Djinn Chess Engine

Fear only one thing, fear the Djinn.  - the WishMaster


Djinn is a computer chess engine and an ongoing hobby.  It is the third complete chess program I have written.  The first was written in BASIC while I was still in High School and was weak beyond description.  It did play legal chess though, including En'passant captures and castling.  My second effort (also unpublished) was written about 12 years ago for Window's 3.1.  It included its own graphical user interface (GUI) and also was very weak (an ongoing theme of ALL my chess programs!!)  It did not have a quiescence search but instead used a static-exchange evaluator, combined with the evaluation function, to score the tree leaves.

Djinn is my first real attempt at making a strong engine.  It does not have its own GUI, but instead supports the Winboard protocol (specifically version 2).  I also believe the engine can be run under Arena (an excellent freeware chess interface for Windows ®).

Djinn is a modern chess program.  What this implies is that Djinn utilizes most of the algorithms found here.  Djinn is NOT a clone of any other engine (including Crafty, Robert Hyatt's open-source program).  I find the entire idea of copying, or even worse simply recompiling, someone else's program inexplicable and worse criminal.  What intellectual satisfaction can anyone get from stealing someone else's work? That said, I throughly enjoy discussing computer chess algorithms and techniques with anyone.  I'm also very open about the ideas I've incorporated into Djinn.  Lastly, I've tried to give credit to the original authors of all relevant ideas.

Elo Rating

Elo ratings are notorious things, but the question inevitably arises, just how strong is this thing and why should I care?  From my testing and results in various internet tournaments, I would rate the latest version of Djinn at roughly 2600 on a fast 64-bit AMD or Intel machine.  Djinn plays regularly on ICC, under the handle DjinnX. The program usually maintains a standard rating of 2400-2600 running on an AMD ® Athlon FX-8150.  Of course, ICC ratings should be taken with a liberal grain of salt, since they are notoriously high.  Still unless you are an International Master or better, Djinn should occasionally whack you (as will most modern chess programs).

What is a "Djinn"?

A Djinn is known in the west as a genie.  When pronouncing it the 'D' is silent.  So it's pronounced "Jinn", (like the drink). 

But a Djinn is nothing like Barbara Eden from "I Dream of Jeannie"! 

From the "Mythical Creatures Guide"

"Known as "genies" in English, Djinn (singular form Djinni) have deep roots in Arab culture. The Djinn first sprang from stories told by Indian, Persian, and Arabian storytellers and gained international fame when they appeared throughout the tales Scheherezade told in "The Thousand and One Nights". It is said that the Djinn are created from fire and can take on any form they choose-animal or human-and can be of any size (they have a human-like form and can take the shape of animals but only temporary unless it is their tribes animal protector. Most of them are hostile, although some can be friendly. It is possible for magicians or wise men and women to gain power over a Djinn and use it to perform amazing and magical tasks. Be wary, for even a friendly Djinn is unpredictable and certainly anyone who breaks an agreement with a Djinn will strongly regret it. Often Djinn take naughty pleasure in punishing people for wronging them, even unintentionally."


"There are five different types of Djinn. The least powerful is the Jann, next come the Djinn and then the Sheytans, or devils. The Afrits, sometimes called Efreets are very powerful but the Marids are the most powerful and dangerous of all. Djinn are generally believed responsible for illness and mishaps. Magicians have trapped Djinn in various ways. One way was imprisoning them in an old brass lamp. When someone rubs the lamp three times the Djinn inside will appear, grant three wishes, and obey the one who set it free. Traditionally, it is said that the great and wise King Solomon shut misbehaving Djinn in lead-stoppered bottles and threw them into the sea."


Here are various logos created (for free!!) by some very talented artists.  I'm continually amazed at how generous people are in the computer chess community.  It's staggering how much people are willing to help for no reward other than to help a struggling programmer make a better product.


This list has gotten much longer since the last time I updated this page. There are so many new faces in computer chess doing amazing things.

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