The program HIARCS, written by Mark Uniacke of England, has been one of the world's top programs ever since it won the microcomputer world chess championship in 1993. HIARCS stands for "Higher Intelligence Auto Response Chess System". And indeed the distinguishing feature is that the author, like no other, uses a maximum of chess knowledge to increase the playing strength of his program. The new version of HIARCS has been improved and enhanced in a number of areas, especially in its search algorithms and the implementation of concrete chess knowledge. The search tree has been further optimised and results in an increase in search depth of up to three ply in the middle game. The maximum search depth is now 62 ply! This leads to substantially increased tactical power while at the same time the program maintains its active positional playing style. Chess knowledge has always been the program's main strength. The improved search algorithms made it possible to implement even more advanced positional functions, especially in the areas of "typical pawn structures" and "dynamic evaluation of the centre". HIARCS 8 evaluates important factors like weak squares, king's safety, piece exchanges, initiative and king attack much more reliably than the predecessor versions.
Available from 26th April 2002