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ChessVA computer program
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Sam Trenholme wrote on 2004-07-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Greg, <p> Thank you for making this excellent program available, and under an open-source license. It has been annoying struggling to get Zillions to work under Wine; and Zillions' weakness in the chess opening annoys even a patzer like myself. <p> - Sam

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-07-11 UTC
New version posted. Now also plays Extinction Chess, Berolina Chess, and Kinglet Chess. Also added and corrected numerous little things.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-07-22 UTC
<p>ChessV version 0.4 posted to sourceforge:<br> <a href=''></a></p> <p>Added support for the following games: <ul><li><a href=''>Switching Chess</a></li> <li><a href=''>Cylindrical Chess</a></li> <li><a href=''>Chaturanga</a></li> <li><a href=''>Shatranj</a></li> <li><a href=''>Courier Chess</a></li></ul></p> <p>Added many user-interface features, including changing colors of the board squares and the pieces, and selecting from multiple piece sets. Support for <a href=''>Fergus Duniho's Abstract Graphics Set</a> has been added. Also, settings are automatically stored, and on a game-by-game basis, so if you like to play Chaturnaga on an uncheckered board with old-world pieces, but not other games, it will save it that way automatically. Additionally, right-click on any piece in any game, select properties, and it will give all kinds of information. In addition to a movement chart, it gives statistics for average mobility, average squares attacked, average directions attacked, and average number of safe checks on a board of the given size.</p> <p>Finally, many bugs have been fixed, most importantly the problem with it freezing during computer thinking.</p>

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-07-22 UTC
The last I noticed, ChessV was already using the Alfaerie set before it began to also support my Abstract set.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-07-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This program plays very well, it is a very good challenger!. Thanks Gregory, excellent job. I have seen a litlle detail, after a 3-times repetition playing Switching Chess, the program could not end properly. Why?.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-07-22 UTC
<p>Some known bugs do exist (and perhaps some unknown ones). I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but there is a problem with resetting after a game concludes. You might need to just close the window and start over after each game. I have a list of about ten issues I'm working on before the next release, and this is an important one. Version 0.5 will probably be out in about 5-7 days! <p>And thanks for the bug report; please let me know if I'm not understanding the bug you describe, or if you notice anything else! (The fact that the move list doesn't scroll is also a known problem.)

Anonymous wrote on 2004-07-23 UTC
This may be a silly question, but what are the 'Andromedan Invaders' in the CWDA of this program? How do they work? All I know is that they start with only King, Queen, and 8 pawns...

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-07-23 UTC
<p>The Invaders are just a test army with very bizarre pieces I created just for the purpose of testing different functionality of ChessV. The other pieces probably aren't appearing because they have custom bitmaps I forgot to include in the distribution. <p>I may make an actual army out of them in the future, though. I have had a couple of ideas recently...

Matthew Paul wrote on 2004-07-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for answering my question (I forgot to sign my comment). The pieces don't seem too bizare, actually, the 'Greater Knight' is a very logical piece and seems reasonably powerful. The program is very nice, I can't wait until it can play more variants.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-07-28 UTC
<p><b>ChessV 0.5 released</b>. This is mostly a maintenance release, but it does fix several important bugs. A couple of nasty bugs were allowing illegal moves to be made under strange situations. The move list now scrolls. Restarting games should also work correctly now in all cases (I hope.)</p> <p>The only new variants added in this release are Archchess (historical) and Polymorph Chess, which is a new game I just invented. I will be uploading a page shortly, but basically it's normal Chess, but you can transform a Bishop into a Knight or a Knight into a Bishop instead of making a move. I also added Switching Chess variant João Pedro Neto suggested, disallowing switching of royal pieces.</p> <p>Enjoy!</p>

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-08-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
How difficult should be the implementation of Grand Chess as a variant in CHESS V -?. This variant is widely played around the world (The number of fans is not very large, of course, but it is not so little, I can say it is perhaps the most played large variant of Chess, apart from some classic regional variants).

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-08-03 UTC
<p>Thank you for the query! Actually, Grand Chess is quite easy to implement, and I've got it about 75% done! I hope it will be in version 0.6, but I am waiting for permission. I have e-mailed Christian Freeling, but have not received a response yet (I only mailed him earlier today ...)</p> <p>I also hope to have support for Omega Chess in the next version; I've already written the code for the extra 'hanging squares' on the corners. I contacted them for permission yesterday, and haven't heard from them yet, either.</p> <p>On the other hand, Gothic Chess will probably NOT be supported, ever, unless the patent is found to be invalid (which by all rights it should.) Please don't ask why I don't license it; it's too long a story ...</p> <p>Also, everyone may feel free to request variants! Most variants I can slap in pretty darn quickly. Only a couple of things that are problematic: (1) No support for hexagonal or circular boards YET, but that is comming by version 1.0 at the latest; (2) No support for 3-D or multiple boards, and not planned for version 1; (3) No support for wierd turn-orders like doublemove chess and unlikely in version 1; (4) games with drops (like shogi) could be supported fairly easily, but the level of play would be much lower than the other games; maybe not even any better than Zillions (at least not without a lot of work.)</p>

Peter Aronson wrote on 2004-08-03 UTC
It might be nice to add some of the Ultima family of games, such as <a href='../other.dir/ultima.html'>Ultima</a> itself, or <a href='../other.dir/rococo.html'>Rococo</a> or <a href='../dpieces.dir/maxima/maxima.html'>Maxima</a> or <a href='../other.dir/fugue.html'>Fugue</a>, since Zillions doesn't play them particularly well. <p> <hr> <p> As an aside, you can assume that you have permission to add any of my games.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-08-04 UTC
<P>Ahhh ... Ultima! I was afraid someone was going to ask for that! :)</P> <p>Actually, there's no technical reason that Ultima can't be implemented, but it would take somewhat more time than a normal variant, because I have to teach it about: withdraw capture, pinching capture, coordination, etc. Still not tooo bad. There is another problem, though ...</p> <p>Unlike Zillions, when I add a game, I need to not only teach it the rules, but I also specify quite a bit of information about how pieces and board positions should be evaluated. This is the primary reason why ChessV plays more intelligently. Unfortunately, I'm but an average Chess player, and probably below average at variants. Thus, to make ChessV play <i>really</i> well, I will need strategical help from more experienced members of the community. In the case of Ultima, I don't even have a guess at the most basic things, like what the pieces should be worth. If anyone has any ideas on this, please post them on the <a href=''>Ultima page</a>.</p> <p>P.S. Thank you for the blanket permission; that makes life much easier!</p>

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-08-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Ultima and variants!, that should be great!. I think Ultima must be the first of the family to be implemented, and progressively it would be much more easy the insertion of excellent variants like Rococo, Maxima and Fugue. I think I´m not an expert, but I´m an (more or less) experienced Ultima player, and I can give you a hand about evaluations, openings and tactics (well, I repeat, I´m not an expert, but some things about that is better than nothing). I suppose you are going to need some time for making the skeleton of the game, when ready, you can e-mail me or add a comment, and I´m going to give you a hand on it.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-08-04 UTC
You have permission to add any of my games and graphics!

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-08-29 UTC
<h4>ChessV 0.6 released</h4> <p>Added support for: <ul> <li><a href='/large.dir/freeling.html'>Grand Chess</a></li> <li><a href='/large.dir/janus.html'>Janus Chess</a></li> <li><a href='/large.dir/unicorn.html'>Unicorn Chess</a> and <a href=''>Unicorn Great Chess</a> </ul></p><p>Also supports <a href='/large.dir/chess-with-ultima.html'>Chess with Ultima, Rococo and Supremo Pieces</a> with the following pieces: <a href='/piececlopedia.dir/withdrawer.html'>Withdrawer</a>, <a href='/piececlopedia.dir/advancer.html'>Advancer</a>, <a href='/piececlopedia.dir/coordinator.html'>Coordinator</a>, and the <a href='/piececlopedia.dir/longleaper.html'>Long Leaper</a>. Full Ultima support isn't too far away now, and should be available in the next version.</p><p>This version also includes many small feature and user-interface improvements, and many, many bug fixes. <a href=''>Download from here</a>.</p>

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-08-31 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This excellent program is growing fast, I have tested Grand Chess and Chess
with Ultima and Rococo pieces, 10 seconds of time for the computer
(Advancer Chess, Long Leaper Chess) yesterday night, and I enjoyed it a
lot. I have lost my two Chess-With-Ultima games, but I won in my
Grand-Chess game, in a very nice and difficult end of game.
Congratulations, Gregory!, this is a great program!. I want to see how it
plays Ultima, when ready, I expect soon!. For a while, it plays
Chess-with-Ultima and Rococo pieces very well, at least for me, perhaps
I´m not very strong playing these variants, the computer won without great
effort, regardless I used the 'take-back' trick a few times, after
clearly weak moves I made. This afternoon I am going to test some other
new variant added. I like ChessV !.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-08-31 UTC
Thank you, Robert.  

Actually, there is something that you (and others) can do to help.  If you
beat it (as you did in Grand Chess), and if it's obvious how you did it,
that information could be helpful to me.  It should be possible to tweak
the evaluation function to fix strategical weaknesses, provided we can
identify those weaknesses.  A save-game file could be helpful to me, too.

Of course, I realise that often a win is achieved by staying slightly
ahead throughout the game, and not by exploiting some weakness, but if you
(or anyone else) does identify some specific weakness, I would like to
know about it!  In any event, if anyone beats ChessV in a game in which it
is able to calculate to a reasonable depth (depending on time and speed of
your computer), I would appreciate it if you could e-mail the save-game
file to me!

Jaap van der Vrek wrote on 2004-09-28 UTC
ChessV seems weak or buggy I think so. Sorry for my English is not all too goodly but software is lost 7 games of 8 and other one I quit because boring to me.

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-09-28 UTC
Thank you for your feedback, and I sincerely do appreciate it.  May I ask
which game you were playing?  ChessV is better at some games than others. 
It would also help me if you could tell me which operating system you use. 
I seem to have problems with Windows 98/ME that I don't have with 2000/XP.
 Also, save-game files of any game in which you win are helpful.

Thanks again!  If you are having problems with bugs, please wait for a
couple of new versions.  I am about to stop adding new games, and
concentrating on fixing all bugs.  When I feel it is a stable as possible,
I will release version 1.0

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-09-28 UTC
ChessV plays decently many variants, but it should seem relatively weak for some very strong chess players when the selected game is, precisely, Chess. Subjectively, I think Chess V, 10 seconds per move in Pentium4 2.1 GHz, plays with ELO around 2000-2100, it is good for many players, including me, but it may be considered relatively weak by a few others. If you are one of these people, you can try the last version of Fritz, or perhaps the ultimate Chessmaster version may appear not so weak for you.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-09-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
What about ULTIMA?. I´m a bit anxious to see it in Chess V

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-09-29 UTC
Sorry for the delay, Roberto, I've been distracted by a couple of things
...  I will have version 0.7, Ultima-enabled, posted either late this
evening, or tomorrow.  Of course, I'll make a post here when it's up.

Thanks for your continued interest!

Greg Strong wrote on 2004-10-03 UTC
<h3>ChessV 0.7 Released</h3> <p>Adds support for the following games:<ul><li><a href='/other.dir/ultima.html'>Ultima</a></li><li><a href='/large.dir/grotesque.html'>Grotesque Chess</a></li><li><a href=''>Lions and Unicorns Chess</a></li></ul></p> <p>Enhances <a href='/large.dir/chess-with-ultima.html'>Chess with Ultima, Rococo and Supremo Pieces</a> by adding support for <a href='/piececlopedia.dir/immobilizer.html'>the Immobilizer</a>, the Swapper, <a href='/piececlopedia.dir/pushmepullyu.html'>the Pushme-Pullyu</a>, and the Mimotaur.</p> <p>Also added support for couple of small features, and numerous bug fixes.<br><a href=''>Download from here</a><br>Enjoy!</p>

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