BigChess.xop

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BigChess.xop

Postby chessdrone » 29 Aug 2013, 11:11

Image

Hi H.G
I am trying unsuccessfully to make a shortcut (.XOP) for BigChess variant.

After having followed the thread on talkchess about bigchess. I changed 11 by 17 and compiled winboard.
I can now change for variant 16 x 16

Now I would like to make a shortcut but I get this error.
Code: Select all
---------------------------
Fatal Error
---------------------------
Recompile with BOARD_RANKS or BOARD_FILES, to support this size
---------------------------
OK   
---------------------------


Could you please fix these files below?

BigChess.xop
Code: Select all
;
; Run Shokidoki for mini-Shogi
;
; overrule board dimension and holdings size
;
@BigChess.ini
;
; Set first and second engine to Shokidoki (so we skip start menu)
;
;/cp
;/fcp=NebiyuAlien
;/fd=engines
;/scp=NebiyuAlien
;/sd=engines
;/fSAN
;
; opening book (not included, but exists!)
;

;/firstXBook
;/secondXBook


BigChess.ini
Code: Select all
;
; special settings required for mini-Shogi
;
; overrule board dimension and holdings size
;
/variant=normal
/boardWidth=16
/boardHeight=16
;/holdingsSize=-1

;
; tell WB which pieces can participate (with normal abbreviation)
;

;/pieceToCharTable="P.BR.S...G.+.++.+Kp.br.s...g.+.++.+k"

;
; give file for defining initial position
;
;/loadPositionFile="BigChess.fen"
;
; opening book (not included, but exists!)
;


;
; Since board is so small, use large square size
;
/boardSize=small
/showCoords=true
;/coordFont="Arial:10 bc1"
;/clockFont="Arial:24 bc1"
;/overrideLineGap=-1
;/flipBlack=false
;/allWhite=false
;/whitePieceColor=#ffffcc
;/blackPieceColor=#202020
;/lightSquareColor=#c8c365
;/darkSquareColor=#77a26d
;
;
;
/saveSettingsOnExit=false


I read somewhere that shortly you were going to release a new version, will you include the BigChess Variant?

Greeting
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby H.G.Muller » 29 Aug 2013, 11:51

The problem is that the standard edition of WinBoard is distributed with BOARD_RANKS defined as 11 in common.h, meaning you can have at most 10 ranks (one rank is a dummy used to store castling and e.p. rights). To support Big Chess it would have to be set to 17 (and re-compiled). In the current beta version ( http://hgm.nubati.net/WinBoardICC.zip ) I have done that. The Alien Edition even allows 19 x 19 boards (for Go), and the one that I patched for large Shogi variants even 25 x 25 (for Tai Shogi). BOARD_RANKS was already set to 16 in the standard edition (to allow Courier with holdings; for 'Big Crazyhouse' you would have to set it to 20).

I had no intention adding Big Chess as an independent variant, because it is so easy to configure WinBoard to play it. The only difference with regular Chess is the board size. I want to rethink the handling of pre-defined variants anyway. It would be much better if the engine could define any variant it wants, and that the New Variant dialog would not show a fixed list of variants (some of them grayed out), but would automatically adapt to what the engine plays. If such a non-standard variant was selected, WinBoard would then look to the engine for supplying the 'parent variant', board/holdings size, the pieceToCharTable and start position, through the already existing 'setup' command. I think NebiyuAlien already sends the required setup command, but the WinBoard standard edition ignores the board size and parent variant in it, and only accepts the initial position if legality checking is off, or if the user overruled the board width 'by hand'.

The current standard edition should already respond to the initial setup NebiyuAlien sends if WinBoard asks it to play 16x16+0_normal, even with legality testing on (because of the overruled board width). In older versions you would need legality testing off, and for engines that do not send a setup command you would have to provide the FEN of an initial position in a separate file (bigchess.fen, say). The only things that have to be in the bigchess.ini file (or directly in the bigchess.xop) would then be:

Code: Select all
/boardHeight=16
/boardWidth=16
/loadPositionFile="bigchess.fen"


You could then add @bigchess (which is short for @bigchess.ini) on the line of every engine you want to start in Big Chess. You could add /variant=normal (although this is default; but it could be helpful if you select the engine from the Load Engine dialog while the current variant was something else). There is no real need to suppress saving of the settings on exit, as all these options are volatile options, and would not spoil anything. This was more something I did for Shogi, which (in oriental representation) would thoroughly mess with the settings (flipping the black pieces, coloring them white and using the outline pieces for black). Although now that there is a View->Themes dialog this is comparatively easy to undo as well. You could add /boardSize=small, but that would indeed stick to the next session.

I guess it is better to supply the initial setup through a .fen file than to rely on the engine, because then you could also use the .xop file to start WinBoard without engine as game viewer, without facing an empty board.

You could also make only an .xop file, rather than having it 'inderect' to an ini file, and write @bigchess.xop on the engine line. The only merit of ini files is that WinBoard assumes that as an extension when you omit it. The only merit of .xop is that you can associate it with WinBoard, so that double-clicking it automatically starts WinBoard. (The ini extension is too commonly used to do that.)
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby chessdrone » 29 Aug 2013, 18:46

it works! Thanks a lot H.G.

Image

I packed WinBoard with Nebiyu and configuration file for 16x16 bigchess variant.

Instructions: Unzip in the desired location and run the BigChess.BAT file
Then choose your time control (currently 40 moves / 20 minutes)

Download:
BigChess_WinBoard.7z (546.83KB)

Sources file:
Winboard http://hgm.nubati.net/WinBoardICC.zip http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/xboard/
NEBIYU https://sites.google.com/site/dshawul/


Question:
What /fSAN in the following? And should I add?
Code: Select all
/cp
/fcp=NebiyuAlien
/fd=engines
/scp=NebiyuAlien
/sd=engines
/fSAN
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby H.G.Muller » 29 Aug 2013, 19:30

/fSAN causes WinBoard to convert the PV of the first engine to SAN, before displaying it in the Engine Output window or the message field. This can be reasonably CPU-time consuming, so it should only be used on engines that do not print the PV in SAN themselves. (And it also would delete all non-moves from the PV.)
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby chessdrone » 29 Aug 2013, 21:00

I know now why I was getting the error.

This is because I have different versions of WinBoard installed. And when I double clicked on the file xop, it launched a previous version. I tried to make a shortcut with a relative path link of winboard.exe, but Windows prohibiting this, I then made a BAT file.

Great software!
Thank you for this excellent program that allows us to play many variants of chess and much more.
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby H.G.Muller » 30 Aug 2013, 08:24

Indeed, I noticed this too. When you have various executables of the same name on your system, Windows does not seem to allow you to change the association of file types from one to the other. To make associations to a new version, I first have to rename winboard.exe (e.g. to w2.exe), and only then I can make it appear in the menu dialog for "Open with". Otherwise, if you browse to it, it is simply ignored.
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby chessdrone » 30 Aug 2013, 13:02

Yeah thanks for the tip, I tried "open with" but I did not think to rename winboard.
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Re: BigChess.xop

Postby Desy143 » 15 Nov 2017, 09:05

Very well written information. Keep up the good work. Thanks.
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