You can download the chess program that I wrote from this page. It runs on a PC in a DOS window. It doesn't have a graphical interface, but it plays a pretty good game.
I originally wrote it as my senior project in Computer Science at Willamette University. I started work on it in 1985 and finished the first version in 1986. Two or three years later I made some substantial improvements. It doesn't play as well as commercial programs, but on the other hand, you might actually be able to beat it. I estimate that its rating would be about 1500 USCF, which is about an average active amateur player.
It competed in the QMW Uniform Platform Computer Chess Tournament in 1992, 1993, and 1994. It didn't do particularly well, but it did win a few games.
You can set the maximum depth into the game that it will search and/or the maximum amount of time it will think. You can also set up a position to begin a game from or to have it analyze. It will read an opening book that you can modify. You can set it to play against itself.
Pawnder will look ahead 5 or 6 moves in about 15 seconds on an average PC. It uses the standard minimax algorithm with alpha-beta pruning. It uses a hashtable to minimize re-analysis of positions. It doesn't do as much in the way of search extensions as it could, and it doesn't use bit-boards to manipulate positions. These additions would improve its play quite a bit, but I doubt I'll ever have time to make the necessary changes.
If you download this and play with it, I'd enjoy hearing what you think of it. Feel free to send me an email with any suggestions or comments.
7,806 visits (4 today, 9 this week, 35 this since October 19, 1999.