Leela Chess Zero


Leela Chess Zero

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Peter W. Anderson    (2018-05-15)
Leela Chess Zero

Hello everyone :)

I guess most people here will be aware of the Leela Chess Zero project.

I was interested in whether anyone here is already using Leela? I have run a few of my old FICGS games through it quickly and it gives very different evaluations to the standard engines in some positions - I am not sure if they are better or worse at a quick glance but they are different!

For those who aren't familiar with Leela it is an attempt to recreate something like Alpha Chess Zero for the PC. It is not yet as strong as Stockfish etc but is as strong as most grandmasters and some weaker engines and is gradually increasing in strength as it is trained. It comes in two versions: one to run on the CPU and one to run on a graphics card. A high end graphics card gives the best results, but it runs OK on CPUs.

Leela is nowhere near as tactically strong as the best engines (whether it ever will be on "normal" hardware is an open question). However, to my eyes, it generally exhibits pretty good positional judgement, and so I am figuring it could provide a useful alternative view for correspondence games.

You can contribute to this really interesting project by helping to train it by donating computer time. Helping with the training is pretty straightforward. A guide of how to help is at


A forum and progress chart is at


I found getting it to run under GUI's as an analysis tool a little more fiddly as it not yet fully UCI compliant. However, I have got it to run OK under Chessbase, Shredder, and Arena OK for analysis. For running matches Arena or something like Cutechess may be best.

I would interested to know your thoughts on this.

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-05-15 23:07:40)
Leela Chess Zero

Yes, a project to follow for sure. As for me I only play Go with Leela (against Leela I mean) for a few weeks, I feel it is really instructive even if I lose every game :)

Ilmars Cirulis    (2018-05-17 14:12:28)
Leela Chess Zero

Watching Leela's (LC0) progress with interest (and helping with training when I can, too).

I believe that a year later LC0 should be good enough to use in CC. Or maybe much faster, dunno.