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Demolito is a UCI chess engine written in C. As such, it is a command line program, which is not designed to be used directly, but instead through an UCI capable UI, such as CuteChess or Banksia, or c-chess-cli.


Version numbers are automatically generated to be the ISO date of the last commit (ie. YYYY-MM-DD).

Windows binaries

Occasional releases

Here: releases.

Automatic compiles

Windows binaries are automatically generated when patches are pushed to github, and can be found here:

  • select the latest corresponding to the master branch. Be sure to choose master because other branches are (mostly) elo-regressive experimental garbage.
  • go to Artifacts, where you can download the (compressed) binaries.

The archive contains 3 .exe files, and this is how you choose:

  • AMD: use popcnt if it works, otherwise no_popcnt (very old machine).
  • Intel: use pext if it works, otherwise popcnt (old machine), and if that still fails then no_popcnt (very old machine).

Playing level

By default playing strength is at maximum. This is suitable for engine vs. engine matches, but far stronger than the best human players. Here are some rating lists which have tested Demolito:

If you want to play against Demolito, you are advised to use the Level UCI option.

UCI Options

  • Contempt: This is used to score draws by chess rules in the search. These rules are: 3-move repetition, 50 move rule, stalemate, and insufficient material. A positive value will avoid draws (best against weaker opponents), whereas a negative value will seek draws (best against a stronger opponent).
  • Hash: Size of the main hash table, in MB. Should be a power of two (if not Demolito will silently round it down to the nearest power of two).
  • Level: The default value is 0, which means the level feature is off, and Demolito plays at full strength. Level 1 is the weakest, and 15 is the strongest (but still weaker than switching off strength limitation with Level=0). Note that Demolito plays quasi-instantly when using levels, and the quality of moves is the same regardless of the time control. Also, Demolito becomes non-deterministic (on purpose), so that it will play differently every time you restart the game.
  • Fake Time: Use this in combination with Level feature, if you want Demolito to pretend to use time, instead of moving instantly. Does not affect playing strength of any level, but makes game play more human friendly (ie. you can think on your opponent's turn, as you would against a human).
  • Time Buffer: In milliseconds. Provides for extra time to compensate the lag between the UI and the Engine. The default value is just enough for high performance tools like cutechess-cli, but may not suffice for some slow and bloated GUIs that introduce artificial lag (and even more so if playing over a network).
  • Threads: Number of threads to use for SMP search (default 1 = single threaded search). Please note that SMP search is, by design, non-deterministic. So it is not a bug that SMP search results are not reproducible.
  • UCI_Chess960: enable/disable Chess960 castling rules. Demolito accepts either Shredder-FEN (AHah) or X-FEN (KQkq) notations.


What do you need ?

  • clang or gcc
  • make
  • git

How to compile ?

In a terminal:

git clone
cd Demolito/src
make CC=clang pext  # for Intel Haswell+ only
make CC=clang       # for AMD or older Intel

You can use gcc instead of clang, but Demolito will be a bit slower (hence weaker).

How to verify ?

Run the following benchmark:

./demolito bench|tail -4

The seal is a functional signature of the program. It must match exactly the one indicated in the last commit message. Otherwise, Demolito was miscompiled.

The rest is obvious: nodes, time, nodes per seconds (speed benchmark).