MacChess Belofte

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Updated on : 20/02/2021
Version 1.51
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Belofte 2.1.0

Belofte is a self-written chess program available on Mac OS X (PPC and Intel), on Linux (i386 and x64), on Android (ARM and Intel, 32 and 64 bit) on Sun Solaris, on HP-UX and on Windows (32 bit, 64 bit). It works with XBoard, Winboard, Arena and many other programs. It can also be run from the command line. More information can be found in the manual listed above. Additional information can be found in the git repository in the files.

Belofte 2.x is written in C++11.

Belofte uses artificial intelligence techniques to calculate its moves. Technical slightly outdated information (Doxygen) can be found here (version 0.2.8)

The belofte distribution also contains scripts that use the following applications: ordo, cutechess, arena, xboard, winboard, ... any many others.

I hope by making these available, the different items could inspire some people to do great things.

Availability: Latest version = 2.1.0

Platform Source code * Binary
Mac OS X ppc Version 0.2.8 Version 0.2.8
Mac OS X universal (ppc/intel) Version 0.2.8 Version 0.2.8
Mac OS X intel 32 bit Latest Latest
Mac OS X intel 64 bit Latest Latest
Windows i386 Latest Latest
Windows x64 Latest Latest
Linux i386 Latest Latest
Linux x86 64 bit Latest Latest
Android i386 Latest Latest
Android x86 64 bit Latest Latest
Android ARM 32 Latest Latest
Android ARM 64 bit Latest Latest
Hp-UX Version 0.2.8 Version 0.2.8
Solaris sparc Version 0.2.8 Version 0.2.8
Solaris x86 not available not available
Linux ppc Version 0.2.8 not available / ICS Version 0.2.8 not applicable

*: Source code can be downloaded from sourceforge
**: you need Winboard/Jin/XBoard/Fixation/etc.... to play on

It also plays on under the same name. You can meet it there during weekdays in between 20.00 CET and 06.00 CET.

The name 'Belofte' is a dutch translation of 'promise'. The program will at some point be the strongest available.  At this point, it scores around 1100.

The main concept behind 'Belofte' is not to be yet another chess program but to change some fundamentals in chess programs. Most chess programs work by selecting the best move according to evaluation and search.  'Belofte' is different in that. It will select amongst one of the good moves according to a certain desire.  It changes fundamentally from the traditional minimax algorithms; it does not retain the best move in a certain position, but a series of plausible moves in a position.

For that, it "will" analyse the games of the opponent to see what moves he/she will play and uses these moves in its analysis. This part is not implemented yet.

I do not throw away all chess development concepts:

What is implemented is:

  • Alpha-beta
  • Quiescence
  • Opening books
  • Iterative deepening
  • Zobrist inspired hash keys

What will be implemented in the future is:

  • Transposition tables
  • Endgame tablebases
  • Analysis mode


Please refer to sourceforge planning or different commits and tags.

Version (2.1.0)

Netbeans, Code::Blocks, DevCPP project in GIT repository. Tested in 32/64 bit on Linux, Windows, Android and macOS.

Linux version (0.9.8)

Netbeans and Code::Blocks project in GIT repository. Tested on 64 bit only.

Linux version (0.9.0)

Netbeans project in GIT repository. Tested on 64 bit only.

Linux version (0.2.8)

Thanks to Roland Marquis, I now have a Linux binary that works on i386 machines. You can download the Linux binary from this site as well.

Compile with the options:

gcc -o belofte *.c
chmod +x belofte

Solaris and HP-UX version (0.2.8)

Thanks to Emmanuel Heider, I now have a binary for those platforms. You can download it from the download site.

For Belofte to compile, please remove the #error statement and #define __LITTLE_ENDIAN__.

Compile with the options:

gcc -o belofte *.c
chmod +x belofte

Windows version (0.2.8)

I now have a windows version available. It can be downloaded from this site.

Getting started instructions

The downloaded version will work out of the box. If you want to use it under xboard or winboard, you will need an opening book. Belofte is capable of creating its own opening book. It needs an input PGN file to start with.

You can find collections of pgn files at following sites:,,, ... or search on google for more. There are thousands of games to download.

On the command-line type:

createbook pgnfile.pgn

Where pgnfile.pgn is an existing pgn file which is residing next to the program. It will take a long time, so start with a small pgn file. Once finished, quit the program. Now you will be able to use the program from within xboard or winboard.

For more information, please refer to the manual.

Internet version (0.2.8 - 0.3.0)

The internet version can sometimes be slightly newer as I am working at version 0.3.0.

Finger it at

Finger of Belofte(C):

         rating    RD win loss draw total best
Blitz       742  50.9  11   70    0    81  827 (30-Nov-2004)
Lightning  1164 305.0   0    2    0     2

Total time online: 14 hrs, 11 mins
% of life online: 13.0 (since Sun Nov 28, 01:43 CET 2004)

Timeseal : Off

1: I am a computer, running on a Dual G4 1.25 Ghz
2: I am not strong though, rated around 700 elo but improving
3: You can find more on
4: I do not have opening books, no endgame knowledge, no nothing....
5: I play regular chess. Other variants will be added later.
6: I will not play against abusers.... and only rated games. For now.

Further reading

License conditions can be found are now available. A complete source code index with documentation can be found here.