Nilatac suicide chess engine

About Nilatac

Nilatac is a suicide chess engine. It plays according to FICS rules (stalemate is a win for the player with the fewer pieces remaining -- variant 5 on Wikipedia).

The fun thing about suicide chess, from a software engineer's point of view, is that it appears to be solvable, which means a computer could produce a game tree ("proof") in which White wins regardless of Black's defense. Some lines, such as 1. e3 d5 or 1. e3 e5, are trivially solvable by average players. Other lines, like 1. e3 b5 took years of computing time from several different chess programs.

Nilatac was developed mostly between 2001 and 2003. I haven't worked on the code recently, although I did do some minor opening research, notably solving 1. e3 Nh6 in 2012. Nilatac is registered on FICS, but it is mostly offline. Do let me know if you want to play it and I will gladly bring it online. Nilatac's weaker brother, CatNail, is (almost) always on FICS and has played over 1.000.000 games.




In 2012 and 2013 I spent some time rewriting a new version from scratch, called Colibri. So far the only working component are the 5-men endgame tables (browsable online). Time permitting, I'd like to rewrite the PNS engine as well to try and solve a few more openings. But it's the bad kind of "time permitting", the kind that tends never to happen.


Nilatac is free software. Get the source code!

I will seed the EGTB files on torrents once anybody asks. :-)


Copyright 2001-2012 Cătălin Frâncu

Nilatac's source code is released under the GNU General Public License, version 2.

Nilatac's opening book and endgame tables are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.