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Home * Engines * Amateur

a free chess engine by Will Singleton, written in C. Amateur's primary platform was the Macintosh, it was early used as engine for the Fixation internet chess interface. In July 2002, Amateur 2.0 was released, compatible with the Chess Engine Communication Protocol. Amateur's version history indicates the use of null move pruning in conjunction with multi-cut [2]. Amateur played multiple online tournaments such as the CCT Tournaments at FICS and ICC, Americas' Computer Chess Championships, and the WCRCC 2008


Amateur is a development of a program already written in 1977 in 6502 assembly, then expanded in 1986 on the 68000 [3]:

My current program is a development of a program I wrote in 1977 in 6502 assembly, and then expanded in 1986 on the 68000.  I converted it to C last year, and then over time put in all I learned from this newsgroup and a full set of ICCA journals.  It's been a slow, incremental process, but at this point, right now, I can say that it's an honest program, and I know what's in it and how it works. 

In 2002 Will released a WinBoard version, also mentioning starting from scratch again [4]:

I released it to kind of memorialize all the work that went into it, and I certainly have learned a lot.  But I can't improve it much more, given the limitations of its "design."  So the next version will be a new project, from scratch.  The goal is to have a good, extensible design, using whatever knowledge I've gained along the way. 

Selected Games

WCRCC 2008, round 2, Twisted Logic - Amateur [5]

[Event "WCRCC 2008"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2008.06.21"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Twisted Logic"]
[Black "Amateur"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 Be7 6.Bd3 c5 7.O-O O-O 8.b3 cxd4 9.exd4 b6 
10.Bd2 Bb7 11.Re1 a6 12.a4 Bd6 13.g3 Re8 14.Ne5 Qe7 15.a5 b5 16.Qe2 Rac8 17.Ra2 Red8 
18.Nxb5 axb5 19.a6 Ba8 20.Ba5 Rf8 21.Bxb5 Nb8 22.f3 Nc6 23.Bxc6 Bxc6 24.Qd3 Qa7 25.Kh1 
Bxe5 26.dxe5 Ng4 27.Qe2 d4 28.h3 Ne3 29.Bb4 f6 30.Bxf8 Rxf8 31.c3 fxe5 32.Kh2 Rxf3 
33.cxd4 exd4 34.Rc1 Qb8 35.Rg1 d3 36.Qe1 Qxb3 37.Rd2 Qc3 38.a7 Qf6 39.Rgg2 Nxg2 40.Rxg2 
{White resigns} 0-1

Forum Posts

1997 ...

2000 ...

External Links

Chess Engine




  1. Three people enjoy the summer sky over the Delaware river, NJ, USA during the Perseid meteor shower in August, 2006. The picture is probably a photomontage, Wikimedia Commons
  3. Re: Bionic Vs Crafty Debate: some data required by Will Singleton, CCC, January 25, 1999
  4. Re: Amateur new winboard engine by Will Singleton, CCC, July 12, 2002
  5. 2008 Second Annual ACCA World Computer Chess Championships - Results

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