Chess.com Acquires Komodo; Launches New 'Monte Carlo' Version Similar To AlphaZero
Komodo and Chess.com are joining forces.

Chess.com Acquires Komodo; Launches New 'Monte Carlo' Version Similar To AlphaZero

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May 24, 2018, 3:47 PM |
114 | Chess.com News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Chess.com acquires the Komodo chess engine and launches Komodo Monte Carlo with a probability search similar to AlphaZero.

Palo Alto, Calif., May 24, 2018—Chess.com has acquired the powerful computer chess engine Komodo, the company announced today.

The acquisition of the Komodo comes with the release of an exciting new version of the engine called Komodo Monte Carlo, where moves are chosen by win probability and not traditional evaluation. The approach is similar to the probabilistic methods of the machine-learning chess projects AlphaZero and LeelaChess, which have fascinated chess players with their intuitive styles and fantastic success.

Komodo Monte Carlo

Komodo Monte Carlo.

Traditional chess engines use an evaluation function to look at each position, searching into the future while assuming best play from both sides. With Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS), Komodo examines moves differently by assigning a percentage chance of winning to each move. This results in a style of play that feels more human. You can read more about the Monte Carlo tree search here.

"Chess.com is proud to invest in the future of machine learning as it relates to artificial intelligence in chess," said Chess.com CEO Erik. "We will continue to work with the Komodo team to bring the best in computer chess to our members and we're very excited about its new Monte Carlo version."

Along with the software and brand, the entire Komodo team has agreed to join Chess.com. GM Larry Kaufman and his Komodo team will work with Chess.com developers to build the most insightful, powerful, and deepest-analyzing chess engine possible. 

"Chess.com has already helped us by providing additional hardware for testing, making our new skill levels available to play on Chess.com, which helps establish Komodo's rating levels, and by providing various other resources that have helped with the new MCTS mode of Komodo," said Kaufman.

Kaufman said his goal is to create the world's strongest chess engine.

"We already have the world's strongest-available Monte Carlo chess engine," said Kaufman. "Whether our normal (alpha-beta) Komodo, Komodo Monte Carlo, or something completely different will end up as the best remains to be seen, but with the resources of Chess.com we intend to find out. Speaking for Mark Lefler and the entire company, we are very excited for the future of the Komodo brand with Chess.com."

The latest version, Komodo 12, includes 20-plus skill levels, with some of the most human-like play ever seen from engines at the lower ratings. You can now also play these levels on Chess.com Live Chess (found on the vs Computer tab as “Computer1” through “Computer20” and “Komodo”).

chess.com vs komodo

Play Komodo on Chess.com.

Komodo and Chess.com will soon be bringing you more exciting events and innovations in computer chess, including the return of the fan-favorite man-vs-machine odds matches and shows. An odds match pitting a human super-grandmaster against the new Komodo Monte Carlo is being planned, according to Chess.com organizers. 

Komodo has won numerous world chess computer championships, including multiple TCEC championships. Komodo is available at www.KomodoChess.com.

Contact:

Simon McNamara
Director of Professional Relations, Chess.com
e-mail: Simon@chess.com
phone: (800) 318-2827

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