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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Critter Chess Engine

Programmer Richard Vida was interviewed on SchachWelt and made the following comment concerning Critter’s play: “Critter ... relies more on tactics. Its evaluation weights are pretty conservative in the hope of balanced positional play and that any particular feature does not overshadow others. Maybe the only area where Critter is somewhat speculative is knight vs bishop trade - often preferring the knight, even in positions where other engines clearly favor the bishop... Critter understands basic endgame mates, has perfect KPK knowledge (from built-in bitbase) and recognizes most obvious drawish positions.“

I mentioned Critter in my post on engine positionalevaluations.  In that post IM Larry Kaufmann mentioned in a Talk Chess column that at least in the position he was discussing Critter misevaluated the position to a greater extent than any of the other programs.

Still, Critter looks to be a very strong “comer” in the field, but so far it looks like the free Houdini is still the best available.

More info can be found at: Chess Vibes, CEGT Rating List and CCRL Rating List


  1. Critter is now on of most cherished engines for analysis. It is tactically better than Houdini 1.5 and even with 2.0.

    And the author is very much on the up and up.

    Critter, and Shredder are my two favorites. I also enjoy Junior, Hiarcs and Komodo.

    1. chess houdini pro 2 its the most powerfull engine

  2. houdini may be the most powerful in over board combat but critter is better for analyzing tactical positions period. like the wilkes barre traxler for instance critter provides by far way more accurate analysis

  3. Critter is very strong. He can even analyse tactical blows which i miss in my games