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Tom Kerrigan's Simple Chess Program (TSCP) is a small program I wrote in 1997 to demonstrate the basics of chess programming.

To download TSCP, scroll to the bottom of this page.

If you're looking for a chess engine to license for a commercial project, check out Stobor.

TSCP has the following features:
  • Only 2,258 lines of heavily-commented C code
  • Written for clarity (not speed or strength)
  • Observes all official chess rules (including three repetition & 50-move draws)
  • Recursive alpha-beta (negamax) search with quiescence search
  • Simple opening book
  • xboard and WinBoard mode
  • Runs in less than 64k of RAM


The response to TSCP has been very enthusiastic and I'm flattered and grateful. Please visit the Community page to see what other people have done with TSCP.


TSCP is copyrighted. You have my permission to download it, look at the code, and run it. If you want to do anything else with TSCP you must get my explicit permission. This includes redistributing TSCP, creating a derivative work, or using any of its code for any reason.

To get permission, just e-mail me at As long as you aren't trying to proft off my work or take credit for it, I will almost certainly give you permission.

Hall of shame

The following people have released TSCP clones, i.e., copies of TSCP with the strings changed to make it look like they wrote it.
  • Wilfredo Malave Davila - "KasparovX" and "Capachess" (not the Java engine)
  • Ananth Shrinivas S - "Tuxedo"
  • Josh Haglund - "Squash"
  • Tiago Ribeiro - "Replicant"
File name Size Date Uploader
TSCP 1.81, source code and a Windows executable
75k 5/9/07 1:40 PM Tom