Edit on GitHub

Getting Started

To set up Leela Chess Zero, follow the following steps:

1. Setup a chess GUI

Leela Chess Zero, as the most of other chess programs, implements UCI protocol and requires a chess GUI. Popular GUIs are:

2. Download Lc0

Download a version of Lc0 for your hardware on this page.

3. Unpack the downloaded .zip file

Unpack the contents of the file that you downloaded into the location of your choice. Among other files, you’ll find the following:

File Purpose
lc0.exe The Leela Chess Zero chess engine.
E.g. 703810.pb.gz The default Neural Network.
*.dll Libraries needed for the engine to function.
lc0-training-client.exe Not needed unless you want to contribute to training the networks.

4. (optional) Select a Neural Network to use.

The Lc0 is bundled with a reasonable neural network which will be fine to get you started.

However, depending on your hardware and time control, it’s likely that other networks may work better. If you want to go this way, here is a guide to help you picking a net for your needs.

To install the network, simply put it into the same folder as your lc0.exe.
Note that if there are several network files in the directory, Lc0 will use the latest one by file modification date.

5. Add the engine into the chess GUI

Now it’s time to add the Lc0 into the chess GUI of your choice. How exactly it’s done, depends on the GUI, but usually there is “Add Engine…” somewhere in settings. You can give any name to the entry, and as select the file lc0.exe that you unpacked as a binary/command.

You may find more details instructions for particular chess GUI on this page.

6. That’s it.

After this you should be able to use Lc0 in your GUI.


If you have any questions or issues, it’s highly recommended to join the discord for quick help, it is usually very active. If you prefer to debug stuff by yourself, troubleshoot page may help.

Last Updated: 2021-03-21