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Gnome Chess 3.9.5 comes with Octochess support!

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The latest development release of Gnome’s Chess application comes with many bug fixes and better engine configuration abilities and support, showing the big love that this little tool is receiving from its developers towards Gnome 3.10, continuing the improvements crescendo that it has been receiving in the last development versions.

Before we proceed with the changes, we should also mention a new official suggestion about what chess engine should Gnome Chess come by default, due to the apparent difficulty of the so far default GNU Chess that is too strong even in its lowest setting. The developers suggest that HoiChess is the right choice.

Gnome Chess 3.9.5

The changelog for this release includes many bug fixes that solve mostly optical and functioning elements positioning issues as well as the ability to tune the engine’s difficulty more precisely. The highlight of this release though is the support for the open source Octochess engine!


Changes since 3.9.4:

  • Added support for the Octochess engine
  • Easier Easy/Normal settings for many engines
  • Fix AI hang when using Undo against most CECP engines
  • Fix crash when new game dialog is deleted
  • Don’t include path to opened game in window title
  • HIG: preferences options should use sentence capitalization
  • Fix keyboard shortcuts for New/Open/Save/Undo/Fullscreen
  • Don’t start new game if new game dialog is deleted
  • 3D: bottom-right corner should be white
  • Preferences: move “opposing player” to the top
  • Side and difficulty selection should be insensitive in human vs. human games
  • Update About dialog copyright notice
  • Fix board numbering when Black is on bottom
  • Some new toolbar items were missing tooltips
  • Add keyboard shortcuts for previous/next move
  • 3D: improve alignment of file letters
  • Autosave: always forget games after they are completed
  • Remove face-to-face board orientation
  • Suggest longer game durations
  • Instruct CECP engines to add randomness to play

Updated translations:

  • Czech
  • Galacian
  • Greek
  • Lithuanian
  • Spanish
  • Traditional Chinese

Get Gnome Chess


Octochess is a free and open source German chess engine created by Tim Kosse. The engine supports both CECP and UCI protocol, can use up to 64 CPU cores, supports multi-PV analysis mode, has the ability to include/exclude particular moves from analysis and is assisted by a self-generated opening book! The strength of Octochess according to the tests of is approximately 2700 ELO.

Internal functions:

  • Tweakable evaluation
  • Special evaluation for known endgames
  • Bitboard representation with magic multiplication
  • Principal Variation Search
  • Aspiration Windows
  • Lockless transposition hash table
  • Null-move pruning
  • Killer move heuristic
  • Internal iterative deepening
  • Static Exchange Evaluation
  • Mate-Distance pruning
  • Late Move Reductions
  • Futility pruning
  • Razoring

Get Octochess

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  • Remjg

    Indeed, GNUchess is too strong… I’m not a genious but I still deserve to win sometimes!

  • Michael Catanzaro

    I actually can get GNUChess easy enough by interacting with it via the UCI protocol (we currently use CECP instead). In UCI mode it lets us tweak its evaluation function, e.g. to not consider how many pieces it will have after its move. But it seems to constantly use max CPU when running in UCI mode, so we’ll probably stick to CECP for it….