python-chess: a pure Python chess library

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Introduction

python-chess is a pure Python chess library with move generation, move validation and support for common formats. This is the Scholar’s mate in python-chess:

>>> import chess

>>> board = chess.Board()

>>> board.legal_moves  
<LegalMoveGenerator at ... (Nh3, Nf3, Nc3, Na3, h3, g3, f3, e3, d3, c3, ...)>
>>> chess.Move.from_uci("a8a1") in board.legal_moves
False

>>> board.push_san("e4")
Move.from_uci('e2e4')
>>> board.push_san("e5")
Move.from_uci('e7e5')
>>> board.push_san("Qh5")
Move.from_uci('d1h5')
>>> board.push_san("Nc6")
Move.from_uci('b8c6')
>>> board.push_san("Bc4")
Move.from_uci('f1c4')
>>> board.push_san("Nf6")
Move.from_uci('g8f6')
>>> board.push_san("Qxf7")
Move.from_uci('h5f7')

>>> board.is_checkmate()
True

>>> board
Board('r1bqkb1r/pppp1Qpp/2n2n2/4p3/2B1P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNB1K1NR b KQkq - 0 4')

Features

  • Supports Python 3.5+ and PyPy3.

  • IPython/Jupyter Notebook integration. SVG rendering docs.

    >>> board  
    
    https://backscattering.de/web-boardimage/board.png?fen=r1bqkb1r/pppp1Qpp/2n2n2/4p3/2B1P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNB1K1NR&lastmove=h5f7&check=e8
  • Chess variants: Standard, Chess960, Suicide, Giveaway, Atomic, King of the Hill, Racing Kings, Horde, Three-check, Crazyhouse. Variant docs.

  • Make and unmake moves.

    >>> Nf3 = chess.Move.from_uci("g1f3")
    >>> board.push(Nf3)  # Make the move
    
    >>> board.pop()  # Unmake the last move
    Move.from_uci('g1f3')
    
  • Show a simple ASCII board.

    >>> board = chess.Board("r1bqkb1r/pppp1Qpp/2n2n2/4p3/2B1P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNB1K1NR b KQkq - 0 4")
    >>> print(board)
    r . b q k b . r
    p p p p . Q p p
    . . n . . n . .
    . . . . p . . .
    . . B . P . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    P P P P . P P P
    R N B . K . N R
    
  • Detects checkmates, stalemates and draws by insufficient material.

    >>> board.is_stalemate()
    False
    >>> board.is_insufficient_material()
    False
    >>> board.is_game_over()
    True
    
  • Detects repetitions. Has a half-move clock.

    >>> board.can_claim_threefold_repetition()
    False
    >>> board.halfmove_clock
    0
    >>> board.can_claim_fifty_moves()
    False
    >>> board.can_claim_draw()
    False
    

    With the new rules from July 2014, a game ends as a draw (even without a claim) once a fivefold repetition occurs or if there are 75 moves without a pawn push or capture. Other ways of ending a game take precedence.

    >>> board.is_fivefold_repetition()
    False
    >>> board.is_seventyfive_moves()
    False
    
  • Detects checks and attacks.

    >>> board.is_check()
    True
    >>> board.is_attacked_by(chess.WHITE, chess.E8)
    True
    
    >>> attackers = board.attackers(chess.WHITE, chess.F3)
    >>> attackers
    SquareSet(0x0000000000004040)
    >>> chess.G2 in attackers
    True
    >>> print(attackers)
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . 1 .
    . . . . . . 1 .
    
  • Parses and creates SAN representation of moves.

    >>> board = chess.Board()
    >>> board.san(chess.Move(chess.E2, chess.E4))
    'e4'
    >>> board.parse_san('Nf3')
    Move.from_uci('g1f3')
    >>> board.variation_san([chess.Move.from_uci(m) for m in ["e2e4", "e7e5", "g1f3"]])
    '1. e4 e5 2. Nf3'
    
  • Parses and creates FENs, extended FENs and Shredder FENs.

    >>> board.fen()
    'rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1'
    >>> board.shredder_fen()
    'rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w HAha - 0 1'
    >>> board = chess.Board("8/8/8/2k5/4K3/8/8/8 w - - 4 45")
    >>> board.piece_at(chess.C5)
    Piece.from_symbol('k')
    
  • Parses and creates EPDs.

    >>> board = chess.Board()
    >>> board.epd(bm=board.parse_uci("d2d4"))
    'rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - bm d4;'
    
    >>> ops = board.set_epd("1k1r4/pp1b1R2/3q2pp/4p3/2B5/4Q3/PPP2B2/2K5 b - - bm Qd1+; id \"BK.01\";")
    >>> ops == {'bm': [chess.Move.from_uci('d6d1')], 'id': 'BK.01'}
    True
    
  • Detects absolute pins and their directions.

  • Reads Polyglot opening books. Docs.

    >>> import chess.polyglot
    
    >>> book = chess.polyglot.open_reader("data/polyglot/performance.bin")
    
    >>> board = chess.Board()
    >>> main_entry = book.find(board)
    >>> main_entry.move()
    Move.from_uci('e2e4')
    >>> main_entry.weight
    1
    >>> main_entry.learn
    0
    
    >>> book.close()
    
  • Reads and writes PGNs. Supports headers, comments, NAGs and a tree of variations. Docs.

    >>> import chess.pgn
    
    >>> with open("data/pgn/molinari-bordais-1979.pgn") as pgn:
    ...     first_game = chess.pgn.read_game(pgn)
    
    >>> first_game.headers["White"]
    'Molinari'
    >>> first_game.headers["Black"]
    'Bordais'
    
    >>> first_game.mainline()  
    <Mainline at ... (1. e4 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Ne2 Nf6 4. Nbc3 Nb4 5. g3 Nd3#)>
    
    >>> first_game.headers["Result"]
    '0-1'
    
  • Probe Gaviota endgame tablebases (DTM, WDL). Docs.

  • Probe Syzygy endgame tablebases (DTZ, WDL). Docs.

    >>> import chess.syzygy
    
    >>> tablebase = chess.syzygy.open_tablebase("data/syzygy/regular")
    
    >>> # Black to move is losing in 53 half moves (distance to zero) in this
    >>> # KNBvK endgame.
    >>> board = chess.Board("8/2K5/4B3/3N4/8/8/4k3/8 b - - 0 1")
    >>> tablebase.probe_dtz(board)
    -53
    
    >>> tablebase.close()
    
  • Communicate with UCI/XBoard engines. Based on asyncio. Docs.

    >>> import chess.engine
    
    >>> engine = chess.engine.SimpleEngine.popen_uci("stockfish")
    >>> engine.id.get("name")
    'Stockfish 10 64 POPCNT'
    
    >>> board = chess.Board("1k1r4/pp1b1R2/3q2pp/4p3/2B5/4Q3/PPP2B2/2K5 b - - 0 1")
    >>> limit = chess.engine.Limit(time=2.0)
    >>> engine.play(board, limit)  
    <PlayResult at ... (move=d6d1, ponder=c1d1, info={...}, draw_offered=False, resigned=False)>
    
    >>> engine.quit()
    

Installing

Download and install the latest release:

pip install python-chess

Selected use cases

If you like, let me know if you are creating something intresting with python-chess, for example:

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the Stockfish authors and thanks to Sam Tannous for publishing his approach to avoid rotated bitboards with direct lookup (PDF) alongside his GPL2+ engine Shatranj. Some move generation ideas are taken from these sources.

Thanks to Ronald de Man for his Syzygy endgame tablebases. The probing code in python-chess is very directly ported from his C probing code.

License

python-chess is licensed under the GPL 3 (or any later version at your option). Check out LICENSE.txt for the full text.

Indices and tables