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Nowadays, you can buy many very strong computer programs for your PC. The newest version of Rebel is challenging grandmaster and nearly world-champion Anand. Programs have ELO-ratings, much higher than most of us can even dream to get close to. The Pixelpusher program takes a step in the other direction: it is might well the weakest playing chess program in the world! If you are again beaten up badly by your commercial chess playing program, try Pixelpusher!

Well, this is just my version 0.03 of a chess playing applet. Related applets play chess variants, and they play it just as bad. To tell the truth, I actually hoped to make the program a little stronger, but didn't work on that for some time.

This only works with Java enabled browsers.

Above, you see an applet in working. It plays a game of chess against you.

  1. To make a move, first (left) click on a piece, and then on its destination square.
  2. To deselect a piece, (left) click again on the selected piece.
  3. To castle, (left) click on the king and then on its destination square. The rook moves automatically with it.
  4. To go back to the original setup, double click with the right mouse button on the board.
  5. To go back one move, click once with the right mouse button.
  6. The applet checks legality of the moves, including check. It follows the chess moves precisely, except that it does not allow you to promote a piece to something different from a queen, and:
  7. The applet does not determine stalemate or mate, draw by repetition, or draw by the 50 moves rule.

Known bugs

  1. Promotion is automatically to a queen. Minor-promotion is not possible.
  2. The applet does not detect the end of a game.
  3. The computer just makes the first legal move he sees. It is actually more difficult to lose from the computer than to win from it.
  4. The computer only plays black.

Quickly winning or losing

A challenge: Can you lose from this program? Köksal Karakus wrote that it was not hard: see a lost game in 8 moves. Robert P. Carroll improved upon this with a win in 5 moves and a loss in two.

The name

I named it Pixelpusher, after the name `woodpusher' for a chess player that actually do not think when they play a game of chess.

An even weaker program?

Folkert van Heusden wrote me that after having played his chess program against mine, that Pixelpusher lost the title of being the weakest chess program in the world.



Comments are appreciated. Send email to Hans Bodlaender.

Download the code

Download the code by clicking here. Use for non-commercial purposes permitted (except when you use this for answering a school-exercise, in which case you must have permission of your teacher.)


This is version 0.3. It uses the event model of JDK 1.1, which means it won't work correctly with Netscape 3 or Internet Explorer 3. The first version was made winter 1998 by Hans Bodlaender. The present version was made by Eli Bachmupsky, based on Hans' code.
WWW page and applet made by Hans Bodlaender and Eli Bachmupsky.
WWW page created: May 11, 1998.