by Miguel A. Ballicora
Latest: Gaviota 0.33 (March 3rd, 2003)
for Windows (zipped, 103 kb)
for Linux (.tar.gz 93 kb)
Small Opening Book (zipped, 447 kb) (Windows/Linux or any system)
Gaviota is a chess engine that can be plugged to a graphic user interface (GUI). The most recommended GUIs for Windows and Linux are Winboard and Xboard, respectively. Both were written by Tim Mann and can be downloaded for free. Another free GUI for Windows is Arena ( by Martin Blume). Gaviota can also be plugged as an analysis engine to most commercial and free database software. Scid, by Shane Hudson, is very good, free, and available for both Windows and Linux. Gaviota is fully compatible with the Winboard Protocol II and keeps compatibility with the Protocol I. So, any interface that uses the Winboard protocol can use Gaviota as an engine. For details on installing Winboard engines you can consult the online Winboard FAQ by Aaron Tay. Special questions can be always anwered in the Winboard Forum.
Most of the parameters of the engine, memory, pondering, resigning, book options, learning etc. can be controlled editing the file gav.ini with any text editor. Options are self explanatory (I hope). An example of this file is included in the compressed file for download.
Gaviota has other features, such as the possibility to create and use its own opening book, run EPD test suites etc. For more details, check the command <help> when you run Gaviota in console mode.
For recent information on other chess engines, please check Leo's engine overview