Updated: Sep 25
I am pleased to introduce the Velvet chess engine for the first time on chessengeria news.
It is very strong open source chess engine, written in Rust, licensed under the GPL v3.0.
Compilations by Mr. Martin Honert.
Velvet is a "young" chess engine, whose first public version (v1.0.0) was released in August 2020, playing at around 2500 Elo.
Here is one of the older versions of Velvet-1.2.0 -> compilations for Mac's by Darius.
Velvet author Mr. Martin Honert spent the next 2 years dynamically developing his engine, which became stronger and stronger.
The previous version of Velvet 3.3.0 in a 100-game match against Fritz 18 Neuronal lost the match, which ended with a score of 63 to 37 for Fritz.
Attached are 100 games of a match between Velvet 4.1.0 against Fritz 18 Neuronal. Each engine had 4 CPU at its service and 1 minute per game; Fritz 18 GUI, 128 MB hash table and Perfect 2021 opening book.
This time, the match ended with a score of 51 to 49 for Velvet !
Extremely fierce duel between two strong and modern engines, very many resultant games. It was a pleasure to watch this struggle :)
I present one of the many interesting moments of the match. It is worth noting the evaluation of the position by both chess engines.
I encourage you to watch the games of this match.
It is worth mentioning that Fritz 18 Neuronal is an opponent worthy of even the strongest engines, having won the title of World Chess Software Champion in 2022 (the Komodo Dragon chess engine, among others, participated in this competition).
What certainly distinguishes the Velvet chess engine is its dynamic - even aggressive - style of play, which, combined with efficiency and high playing power - can appeal.
When playing, Velvet does not hesitate to sacrifice material in order to gain the initiative and lead the attack. It is unusual for Velvet to play spectacularly also against very strong opponents, who will not pass up any opportunity to score a victory.
On the Stefan Pohl Computer Chess website, Mr. Stefan maintains an interesting ranking that shows the results of measuring the playing style of chess engines by measuring their aggressiveness. The Velvet engine is at the top of this ranking!
Here are the top ten:
Source: Stefan Pohl Computer Chess
If you are interested, I encourage you to visit this site for details.
From myself, I would like to add that the author Mr. Stefan Pohl is doing a fantastic job, sharing its fruits with the entire community of computer chess fans. Thank you!
Below is a sample - few stages of that game - of the playing style of the Velvet chess engine in a game against the Hiarcs 15.1 engine (~3300 Elo).
1 minute per game for each, 4 CPU at its service, 128 MB hash table and Perfect 2021 opening book. Hiarcs Chess Explorer Pro GUI, MacBook Pro M1.
I have left in notation the times the engines took to make their moves.
Velvet launches an attack, giving up a pawn on the b2 field.
Hiarcs after his previous move 16...Qa3 evaluated the position as perfectly equal (0.00). Velvet sacrifices another white pawn (c2) judging the position to be more favorable for white.
Velvet launches another pawn, including it in the attack on the black king's position. The material advantage of Hiarcs is already two pawns. Velvet assesses his - white's - position optimistically at 1.83. Hiarcs does not yet see much danger, assessing the position after his last move at 0.78.
Hiarcs had, in several previous moves, led to the removal of several figures from the chessboard - still evaluating the position on the chessboard as equal with a minimal point in favor of white. Velvet, after moving the pawn to an even closer position of the black king - on f5 - assesses his position as won.
Velvet comes close to dealing the final blows to her opponent. Hiarcs engine figures as paralyzed on their starting fields - black rook on field a8, black knight on field b8, black queen moved away from the center of events.
Hiarcs can only look on at this. Nothing can save black anymore.
After several more moves Velvet wins, Hiarcs resigns.