xboard 4.7.1, analysis mode on FICS, suggestion and bug

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xboard 4.7.1, analysis mode on FICS, suggestion and bug

Postby velocidrom » 30 Sep 2013, 16:46

I would like to make a suggestion for the analysis mode when connected to FICS. As of now, one can use the analysis mode only when observing a game (so after having typed "observe playername") and one cannot use the analysis mode when examining a game (typing "examine XX" where XX stands for some number of the game). So the only way to analyse a game that has ended is to login with another account, examine the finished game from it and then use the bot account to observe the guy who is examining the finished game. A bit cumbersome.
So my suggestion would be to enable analysis mode when examining a game on FICS.

A bug I've noticed with xboard 4.7.1 using stockfish chess engine on FICS is "sometimes" (happened twice in fact in the last 2 days) when I analyse a game on FICS, instead of analysis the current position on the board, it's as if it analysed the starting position. So it suggests e4 e6, etc. while these moves are not even legal; so I deduced it's as if it analyses the starting position of the game.
Let me know if you need a log, I'll try to create a log if you give me details on how to do it.

Thanks for any feedback.
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Re: xboard 4.7.1, analysis mode on FICS, suggestion and bug

Postby bodiless » 17 Oct 2013, 11:36

The analysis mode is definitely something that needs improvement. May I add a few more details from my own experience?

I can not start analysis at all when I am examining or observing games (velocidrom, could you please explain how you do it when observing a game?). Steps I follow: Observe a game, open Engine Output Window, Go "Engine/Start New 1st Engine/Crafty". All I get is a "Warning: You are still observing a game"

Also, strangely enough, when I do that I get "Plan line 1 changed to 'Crafty v23.4 (1 cpus)" in the console and my personal notes get overwritten with this line.

I can also confirm the second problem you are mentioning. When I observe a game and instead of doing "Engine/Start New 1st Engine/Crafty" I do "Mode/Analysis Mode" then I get an analysis output on the Engine Output Window but the analysis displayed is for a new game and from the start position. Very weird.
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Re: xboard 4.7.1, analysis mode on FICS, suggestion and bug

Postby H.G.Muller » 17 Oct 2013, 17:56

You can only connect an engine to an ICS if you start XBoard with the option -zp ('zippy play') on the command line. There is no way to switch that on through the menus; if you load an engine while in ICS mode, it will think that you want to play against the engine, not that the engine should connect to the ICS.
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Re: xboard 4.7.1, analysis mode on FICS, suggestion and bug

Postby Josh Pettus » 18 Oct 2013, 05:03

I can see how, while in ICS mode, pressing Machine white/black would logically imply connecting the engine to the ICS for the purpose of playing the engine on said ICS. Perhaps it should go into -zp mode automatically? I can see how that would present problems though with the way winboard/xboard works. And would be equivalent of the engine "on the fly" switching. Not to mention it making it easy for sketchy behavior. :? As oppose to a hidden function that only those serious would look into and find.

But when starting analysis mode while on ICS, why must it disconnect? One would think It should just analyze whats going on in the move history regardless of where it's coming from. Unless this is to safegaurd against cheaters? I could understand that. Though then I guess people could still start a separate xboard/winboard session and copy paste move history.
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