Chess AI

At Barr Media, we're fascinated by AI so we decided to have some fun with it and create an open-source Chess engine and hook it up to a retro-style front-end for play ♞

Computers have been playing Chess better than humans for the best part of 20 years however, how the AI behind Chess engines work is actually a fascinating and interesting place to start when it comes to artificial intelligence. 

Not only is the game instantly recognisable to people but building an engine to play Chess to a high level requires the usage of many techniques in the world of AI making it a fun way to demonstrate the technology.


Introducing Pixel Chess

The engine behind Pixel Chess works much like any other traditional chess engine. Written 100% in JavaScript, the AI uses an algorithm called NegaMax to look at a number of moves ahead and then an evaluation function to decide on the best move.

This evaluation function takes into consideration a number of factors, including the material value of pieces, positioning, mobility and more to weight a score towards a certain position to be played.

This project was coded over roughly 2-weeks so there are many improvements that could be made to the AI which we wrote about these in the GitHub repo.

However, currently, the engine plays at around 1,500 – 2,000 ELO which makes it fairly strong in the world of Chess.

We intend to keep building on top of the engine and improving it as we think it's a fun, accessible way to introduce AI. If you want to play it head on over to this link.