Winboard

What is Winboard?

XBoard is a graphical chessboard for the X Window System that can serve as a user interface for GNU Chess, Crafty, and other chess engines, for the Internet Chess Servers, and for electronic mail correspondence chess.  XBoard can also be used by itself.  It can read and write game files in PGN (portable game notation).

WinBoard is a similar program for 32-bit Microsoft Windows.  It includes all the major features of XBoard except email correspondence chess.


 Xboard and Winboard

by Tim Mann

XBoard and WinBoard are graphical user interfaces for chess. XBoard runs with the X Window System on Unix systems (including GNU/Linux);
 WinBoard runs on true 32-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems,
such as Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP, and should continue to work on future 32-bit Windows systems.
It does not work on Windows CE (also known as Pocket PC),
nor does it work on 16-bit Windows systems such as Windows 3.1.  They display a chessboard on the screen, accept moves made with the mouse, and load and save games in Portable Game Notation (PGN). They serve as front-ends for many different chess services, including:

Chess engines that will run on your machine and play a game against you or help you analyze, such as GNU Chess, Crafty, or many others. A list of compatible engines is available.

Chess servers on the Internet, where you can connect to play chess with people from all over the world, watch other users play, or just hang out and chat. A list of compatible servers is available.

Correspondence chess played by electronic mail. The CMail program (which works with XBoard only) automates the tasks of parsing email from your opponent, playing his moves out on your board, and mailing your reply move after you've chosen it.

PGN viewer. You can use XBoard or WinBoard as a viewer and creator for game files recorded in PGN (standard chess notation).

XBoard runs on Unix systems, while WinBoard runs on 32-bit Windows systems, including Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, 2003, ME, and XP.

 

How do I Install Winboard? Should I uninstall the older version when upgrading?

Just run the execute file, and the Winboard setup should do the rest. Winboard comes pre-installed with GNUChess4.0 and GNUChess 5.02.

When upgrading you can uninstall the older version using Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs or Start | Programs | WinBoard | Uninstall WinBoard. But normally there is no need to uninstall the older version, as you can just install the new one in the old place. This is because unlike other programs you don't need to worry much about messing up the Registry. See below.

Tim Mann writes "Winboard when installing adds only minimal changes to the Windows registry. It adds WinBoard to the list in Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs, so that you can easily uninstall it. If you say 'yes' when asked if you want WinBoard to be your viewer for PGN and FEN files, it registers it as such."

------NEWS------

** Announcing the release of XBoard and WinBoard, version 4.2.7 **

XBoard is a graphical chessboard for the X Window System that can
serve as a user interface for GNU Chess, Crafty, and other chess
engines, for the Internet Chess Servers, and for electronic mail
correspondence chess.  XBoard can also be used by itself.  It can read
and write game files in PGN (portable game notation).

WinBoard is a similar program for 32-bit Microsoft Windows.  It
includes all the major features of XBoard except email correspondence
chess.

A new release of both XBoard and WinBoard is now available.  Version
4.2.7 corrects about two dozen bugs in the 4.2.6 release.  See the
ChangeLog for a list.  In addition, WinBoard 4.2.7 comes bundled with
GNU Chess 5.07 instead of the old 5.02+ version.  The XBoard and
WinBoard source code trees have been merged, so the xboard download
now contains the complete source for both.

The various larger contributions that people have submitted since the
4.2.6 release are not yet included in 4.2.7.  The source code for
these contributions is now available, however (see
http://www.tim-mann.org/extensions.html), and we plan to include most
of them in a future release once the contributors complete necessary
copyright assignment paperwork.

You can get both XBoard and WinBoard from either our new Savannah
project pages or their existing pages on Tim Mann's web site:

- https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/xboard/
- http://www.tim-mann.org/chess.html

Most of the known bugs and deficiencies in previous versions have
*not* been addressed in this release.  It is not necessary to report
your favorite bug again if you have reported it before, unless the
ChangeLog erroneously says it has been fixed.  Most known bugs,
deficiencies, and suggestions received are now listed in the ToDo
file.  If you find a bug not listed there, please report it in the bug
tracker at https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/xboard/ or by email to
bug-xboard [AT] tim-mann.org.

At this writing, the current version numbers are:

  • XBoard 4.2.7
  • WinBoard 4.2.7

------ICS------

 How can I use XBoard or WinBoard to talk to an Internet Chess Server through a firewall or proxy?
There is no single answer to this question, because there are many different kinds of firewalls in use. They work in various different ways and have various different security policies. This answer can only provide hints.

Note that you can't access Internet Chess Servers through a Web proxy, because they are not a Web service. You talk to them through a raw TCP connection, not an HTTP connection. If you can only access the Web through a proxy, there may be a firewall that stops you from making direct TCP connections, but there may also be a way through it. Read on for hints, and contact your local system administrator if you need more information about your local configuration.

A helpful user mailed me the following explanation of how to use WinBoard with WinGate:

"I have managed to setup WinBoard though my WinGate proxy. I have the Office version. What I needed to do was to setup the TCP/IP connection to add the User/Host name and my provider service name for the DNS, but I had to leave the HOST IP address blank. I have not played with all the variations, so it may be just that I have the DNS lookup enabled."
I hope this helps, though I don't find it very clear. I don't have a copy of WinGate myself and can't help if you have questions about it.
If you are using some other non-SOCKS firewall, read the FIREWALLS section in your XBoard or WinBoard documentation (man page, info document, or Help file). If you can telnet to a chess server in some way, then you can almost certainly connect to it with xboard/WinBoard, though in some cases you may not be able to run timestamp or timeseal. The timestamp and timeseal protocols require a clean, 8-bit wide TCP connection from your machine to the ICS, which some firewalls do not provide.

If you have a SOCKS firewall and are using XBoard, you should be able to SOCKSify xboard and use it. See http://www.socks.nec.com/ for information about SOCKS and socksification. However, if you do this, you can't use timestamp or timeseal; what you really need is a socksified version of timestamp or timeseal. This is hard because the source code for timestamp and timeseal is proprietary; the folks running the chess servers don't give it out because that would make it too easy to cheat. On some versions of Unix, you may be able to socksify a program that you don't have the source code to by running it with an appropriate dynamic library; see http://www.socks.nec.com/. For others, you might be able to get a pre-built socksified version from the chess server administrators. For timeseal versions, see ftp://ftp.freechess.org/pub/chess/timeseal/. For timestamp versions, the directory would be ftp://ftp.chessclub.com/pub/icc/timestamp/, but at this writing there don't seem to be any socksified timestamps there. Once you have a socksified timestamp or timeseal, simply run it with a normal, non-socksified xboard in place of the standard timestamp or timeseal.

If you have a SOCKS firewall and you are using WinBoard, we now know how to make this configuration work, complete with timestamp or timeseal!

Start by getting SocksCap32. This software is freely available from http://www.socks.nec.com/. Install it on your machine, read the documentation, and learn to use it. You may find it useful with many other programs besides WinBoard.

Next, don't socksify WinBoard. Socksifying WinBoard itself doesn't let you use it with timestamp or timeseal. For some reason I don't understand -- something strange that SocksCap32 does -- the socksified WinBoard runs but does nothing, and timestamp/timeseal runs all by itself in its own window.

Instead, use the following workaround. Follow the instructions exactly; don't try to skip steps or simplify things.

First, make SocksCap32 application profiles for timestamp and timeseal. Use the following command lines in the SocksCap32 profiles. Name the first profile "timestamp" and the second "timeseal".


    "c:\program files\winboard\timestamp.exe" chessclub.com 5000 -p 5000
    "c:\program files\winboard\timeseal.exe" freechess.org 5000 -p 5000

Second, run timestamp or timeseal by itself, socksified, using its profile. This will open an unneeded, black window that will not respond to typing. Minimize it to the task bar and ignore it. It will go away when you exit from WinBoard.

Next, run WinBoard using the following command line. Make a shortcut or type this command into an MS-DOS Prompt box. Don't run WinBoard itself socksified, just run it directly.


    "c:\program files\winboard.exe" /ics /icshost=localhost /icsport=5000

After you get this working, you can try getting the timestamp window to auto-minimize by starting it from a shortcut instead of from the SocksCap32 control window. As it says in the SocksCap32 help file, put the following in the Target field of a shortcut's Properties page:


    "c:\program files\sockscap32\sc32.exe" timestamp

Then select "Run: Minimized" on the same page. Do the same for timeseal.
Another method that can work is to use a .bat file to start both timestamp and WinBoard. It would look something like this:


    REM --
    REM -- icc.bat
    REM -- Start timestamp under SocksCap32 and use WinBoard to connect to it.
    REM -- The string "timestamp" refers to a SocksCap32 profile for timestamp.
    REM --  Do not change it to the filename of the timestamp program!
    REM --
    start /minimized "c:\program files\sockscap32\sc32.exe" timestamp
    cd "c:\program files\winboard"
    winboard /ics /icshost=localhost /icsport=5000

This workaround has a problem if you want to run two copies of WinBoard at once, talking to the same chess server twice (for bughouse) or to two different chess servers. If you need to do that, you will need to run a separate copy of timestamp with a different port number for each connection. You'll need to make a second set of profile entries with a different value after the -p flag (say, 5001) and you'll need to change the WinBoard command line /icsport=5000 for the second WinBoard to match.

How do I install more Winboard Engines ?

There are two ways to set up Winboard engines(eg Crafty) to work with Winboard. One method is run them using a command line. This is the method mentioned in the Crafty FAQ , and on Tim Mann's FAQ . A slightly better but similar method is to add a shortcut as recommended by some older sites.

Such a method would involve setting the following line as a shortcut eg.
"C:\WinBoard\winboard.exe" -cp -fcp "crafty" -fd "C:\Craftydirectory"

In this case, -cp tell Winboard to start in Chess engine mode and the "crafty" after -fcp is the name of the exe file and the words after -fd is for the directory where crafty.exe resides. If you want another Chess engine to take the other side you add similar lines except that you do -scp and -sd respectively for the exe file and directory.

Confused? Don't worry, a easier and more flexible method (which I will go into detail further down) , I believe is to alter the file Winboard.ini(which will be generated the first time you run Winboard itself). By altering the Winboard.ini file, you can select which Chess engine will run in the startup-dialog whenever you start Winboard. This will remove the need for multiple shortcuts for different programs.

Note: There is however no way to run Chess engines using zippy for ICS play via the "Winboard.ini method" as we shall soon see.

 

Setting up Chess engines by altering the Winboard.ini file

NEW!

The instructions below are concerned with manually altering the winboard.ini file using notepad to setup with winboard with various engines. This can be confusing to people with no experience with such tasks. Tom's Simple Engine Manager provides a graphical user interface to make this task easier.

The instructions below are available with screen shots here .

Here I will guide you through the steps needed to add Ruffian , a strong free Winboard engine.First download Ruffian. Extract the files to a directory called c:\Ruffian.

Next, open the Winboard.ini file using a text editor (like wordpad or notepad). You can find Winboard.ini in the same directory you installed Winboard. (If you cannot find the file Winboard.ini in the winboard directory, you need to run Winboard.exe once, then exit for the file to be generated.) You should see this portion at the bottom of the file.

}
/firstChessProgramNames={GNUChess
"GNUChes5 xboard"
}
/secondChessProgramNames={GNUChess
"GNUChes5 xboard"
}

When you start up Winboard, you will see 2 options Gnuchess and GNUChes5 Xboard for the first dialog box, and a similar one for the second dialog box.

To add more options to the dialog box this is what you change the above to

}
/firstChessProgramNames={GNUChess
"GNUChes5 xboard"
"ruffian" /fd="c:\ruffian"
}
/secondChessProgramNames={GNUChess
"GNUChes5 xboard"
"ruffian" /sd="c:\ruffian"
}

(Added lines are in italics)

Okay what does the added lines mean? It actually consists of 2 parts, one marked in red , the other marked in blue

"ruffian" /fd="c:\ruffian"

The first part "ruffian" refers to the name of the actual executable. This is the file that ends with exe .Notice that even though the file is called ruffian.exe, I don't have to include the .exe part, though it shouldn't hurt.

Technically, the Winboard help files says that If the engine name has more than one period in it (for example, QChess1.5.exe), you must include the ".exe" extension; otherwise you can leave it out.

To make things simple though my file names are usually simple, without underscores, periods or spaces. So instead of crafty-19.1.exe , I rename it to Crafty191.exe to avoid all problems.

But how does Winboard know where the exe file is? This is set by the next part /fd="c:\ruffian" This line merely tells Winboard where the file ruffian.exe is. In the above example, it lies in the directory c:\ruffian.

Note the quotation marks are not strictly needed except in cases where the directory has a space in between like c:\program file\crafty , but it usually doesn't hurt.Also in cases where you the executable file actually lies in the same directory as Winboard, you don't need to add this second part.

For example the default Gnuchess engines are in the Winboard directory, as such all you need to do is to type in the executable file name and leave out specifying the path to it.

You do exactly the same for the second option "ruffian" /sd="c:\ruffian"

The only difference is that instead of fd you use sd. (fd=first directory, sd=second directory.)

That is all that is needed. Save the Winboard.ini file as Winboard.ini (not Winboard.ini.txt) and rerun Winboard. The option will then appear as the second choice and you can click on it to select Ruffian to play.

A word of warning, while most Chess engines can be setup in the same way ,some engines require special command lines to be added.For example in the default GNUchess setup you see the addition of "Xboard". Typically this requires you to add things like xboard or xb to signal to the engine it is being used in Winboard/xboard mode.Some others like Phalanx requires you to add commands to configure settings like hash table size, book learning options.

Some examples

"Nejmet33 xb" /fd=c:\Nejmet33
"Bringer19 /winboard" /fd=c:/Bringer19
"Phalanx22 -l- -t110768 -r800 -o-"/fd=c:\Phalanx22

Older versions of Crafty also required you to add /xboard, but it is no longer necessary now.

For more details on what (if anything is necessary) to be added,Please go to Thomas web page and or the more updated Leo Dijksman website and select the relevant details page.

Some other useful commands to add include the following the following

/Xreuse - when added will cause Winboard to restart the Chess engine after each game, instead of reusing it from game to game. This is useful in some cases with problematic engines that do not recognise the end of a game properly.

/firstcomputerstring "" - will suppress the sending of the computer command by Winboard to the engine. See Section [D.4.6] for why you might want to do so.

/firstProtocolVersion=1 - will force Winboard to stop sending the protover command (which checks if the engine supports Protocol 2). . This is useful in a few cases (like the old version of SOS) which have problems when the protover command is sent, but normally this is not necessary even for chess engines that support only Protocol 1.


 

If you still have problems here are some other websites that might help

  • Mogen's Setup Guide - A general setup guide for any generic Winboard program. Step by step instructions on how to modify the Winboard.ini file.

  • Mark Yatras's setup guide - A nice web site that concentrates on setting up Crafty by making a shortcut. It has nice screen shots of the installation process and explanation of possible errors that can lead to errors. Unfortunately, the guide does not show you how to modify the Winboard.ini file.

  • Volker's setup - Instructions in German.

Lastly, you could download Configuration files by Federico Corigliano [configx.zip]-about 113kb . However, they will only work if you do the following after unzipping the file.

  1. Install Winboard in the directory c:\winboard
  2. Replace the Winboard.ini file in c:\Winboard with the unzipped one from the zip file.
  3. Copy the directories of the engines you want to use into Winboard. For example, you should have the directory c:/Winboard/Amy if you want to install Amy and the file .amy.rc in that directory
  4. Get the executable file. Go here and select the detail page of the engine you want to download the file you need. You may also need to download opening books, and put them all in the same directory. In this case c:\Winboard\Amy.
  5. Rename the executable file according to the Winboard.ini file. For example, with Amy you will see a line that says "Amy_086" /fd="c:\winboard\Amy", so rename it to Amy_086.exe

That should do it. This will configure each chess engine to use 32 mega Hash. Options are set such that resign is off, learning is off and book is on. [So for two Engine matches on the same computer you need about 128 megs of RAM]


Still Stuck?

If you read all the way down here and still have problems, you can download the following Winboard package at http://www.cacsi.com/chess/Winboard_Package_Aug_4th.exe from Jason Kent. Extract the whole package and a couple of engines Ruffian,Delfi, Crafty etc are included in there. More importantly, Jason as modified the winboard.ini file and the package is ready to use immediately.


[B.3] How do I setup Crafty, Fritz etc to run on FICS, ICC, USCL etc?How about YahooChess?

Setting up Winboard engines to run in Internet Chess Servers like Freechess.org [formerly known as FICS or Free Internet Chess server], or Internet Chess Club [ICC] is possible with the use of zippy that comes with the Winboard package.Another possible and perhaps easier way is to use the new Arena , that comes with ICS support.

However it is not possible to set up Winboard Chess engines to run in YahooChess servers using normal Winboard compatible interfaces.This is because YahooChess is based on a java applet, and zippy does not work in that. In fact,this holds for most Chess servers besides FICS/ICC/Chessnet and perhaps USCL which share similar code.

There is however a project known as YICS that makes it possible to 'possible to use ICS-compatible interfaces (such as xboard, WinBoard, eboard, and Thief) on Yahoo! Chess.' .This opens the possibility of using engines that use these interfaces.

Using Winboard + Zippy

To use zippy with Winboard, you will have to alter the windows shortcut(or do it in dos mode).

  1. Right click on the Winboard shortcut on the desktop and select properties

  2. In "target" you should see something like C:\WinBoard\winboard.exe

  3. Your Path might be different depending on where you placed Winboard.

  4. Add this line c:\winboard\winboard.exe /zp /ics /icshost=freechess.org /icshelper=timeseal /fcp=enginename.exe /fd=c:\enginedirectory in the target box in one line.You can ignore the colors for now.

Explanation

The first part in black is to tell Winboard to start in ICS mode.Of course the path to Winboard.exe on your computer might vary. It could be c:\program files\Winboard\Winboard.exe \zp \ics instead for example.

/icshost=freechess.org /icshelper=timeseal - Add the server address after /icshost.(E.g. chessclub.com for ICC or server.uschesslive.org for USCL). /icshelper is for the use of timeseal.

/fcp=enginename.exe /fd=c:\enginedirectory - Change enginename to the file name of your engine (the file ending in exe) and c:\enginedirectory to the directory where enginename.exe is in.

Start Winboard through the shortcut and it will run normally. You will need to enter the handle name, password, normally.

Notice that the method I advocate above to setup Chess engines to play locally, using the Winboard.ini to setup engines and then selecting them on the fly in the startup dialog box cannot be used here. This is mainly because that mode is available only in Chess engine mode, and when Chess engines run on ICS they are actually running in ICS Mode.

Remember, you have to apply for and receive a approval for a computer account with each chess servers before you can use one with a registered account. Failure to do so will result in a ban. You have being warned! If you are just testing, please log in as a guest!

The line above is only the most basic command needed to log on but you will still have to manually enter the handle,password, challenge and accept matches etc. There are other zippy and winboard commands you can add to automate the running of the computer account.

More Advanced Tips

First off, you could add the line /icslogon=ics.ini after the above lines, and then create a file ics.ini in which you input the commands that will automatically be sent. Normally you will use this to enter Handle,password, set finger notes ,filters and challenges Here's a sample you can copy and paste in your text editor and then save as ics.ini in the Winboard directory (not your engine directory)

handlename
password
Set 1 This account is run using Engine so and so
Set 2 This account is run on Pentium 4 , 2 Ghz
Set 3 Running using all 3-4-5 tablebases
Set 4 The Operator is TheDane
seek 5 0

The above will automatically enter the account handle and then password (but remember the warning in yellow above!), followed by setting up the fingernotes about and send a seek.However, this does not mean that it will continue to send seeks after each game.

The trick is to add the line -zippyGameEnd='say *handshake*\nseek 5 3 m\nseek 5 5 m\n'

Basically after each game is finished, zippy will send the command gameend so you can use the alias server command to change it to something else (perhaps seek more games). Another way is to add the line -zippygameend= xxxxx. My line will say *handshake* and then send out 5 3 and 5 5 manual seeks.

There are many more commands to automate the running of the account, for example limiting the number of consective games to the same opponent, noplaying some accounts , but you should refer to the zippy.readme file available with Winboard for more details.

As always chances are my explanation is not clear enough, so you might want to consult other sites which tackle the same problem. A good guide on the use of zippy can be found on Mogens Larsen's home page [Scroll to the bottom of the top most Window, and look under "related topics"] , as well as John Rivorie/ Sasha Goldstein's Crafty page.Rob Keogh has a site for setting up chess engines to run on ICC. .The batch file included will also automatically reconnect if you are disconnected.

See also other questions on zippy at Tim Mann's official Xboard/Winboard FAQ

Connecting non Winboard engines

Connecting non-Winboard engines like Fritz to online Chess Servers is more difficult and involves the use of Winboard auto232 player adaptor which allows Chessbase engines to communicate with Winboard via the auto232 protocol , and when this is done, you can then connect online with Zippy as above. You can download Eberhard Börger's auto232 player with instructions on how to setup Fritz to play in ICS [Internet Chess Servers like ICC or FICS] .If you are using Win2k or XP, you can set up Borger's auto232 player without the use of any null modems cables.(broken) Better yet refer to my articles on auto232 players. (general introduction) and specific instructions. You can also find some general discussion of auto232 at Joachim Denzler's webpage.More details on auto232 (history,problems) in german.

Alternatives to Winboard/Xboard for Winboard/Xboard and UCI engines in ICS.

The free Arena has already being mentioned earlier has a easy to use alternative to Winboard that allows you to use UCI and Winboard engines in FICS.

Other commercial programs like the Chess Partner interface, Chess Vision has built in interface that makes it easy to get chess engines to run online.

Chess Assistant (and the light version) allows you to connect Chess engines (Winboard engines only for the light version, UCI or Winboard for the paid version) to ICC only.

Linux users have alternatives to Xboard , as they can use Eboard and Knights. Still they support the same engines as Xboard so there is not much gain in using them.

Fritz 7 and above has built in support that allows you to log onto their own online playchess server but not FICS.

Chessmaster 8000/9000/10000  is interesting because the engine that powers it (The King) is actually a Winboard engine. As such it can be treated like any Winboard engine and connected to Chess servers like FICS. See Section [D.3] for more details.

<>However connecting chessmaster 8000/9000/10000 to Winboard in such a manner, will cause Chessmaster to play without a opening book because it relies on the graphical user interface to provide a opening book which Winboard does not. This problem can be solved using Bookthinker or use auto232 programs to connect Chessmaster to Winboard first (very complicated). Jason Kent has created a package to make use of  The King (all versions)  with FICS (direct link 1006K). It includes support with Bookthinker but you need to read the  instructions (direct link to text file) carefully.

Similarly you need auto232 to setup Chessmaster 8000/9000/10000 to run against another auto232 supported program like Chessbase programs. Refer to Chessmaster's FAQ. [under question "Q: I've heard of something called Auto232. What is it and does Chessmaster 8000 support it? "] Also here's a more detailed instruction by Scott Wood on CCC "How to use auto232 with Chessmaster"

Lastly there is robofics . Robofics has being ported to windows by Dann Corbit . You will need Cgwin.dll. I have no idea how it works except it is very old and doesn't seem to be very popular now that we have Winboard.NEW! [06-03-2002] - The successor of robofics is ICSdrone . I haven't tried it.


[B.4] How do I connect 2 copies of Winboard over a LAN or the internet without connecting over a internet server? Can I use this to play a game with a friend over the net?

Strictly speaking Winboard isn't really designed for 2 people (or engines) to connect directly to play a game. Something like Netchess is more suitable. Still if you want to Winboard there are options.

Try the Winboard Network adaptor . If you are on a LAN you can try this simplified RSH server for Windows".


[B.5] Help! Winboard still refuses to run.

Here are some possible reasons

  1. You have specified the wrong path, or wrong file name
  2. Remember to use // instead of /
  3. "sd" instead of "fd" must be used for the second program
  4. Default hash is set extremely large
  5. Neglecting to add a special command line, switch which is needed. E.g. you need " -xboard" for Anmon5.09 and/or Nejmet. Refer to Thomas Mayer's Winboard engines detail pages or the newer and more updated Leo Winboard page for more details.
  6. Lacking the file cygwin.dll when running engines like SOS, Gormit2.0,Cilian,Colchess,Fortress,Gaviota, and Knightcap.Awesome needs CW3215.dll
  7. Doing everything correctly but forgetting to save

[B.6] Where can I get more help?

If you are really stuck, there are some places that you can go for help. A good idea would be to run Winboard with the /debug tag and submit the Winboard.debug file.

Winboard Forum - This is a friendly forum, with many helpful gurus standing by to answer any question you might have regarding Winboard. The board is moderated by Volker Pittlik although his intervention is seldom necessary. The language of choice is generally English although sometimes German is used due to the large numbers of German speakers.

Computer Chess Club [CCC] - This is a more general forum devoted to Computer Chess. While Winboard related questions are allowed, this forum is a better venue for asking questions related to Commercial programs such as Chessmaster, Fritz, Rebel etc, as many of their authors or Service Reps hang out there. This is a moderated forum [with Moderators being selected in a yearly election] .

Rec.games.Chess.Computer - The unmoderated Usenet group. Due to the presence of a large number of trolling and flaming, a group of Chess program Authors and fans felt that productive discussion was no longer possible. This led to the formation of the moderated Computer Chess Club [CCC].

There are various other forums like CSS (Chessbase software dominated discussion in German) and French forums Le Forum du Fou .

Search posts about everything concerning Computer Chess

  • Search Computer Chess Club by Andrei Fortuna
  • Search Rec.computer.games.Chess by googlegroups.
  • Search Winboard forum
  • You can also search my site of course.

As a last resort, you can email me for help , and I will try to answer any questions to the best of my ability.


[B.7] I give up. Is there a easier way to do this?


If you still cannot get any of the programs to work with Winboard despite reading the various online guides and getting help from the forums, but still want more chess program beside GNUchess to play against, I suggest the following alternatives.

  • Some Winboard programs like Bringer and Comet , comes with their own stand alone graphical interface. In other words, they do not require any manual configuration or the use of Winboard to run. All you have to do is to unzip the file and run the executable . It's much easier and Bringer has a nice and more user friendly interface than the plain Winboard. Unfortunately, you don't get the range of opponents you can get with Winboard of course. Also, when you first run Bringer.exe you can change* the default language from German to English, but there is no English online help. You can download the English translation from here
  • Another option is to go to , Rebel Home page to download Rebel Decade 12, a very strong commercial program now released for free after the programmer retired. Note this is not a Winboard program. It also doesn't work on Windows XP.
  • Some freeware DOS programs here
  • There also appears to be a free fully functional legal copy of Fritz 5.32 available. See here. It does not have support of UCI has in the newer Fritz 7 but you can use the free native engines or the old winboard adaptor for Winboard engines. You can download a free Chessbase opening book.
  • Lastly, if none of these work for you, perhaps a full Commercial package might suits your needs better. See Bob Pawlak's reviews

* To change go to "Ansicht" scroll down to "sprache" and choose "Englische".

 

Setting up Winboard engines to run in Internet Chess Servers like:

Freechess.org [formerly known as FICS or Free Internet Chess server], or Internet Chess Club [ICC] is possible with the use of zippy that comes with the Winboard package.Another possible and perhaps easier way is to use the new Arena , that comes with ICS support.

However it is not possible to set up Winboard Chess engines to run in YahooChess servers using normal Winboard compatible interfaces.This is because YahooChess is based on a java applet, and zippy does not work in that. In fact,this holds for most Chess servers besides FICS/ICC/Chessnet and perhaps USCL which share similar code.

There is however a project known as YICS (YaY)Ultimate edition that makes it possible to 'possible to use ICS-compatible interfaces (such as xboard, WinBoard, eboard, and Thief) on Yahoo! Chess.' .This opens the possibility of using engines that use these interfaces.


--------------Using Winboard + Zippy--------------------
To use zippy with Winboard, you will have to alter the windows shortcut(or do it in dos mode).

Right click on the Winboard shortcut on the desktop and select properties


In "target" you should see something like C:\WinBoard\winboard.exe


Your Path might be different depending on where you placed Winboard.


Add this line c:\winboard\winboard.exe /zp /ics /icshost=freechess.org /icshelper=timeseal /fcp=enginename.exe /fd=c:\enginedirectory in the target box in one line.You can ignore the colors for now.
Explanation
The first part in black is to tell Winboard to start in ICS mode.Of course the path to Winboard.exe on your computer might vary. It could be c:\program files\Winboard\Winboard.exe \zp \ics instead for example.

/icshost=freechess.org /icshelper=timeseal - Add the server address after /icshost.(E.g. chessclub.com for ICC or server.uschesslive.org for USCL). /icshelper is for the use of timeseal.

/fcp=enginename.exe /fd=c:\enginedirectory - Change enginename to the file name of your engine (the file ending in exe) and c:\enginedirectory to the directory where enginename.exe is in.

Start Winboard through the shortcut and it will run normally. You will need to enter the handle name, password, normally.

ICS port to some server

}
/icsNames={yahoo /ics /icshost=127.0.0.1 /icsport=6000 /zp /fcp="polyglot.exe polyglot_1st.ini"
chessclub.com /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timestamp
freechess.org /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timeseal
global.chessparlor.com /icsport=6000 /icshelper=timeseal
chessanytime.com /icsport=5000
chess.net /icsport=5000
zics.org /icsport=5000
jogo.cex.org.br /icsport=5000
ajedrez.cec.uchile.cl /icsport=5000
fly.cc.fer.hr /icsport=7890
freechess.nl /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timeseal
jeu.echecs.com /icsport=5000
chess.unix-ag.uni-kl.de /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timeseal
chess.mds.mdh.se /icsport=5000
}

-----------------------------------------------------

 WinBoard / xboard 4.3

WinBoard 4.3 is a WinBoard version developed independently from the original GNU-Savannah project administrated
by Tim Mann. It has
many add-ons, mainly in the area of user interface, improved rule knowledge (castling, e.p. rights),
adjudication in engine-engine games, and improved variant support. WinBoard 4.3 is a direct descendant of Allessandro
Scotti's
WinBoard_x, which again was derived from WinBoard 4.2.7, the last version released by Tim Mann's team.

more info:

http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?t=49439
-----------------------------------------------------

WinBoard 4.3 Downloads

Postby H.G.Muller » 23 Aug 2008, 07:25

WinBoard / xboard 4.3

Warning: WinBoard 4.3 is now obsolete and has been superceeded by 4.4

WinBoard 4.3 is a WinBoard version developed independently from the original GNU-Savannah project administrated
by Tim Mann. It has many add-ons, mainly in the area of user interface, improved rule knowledge (castling, e.p. rights),
adjudication in engine-engine games, and improved variant support. WinBoard 4.3 is a direct descendant of Allessandro
Scotti's WinBoard_x, which again was derived from WinBoard 4.2.7, the last version released by Tim Mann's team.

Image

WinBoard 4.3.14 with separate engine-output, move-history and eval-graph windows

Downloads

From here you will be able to download various WinBoard / xboard packages. The links below directly point
to the various downloads; The WinBoard Gold Pack should be unpacked inside the folder where you normally
store all your engine folders. The executable packages contain shortcuts to start up WinBoard, which you could
move to your desktop. No other install is needed.

WinBoard 4.3.15 Gold Pack (2.3 MB)
Windows executables of WinBoard 4.3.15, Polyglot 1.5w and PSWBTM 2.0 plus two pre-installed
demo engines (Fairy-Max as WB, CPW as UCI engine), plus a Polyglot Opening book, all ready
to use after unzipping.
bug-fixes: Polyglot 7-jan-09, WinBoard 14-jan-09.
For the new polyglot.exe only, see below in the Polyglot chapter


WinBoard 4.3.15m executable
Bug-fix of the winboard.exe originally included in the Gold Pack (per 14-jan-2009)

WinBoard 4.3.14 executable
Windows executable, plus Fairy-Max demo engine, ready to use after unzipping.

xboard 4.3.14 executable
Linux executable (Ubuntu/hardy), plus Fairy-Max demo engine, ready to use (tar archive).
(Preliminary release! Will be supplemented with some more support files later.)

WinBoard/xboard 4.3.14 source files
Complete (zipped) source tree, including all bitmaps, for WinBoard and xboard.

WinBoard/xboard 4.3.15 source files (2.9 MB)
Complete (zipped) source tree, including all bitmaps, for WinBoard and xboard.

Polyglot

WinBoard 4.3 does have provisions (inherited from WinBoard_x) for automatically invoking Polyglot
for running UCI engines. A version of Polyglot that does not need the cygwin1.dll can be found
on Fonzy's website. The direct download link is:

Polyglot 1.4 Windows zipped executable

Bug-fixed (7-jan-2009) Polyglot 1.5w executable

A newer Polyglot version, relaying the new WinBoard commands for setting hash size, Nalimov path and nr of CPUs
is included in the WinBoard Gold Pack for Windows. The sourcs for this version can be obtained from:

Polyglot 1.5 source code

from which a Linux version can be compiled.

Tournament Manager

WinBoard is a Graphical User Interface to conduct a single Chess game or match between two opponents.
WinBoard can be used for playing the games in tournaments with more than two engines, (gauntlets or
round-robins) through the use of a Tournament Manager. An easy-to-use WinBoard tournament manager
is Pradu Kannan's PSWBTM. The executable of PSWBTM is included in the WinBoard Gold Pack, but can also
be obtained from here:

PSWBTM Download link

PSWBTM home page

Image

WinBoard as Crazyhouse GUI, with drag-and-drop holdings, and distinguishable promoted pieces

More Information

WinBoard 4.3 supports many variants with deviating board format or pieces, as can be seen in the
screen shots on H.G.Muller's website. Engine authors that want to be able to run their engines under
WinBoard 4.3, should take a careful look at the updated description of the WinBoard protocol description,
which specifies how the engine should communicate with WinBoard. The protocol for WinBoard 4.3
is not different from that of WinBoard 4.2.7, but the updated document details behavior of
WinBoard 4.3 in reaction to the various commands, and explains how you could use some new features.

Discussion Forum

You are invited to participate in the discussion on how to improve WinBoard, and develop
WinBoard protocol further. Bugs can also be reported in the WinBoard forum,
where the message you are now reading is one of the postings. There are usually also a lot of friendly
people around in this forum, that might be able to help you with problmes and questions on WinBoard,
and WinBoard-compatible Chess engines.

Image

WinBoard used as game viewer, with a separate game-list window

Notes on xboard 4.3.14

Startng from WinBoard 4.3.14 there is again an xboard version supplied. This xboard uses the same back-end
source files as WinBoard 4.3.14, many, but not all of the modifications in the front-end (i.e. those pertaining
to the user interface, such as menus, looks and auxilary windows) have been added in xboard.4.3.15
Other new WinBoard 4.3 back-end features can already be used through command-line options,
though. We hope to narrow the development gap between xboard and WinBoard in future releases.

Image

xboard 4.3.14 in Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) mode

Chess Fonts

As mentioned above, the WinBoard look can be adjusted with bitmaps defining the board texture,
and a Chess font defining the pieces. Many suitable Chess fonts can be found at the EN PASSANT website.
Some nice textures can be found at the Winboard_x website.

Image

WinBoard (board size "small") with pieces derived from
the "Chess Mark" font, and a wooden board texture
-------------------------------------------page 4--
 
WinBoard / XBoard 4.5.3

WinBoard 4.5 is the follow-up line of WinBoard 4.4, which ended with version 4.4.4. A special version is available for visually impaired people, for working with the JAWS screen reader, but for now the old 4.5.2 is the latest JAWS version available. (See the post below or click here to get there.) WinBoard 4.5.3 is a bugfix release, i.e. apart from fixing bugs that were discovered, it is the same as 4.5.2.

Image

WinBoard 4.5 contains many new features compared to version 4.4.x. WinBoard 4.5 can be downloaded as an installer package from here. This installer contains all essential support programs, such as Polyglot and PSWBTM, pre-installed and ready to run. In this respect it is similar to the WinBoard 4.3 Gold Pack. It contains two demo engines, a native WinBoard engine (Fairy-Max 4.8) and a UCI engine (Fruit 2.1). The 4.5.3 installer also contains adapters for running Xiangqi UCI and UCCI engines, and Shogi USI engines, and optional engines for these and other Chess variants.

There also exist various experimental WinBoard versions. The 4.5-TM version is what probably will become the next stable version, which we are preparing for a release as 4.6.0. Compared to 4.5 it contains many enhancements, including a built-in tournament managers, on-the-fly engine loading, and the posibility to search a loaded PGN file for a specific position.

Download WinBoard 4.5.3 installer (2.9MB)
Download WinBoard 4.5.3 executable + master ini file (500 kB)
Download experimental WinBoard executable (500 kB), (with support for some non-Chesslike games, such as Checkers and Amazons, see here).
Download installer with WinBoard 4.6.0 beta version (currently still called 4.5-TM), with experimental built-in tournament manager (2.3MB)
Download XQ installer pack (2 MB), (A beta version of 4.6.0 installer configured for users only interested in Xiangqi.)
WinBoard 4.4 downloads.

This installer also contains optional sections for using WinBoard as a Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) GUI, and engines for Shogi (Japanese Chess), and for general Chess Variant afficionados. For more information about the Xiangqi capabilities of WinBoard, look here. The variants section provides engines for in total more than 20 widely different Chess Variants (most of them through the Fairy-Max and Pulsar engines), ranging from Chess960 and Gothic Chess to Crazyhouse, Losers and Atomic. For the exact rules of these games, see http://www.chessvariants.org .

The source code for WinBord 4.5.3 and previous versions can be obtained from the GNU website. Use the tar ball that is tagged 4.5.3 (xboard-4.5.3.tar.gz). Most unzippers should understand this format (e.g. 7Zip).

What is New?

An eleborate description of the new features can be found on the GNU web pages. Special mention deserve the fact that every user now has his own settings (winboard.ini) file, the ability to walk variation trees and engine PV, and ICS improvements like a seek graph and a dual-board display for bughouse.

Image

The differences between 4.5.3 and 4.5.2 are tiny. A complete overview of all bugfixes can be found on the GNU website. In the package there now is an (optional) Dutch language file. Note that the UCI support built in this WinBoard version can only be fully exploited with Michel van den Bergh's recent Polyglot versions (which are of course included in the 4.5.3 installer pack). These can be obtained as source, Windows and Linux binaries from:

Polyglot downloads

XBoard 4.5.3

Version 4.5.3 also includes a new XBoard. This of course supports all the new back-end features. The 4.5.x series also implements several command-line options that were already avaiable in WinBoard, but (for no good reason) not in XBoard. XBoard 4.5.x has persistent settings, like WinBoard, and an evaluation-graph window. XBoard 4.5.3 will be available from Debian and Ubuntu repositories. A Debian package should also be available from the GNU XBoard home page. People using other Unix / Linux distributions can install from souce. The sources are kept at the GNU XBoard home page.

WinBoard / XBoard source code

Image
XBoard 4.5.2 new Board Options menu dialog
hgm
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Aug 2009, 19:21

Re: WinBoard 4.5 downloads

Postby hgm » 15 Jul 2011, 17:07

WinBoard 4.5 for JAWS

A screen reader is a tool to help blind people use a computer by reading out loud information that is in the display. There is a specially adapted version of WinBoard 4.5 available for use with a screen reader. This version can be controlled completely from the keyboard, as blind people cannot use a pointing device like a mouse. It is equipped with a special menu (and accelerator keys to activate the items in it) to have the screen reader recite the position of pieces on the board, the last move made by the opponent, (which is also announced spontaneously), etcetera.

Originally this accessible Chess program could only work with the JAWS screen reader marketed by Freedom Scientific, (see below), hence it was named WinBoard for JAWS. But since September 2011 it also supports the open-source N V D A screen reader, and would automatically choose between the two depending on whether it detected N V D A was running on your system or not.

WinBoard 4.5 for JAWS has all the functionality of WinBoard 4.5.2, and will enable blind people to access and analyze Chess games in P G N files, play Chess on an Internet Chess Server such as FICS, or play against a Chess engine. New compared to version 4.4 is that its menus and dialogs can now be translated into various languages other than English (available are Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch and Russian, although not all of these translations also cover the explicitly spoken text).

WinBoard 4.5 for JAWS can be installed from the WinBoard forum with Fruit 2.1 as optional demo Chess engine, by clicking the link below.

Install WinBoard 4.5 for JAWS (1,527,994 bytes)

Some people have experienced problems downloading the file. If your system complains that the file is incomplete or damaged, check the size of what you downloaded. If necessary, choose "Save" in stead of "Open" from the download dialog initially, so that the file is saved, and then open it later. If its size is not 1,527,994 bytes, the download must have been interrupted, and you should try again.

JAWS

JAWS is a screen reader, which is a tool to help blind people use a computer by reading out loud information that is in the display. It is marketed by Freedom Scientific, and a demo version of JAWS is available from their website.

JAWS Home Page

N V D A

N V D A is a free, open source screen reader for Windows, and is available from the N V D A project page.

Thanks to all this great people and an special thanks to Tim Mann from where I get this information to enrich my online library