Berserk is an open source chess engine, which was developed by Jay Honnold, an American computer scientist and software engineer. It debuted on February 2021 with its first version release. The programming language it was written in is “C” and it meets the requirement of UCI – Universal Chess Interface. Although launching recently, it had a 50% score in its Qualification League in debut tournament, TCEC Season 21. Chess Programming Wiki 2021
The purpose of this guide is exploring and giving a comprehensive guide on Berserk, and all that is needed to know about this chess engine. Using this engine will also help you learn how to stop blundering in Chess.
About The Berserk Chess Engine
This free, open source engine developed by Honnold and launched on February 2021, was influenced by various chess engines. In his word, “major influences for the engine have come from all around, but Chess22k and Vice have had the most impact” (CCRL Discussion Board 2021). This shows the importance of the role these two engines had on Berserk.
There has been various released version of Berserk after its first release 1.2.2, and its 15th edition being 8.5.1 released on January 2022 (GitHub 2022). It currently ranks 5th on CCRL 40/15 2022 rating list of 493 chess engines with Elo rating of 3465. However, it ranks 11th on CEGT 40/20, with 3444 Elo (CEGT 2022).
Berserk supports Bitboard and Magic Bitboards, while also having its native network architecture. (RankRed 2022). The initial version binary supports Windows and Linux (CCRL Discussion Board). Its current version is compatible with Android, Linux, Mac and Windows (CHESSENGERIA 2022).
This chess engine is built on Bitboards and Magic bitboards board representation, which ensures the chess board has 64 squares. In addition, its move generation operates on Legal Move Generation, generating only legal moves which pays extra attention to the King in each move. (GitHub, Chess Programming Wiki).
This chess program has different tactical searches and move ordering, from Negamax and Quiescence to Killer Heuristic and Countermove Heuristic (GitHub 2022). Its network architecture features NNUE, a Neural Network architecture, Singular Extensions, delta pruning, reverse futility pruning and quiescence search (RankRed 2022).
How to Use Berserk
It should be iterated that Berserk chess engine is a program which when launched, can play a masterly game of chess with a human player or other chess engines.
The availability of a chess GUI like Chessbase, Lichess, allows you to import and load a chess engine to play against it or play your games for you.
We will be highlighting a step-by-step guide to using Berserk on platforms like Lichess or Chessbase. For more information, read the guide comparing the Chess sites Chess.com vs lichess.org vs Chess24.
Step 1: Download Berserk
Go to the dedicated GitHub page for download instructions.
Step 2: Launch Berserk
After the successful download of the chess program on your device, the next step is opening and launching it. You can begin interacting with the chess engine, while meeting your chess needs.
Step 3: Import and Analyze Chess Games from Lichess
Doing this is pretty standard for every chess engine. The important step in the process is the PGN of the specific game and adding it.
You can find the PGN by going to your profile page and clicking on games tab. Analyzing your games will drastically improve your chess skills. You can also read the guides on how to get better at Chess.
It is remarkable the feat Berserk has achieved since its launch in 2021. It is fast-rising popularity and strength-wise. It ranks fifth behind Koivisto, Fat Fritz, Komodo and Stockfish in first, based on CCRL 40/15 Elo rating.
However, it is ranked 7th on CCRL Blitz Elo rating, out of 739 engines, with Elo of 3637, behind Koivisto, Stoofvlees, Lc0, Fat Fritz, Komodo and Stockfish.
It debuted in Top Chess Engine Championship 2021 edition and had an impressive tournament.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the strongest chess engine in 2021?
Stockfish was the strongest chess engine in 2021, with skills surpassing that of a grandmaster (iChess 2021). It launched officially in November 2008 (The Chess Journal 2021). It is a free, open source chess engine, the most popular among chess enthusiasts. It was developed by Tord Romstad, Joona Kiiski, Gary Linskott and Marco Costalba. Its 13 64-bit 4 CPU in 2021 had a whopping 3546 Elo rating points.
What is the strongest chess engine in 2020?
Stockfish was unsurprisingly, the strongest in 2020. You might be expecting to find a different engine as the strongest, but Stockfish’s dominance began before 2021. Chess.com, a platform where the best chess engines compete with each other, rated Stockfish as the strongest, coming first in both Bullet and Blitz’s ratings.
What is the strongest chess engine right now?
There have been numerous chess engines launched since Stockfish, one of which is Berserk in 2021. So, which engine holds the title as the strongest chess engine right now? It obviously isn’t Berserk, as it ranks 5th. It is Stockfish. Its CCRL Blitz and 40/15 Elo ratings on the official site are 3744 and 3538, ranking first. It is the best chest engine for Blitz. Its CEGT 40/20 rating is 3603 Elo, coming first.
What is the best chess engine in 2022?
If strength of an engine is a sufficient criterion for being the best, then the answer is Stockfish.
Other Engines To Consider
If you’re interested in exploring other Chess engines, based on ELO, the top engines are Stockfish, Komodo, Fat Fritz, and Leela Chess Zero.
Koivisto chess engine
It is one of the top 5 chess engines, ahead of Berserk. It was released by Kim Kahre and Finn Eggers in 2020. The competitive, open source program can play against itself, other chess players and engines. (Koivisto Chess 2022)
Rubi chess engine
It is also open source, developed by Andreas Matthies in 2017. Its programming language is C++. Chess Programming Wiki 2021. It ranks 9th on CCRL 40/15 with 3444 Elo, 11th on CCRL Blitz with 3605 Elo and 18th on CEGT with 3406 Elo rating.
Revenge chess engine
It is a commercial chess engine. CCRL 2022. It was developed 2013 under the name Pedone. Its latest version, 2.0 was released December 2021. It ranks 17th on CEGT with 3425 Elo, 12th on CCRL Blitz with 3604 Elo and 8th on CCRL 40/15, with 3450 Elo.
Berserk, in just its 2nd year of launch, has had a geometric growth, ranking within the top 10 chess engines. Its development is only progressive from here and will continue competing with stronger chess engines.
We hope this article has been able to answer all your questions on the Berserk chess engine. Download it, try it out, let us know what you think.