Blikskottel is a chess engine built by Adam Oellermann. In this website, you will find details of his development, his playing strength, his history and his author. You can also download the current version. Blikskottel played his first complete games during May 2001, and was regularly beating his author before the end of the month.
Blikskottel was intended to be my entry into an online tournament organised between a few colleagues; however, Blikskottel was the only entrant that actually got written (Ernst: you flake). Blikskottel replaced LaChess, which was a first-pass version written in Delphi. Blikskottel has inherited some of the ideas and principles that were roughed out in LaChess, although the implementation is cleaner, faster and entirely in C.
Rather surprisingly, after an 8-year hiatus (!), I found myself wondering how much bit-rot had set in. I had a quick look at the code and converted it to gcc, because I do all my "for fun" development on Linux now. Much of the code is plagued with horrible Hungarian wartHogs , reflecting the distressing fact that I was mainly developing in VB in those days. I've tidied some (though by no means all) of it up; enough to make it reasonable to work with. I've fixed a bunch of bugs that were lurking in 0.7, and added a bunch of knowledge - and an opening book. This makes 0.8 slightly better in play against 0.7, and much better in play against humans.
Blikskottel has some long-extant bugs which force me to disable his hashtable; if I can finally nail these it'll make a big jump in strength. I also have some more performance optimisations to make, and knowledge ideas to implement - and also the eval term weightings are all rather arbitrary, and could probably be tuned up a bit. I'm also working on a more powerful and stable interface to FICS - using xboard is easy and effective, but I'm sure we can do better. Once the code's had a bit more tidying, I shall probably release it under the GPL.
- Version 0.8 compiled for Linux (Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope but should run on others): blikskottel_0.8_linux.tar.gz
- Version 0.8 compiled for Win32 (XP, Vista etc): blikskottel_0.8_win32.zip
Would you like to write your own chess engine? If you are already a programmer, this is not as hard as it may seem, and is a worthwhile challenge! Take a look at my Beginner's Guide to Chess Programming to get started.