Pulsar Chess Engine


The Pulsar Chess Engine plays Chess, with difficulty levels, and six variants of chess that are Chess960, Crazyhouse, Atomic Chess, Loser's Chess, Giveaway(also known as Suicide Chess – goal is to lose your pieces) and Three Checks. I originally developed it as a chess engine or program and over time taught it to play the variants as well. In chess it values mobility and open play more than closed positions. At variants, each has it's own style.

Pulsar logs all its games and they can be opened in the Game menu. Newest games are on top and if the game is a chess game, Stockfish engine analysis is available.

Pulsar includes levels for all its games and the rules of Chess and each variant are included as well. It's add free. It defaults to chess at Easy(which is about 1200 rating so not entirely novice) if the users just starts playing, otherwise go to the game button and choose new game to configure a more specific game. Last game type played is saved on restart of the app. There are some choices for board colors and chess pieces as well as the apps background color. This is the same Pulsar chess program that I started for computers beginning in 1998.

Pulsar started as a chess program and over time learned variants. It remains an interesting chess only program if the users it not interested in variants and I tend to just play chess. I ran it extensively on two chess servers testing the app against strong players and also testing how to handicap it on handicapped computer bots. The ratings that appear on the board when selecting from the first 8 difficulty levels are estimates based on what I saw running it at various strengths.

On game / new game if play vs the computer is unchecked the user can play in two person mode which I've found useful when I have a device and want to play a chess game but no chess board with another person who is present.

The Atomic Chess variant in Pulsar follows ICC rules and has no concept of check and king can castle in check. In Crazyhouse the user can use a turn to drop on board any of the pieces they have captured and the piece palette with the drop pieces appears to right of board.

The engine code on all platforms, mobile and Computers is pulsar2009-b. If users follow the support link or visit developer website, they can get pulsar2009-b binaries that work on all the different computer operating systems in Winboard Protocol supported clients. I have decided to not release an Android binary at this time. Partly because we use the Winboard Protocol and the UCI official protocol does not support all the variants Pulsar plays so it would not run in UCI clients.

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What's New

Now an Open Apps PGN option on menu to look at game collections of classic and modern games provided in app
New Black Application background for a dark mode
Added "How to beat Pulsar" article with tips on playing against it for training
Translation of How to beat Pulsar and the existing rules of chess and our variants added in Spanish, French, Italian and German
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Additional Information

April 27, 2020
Current Version
Requires Android
4.2 and up
Content Rating
Offered By
Mike Adams
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