Announcing Torch: New #2 Chess Engine

Announcing Torch: New #2 Chess Engine


Torch is a brand-new chess engine built from the ground up by top chess engine developers. The team is composed of: Andrew Grant (Ethereal), Finn Eggers & Kim Kåhre (Koivisto), Jay Honnold (Berserk), and Michael Whiteley & Dietrich Kappe (Dragon). Mark Lefler and Larry Kaufman have been advisors to the project. 

Many on the team have long discussed joining forces to produce an engine capable of contending with the best out there. Through the support and funding of, we have done exactly that. A single unified effort by our developers has allowed us to rapidly produce the new number-two engine according to Torch’s performance in the Computer Chess Championship. Our goal is to be number one.

Torch engine  Chesscom

The development of Torch is supported by many open-source tools, including pytorch-nnue, Cutechess, and OpenBench. While Torch would not be as strong as it is today without these tools, the entire source code of Torch is an original effort with no code being used from any other engine.

Torch is not yet publicly available but will be made available to certain relevant third parties for ratings. It will also be available through’s analysis in the future. The team hopes to bring new ideas to the engine to allow greater insights to be delivered to the chess community. Chess is an infinitely fascinating game, and our goal is to push further into the depths.

– The Torch Team

Check out these games played by Torch under the name “Mystery” in the Computer Chess Championship. These incredible wins versus Ethereal, Komodo Dragon, and Leela Chess Zero are all annotated by GM Rafael Leitao. NOTE: Because most chess engines are so strong, when played from the starting moves there are too many draws. So the first 8 moves of each game is from an “unbalanced book” that gives White a slight edge to try to convert the win and Black must defend. Then the engines swap sides with the same opening moves. 


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