Monday, 21 June 2010

Scooping up free engines

One of the slight drawbacks of using a netbook computer is the lack of a CD/DVD drive. I can normally get around this by using the DVD drive on my desktop machine and sharing it across my home network, but this only goes so far. For example I can install my copy of Fritz 9 on my netbook, but I can't actually run it. When I fire up the engine it asks me to insert the engine disk (ie installation CD) but then does not look at the correct drive on my computer.
Fortunately there are a couple of free engines that are both stronger than Fritz, and far easier to install. Fruit, which was initially open source, then closed source, is now back to open source. Although the original developer, Fabien Letouzey,is no longer working on the program, others are, and it is still a very strong program. It can be downloaded from
Stockfish is the other program I am using. It is also open source, and was the main analysis engine used by Chessdom for their recent World Championship coverage. It was based on the Glaurung program (free for Ipod Touch users btw) and is comparable in strength to Rybka. You can download it from
I've added both engines to my Fritz installation, and am now employing both to do the job of annotating games I am too lazy to annotate myself!


Chris Eve said...

I do not have a Netbook, but I do have an old version of Fritz installed on my laptop. Every time I click on the Fritz icon, it loads and then demands a disk be put into a drive to check the programme.

At this point, instead of putting in the programme disk, I hit the "Cancel" button in the lower right corner of the grey box, and another message appears. "This may not be an original disk".

I click on OK and then the Fritz program is good to go.

I hope this works for you. I suspect Fritz will run more slowly on the Netbook than on a laptop or a desktop, but at least it will run!

Greetings from Victoria, BC.

Best regards,
Chris Eve

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