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

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What spec PC is needed for PC HIARCS 12 UCI?

The HIARCS 12 UCI series 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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How do I install HIARCS 12 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 12 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. SetUpHIARCS12SPUCI

Double click the installer to run it. Once the installer is running please follow the straight forward instructions to install the chess engine.

Please note the folder that the installer installs HIARCS 12 UCI in.

Once the installer has finished you will find the HIARCS 12 UCI engine, book, license and readme files etc. will then be automatically installed on your machine in the folder you selected.

Once the engine is installed you will need to create/add the HIARCS 12 UCI engine into your favourite Chess GUI so you can use it. Please see the other question/answers below on this page for how to do this.

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How do I activate the HIARCS 12 UCI engine?

After you purchase of HIARCS 12 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 12 is installed. To do this open a file browser and navigate to the folder containing the HIARCS 12 UCI chess engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 12 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 SP UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 12 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Once you reach the installed Hiarcs 12 folder you will see the following:

Double click on the ACTIVATE-H12MP (or ACTIVATE-H12SP) 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 12 UCI will be activated.

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What is new about HIARCS 12 UCI?

HIARCS 12 UCI is a major new release in the HIARCS series. It contains the following major new features:

bulletDeeper search with new evaluations giving significantly improved chess performance.
bulletDramatic improvements to opening book with new theory and novelties, perhaps the strongest commercial chess opening book.
bulletEfficency on multi-core systems improved leading to a 60% speed up on 8 core systems.
bulletNew engine parameters to configure the engine

Sharpen PV: This setting tells HIARCS to investigate the principle variation in a more active way. The default is OFF. However, for detailed analysis and games at 1 minute per move and longer we recommend this setting is switched ON.

Optimistic Search: This setting tells HIARCS to search with a more optimistic view typically leading to deeper searching. In wild positions and tactical tests it may be found that an OFF setting is better. The default is ON.

Extend Search: This setting makes HIARCS extend critical variations in order to see more quickly the outcome of these lines thus improve over the board play. The default is ON.

Customers also will receive the Paderborn chess engine which can be activated and used in the same way as HIARCS 12 but gives a distinctively different style of play and search.

HIARCS 12 UCI contains the new protection mechanism which is highly flexible for the customer and makes activation very straightforward.

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How do I setup HIARCS 12 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 12 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 12 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Select the HIARCS 12 SP UCI (or HIARCS 12 MP UCI) engine to add it.

The engine will now be available in the Engine Management screen. You can now start the HIARCS 12 UCI from the Engines menu as follows:

Once the engine is first started if you have not pre-activated it you will be asked to enter your name and license key to complete the activation of the engine. You can read more about activation here HIARCS 12 UCI

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How do I setup HIARCS 12 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 12 UCI engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 12 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 12 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Select the HIARCS 12 SP UCI (or HIARCS 12 MP UCI) engine to add it to the GUI. If you have not pre-activated the engine you will be asked to activate by entering your license name and key here. You can activate later if you prefer or follow the instructions in our activation section.

The HIARCS 12 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 12 UCI engine from the Load Engine dialog.

Once loaded you can start playing with the HIARCS 12 chess engine.

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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 12 UCI engine you want.

The default installation location for HIARCS 12 UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 UCI
The default installation location for HIARCS 12 MP UCI is C:\Program Files\HIARCS Chess\HIARCS 12 MP UCI
Please note on Winx64 "Program Files (x86)" will be used instead of "Program Files".

Select the HIARCS 12 SP UCI (or HIARCS 12 MP UCI) engine to add it to the GUI. If you have not pre-activated the engine you will be asked to activate by entering your license name and key here. You can activate later if you prefer or follow the instructions in our activation section

You can now select "Add Kibitzer..." from the Engine menu and then choose the HIARCS 12 UCI engine from the Load Engine dialog.

Once loaded you can start playing with the HIARCS 12 chess engine.

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Can I install HIARCS on more than one computer?

Yes, HIARCS 12 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 12 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 12 purchase.

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Will you give free updates to HIARCS 12 UCI customers?

I certainly hope to provide some free updates. If progress is made with the HIARCS 12 UCI series it is my intention to release updates to HIARCS 12 UCI customers. For example if the 64 bit version of HIARCS 12 shows a significant increase in chess strength I will release this version to HIARCS 12 customers.

However for obvious reasons I would not release a new HIARCS 13 engine for free.

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What are the strongest settings for HIARCS 12 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 12 UCI default are

  1. Sharp PV ON has been shown in our recent long tests to be clearly better at long time controls of a minute a move or longer on fast hardware. We strongly recommend this setting is used for rating purposes in long time controls matches in the SSDF/CEGT/CCRL rating matches.
  2. Some testers think Optimistic Search is better OFF at longer time controls but we have insufficient data to be sure either way.
  3. The other setting worth experimentation is the Combinations ON setting as extra work has been done in HIARCS 12 on this. Recently it has done well in our testing too.
  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 12 than HIARCS 11?

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.

Time will tell what the true strength increase is, we are confident that HIARCS 12 is significantly stronger than HIARCS 11.

We have played some matches with the finished versions on our HIARCS Rating/Games page.

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How much stronger is the HIARCS 12 MP version?

The multiprocessor version of HIARCS 12 UCI when running on multi-core/processors (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 it is about 3 times faster than its single processor little brother. On 8 core machines we have seen a speed up of about a factor of 6.

In terms of Elo strength improvement I would imagine that on a dual core/processor system it would be roughly about 50 Elo stronger and on a 4 processor system 90 Elo stronger. While a 8 core system would increase the strength by about 130 Elo.

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

The current maximum number of CPUs supported is 8 but we hope to raise this in the future once higher CPU support has been verified.

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Can the HIARCS 12 MP version run on single processors?

Yes, absolutely. The HIARCS 12 MP version can run on a single processor system as well as the single processor version of HIARCS 12 UCI. With HIARCS 12 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 12 MP will utilise your new computer's CPU hardware to the full.

Purchasers of HIARCS 12 MP also receive a license for HIARCS 12 SP.

Even if you have a multiprocessor or multicore (e.g. Dual Core) system you can instruct HIARCS 12 MP to use one or more processors up to a max of 8 CPUs.

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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 2900+ 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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"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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HIARCS Computer Chess Engines are designed and developed by Mark Uniacke in England.
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