Non-standard piece bitmaps or fonts

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Non-standard piece bitmaps or fonts

Postby Erwacht » 19 Jan 2022, 08:24

Let me just start off saying, since this is my first post on this whole forum, how grateful I am to H. G. Muller and everyone else for WinBoard and the features and the continued support. I have tried several times to look at and try out every other free alternative, hoping to replace WinBoard with something better for routine use, and I have failed every time. Despite WinBoard 4.8.0 being ten years old, and all my frustrations with it sometimes, everything else is still missing key features I need, down to really obvious things sometimes. I have a list as long as my arm that I'd like to communicate to the developers of Cute Chess sometime, just from about a day of use, of what that program needs just to be fit for routine use the way WinBoard is. I had a problem recently with WinBoard that I thought was insurmountable and thought that I'd have to switch to Cute Chess. But the list of things Cute Chess couldn't do mounted higher and higher, and before I got around to asking the developers and users about the things wrong with Cute Chess, I figured out what I was doing wrong with WinBoard. Ninety percent of all the details of behavior seem to be an option somewhere in WinBoard, and that design philosophy is the right approach. Let the user decide.

So thank you very much. Between WinBoard and the protocol and Fairy-Max, you're a computer chess legend.

Alright. A question that begins with another positive. The default chess set in WinBoard is simply the best-looking digital font for the standard pieces that I guess there is. Most chess fonts are downright painful to look at for some reason. Chess Merida is just the best somehow, and WinBoard pretty much copies it when it comes to the standard pieces in its internal bitmap image pieces.

But the glyphs that WinBoard uses for archbishop and chancellor in Capablanca chess are unrecognizable. I've never seen these symbols before. I've had Fairy-Stockfish playing itself at Capablanca chess, and nothing in me is ever going to get used to seeing two sheriff's badges jumping around the board (as the chancellors). I'm used to the knight on bishop “footing” for the archbishop and the knight on “rook footing” for the chancellor, and I'd like to see that. There are chess font with those designs, but the pieces are all ugly again, and I can't take that. Does someone have a simple extension of Chess Merida with such archbishop and chancellor pieces in the same style? I've see images here or there in the Chess Merida style, but I can't find a font for it.
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Re: Non-standard piece bitmaps or fonts

Postby Roland Chastain » 19 Jan 2022, 12:44

Hello. For Capablanca chess there are also the pictures made by Reinhard Scharnagl and used in his SMIRF FullChess FEN editor.

There is a download link on this page: ... ngine_list

I don't know whether the pictures could directly be used in WinBoard.
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Re: Non-standard piece bitmaps or fonts

Postby H.G.Muller » 14 Feb 2022, 12:49

There are no standard symbols for non-orthodox pieces. The Archbishop glyph WinBoard uses by default in Capablanca Chess is the one used by Reinhard Scharnagl's program SMIRF (which was one of the first interfaces to support Capablanca Chess). SMIRF used an image for Chancellor (a kind of horse shoe + stirrups) that I did not like much, so I settled on the sherriff's star because the piece is also known as Marshall. In Gothic Chess the Archbishop is represented as a flattened mitre, and the Chancellor as the knight on rook footing.

You are probably referring to the font used in Wikipedia. I forgot its name, but I doubt it is available as a TTF font that can be used by WinBoard in font-based rendering mode. WinBoard can use external bitmaps, but these are rather cumbersome to make. You would need three bitmaps for each piece, indicating (white) background, outline (for white pieces) and solid (for black pieces). The latest WinBoard beta version can also use external 32-bit bitmaps with alpha channel. But I could not even create those with MS-paint.
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