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Repository for Horus - My Chess Engine.
Licensed under the GNU General Public License ( GPL 3.0 ).

Horus is a CECP compatible chess engine that obeys full FIDE rules.


  • Mailbox style board representation
  • Negamax with alpha-beta pruning
  • Quiescence search
  • Simple eval function using piece square tables
  • Static Exchange Evaluation(for analyzing captures)
  • Object Oriented Design

Building - Linux

The Makefile is configured to build 3 executables, namely: Horus_Debug, Horus and Horus_SuperFast.
Horus is the normal release build while Horus_SuperFast uses flags to make use of the native architecture of the processor.

git clone
cd Horus-Chess/
make install

'make clean' deletes the executables.
'make install' copies Horus to the '/usr/games/' directory.

Windows builds are available here:
Thanks to @ChessGUI for these.


First install xboard(apt-get install xboard) and then click Options->Load New First Engine.
Navigate to /usr/games/ and select Horus.

User(white) vs. Horus(black)


Future Work

  • Transposition tables
  • Bitboard based Engine - leads to faster move generation.
  • Opening Book
  • Null move heuristic
  • Better eval function - use more heuristics
  • Endgame tables

Personal Notes

I built Horus to learn about basic AI algorithms. I ended up studying iterative deepening, quiescence search, alpha-beta pruning, negamax etc. Implementing "board game" specific stuff like the concept of move generation and evaluation functions was a good experience. Another advantage included learning the GNU Make utility along with the importance of object oriented design.

Special thanks to Sven Schüle for the guidance. A big thank you to the Freenode IRC community ##chessprogramming, where you can hang out daily and interact with like minded people.

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