Chess Engines: A personal look (part 2)

Chess Engines: A personal look (part 2)

Jun 26, 2015, 7:10 AM |

In this post I’ll follow on from my previous post and introduce an engine which is perhaps my favorite engine for training games.

It has highly tweakable parameters, a refined and realistic human-like playing style and best of all, is 100% FREE for download!

The engine I’m talking about is Prodeo.

Prodeo is the final incarnation of the famous Rebel chess program by Ed Schröder, which was a leading program in the 1990s and even defeated Vishy Anand in a match in 1998.

Ed released Prodeo prior to retirement and encouraged users to tweak its numerous settings in order to create an even stronger version.

Users can then save their personalized settings as “personality” files which can then be played against at any time as if it were a separate engine.

I know some of you may be saying “Come on Brendan, you’re so smart and all…but didn’t the ‘Chessmaster’ series of software already introduce personalities ages ago?” Laughing

The answer is YES, but in the Chessmaster software, the personalities have NO resemblance at all to the player who they are supposed to be simulating. The play is impressive, but not realistic in my opinion.

With the Prodeo engine, they have indeed NAILED IT as I will demonstrate in this post.

Obviously what we are interested in is not strength, but “humanness” and attractiveness of style, and this is something which Prodeo excels at, so a “Prodeo version” of Alekhine is likely to me more realistic than a “Chessmaster version”.

Before I take the honour of introducing the “Alekhine Personality” of Prodeo, let’s first have a look at an Alekhine game which really impressed me when I was a kid.


What a beautiful game, right?


I remember being so impressed at the harmony of the black pieces, and in how Alekhine just had ALL of his pieces (particularly the monster bishop on b7) bearing down on the weakness he’d targeted.


Now let’s see an example from Prodeo 1.6 (Alekhine personality).



Upon seeing this game, I Immediately remembered the Alekhine game I’d seen as a youth and was pretty impressed to say the least.


Particularly impressive is the move 27…h5 which is indeed a very “Alekhine-like” move, just leaving the rook hanging and the attack going.


So, I kept running some tournaments on my PC and testing this amazing personality and then seen another amazing game which reminded me of an Alekhine game I’d seen. First, here is the Alekhine game once again.



The above game by Alekhine is a true master piece featuring everything a chess fan loves to see. A queen sacrifice followed by powerful play where the enemy queen is overwhelmed by beautiful dynamic play.


Here’s Prodeo Alekhine’s game.



As you can see, whoever tweaked the Alekhine personality really seemed to hit the nail on the head with his refinements.


I’ll leave you with a few more attacking gems from this amazing engine and the question: “Don’t you think this ‘weaker’, engine is much more fun than other boring number crunchers?” I do and this “Prodeo 1.6 Alekhine” is going to be one of my main sparring partners. Cool



Wow! What an amazing double pawn sac in the opening, right?

And the pawn storm in the game before that? So human-like!

SoI'm sure you guys can see how impressive this particular engine is, so that's all I'll show you for now.


In the next post, I’ll explore another sub 2400, but awesome engine for pure playing enjoyment and SERIOUS training.


See you soon. Wink