Is it possible to run a decent chess program on the Arduino alone? The answer, yes it is. None of them are as strong and versatile as Stockfish, which has an ELO rating of up to 3000, but several are pretty good.
Micro-Max 4.8 Chess Engine
In particular Micro-Max 4.8 has a rating of around 1900 on the right hardware.It is also truly remarkable because its written in C using less the 2000 characters in around 133 lines of code.
The author, H.G. Muller, says: “As far as I am aware, this still makes micro-Max the smallest C Chess program in existence. A close competitor for this honor, Toledo, measures 2168 characters. Despite its smaller size, micro-Max seems to beat Toledo easily.”
by Diego Cueva
Better news still is that Diego Cueva has ported a version of Micro-Max 4.8 to the Arduino Mega 2560 and called it Chessuino. The complete list of parts is:
1.- ARDUINO Mega 2560
2.- LCD keypad shield for Arduino
3.- Small speaker
Total price £10-15 on ebay, depending on how quickly you want the bits. Make sure you get the LCD keypad shield for Arduino, not the RPI version. It has a completely different pin arrangement
I will not repeat the details here, his web site tells you all you need to know, but I bought the bits, put it together in about 5 minutes and it worked first time. Magic.
A playing strength of 1900 would beat most strong club players, according to to HIACS site. So for most uses it should be good enough. The average “club player” falls in the 1400-1600 rating range. However I do not know what playing strength it achieves on an Arduino Mega 2560 nor whether it has any characteristic weaknesses.
The Chessino code looks like a good base for building an Arduino based chess computer by augmenting the standard “USB build” or by improving the display, especially as there is a good range of display drivers available for Arduino.