Belofte  version 2.1.5
A promising chess program using the UCI or Winboard interface
Belofte Documentation

This is the README file for belofte, a promising chess program released under GNU - GPL v2.0. Binaries are available for Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, Android, all in 32 and 64 bit. The last stable release is 2.1.5 and has been released on 25/12/2021.

Belofte is a cross platform chess program that requires a graphical user interface (GUI) or can be run on the command line. Most users will want to use a graphical user interface. The program is a perfect companion of beginning chess players.

The next version (2.1.6) is currently under development (see issue list) and has been updated on 26/12/2021. For those wanting to try out the bleeding edge version, please check the upcoming/next release in sourceforge. Find the changelist.

Please refer to the about file for more information. Attention: Documentation links from within the online SF repository do NOT work. If you are reading this file through the files section on sourceforge, please go to the homepage and navigate this documentation from there (1) or download the files first (2) or checkout or clone (3) the source-code.

Playing a game

Launching the program from the graphical user interface

Please note that the program is not intended to run by clicking from a graphical user interface. On Windows, a command line will be presented, on all other platforms, the program will run in background needing to be killed manually. Please configure a third party UI application as explained below.

Supported chess interfaces

Belofte expects one of the following commands after launching:

  • uci for getting into uci mode, or passing --uci as a parameter;
  • xboard followed by protover 2 for getting into xboard mode (or passing --xboard or -xboard as a parameter).

The program interfaces according to the UCI protocol or the Xboard protocol (also known as the CECP or Winboard protocol).

Please refer to the the manual for more information and for the different supported options and versions.

Other use-cases

Using the program on the command line

Please open a terminal or command prompt and launch the program.

Playing against other engines

Belofte can be used with cutechess[-cli], BanksiaGui and Arena.

Testing positions, benchmarking, finding mates

Belofte supports EPD to test a position. Launch epd pos, epd file commands with valid epd strings. Please refer to the documentation for more information.

Belofte also supports executing commands from a command file. Use exec or @ to run a test.

Belofte supports the perft and the bench command, along with some other debug commands.


Full instructions for building/compiling and debugging are included.

If the binaries for your platform are not released, or you want to create a custom build, you need to compile from source. Your toolset needs to support C++11. See C++ reference for more information.

Even more use-cases

Please refer to the about file.