Prophet is a chess playing program written in C. Technically it requires a C++ compiler, but it’s not an object oriented program. The first version of Prophet was written around the year 2000. I released 2.0 in early 2007, but continued to work on the project until the end of 2008. In 2011 I started a rewrite of Prophet, putting much more emphasis on unit testing than I did earlier in my career. I hope to pick it back up and release a version 3.0 sometime in 2016.

As far as the core algorithms go, Prophet is very conventional. The search is a classic depth first alpha-beta search with iterative deepening. It searches interesting lines deeper, and does some very conservative pruning to avoid wasting time searching stupid lines.

In 2008 I finished an MS degree in Computer Science. As a project I implemented different types of parallel searches using Prophet. If you’re interested you can read about it in this paper. As an undergraduate I used Prophet to do some experimentation with a learning algorithm called TDLeaf (a form of temporal difference learning) and wrote about it in this abstract.

Between 2005 and 2007 Prophet participated in some online computer chess tournaments.

This is one of the last releases I did of Prophet. To play it you’d have to first install Winboard.