a chess game ?

It depends on many factors, including the resources available on the computer and the level of the game to be analyzed.

Usually 5-15 seconds for 1 move is enough to get a meaningful analysis.


Remember that DS13 - this is Shredder - a powerful chess engine that even against the strongest grandmasters would win easily.


Ok, below is an analysis made by Deep Shredder 13.

This is one of the few games where I managed to beat Shredder in a training game :)


Here is a notation of that chess game after it has been analyzed by Deep Shredder 13 along with variants, move evaluation and commentary. You can add your own comments, an example of which is the text after white's move number 16.


I am sharing this chess game in .PGN file format.

chessengeria.com vs Deep Shredder 13
.zip
Download ZIP • 2KB


Computer vs. Computer.


This is the menu containing the option to use chess engines.


Shootout & Histogram.


Shootout is an option where Shredder plays with himself. This can be useful during training to see how a chess game could continue from a given move.

How to choose from which move Shredder should play with itself? With a tool called the Histogram.


The histogram shows the entire chess game on a graph. To create a Histogram of a chess game, right-click in the Histogram window and choose Make Histogram.

Shredder will begin to create a graph of the entire chess game.

The creation of the Histogram will continue " over and over" until you stop the process by clicking on the Stop button. The Shredder, after making a "pass" through the entire chess game, begins creating the Histogram again, each time analyzing deeper and more thoroughly. This is to create as accurate a Histogram - that is, a graphical representation of the progress of the chess game - as possible in the time it will have available until the process is stopped.


With the Histogram ready, we can take a look and select the move from which to start the Shootout.


In the example below you can see that black's move 20...f4 was not the best - so we will start the Shootout from there.


Shredder will begin playing with itself, making a record in the notation of the new variant. As we can see, instead of 20... f4 Shredder played 20...c4 - which is a better move not leading to an almost immediate defeat for black.



Autoplayer.


Shredder has a built in interface to the auto232 system. With auto232 chess programs can play each other automatically on two different PCs.



Engine Match.


That is, the automatic play of two chess engines against each other.


After selecting the chess engines we can set other match parameters such as opening books for each engine, hash table size, number of chess games, time.


The games of the match will saved in a PGN database.


I've already shown images of the match between engines above in the review; below is another example of engine play.



Engine Tournament.


That is, playing all chess engines against every tournament opponent.


Just like when setting up a chess engine match, in this mode we have a number of parameters that we can set according to our preferences. Everything is available in one clear window.


During a tournament, Shredder can automatically create a tournament table with the current chess engine classification.


Here is the table created during the first chess game of the tournament.


A tournament (as well as other games such as matches) can be stopped by the user at any time. This is useful when, for example, you want to change the parameters of a tournament.



Use of an external chessboard.


Shredder supports the electronic chess boards of TASC and DGT. You can make moves on those boards which will be automatically sent to Deep Shredder 13. According to the instructions, the TASC board is only working with Windows 95, 98 and ME.


Unfortunately, the author of this review does not have an external chessboard, which made it impossible to review this interesting capability in the DS13 program.



Opening book / books.


For those who want to work on their chess opening book, Shredder offers dedicated features that you will find in this program.

You can edit and extend all books in Shredder and also create your own book. There is no size limit the opening books in Shredder.

With the "Online" button at the bottom of the book moves window Shredder can directly access a huge online opening book with 16 million moves. Your computer needs to be connected to the Internet to use this feature.


When working with the opening book, we can change various parameters. With this function the opening play of Shredder / other chess engine - can be influenced.



Endgame Database (tablebases).


Shredder supports the use of many different formats ending databases.

DS13 have proprietary databases with fast access to data called Shreddebases. We can also use the less commonly used Nalimov databases or use the most popular Syzygy TBS.


Shredder also offers Internet access to endgame databases by selecting the Endgame Database function (image below).


Here is an example of how the chess ending database is used by the Deep Shredder 13 engine during analysis.



Endgame Oracle.


This is a very interesting tool for considering ending chess positions.


Nalimov ending databases must be installed and active to use this tool.


How to use this tool is described in detail in the Deep Shredder 13 manual.

For the purpose of the review, I will show the result of Endgame Oracle and write what this tool can be used for.


In the following example, we see a simple KPP vs KP ending. White's move.


When you click the Search button, after a few seconds you get:


An example of a much more difficult position. Black's move.


Result:


Endgame Oracle... can be used as an analysis and/or training tool. You can use it to find out the winning percentage of black and white in a given position, what maneuver with a given piece or pawn will lead to a draw, whether a given checkmate will occur within a few moves or extend the checkmate to several dozen moves, etc., etc.


Endgame Oracle... is perfect for advanced analysis of endgame positions in correspondence games when searching for the best continuations. It also does well when verifying the endgame positions of games we have previously played.



Working with chess databases.


Load, Save, Replace, Delete, Search - these chess database functions are provided by Deep Shredder 13.

Program uses the .PGN and .CBF format databases.


And this is how the game search window looks like:

DS13 does an excellent job with these most commonly used chess game database functions.



I really need... Help !


Deep Shredder 13 offers a Manual, which can be accessed by entering the menu of the same name.


Manual describes all options and capabilities of Deep Shredder 13 program in great detail. It is written in simple, yet understandable and concise language. Manual is divided into thematic parts, what makes it easy to find interesting information.

Deep Shredder 13 Manual: first page

The Manual, like other Deep Shredder 13 features, has not been treated casually, but is written honestly and thoroughly. Every time I needed it, I found the information I needed in the Manual.

Although, to be honest... I rarely used Manual because Deep Shredder 13 is an easy program to use.


Based on my experience, customer service and support is at such a high level that other developers can follow suit. Undoubtedly, it is very important for us - users, because in this way a good relationship is formed, the fruit of which is the trust between the creator and the customer.



Summary.


Here's what the Shredder developers wrote on their website.

Source: Shredder chess programs website (2022-05-22)

Is DS13 in its essence such a chess program as its creators assure ?

Yes.

Is DS13 still the leading product in the chess software market in 2022 ?

Without a doubt - Yes.

Can DS13 compete with other modern chess software such as Fritz or Hiarcs Chess Explorer ?

Yes, definitely.


DS13 is a mature product. A chess program that doesn't pretend to be anything more or anything less.


Deep Shredder 13 does what it is supposed to do. And it does it at a very high world-class level.

Every user - even a beginner - will use Shredder to their advantage. The program is very easy to use and at the same time has powerful features that make it one of the best and maybe even the best chess program in certain categories of use, such as analysis with chess engine(s).


Undoubtedly, an area for improvement is the look of the interface and color themes with a particular focus on the 3D chessboard. Surely the program would be even more pleasant to use if this was changed.


I think that one of the training modules responsible for playing full chess games deserves changes. I am referring to the Shredder play, which is very challenging. During the thirty games I played in training with Deep Shredder, even at the lower difficulty levels I had a hard time beating my computer opponent - of course the program had the option enabled to adjust the strength to my level.

Overall, the training capabilities of the program are rich and at a good level. You can train every phase of the game - in different ways.


The stability of the program is worth noting. DS13 is like a monolith, stable, not crashing. It works fast and always without unpleasant surprises - that is, always correctly.


Considering the main application of the program, which is an analytical tool and for playing between chess engines - this is a critically important feature. And this is the feature that Deep Shredder 13 has.


The program is ideally suited for testing and playing chess engines, analysis ordinary chess games and heavy position analysis from correspondence games.


Deep Shredder 13 offers unique capabilities that may turn out to be an "ace up your sleeve" such as: Triple Brain, analysis of selected moves, Endgame Oracle or... support for the use of engines working under the Winboard protocol (yes, it is still worth using such engines, some have a extraordinary style of play :) ).


The longer and more often I used Deep Shredder 13, the better it got. After a while, the program inspires confidence and encourages you to use more functions. There are no unnecessary features in Deep Shredder 13, no experimental modules or underdeveloped options here.

Everything that is available to the user is combined into a logical whole, which works as it should.

I will certainly give Deep Shredder 13 a chance and I encourage you to do the same.



Deep Shredder 13 score.






 


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