Bills Bare Bones Chess

Bills Bare Bones Chess is a simple chess engine designed to be used with programs such as Arena or Winboard. These programs provide the interface.

BBBC is designed to be simple while being reasonably fast. It draws inspiration from programs such as GNUChess, Crafty, TSCP (Tom's Simple Chess Program) and StockFish, the strongest open source chess engine.

The coding is designed to be relatively easy to understand by less experienced programmers. The source code consists of eight .cpp files and one .h file. All these files are in

I use the free 2010 Microsoft Visual C++ Express compiler, which can be downloaded here (for example.) The project is a Win32 console application.

A useful tool which can used with this complier, is the 'Very Sleepy' profiler. You run Very Sleepy, launch a .exe file, run it for a few moments and see the results. It can highlight bottlenecks in your code that you may have been unaware of.

How to make bbbc stronger.

Engines can be made stronger by: There is a myriad of ways in which bbbc can be improved. The challenge is how to improve it without losing too much speed.


The evaluation is very fast, but crude.


The 'branching factor' is very high, sometimes a 'tree explosion' happens. The branching factor is the number of nodes searched on the last iteration relative to the total number of nodes. Doubling each time would be a good branching factor. Increasing tenfold or more is a disaster.

You can contact me with any questions or feedback below.




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