HIARCS Chess Software for PC Windows, Apple Mac and iPhone/iPad H11 PC UCI FAQ
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This page contains answers to common questions you may have, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions. This page will grow over time as new questions and answers are added.

  1. What spec PC is needed for PC HIARCS 11 UCI?
  2. [New!]What is new in HIARCS 11.2?
  3. [New!]How do I install PC HIARCS 11 UCI on my PC?
  4. [New!]How do I activate the HIARCS 11 UCI engine?
  5. [New!]What is new about HIARCS 11.2 UCI?
  6. How do I setup HIARCS 11 UCI under Arena?
  7. How do I setup HIARCS 11 UCI under Fritz/Hiarcs (Chessbase)?
  8. How do I setup HIARCS 11 UCI under Chessbase 9?
  9. [New!]Can I install HIARCS on more than one computer?
  10. [New!]Do I need a new license key every time I change my hardware?
  11. Will you give free updates to HIARCS 11 UCI customers?
  12. What are the strongest settings for HIARCS 11 UCI?
  13. How much stronger is HIARCS 11 than HIARCS 10?
  14. How much stronger is the HIARCS 11 MP version?
  15. Can the HIARCS 11 MP version run on single processors?
  16. What levels are there for the beginner and average club player?
  17. How can I get HIARCS' to use its own opening book?
  18. What is HIARCS 11.1?

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What spec PC is needed for PC HIARCS 11 UCI?

The HIARCS 11 UCI series currently including 11, 11.1 and 11.2 requires a PC running MS Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP or Vista with a UCI compatible GUI (a GUI is not included in the package).

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What is PC HIARCS 11.2?

HIARCS 11.2 is a free update version for HIARCS 11 MP and SP customers. It supersedes previous HIARCS 11 versions. It contains the following enhancements:

bulletNew flexible license: Some customers of the Multiprocessor version preferred a more flexible license approach and so we have listened and changed to a new flexible license name and key which will mean HIARCS 11.2 will only ever need to be activated once on your PC no matter how many hardware changes you make. In addition we have made it so that the same MP license key will activate the SP version further simplifying the whole ownership experience.
bulletHIARCS 11.2 MP support for up to 8 CPU cores verified: Some customers now have 8 CPU cores and this version of HIARCS can utilise them simultaneously.
bulletMinor engine enhancements
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How do I install HIARCS 11 UCI on my PC?

Shortly after your payment to purchase HIARCS is received you will be sent an email with your personal license key to activate HIARCS and the download details including a link to the download. Simply click on this link and save your download (please note where you save the downloaded installer). Please make sure you only use the installer on your computers and only those you intend to use HIARCS 11 UCI. The reason for this is that the license key is for your personal use only and displayed within the product. Once downloaded and ready to install please locate and run the installer, e.g. SetUpHIARCS11.2SPUCI

Once the installer is running please follow the straight forward instructions to install the chess engine.

Once the installer has finished you will find the HIARCS 11.2 UCI engine, book, license and readme files will then be automatically installed on your machine.

Once the engine is installed you will need to create/add the HIARCS 11.2 UCI engine into your favourite GUI so you can use it. Please see the other question/answers below on this page for how to do this.

You will then be sent by email a personal license key to activate the product.

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How do I activate the HIARCS 11 UCI engine?

After you purchase of HIARCS 11 UCI we will generate a personalised license name and key which will be emailed to you.

First download the product and install it on your computer.

Now there is two main ways to activate the engine:

1) Activation before adding into a chess GUI - This is probably the simplest way to activate the HIARCS engine. Open the folder in which HIARCS 11.2 is installed. To do this open a file browser and navigate to the folder containing the HIARCS 11.2 UCI chess engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 11.2 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11.2 SP UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 11.2 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11.2 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Once you reach the installed Hiarcs 11.2 folder you will see the following:

Double click on the ACTIVATE-H11-2SP batch file to pre activate the HIARCS engine by entering you license information in the following dialog.

alternatively you can activate using this method...

2) Activation when adding into chess GUI - Add/create the HIARCS UCI engine in your chosen Chess GUI. When you load the engine in your chosen GUI for the first time you will be presented with a dialog in which to enter your license name and key.

Please note some chess GUIs have a very short time out when Adding chess engines and this can make entering the key difficult. In that case either select to Activate Later and enter the license key when loading the engine in the GUI after it is created or use option 1 above.

Once your key is correctly entered (or copy/pasted) HIARCS 11.2 UCI will be activated.

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What is new about HIARCS 11.2 UCI?

HIARCS 11.2 UCI contains a number of enhancements and supersedes HIARCS 11 and 11.1. The main enhancements are as follows:

HIARCS 11.2 UCI contains a new protection mechanism which is highly flexible for the customer and makes activation very straightforward.

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How do I setup HIARCS 11 UCI under Arena?

With Arena 1.1 running select the Engines menu and select the "New Engine" menu item as below:

You will then see a UCI/Windboard dialog box, select UCI and click OK

Now in the file browser navigate to the folder containing the HIARCS UCI engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 11 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11 UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 11 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Select the HIARCS 11 UCI (or HIARCS 11 MP UCI) engine and you will see a key reminder dialog. If you have the key available please enter it. If not please press OK - you will be able to enter your key later.

The engine will now be available in the Engine Management screen. You can now start the HIARCS 11 UCI from the Engines menu as follows:

Once the engine is first started you will be given registration/activation information you will need to complete the activation of the engine. Once you have received your license key you need to enter it to activate HIARCS 11 UCI and HIARCS 11 MP UCI

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How do I setup HIARCS 11 UCI under Fritz/Hiarcs (Chessbase)?

With Fritz/Hiarcs running select the Engine menu and choose the "Create UCI Engine" menu item.

In the SetUp UCI Engine dialog that appears select browse

Now navigate to the folder containing the HIARCS 11 UCI engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 11 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11 UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 11 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Select the HIARCS 11 UCI (or HIARCS 11 MP UCI) engine and you will see a key reminder dialog. If you have the key available please enter it. If not please press OK - you will be able to enter your key later. The HIARCS 11 UCI engine will then be populated in the Setup UCI Engine dialog.

You can now select "Change Main Engine" from the Engine menu and then choose the HIARCS 11 UCI engine from the Load Engine dialog.

Once the engine is first started you will be given registration/activation information you will need to complete the activation of the engine. Once you have received your license key you need to enter it to activate HIARCS 11 UCI and HIARCS 11 MP UCI

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How do I setup HIARCS UCI under Chessbase 9 ?

With Chessbase9 running open a Board window and select the Engine menu and choose the "Create UCI Engine" menu item.

In the SetUp UCI Engine dialog that appears select browse

Now navigate to the folder containing the HIARCS 11 UCI engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 11 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11 UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 11 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 11 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Select the HIARCS 11 UCI (or HIARCS 11 MP UCI) engine and you will see a key reminder dialog. If you have the key available please enter it. If not please press OK - you will be able to enter your key later. The HIARCS 11 UCI engine will then be populated in the Setup UCI Engine dialog.

You can now select "Add Kibitzer..." from the Engine menu and then choose the HIARCS 11 UCI engine from the Load Engine dialog.

Once the engine is first started you will be given registration/activation information you will need to complete the activation of the engine. Once you have received your license key you need to enter it to activate HIARCS 11 UCI and HIARCS 11 MP UCI

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Can I install HIARCS on more than one computer?

Yes, HIARCS 11 is licensed for use on up to three of your personal computers simultaneously provided they are your computers and HIARCS is only used for your personal use.

Each HIARCS 11 UCI has its own personally identifiable license name and key. Please keep this key private as you will need it to run free updates when available.

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Do I need a new license key every time I change my hardware?

No, both the SP and MP versions now have a flexible license key which is not affected when you change your hardware or computer. So you can have peace of mind that you can always use your HIARCS 11 purchase.

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Will you give free updates to HIARCS 11 UCI customers?

I certainly hope to provide some free updates. If progress is made with the HIARCS 11 UCI series it is my intention to release updates to HIARCS 11 UCI customers. For example if the 64 bit version of HIARCS 11 shows a significant increase in chess strength I will release this version to HIARCS 11 customers.

However for obvious reasons I would not release a new HIARCS 12 engine for free.

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What are the strongest settings for HIARCS 11 UCI?

The default settings are believed to be the strongest although it is very true to say we did not have time to test all the settings to be absolutely sure. The changes from default settings which are most likely to have the potential to be stronger than HIARCS 11 UCI default are

  1. the Hypermodern setting ON as this has previously sometimes been shown to be stronger especially against some opponents.
  2. Forward Pruning 11
  3. The other setting worth experimentation is the Combinations ON setting as extra work has been done in HIARCS 11 on this.
  4. Against most programs that are weaker using the Hiarcs Draw value (anti-contempt factor) can give even better results. The value of this Hiarcs Draw value tells HIARCS to either prefer draws (positive values) or avoid them (negative values). Against weaker programs a Hiarcs Draw Value of -15 can be quite effective.

Please let us know your results and if you have found a better default for HIARCS even if it is only against certain rivals.

You can find a full list of the settings and options on our HIARCS UCI options page here.

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How much stronger is HIARCS 11 than HIARCS 10?

This is a very difficult question to answer accurately because the strength improvement varies depending on the opponent HIARCS faces and the time control being used. It also requires literally thousands of games against various opponents under strictly controlled conditions to determine the Elo improvement.

My personal view based on our limited test results with the final HIARCS 11 UCI version is that it has improved by bout 40-80 Elo. Only time will tell if I am right. However I am confident to say that it is significantly stronger than HIARCS 10 and is a definite upgrade.

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How much stronger is the HIARCS 11 MP version?

The multiprocessor version of HIARCS 11 UCI when running on multiprocessors (of course!) gains a good speed up factor. The engine seems to scale quite well and on two processors is about a factor of x1.8 times faster and on four processors (the current maximum) it is about x3 times faster than its single processor little brother.

In terms of Elo strength improvement I would imagine that on a dual core/processor system it would be roughly about 40-50 Elo stronger and on a 4 processor system 70-90 Elo stronger.

If you do any comparisons please let us know the results!

The current maximum number of CPUs supported is 4 but we hope to raise this to 8 CPUs once it has been verified.

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Can the HIARCS 11 MP version run on single processors?

Yes, absolutely. The HIARCS 11 MP version can run on a single processor system as well as the single processor version of HIARCS 11 UCI. With HIARCS 11 MP you have the flexibility that if you upgrade your computer to a multiprocessor version in the future you are safe in the knowledge HIARCS 11 MP will utilise your new computer's CPU hardware to the full.

Even if you have a multiprocessor or multicore (e.g. Dual Core) system you can instruct HIARCS 11 MP to use one or more processors up to a max of 4 CPUs. We hope to raise this to 8 CPUs once it has been verified.

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What levels are there for the beginner and average club player?

HIARCS UCI offers set Elo strength play with customised opponents from beginner at 1250 Elo to Super Grandmaster at 2800+ Elo. Depending on the GUI the way this Limited Strength option is employed varies.

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How can I get HIARCS' to use its own opening book?

The Ownbook engine parameter is on by default. This means HIARCS UCI will access its own book and even learn good and bad openings if the book learning option is on. However, you MUST turn the GUI book off or load an empty book so that Hiarcs will be able to play from its own book. Otherwise the GUI will play the book moves from another GUI book and not ask the Hiarcs engine for a move in the opening.

Unfortunately the engine book cannot be displayed in a GUI because the UCI protocol does not allow for it. Although we have requested a change to allow this it seems the UCI protocol author does not want book functions to be available through the UCI interface.

To provide the HIARCS opening book so each GUI can read and display it, it would require that we produce the book in numerous different and contrasting formats which would be very time consuming. However, we will look to make a Chessbase CTG format HIARCS book available to customers if there is demand for this.

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What is HIARCS 11.1?

HIARCS 11.1 is a free update version for HIARCS 11 customers. It contains the following enhancements:

  1. Solution of issues with learning - new format to learning now used
  2. A minor issue affecting copy protection on Vista was resolved
  3. Improvements to evaluation and search
  4. Solution of problems with MP version especially on 4 CPU machines
  5. Improved opening book and book learning
  6. New default settings are now used:
    a) The Threat Depth setting has been adjusted to 5 (previously 3)
    b) Hypermodern is now ON by default
    c) Forward pruning has been adjusted but the default is still 10.

This is the same version that won the CCT9 blitz championship for the second year running and came second in the main tournament. We think it is stronger than HIARCS 11. Performance on MP systems should be especially improved and more reliable.

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"generally I use HIARCS." - Five time World Chess Champion Vishy Anand, in a recent interview when asked what chess program he uses to analyse with
 
"HIARCS is much better positionally than Deep Blue." - Garry Kasparov 1997 (after game 5 of the rematch)

World Chess Champion, Vishy Anand, used "Powerful" HIARCS machine in preparations for his 2010 & 2012 world title matches

"This level of service is one other big reason to buy HIARCS." - John Jackson

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