Introducing Komodo 11

by Albert Silver
5/29/2017 – The latest and greatest chess engine is here, Komodo 11, helping chess players analyze and understand games and positions with ever greater skill and knowledge. That said, while there is no question the engine is an essential part of the equation, when you buy Komodo 11 at Chessbase, you get a series of other benefits such as a 6-month Premium subscription to ChessBase Account. Learn what’s new in Komodo 11 and why you should not delay in adding it to your stable.

Komodo Chess 11 Komodo Chess 11

The multiple computer chess world champion comes in a new and yet more powerful version. Thanks to co-author US Grandmaster Larry Kaufman, Komodo is the strategist among the top chess programs!


The first thing to take note of, as odd as it might seem, is the actual version number. The reason is that users will not only know that they are in the presence of an engine that has been worked on for 11 full releases, but that even after such a long track record, it is still at the pinnacle of chess engines. This is no mean feat, and is not to be underestimated. Keeping an engine such as Komodo at the very top, requires enormous work, dedication and ingenuity.

The result is what you now have, an engine that continuously challenges its own limits, seeking to improve, even when many of those improvements are subtle things that may never be seen. However, it also means an improvement in the quality of its analysis and improved productivity for the user.

Although there is a distinct Elo gain in strength, as is to be expected, that Elo is not merely a foot pressed on the accelerator, and is the result of hundreds of small improvements that have made their way into the engine’s code. 230 to be exact since Komodo 10, according to Mark Lefler, the chief programmer, now teamed up with GM Larry Kaufman.

Let’s start with actual engine features that users can play around with. The engine’s configuration has been enriched with a slew of new options to change the engine’s behavior, but without hamstringing its strength.

Variety: allows Komodo to play with more variety and choose different moves without a big Elo reduction

Smart Syzygy: allows use of 6 piece Syzygy even on machines with hard drives. This is not insignificant, since 6-piece tablebases are as much a boon as a curse when used with a classic hard drive. On the one hand they offer absolute evaluations and moves, but on the other, the number of searches can cause the hard drive to spin endlessly and bring the analysis speed to its knees. Ideally, they should be used from either an SSD drive or a pen drive, but if that is not an option, then Smart Syzygy is a partial solution.

A glance at the new engine settings for Komodo 11

Among the improvements brought to the engine itself, here are a few:

  • many speedups
  • improved king safety
  • entirely new material imbalance system
  • better move ordering
  • better Selectivity
  • improved multi-processor search
  • better time management
  • better evaluation of bishop and knight mobility
  • improved handling of under promotions
  • better understanding of bishops of opposite colors
  • better evaluation of pinned pieces
  • better handling of advanced pawns
  • better understanding of drawish endgames
  • better understanding of wing pawns
  • better understanding of bishop and castled kings

Needless to say, this is all just in the engine, but when you buy Komodo 11, you are also getting a top-of-the-line interface, which brings an amazing array of analytical tools, including the Live Book, which not only brings full stats and analysis on moves in the opening, but countless unplayed novelties, fully analyzed, just waiting to be unleashed.

There is also a solid working database and Opening book, and last, but definitely not least: a 6-month subscription to ChessBase Account with all the features that entails, such as the Cloud Database, the Video Archive, the Tactics Trainer, and of course complete access to Playchess, to name a few.


Presentation of the ChessBase Account video archive


A look at the Tactical Trainer in ChessBase Account

You can purchase Komodo 11 in the ChessBase Shop

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

tigerkasparov tigerkasparov 8/18/2017 12:28
yes this is very bad from chessbase you get no updates you not get komodo 11.2.

no upades of komodo 11 :( its waste of money :(
tom_70 tom_70 6/4/2017 07:45

It doesn't matter and hasn't mattered in many years. All computers programs easily dispose of us humans.
Bertman Bertman 6/1/2017 07:40
@MrTM - I will be posting a large article on the recent AlphaGo match and will indeed cover the state of software.
vikas2200 vikas2200 5/31/2017 04:57
As per site:

On May 23, 2017, Komodo 11.01 was released, which corrected some minor issues of Komodo 11, which was already released by ChessBase a few days before.

Does Chessbase is selling 11 or 11.01 version?
drcloak drcloak 5/31/2017 03:07

Its just bragging rights and selling points for marketing.
phoenician phoenician 5/31/2017 12:02
To a non-master, what difference does it really make to have an engine that's a few ELO points stronger?
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 5/30/2017 11:47
Hi Albert! I see in the videos you are learning go! Me too, and as a matter of fact I would rater have an infotainment about what go programs to buy. Can you please do that Albert? Its a matter of Life and Death...
Bertman Bertman 5/30/2017 10:14
@RayLopez Oh, I don't now.... richer openings research? Alternate plans and play in a position you are studying? On the otherhand, I cannot even begin to image how cheating would benefit from it. There are hundreds of chess engines you know. If variety were somehow a key to cheating, there was no need to wait for this setting. Just install one of the myriad other engines.
RayLopez RayLopez 5/30/2017 05:53
@Rama - see the computer chess CCRL 40/40 list or the CCRL 40/4 list (nearly the same, chess engines are optimized for blitz and run about as strong in blitz as in longer time controls) for a list of Elos by chess engine, from which you can deduce the probability one engine will beat another. From the CCRL site and using Arena chess interface you can also pick a weak engine that you can train against. Of interest to chess computer cheaters is this statement in Komodo: "Variety: allows Komodo to play with more variety and choose different moves without a big Elo reduction". What is the purpose of this feature other than for cheating?
trill trill 5/30/2017 01:37

Your comment about providing an upgrade is spot on.

Your excellent suggestion should be a requirement and not just a suggestion.
Rama Rama 5/30/2017 01:32
I would like to see Komodo play a 40 game match against a comparable engine.
Keith Homeyard Keith Homeyard 5/30/2017 11:54
It would be very good if chess engines provided upgrade facilities as ChessBase does.Buying a new engine every year is over the top for most amateurs.