Komodo 12 with AlphaZero techniques

by ChessBase
5/28/2018 – This is what the chess world has been waiting for: one of the strongest chess engines in the world, but with access to the most important AI enhancement of recent times: Komodo 12 can be switched to a Monte Carlo search, very similar to the one employed by AlphaZero. This engine achieves over 3000 Elo, but more importantly, it plays more aggressively and more human-like. Komodo Monte Carlo is not primarily concerned with material advantage and provides a completely new strategic evaluation of the game.

Komodo 12 Komodo 12

In computer chess there is no getting past Komodo, a two-time ICGA Computer World Chess Champion. Find out how Komodo can take your game to the next level!


Komodo Chess 12

64 bit multiprocessor version

In computer chess there is no getting past Komodo, the triple TCEC Champion. Last year Komodo won the computer rapid chess world championship with an incredible score of 96%!

But what does the surprising success of the AI project AlphaZero mean for the future of computer chess? Will the classical engines, with cunning algorithms and any amount of human chess knowledge, still manage to keep their noses in front?

The new Komodo 12 may not have a final answer to this question but it does have two engines up its sleeve! For with Komodo 12 you get on one hand the new and improved classical Komodo engine. The developing team of computer expert Mark Lefler and chess grandmaster Larry Kaufman has cranked up the playing strength of the top program further.

On the other hand a Komodo 12 “Monte Carlo” version is included.

Here the engine behaves quite differently in analysis: within a short time it expands its game tree by making many thousands of short searches, and is guided by the winning percentages gathered from its search and evaluation. In playing strength, the Monte Carlo version is not yet up there with the classical Komodo 12. But what is interesting is that the style of the two versions is quite different: the Monte Carlo version plays clearly more aggressively and also bases its play less on the material balance on the board.

Komodo 12 is thus two things: an absolutely top program and an exciting analysis partner, which will often surprise you with its suggestions and introduce you to interesting ideas! It is delivered with the new program interface of Fritz 16 and premium membership (six months) for the ChessBase Account, including access to playchess.com, ChessBase Videos, the Live Database, and much more.

"I am deeply moved by the style of Komodo. In my opinion, it's the perfect combination of computer accuracy and human positional understanding. I get the feeling it's taken positional understanding to the next level. After such an impressive performance I am going to test Komodo in my future work, especially in very positional play, and am really looking forward to working with it." – GM Boris Avrukh

GM Larry Kaufman on the new Komodo 12

The playing strength of the regular Komodo engine only represents a gain of about thirty Elo points over Komodo 11. The playing strength in MCTS mode, running on one thread, is well over 3000 Elo, which is stronger than any other PC engine in the world. On two or three threads Komodo 12 will gain roughly the same amount as normal engines do, which is roughly fifty Elo for two threads and about eighty for three.

Big news: the Komodo 12 package includes a working Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) option, which allows Komodo to use MCTS in place of the normal alpha-beta search, while still allowing the user to play games, to analyze, and pretty much to do the same things he would do with normal Komodo. But it has the characteristic behaviour of AlphaZero and Leela in that it is less materialistic and more aggressive (and human-like) than normal engines.

Komodo MCTS has some real advantages over the normal Komodo engine. First of all, if you want to look at the evaluations of many (or in fact all) legal moves at the root, Komodo MCTS will not lose strength while displaying this information. Regular chess engines lose hundreds of Elo points when displaying multiple lines.

The playing style of Komodo MCTS is far bolder than that of the regular engine. It plays much like AlphaZero, preferring activity to material (within reason). The moves tend to be more human because MCTS doesn't assume perfect play by the opponent. Finally, the evaluations change more gradually, not in sudden jumps as is typical with normal engines.

Komodo 12 has additional skill levels, now 0 thru 20, to allow players to face an opponent of comparable strength. Level 0 is roughly beginner level, level 19 perhaps Magnus Carlsen level in quick games, and level 20 is the full strength. Find your matching level and practice against the computer.

Komodo 12

In computer chess there is no getting past Komodo, a two-time ICGA Computer World Chess Champion. Find out how Komodo can take your game to the next level!

Included on the DVD

  • Improved Komodo 12 multi-processor engine
  • New Fritz 16 program interface
  • New Komodo 12 “Monte Carlo” engine
  • 6 months ChessBase Premium Account

System requirements: Minimum: Dual Core, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7 or 8.1, DirecX11, graphics card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9 and Internet access. Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 8 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX11, graphics card with 512 MB RAM or more, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and internet access.

For the ChessBase Account: Internet access and current browser, e.g. Chrome, Safari. For Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux.

Order Komodo 12 (today for €67.43 — save €94! — instead of regular €89.90)

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r9000 r9000 8/2/2019 08:26
TomEvensen: just type a new name for the match and press New/Open. The file for your match will be created and then a dialog window will open for you to select the match parameters. This is how it works in Fritz anyway, and I assume the Komodo interface is the same.
TomEvensen TomEvensen 1/8/2019 12:36
I have bought Komodo 12 and want to set up an "engine match" The program opens documente/ChessBase/CompBase for *.cbmatch. The problem is that I don't find any files with that prefix. Can anyone of you help?
Devangshu Devangshu 6/16/2018 09:33
Can you please write an explanatory article which describes with screenshots how to use the Monte Carlo version ?
Wembley Wembley 6/2/2018 07:53
Given that it is barely a year since Komodo 11 was launched I hope Komodo 12 will be worth it.

I also hope the quality control will be better than on other recent launches. I'm tired of reporting faults that should have been tested out before the product was put up for sale.
Pizdobol Pizdobol 6/2/2018 01:42
А почему до сих пор Ящера с Вяленым не стравили? Не понимаю.
genem genem 5/31/2018 04:28
Playing strength "levels" is okay to offer, but the UI and engine should still fully offer the user to set a specific "ply depth" max on the engine (which allows the engine to finish forced sequences beyond the max depth).
Who knows what a 'level' really is? We all know what a 'ply depth' is.
celeje celeje 5/29/2018 04:42
@ alucas: can't you just use the engine.exe file with a Linux-compatible (free) chess GUI?
alucas alucas 5/29/2018 02:57
Will there never be an OSX, or a Linux Version of chess engines? I'm getting desperate, everything else is offering multi platform software, only the chess world keeps forcing their customers to use that awful and virus-friendly crap called windows... Any hope?
fons3 fons3 5/29/2018 01:48
Monte Carlo Tree Search is NOT the reason for the success of Alpha Zero, it was the neural network. And Komodo Monte Carlo has nothing to do with a neural network. Also regular Komodo 12 is stronger than Komodo Monte Carlo.

Very confusing article.
sovaz1997 sovaz1997 5/28/2018 11:51
Why are you comparing to version 11.01? Komodo has no more than 5 ELO points before 11.3, do not deceive people. The best engine at the moment - Stockfish, do not tell tales about the powerful evaluation function Komodo. So far, Komodo has not even reached the strength of H6, what can we talk about here? We are waiting for real results so far. A Komodo 12 - a dummy, which no one needs.
EMeyer EMeyer 5/28/2018 07:43
How many updates will be provided? Last time I have bought a ChessBase version of the engine, the authors have promised about 2 months of "support". Guess what? Just after this support expired, a "new" version was released.
And don't be fooled by the A0 techniques. Oranges and bananas. This is the very first iteration of this "commercial guided approach" from Komodo team...so, soon enough, we CB customers will have just an outdated engine...