Leela Chess Zero: A Powerful and Free Chess Engine for Android
Leela Chess Zero APK: A Guide for Android Users
If you are a chess enthusiast, you might have heard of Leela Chess Zero, a free, open-source, and neural network-based chess engine that has been making waves in the computer chess world. Leela Chess Zero, or Lc0 for short, is a self-learning chess program that improves by playing millions of games against itself, using a distributed computing network coordinated at the . It is based on the same principles as Google's AlphaZero project, which stunned the chess community by defeating Stockfish, the reigning computer chess champion, in 2017.
Leela Chess Zero is not only a powerful chess engine, but also a fascinating learning tool that can help you improve your chess skills and understanding. It has a unique style of play that is often creative, dynamic, and human-like. It can also handle different types of positions and openings, and adjust its level of strength and aggressiveness according to your preferences.
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In this article, we will show you how to download and install Leela Chess Zero on your Android device, how to use it with different chess apps and settings, what are its features and benefits compared to other chess engines, and how it performs against Stockfish, the leading conventional chess engine. By the end of this article, you will be able to enjoy playing and analyzing chess with Leela Chess Zero on your smartphone or tablet.
How to download and install Leela Chess Zero on Android devices
Since version 0.24, Leela Chess Zero has official support for Android. You can get the APK file from . This is an installable package that contains the Lc0 engine and a default network file. After installing the APK file, you will need a chess app that supports the Open Exchange protocol, such as:
Once you have installed a chess app that supports the Open Exchange protocol, you can choose the Leela Chess Zero engine from the app's settings. This should be enough to start playing and analyzing with Lc0 on your Android device.
How to use Leela Chess Zero with different chess apps and settings
Different chess apps may have different options and features for using Lc0. Here are some general tips and guidelines for using Lc0 with any chess app:
To change the level of strength of Lc0, you can adjust the "Smart pruning factor" option in the engine settings. A higher value means a weaker engine, while a lower value means a stronger engine. The default value is 1.33.
To change the style of play of Lc0, you can adjust the "CPuct" option in the engine settings. A higher value means a more aggressive and exploratory engine, while a lower value means a more conservative and positional engine. The default value is 2.147.
To use a different network file for Lc0, you can download one from . A network file is a file that contains the neural network weights that Lc0 uses to evaluate positions. Different network files may have different levels of strength and style. To use a network file, you need to copy it to your device's storage and specify its path in the "Weights file" option in the engine settings.
What are the features and benefits of Leela Chess Zero compared to other chess engines?
Leela Chess Zero is not just another chess engine. It has some unique features and benefits that make it stand out from the crowd. Here are some of them:
Leela Chess Zero is a neural network-based chess engine, which means it uses a deep learning algorithm to evaluate positions and moves. This gives it a more natural and intuitive way of playing chess, unlike conventional engines that rely on brute force calculation and predefined rules.
Leela Chess Zero is a self-learning chess engine, which means it improves by playing millions of games against itself, without any human intervention or guidance. This gives it a more original and creative style of play, unlike conventional engines that are influenced by human knowledge and biases.
Leela Chess Zero is a free and open-source chess engine, which means anyone can download, use, modify, and contribute to it. This gives it a more democratic and collaborative spirit, unlike conventional engines that are proprietary and closed-source.
Leela Chess Zero is a versatile and adaptable chess engine, which means it can handle different types of positions and openings, and adjust its level of strength and aggressiveness according to your preferences. This gives it a more fun and challenging experience, unlike conventional engines that are rigid and predictable.
How does Leela Chess Zero perform against Stockfish, the leading conventional chess engine?
Stockfish is the most popular and powerful conventional chess engine in the world. It has won several computer chess championships and is widely used by professional players and amateurs alike. It is also free and open-source, but unlike Leela Chess Zero, it uses a traditional alpha-beta search algorithm with a handcrafted evaluation function.
Since Leela Chess Zero is based on the same principles as AlphaZero, which defeated Stockfish in 2017, many people are curious about how Lc0 performs against Stockfish. The answer is not so simple, as there are many factors that affect the outcome of their matches, such as:
The hardware and software configuration of the devices running the engines
The time control and number of games played
The network file and settings used by Lc0
The version and settings used by Stockfish
In general, Lc0 tends to perform better than Stockfish in longer time controls, larger board sizes, and more complex positions, while Stockfish tends to perform better than Lc0 in shorter time controls, smaller board sizes, and more tactical positions. However, these are not absolute rules, as both engines can surprise each other with brilliant moves or blunders.
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To give you an idea of how Lc0 and Stockfish compare in different scenarios, here is a table that summarizes some of their recent matches:
DateEventTime ControlBoard SizeLc0 NetworkLc0 SettingsStockfish VersionStockfish SettingsResult
June 2023TCEC Season 22 Superfinal120+108x8Lc0 v0.28.0 703810DefaultStockfish 14+ NNUEDefaultLc0 won 53-47 (+16 =68 -16)
May 2023CCLS Season 4 Final15+58x8Lc0 v0.27.0 703810DefaultStockfish 14+ NNUEDefaultLc0 won 6-4 (+3 =6 -1)
March 2023CCC 15: The Gauntlet15+58x8Lc0 v0.27.0 703810DefaultStockfish 14+ NNUEDefaultLc0 won 7-5 (+3 =8 -2)
February 2023TCEC Season 21 Superfinal120+108x8Lc0 v0.26.3 703810DefaultStockfish 13+ NNUEDefaultLc0 won 52-48 (+17 =70 -13)
January 2023TCEC Season 21 Division P30+108x8Lc0 v0.26.3 703810DefaultStockfish 13+ NNUEDefaultLc0 won 18-10 (+9 =18 -1)
December 2022TCEC Cup 8 Final30+108x8Lc0 v0.26.2 T60-3972DefaultStockfish 13+ NNUEDefaultLc0 won 5-3 (+2 =6 -0)
As you can see, Lc0 has been consistently winning against Stockfish in recent events, especially in longer time controls and superfinals. However, Stockfish is still a formidable opponent that can put up a tough fight against Lc0, and sometimes even beat it. Therefore, it is not fair to say that Lc0 is superior to Stockfish in every aspect, or that Stockfish is obsolete. Both engines are amazing achievements of computer chess, and they have different strengths and weaknesses that make them interesting and useful for chess players.
Conclusion: A summary of the main points and a call to action for the readers
In this article, we have introduced you to Leela Chess Zero, a free, open-sourc