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Rodent Chess Engine: The AMAZING Strangler Personality!
Computer Chess

Rodent Chess Engine: The AMAZING Strangler Personality!

Last year I reviewed Pawel Kozioł’s Rodent chess engine and introduced you to my wild, aggressive Henny and Remy personalities which, even today are among my favorites.

Since then I’ve created close to a dozen personalities, all with distinct and attractive playing styles, and the one I’ll introduce to you today is called the Strangler personality.

Rodent Chess Engine: Strangler’s Style

I wanted Strangler to play in such as way that when you play against him, you don’t feel like you’re against a dangerous number-crunching machine.

I wanted Strangler’s opponents to feel comfortable, then optimistic, then slightly less comfortable, then uncomfortable, THEN to shriek “Jeez, my pieces have no good squares!  🙁 ”

In a word: The so-called “boa-constrictor” style.

Making him even more magical as a positional player, Strangler is not materialistic but is happy to sacrifice some material if it means his opponent will lose some mobility or attacking options.

Here’s an impressive example.

AnMon 5.10 vs Rodent III Strangler

This game is amazing.

Strangler deliberately plays 14…a6 allowing 15.Ba3 (winning the rook on f8), but what AnMon didn’t realize was that this was a deep exchange sacrifice by Strangler.

What follows is an amazing display of positional chess, as Strangler gradually uses his bishop pair, rolling pawns, and queen to take control of the entire board.

By the end, AnMon’s entire army have basically no moves – he has been strangled!

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Such a game makes an impression, right?

AnMon is a 2500-level engine which we also like very much, but here it was made to look like a baby positionally.

Look at the following striking position.

Rodent Chess Engine Strangler
White is the exchange UP – and utterly strangled!

White’s bishop, rook and knight have zero long-term prospects.

His king is tied to the defense of the f2 pawn and regardless of this, has no way of mobilizing safely anyway.

His e4 pawn needs constant protection.

On the other hand, black has deadly passed pawns on b2 and d3.

His bishop pair is supremely powerful and his K+N combo can be improved to the point of complete overwhelm.


Here’s a game where Strangler trapped my queen in in center of the board!

Rodent III Strangler vs Brendan J.Norman

The game begins with the same Classical Sicilian I tried in my game against AnMon, but instead of going for an ultra-sharp Richter Rauzer Attack (6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.0-0-0 0-0 etc), Strangler just played as positional players do.

He developed his pieces logically, castled and entered the middlegame soberly.

Then, with surgical precision he began to strike at my central pawn chain with his f5, Ne2-f4 and Qb3 maneuvers.

Faced with the pressure, I allowed my queen to be trapped – my major piece strangled in the middle of the board!

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I wasn’t always so unlucky though, here’s a fight where I held my own (via only-moves while on the defensive)…

Rodent III Strangler vs Brendan J.Norman

I quite like this game.

This Rodent Chess Engine can be a difficult opponent at the best of times, but in this game I myself was the one who played like a computer – Rodent Strangler played like a relentless human thirsty for a win.

In fact, I posted this game on a chess forum without names attached, and asked which player did they think was the engine.

Most people thought that I had played WHITE and that the engine was playing the black side.

Let’s see…

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Rodent Chess Engine: Strangler Taking Scalps

I was quite surprised to see an engine of Bright’s level (Bright is rated over 2800, while Strangler has been held to a draw by me!) completely humiliated by a Rodent Strangulation.

In a seemingly level position, Strangler comes up with an beautifully deep concept.

He sacrifices an exchange to destroy the black king position, then traps the enemy queen out of the game permanently, so he can’t hunt the king without her interference.

You have to see this!

Star Moves: 21.Rxf6 (Natural for a human, but for an engine?) and 23.d5! (Let the queen try to get out of this one!)

Rodent III Strangler vs Bright 0.2c


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 Rodent Strangler Engine: Final Thoughts…

If you’re looking for an engine with a brutal and dynamically positional playing style, who’ll give you lots of fun (and pain) in training games, will serve as a unique opinion for analysis, and will be SUPER fascinating to watch in engine vs engine matches – Strangler is your man.

How to Install Rodent Strangler Engine:

Follow along with the 2 minute video below (shot from Starbucks in Shantou, Southern China!) and learn how easy it is to install the engine personality.


And Finally…

Click Here to get Rodent Strangler

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Chess Coach, Computer Chess Nut, Copywriter, Language Learner, Philosopher and Nice Guy Living in China.
  • Biilly jean says:

    What Rodent personality is most purely positional

  • Elo Rodent III Karpov please?

    • Brendan J. Norman says:

      Hi Pedro, In terms of CCRL Elo, I’d say not much different to the default Rodent. Maybe 2900 or something.

  • Ted Summers says:

    Hello Brendon, like others I am unable to get download links using different browsers and making sure Pop Blockers are off.

  • Eric Morel says:

    not link 🙁 adblock disable )

  • Paulo Azevedo says:

    Is it the same for Fritz GUI?

    • It’ll be basically the same, but you need to type the file names in manually. Fritz GUI won’t let you browse to find them. And they’ll need to be in the same folder as the engine file itself.

  • Thanks for this! I have a question. Is this the long promised Rodent Karpov personality? How does it do with the bishop pair?

    • Hi Eddie, No. The Karpov and other personalities are still to come.

      Hopefully the next one (this week) will be Karpov, or maybe Topalov – both great anyway.

      Everything will come soon enough.

      P.S. The best personalities for the bishop pair are Kramnik and Topalov.

  • Wesley Franco says:

    Brendan, a curious question.
    What would be the FIDE rating of a human player who played exactly the same as Rodent Strangler?
    Could you make an estimate?

    • Hey Wesley,

      I’d estimate at least 2600 ELO, with the possibility of playing some positions at 2650-2700 ELO.

      So your average strong, positional GM. 😉

  • Bobby Garry says:

    I saw on talk chess that you made Kasparov and Topalov personalities.So,will it be an article about them?

    • Yep! Everything will come. There’s also an Alekhine personality which plays brilliant chess! Stay tuned. 😉

  • Wesley Franco says:

    Very good!

  • Bobby Garry says:

    Really amazing personality!But, there’s no download link.

      • Bobby Garry says:

        Still is not here 🙁

        • That’s very strange.

          I tried to reproduce your error in both Chrome and Firefox without success.

          Try to switch off “pop-up blocking” in your browser and reload the page.

          If it still doesn’t work, shoot me an email at brendan (at) chessncognac.com and I’ll send the file directly to you. 😉

          • Bobby Garry says:

            Now it works.Thanks!

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