Private Chess engines are a interesting breed. These are the Chess engines which authors (for various reasons) have not yet or do not intend to release either for free or as a commercial engine.As such these are Chess engines that money literally cannot buy.
These private Chess engines range a lot in strenghts. Some like Ferret,Insomanic are commercial level, while others like Zarkov,Diep were commercial Xboard versions.Many more though are new Chess engines taking their first steps and are weak and buggy.
It would be a impossible undertaking to list all known privateware (even if we restrict them to Xboard/Winboard engines). According to some estimates, there are over 200-300 Xboard/Winboard engines alone.
The following list are some of the more interesting,mature and well established Chess engines that I hope will be some day released (either as freeware or commercially). Some of those in the list (I won't name Names) in fact have being promised by their authors to be released "some day". Others of course, will probably follow in the footsteps of Ferret (the pioneer and ultimate privateware except Deep Blue :) ) and remain privateware until maybe a company with a big enough wallet tempts them to release them as a commercial engine.
I actually added the email addresses of the authors of the chess engine on this list but removed them because I had visions of people using my website as a quick launch pad to fire off emails begging for private copies. Needless to say this can prove annoying. If you really want to contact the authors on this list, you can look around at Computer Chess Club or log on to ICC.
31-08-2002 Since the beginning of this list, 2 private-ware engines (Aristarch and Ameteur) were released as freeware and hence are taken off the list. Added Ruffian to the the privateware list. There are some signs that Ruffian and Post-Modernist and maybe even Zarkov?? might be released as well.
07-10-2002. Ruffian released as freeware , so removed off
privateware list.I appears to have neglected
several strong French programs. While Anmon,Dragon, Pharaon
(formerly Zchess), The Crazy Bishop are famous freeware staples,
there are several strong french privateware programs that have being
around almost as long.
Chess Wizard by Frederic Louget is a Twice French Computer Chess Champion (including 2002). It usually places within the top few engines in the French Championships (assuming it doesn't win it!) . This is a feat because the strong competition from commercial Tiger and other strong freeware and privateware French engines (Anmon,Pharaon are strong ranked ametuers) means that the French Computer Chess championships are one of the strongest in the world.
21-03-2003 Deep 9 was a new program that many people were looking forward to. Personally I had my doubts so it was never added to my list. It turns out I was right it was just a clone of the free source Pepito. Isichess added to list.
28-05-2003 Dorky released and is removed from list.
23-06-2003 Alarm added to list. Released and removed Jul
25-06-2003 Cyberpagno was removed, after Gunter Simon pointed out to me that it was released already. Thanks! Postmodernist will be released soon. It's nice to see some of the long time privateware engines being released.
24-07-2003 Postmodernist released. Yet another "oldie"
released! Will we get Monsoon, Hossa, Zarkov next?
26-10-2003 Ikarus by Munjong Kolss added to list.
26-10-2004 Zappa released. Nexus appears also to be very strong now.
|Engine||ICC Handle||Author|| ICC Best
|Chess Wizard||Chess Wizard||Frederic Louguet||-/3055/-||NA|
|Diep||Diep||Vincent Diepveen||3043/3098/2640||Diep was commercial.|
|Falcon||Falcon||Omid David Tabibi||NA||The much weaker Genesis by the same author is available.|
|Ferret||Ferret||Bruce Moreland||3155/3343/2825||Gerbil by the same author is available.|
||Munjong Kolss||Was released as Chessbase YT
|Insomniac||Jzinsomaniac||James Robertson||2767/2925/2711||Formerly known as JRCP|
|Isichess||Isichess||Gerd Isenberg||unknown||ICC account is dead|
|Monsoon (down)||Monsoon||Scott Gasch||2677/2942/2631||Despite the existence of a manual, it's not released yet.|
|Nut||Formerly MissSilicon||Andrew Dados||NA||Account at ICC seems to be dead|
|Rookie||Blik||Marcel van Kervinck||-/2582/2649||NA|
|Zarkov 4.5X||ZarkovX||John Stanback||3031/2990/2646||Old versions were commerical
This list was compiled from the engines taking part in CCT and Will Singleton's (now defunct) Green list.
All ratings recorded are "best" rating, this gives only a rough idea of the strength of some engines. Still to achieve a best rating in blitz of 2800-3000+ is a feat only strong mature engines can meet.And to achieve a best of 2600+ would put you within the range of some of the best ametuers.
Almost all these engines above are on par with some of the best current freeware others are weaker to a certain degree and some are better. For reference, Yace (c) [A leading freeware engine] running on an average hardware of 1.2 Athlon today has a best rating of 2823/3083/2725 [Lightning/Blit/Standard]