SCID + Stockfish

  • deepkimo
  • | 2014. márc. 1.
  • | 29880 megtekintés
  • | 19 hozzászólás

I was interested in finding open-source chess tools for analysis, study and preparation. Last time I checked, I wasn't too excited, but this time I am happy to find about SCID. SCID is an open-source chess database that has a lot of the options available in commercial databases. It has also a reasonable UI and can run on Windows, Linux and Mac. Running on Linux and Mac is a big advantage in itself, as most commercial database and playing software are only for Windows. This was always a challenge for me, as I prefer Linux or Mac for most of my work, and getting chess software on them required some work-around. Let me first say that the last commercial software I had was Fritz 8 and ChessBase 8, which are quite old now (the current versions are Fritz 14 and ChessBase 12), so any comparison will be based on that.
Doing some research, I found that there's a fork from SCID, called SCID vs. PC, that was recommended as more up-to-date and better maintained. I haven't verified that myself, as I went to SCID vs. PC directly without trying the original SCID. In the downloads, they already have a Mac DMG and once I installed that, it worked directly without the need for any tweaking. I was happy with the easy installation and the UI was also reasonable, although not very intuitive initially and might take some time to get used to it. For example, to save my first game, I had to try several times, initially I got confused by the Clipbase which turned out to be only in memory and not saved to disk. Then, saving to a newly created database didn't work as expected and I had to try different ways. Also, comments and annotations required some trial to figure out.
SCID installed with a few engines that can be used for analysis and also to play against them. One thing I like in SCID compared to ChessBase, is that you can start a game against any of the engines directly. In ChessBase, you had to switch to Fritz interface in order to do that. The engines installed didn't look so strong, so I decided to search for the strongest open-source engine and here I came across Stockfish.
If you follow chess programming or computer chess competitions, Stockfish is known as one of the strongest and highest rated along with Houdini, Komodo and Rybka. After downloading Stockfish engine and its book, it required some work to get it to work with SCID. First step is to compile and build the engine, then putting the generated binary file and the book in the same directory. In my case, I used the 64-bits file as it matches with my Mac. Then from SCID, open the engine analysis window from the menu and select to add a new engine. Enter the directory where you put Stockfish binary and book then save. Now, you should be able to see Stockfish on the list of engines and if you double-click, it should start showing analysis for the position.
The combination of SCID + Stockfish so far looks like a great tool for analysis and you can also add other strong engines to it, as I will present in later posts. Next thing required for this to become a complete preparation tool, is to include a recent opening book and large database of games. This also is a topic of future investigation.


  • 4 hónap ezelőtt


    I use pychess

  • 10 hónap ezelőtt


    Scid vs. PC is nice open source software. I have it and Chess King Silver ( with Houdini 4 ). I am a linux guy, but do own a Windows PC. The Chess King is powerful and straight forward. Just haven't figured out how to add any other chess engine to it. Fritz you can and some others. In Scid vs. PC I added Stockfish 6, Fire, Gull and some others. All top 15 engines. Have fun with it at times.

    My son uses the Chess King a lot, but likes to run engines on Scid vs. PC to watch the engines compete. LOL.

    If anyone knows how to install another engine in Chess King let me know.

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    thanks for the tip, it worked after compiling stockfish from ; I initially tried this with the stockfish installed from app store but that also includes a GUI and it didn't work.


    If  you go with that GUI Stockfish from app store you won't have the ability to set up position (that SCID vs PC offers).


    Cheers :)

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    Stockfish can be found on the app store 

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    I have been using Scid vs PC for a short time. Perhaps I misunderstood but I thought that Stockfish engine was installed with it and I have been using it to analyze my games. Is the engine pre-installed Stockfish?

    Just wondering whether I have been living under a mistaken assumption.


  • 3 év ezelőtt


    Where can the Stockfish opening book be found?


  • 3 év ezelőtt


    SCID + Stockfish is what I have been using for several months now instead of Fritz!

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    thanks for sharing!

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    Thank you for this write-up! Ever since I switched to Mac for my main home computer, I had trouble finding chess software. Scid vs. PC looks great!

  • 3 év ezelőtt


  • 3 év ezelőtt


    i love svid vs pc.

    icofy is great and twic is pretty much mandatory for updating an existing database.

    you can make your own opening book from all or part of your db with polyglot. but this has to be done from outside the program. scid also has an 'opening report' function. under 'tools'. very cool.

    also: check out the 'Scid users' group on this site. 93 members and growing :)

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    Thanks I'm going to download scid right now !

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    Nice post.  I have been using the same combination on Linux/Windows for almost a year now and is very happy with it.

    Yes the db operation and filter in scid are not very intuitive but i thought it was just me.  I created several scrap db just to practice/try out different operations on them so i don't destroy my data.  Once you learned how to add/edit a game and drag/drop games between dbs, you are good to go.  That's almost all what i uses and i am sure there're more powerful features waiting for me to discover.

    As to the game playing, i don't like scid.  Mainly because i don't know how to adjust difficulty and loses miserably everytime.  So now i play either online or against other chess app on iphone.  I would export the game to scid for storage later on.

    I actually also have Arena installed and using it to analyze my games.  One thing i love about Arena is that it allow you to press F12 to get a breakout panel to try different variation proposed by different engine(s) without interrupt their analysis.

    I don't find scid.vs.pc particularly better, but i have it installed to run engine vs. engine tournament, which is not supported in orginal scid.

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    Big freeware and regulary updated database for SCID:

    Enjoy! :)

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    "Running on Linux and Mac is a big advantage in itself" deepkimo you probably meant to post it's a big disadvantage.  You could add Arasan (which is Windows, OS X and Linux compatible) to the list. Though I have long advocated for Stockfish, individuals with Windows OS can also use Tarrasch or Arena Chess. Smile

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    chessx for mac is also a nice little bit of freeware. Missing a few options but good for database building, and analysis.

  • 3 év ezelőtt



    I have also used stockfish with SCID. Yes, it does work well for analysis. However, if you want to play against the engine, there are some inadequacies:

    1) Pressing the 'takeback' arrow a few times results in a dialog box 'draw'. This appears to be a bug.

    2) When you play from a position already set up on the board instead of the initial position, the program hangs.

    3) The 'fixed time' option for the engine is only in multiples of 1 s. You can't set a time less than 1s.

    4) The engine actually cheats on time! For eg., if you set the fixed time option as 1s per move, after playing 40 moves you find the engine has taken more than a minute. This is much more than the 40s it should have taken.

    5) Board resizing button is disabled.

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    thanx for the tips

  • 3 év ezelőtt


    A great article!Laughing

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