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Subject: rec.games.chess.computer FAQ [3/3]

This article was archived around: 4 Nov 1995 15:02:22 GMT

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Archive-Name: games/chess/computer/part3
Chess FAQ rec.games.chess.computer FAQ part 3/3 --------------------------------------- This FAQ list may be obtained via anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu under /pub/usenet/news.answers/games/chesscom/part1. Or, send email to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with: 'send usenet/news.answers/games/chess/computer/part1' in the body of the message, leaving the subject line empty. Repeat and substitute for parts 2 and 3. These files are also available at my web site: "http://www.clark.net/pub/pribut/chess.html" --------------------------------------- Part 3 [12] Chess-Playing Software [13] Database Software Miscellaneous [14] Common Acronyms [15] Biographical Info, Stories, Trivia (under construction) [16] Disclaimer and Copyright Notice Subject: [12] Chess-Playing Software This area is undergoing major revision. Hopefully, enhanced reviews will appear shortly. The strength of chess-playing software is highly dependent on the hardware it runs on (all software discussed is for MS-DOS; programs available for MacOS are noted). Here is a method to approximate the strength differences for the same software running on different hardware (source: _Computer Chess Reports_). Computer Chess Reports now analyzes its software on a 486/66 or 486/50. The 486 machines are expected to have a 256K cache, 386 a 64K cache and 386 sx no cache. Please note, most new, stronger programs require a 386 or faster to run. The following table to adjust ratings, appeared in the Volume 5, number 1 issue and was compiled by IM Larry Kaufman: Processor Adjustment Pentium 90 MHz +65 Pentium 66 +50 Pentium 60 +40 486 DX 50(DX2-66) 0 486 DX4 100 MHz +20 486 DX2 50 MHz -25 486 DX/SX 33 -35 486 DX/SX 25 -60 486 SX 20 -80 386 DX 40 -80 386 DX 33 -95 386 DX 25 -120 386 SX 25 -140 386 SX 20 -160 386 SX 16 -180 286 16 MHz -180 286 12 MHz -205 286 10 MHz -245 286 8 MHz -265 8088 10 MHz -320 8088 8 MHz -340 8088 4.77 MHz -385 Processor "Chess MIP's" 8088 Speed in MHz divided by 19 80286, 1 wait state Speed in MHz divided by 8 80286, 0 wait states Speed in MHz divided by 6 80386, no cache memory Speed in MHz divided by 6 80386 with cache Speed in MHz divided by 4.7 80486 Speed in MHz divided by 2.3 (Note that math coprocessors--used before the 486--don't change the speed, since chess programs don't use floating point arithmetic at all.) Now, if a program has a given rating on a 1 (Chess) MIP machine, this is how to adjust the rating for other MIP's (interpolate between points): MIP: 0.25 0.5 1 1.5 2 3 4 6 8 12 16 24 32 48 64 Adj.: -180 -87 0 47 80 124 154 195 223 261 287 323 347 379 402 For example, a program running on a 10 MHz 8088 (0.5 MIP's and -87 points) will be about 272 USCF rating points weaker than the same program running on a 33 MHz 80386 (no cache: 5.5 MIP's and +185 points). Chess Genius 3.0: by Richard Lang. 386 Assembler language. Requires 386 or faster. copy protected 3 installs. Can read Chesssbase data. EPD files. Displays opening names. Moves can be displayed in figurine notation. Autoload user opening books depending on move chosen. Can process EPD file and add evaluations and analysis lines to each position. In August 94, Genius 3 beat Kasparov in a 2 game match - the first Computer ever to defeat a player of his status in a serious non-blitz match (25 minutes per game). It also beat GM Nikolic in the same tournament, achieving a 2795 ELO rating for its performance in that tournament, running on a 100Mhz Pentium computer. Hiarcs 3.0. 386 or faster. EGA, VGA, XGA. 640 K Ram. copy protected. 3 installs. Runs from hard disk or floppy. Processes EPD/FEN files. Can import/export PGN notation. Languages: English, German, French, Spanish. Compatable with Chess 232 board. Endgame knowledge includes: mate with bishop and knight, exact king and pawn knowledge. king and queen vs. king and pawn on 7th rank, wrong color bishop and rook pawn endings. Opposite color bishop endings. M-Chess Pro 4.0 ~2520 by Marty Hirsch, San Rafael, California. 386 or faster. Dos 5 or higher. 640 Kb RAM. VGA. 3 meg hard disk space. Copy protected. 3 installs. Interface for external Auto-sensory ChessBoard (Chess 232). According to Computer Chess Reports was expected to have an improved endgame and evaluation function. Improved database capacity. Supports pgn databases, up to 250,000 games per file. 150,000 EPD positions per file. Opening book 350,000 moves. Transpostions are noted. MChess Pro 3.5 ~2500 by Marty Hirsch, San Rafael, California Runs on a 386, 2 meg RAM. VGA, 3 meg of hard disk required. Opening book is 250,000 positions. Next best move option. User-programmable opening books. Up to 10 megabyte RAM hashtable can be used. Copy protected, 3 installs. MChess 1.1 - 1.72 2400 by Marty Hirsch DM 180 Rebel 6.0 386 or faster. VGA. 2MB RAM. 1.5 mb hard drive space. copy protected 3 installs. 3 playing strength levels. 16mb hash table available. Languages available: German, Dutch, English. Rebel 7.0 Now available. Functional Rebel Decade is available at the Upitt site under utilities for some unknown reason. Zarkov 2.6 2350 by John Stanback / Chess Laboratories Interfacing to the chess database software Bookup. Supersedes Zarkov 2.5 (USCF 2280) by John Stanback. Best analyzation features. DM 135 ChessChampion 2175 2340 by Chris Whittington Program uses Shannon B strategy, not brute force like all the others. Supersedes ChessPlayer by Chris Whittington. DM 115 KnightStalker II ~2300 by Frans Morsch / ChessBase Interfacing to the chess database software ChessBase. Program can be used as background-evaluator while working with ChessBase 4.0. It can read ChessBase libraries. DM 178 Supersedes KnightStalker I (USCF 2260, DM 99) by ChessBase. Grandmaster Chess 2300 by John Stanback / Capstone Mass market version of Zarkov 2.55 with pull-down menus and fancier graphics (2d and 3d board), but is missing some of Zarkov2.6's features such as generating multiple candidate moves when analyzing games, annotations, generating PCX or WPG chess diagrams, interfacing to Bookup7 etc. DM 110 Rexchess 2.30 2290 by Larry Kaufman DM 99. Will be superseded by TitanChess by Larry Kaufman, which is expected to come out Dec 92. - Heuristic Alpha by Larry Kaufman Written for 8086er and 80286er in C. Selled to Electronic Arts. Expected to come out spring 93. - Sokrates by Larry Kaufman Written for 80386er and 80486er in Assembler. Hasn't found any publisher up to now. Psion 2 2290 by Richard Lang / Psion Ltd. Supersedes Psion 1 (USCF 2140) by Psion Ltd. Program of Mephisto Amsterdam, recompiled for IBM PC. CheckCheck by Wolfgang Delmare / Digital Concepts German but completely self-explaining (mouse/buttons/icons). Full version contains complete database of four-piece-finishings. That needs 16 Mb on the hard disk. DM 99 without database or DM 168 for full version. VGA only Chessmaster 4000 (2304 ELO) by Software Toolworks <mscape@aol.com> No copy protection. No limited number of installs. Auto annotation. CD ROM version for windows available. Approximately $40. Incredibly good cost to game quality ratio! CD Rom Version has larger library of annotated games and Karpov (voice) discussing several of his games - you can here him moving pieces in the background. Approximately $40. Incredibly good cost to game quality ratio! Chessmaster 5000 by springtime, 1996. Features expected include a link to Bookup for analysis and ChessAssistant via epd files. The game quality is expected to improve - but a rating of 2304 will beat most of us anyway. If you think you are beating chessmaster 4000 easily and have only recently started to play - check the level and time you are allowing for thought and make sure deep thinking is on. You may reach the CM5000 team at: cjustiniano@mindscape.com. Sargon V ~2100? by Dan and Kathy Spracklen / Activision DM 115. Supersedes Sargon IV by Spinnaker. Colossus Chess X 2090 DM 50 BattleChess by Interplay Very weak program with the most entertaining graphics. DM 50 A windows version of BattleChess is marketed as well for DM 110. Little trap: BattleChess II isn't a chess but a chinese chess program. WChess by David Kittinger. VGA. 600K disk space. 2 megabytes of RAM minimum. 8 recommended. 386 processor. Hard drive required. Copy protected 2 or 3 installations. Game file of Harvard Cup inluded. Games of Bobby Fischer. Has file demonstrating how WChess learns from its games. Test position file of Larry Kaufman included. Can run in MSDos window of windows. Next best move for multiple moves. Will operate with Chess 232 (external Chess Board). Available for MacOS: Chessmaster 3000 & 2100, Sargon IV (V due soon), BattleChess and CheckMate. Available for the Amiga: Chessmaster 2000 and 2100, Sargon III and IV, Chessplayer 2150 and Chess Champion 2175, BattleChess and CheckMate, ChessMate, The Art of Chess, Colossus Chess and the ChessMachine. Gnuchess is a freely available chess-playing software program (see [18]). Its strength varies widely based on the machine for which it's compiled. Subject: [13] Database Software Chess databases store games and information about games, and can manipulate and recall that information in a variety of ways. The "big four" of chess databases are Chess Assistant, ChessBase, NICBase, and Bookup. You can purchase data disks for each of these databases. NICBase and ChessBase are game-oriented,Chess Assistant is position or tree oriented and Bookup is opening-oriented. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. A good (but dated) review of these programs was written by Eric Schiller and appeared in the Sept. 1990 _Chess Life_. A more current review was written for the APCT, and Jon Edwards has volunteered his e-mail address for information: jedwards@phoenix.princeton.edu. At this time, I believe each of these programs can interface with Fritz, Zarkov, HIARCS, and Chess Genius. A saved postion can even be retrieved by ChessMaster 4000. A saved postion (epd format) can even be retrieved by ChessMaster 4000. The next version of ChessMaste 5000 is expected to be able to have a closer integration with the database software. Reviews will be incorporated and expanded here as I more fully evaluate the programs. Chessbase for Windows Chess Assistant now have an expanded review and improved coverage. Deja Vu, Bookup, Nicbase and others will follow, as available. Sincere thanks to both ICS and ChessBase USA for making their programs available for evaluation. Bookup from Chess Laboratories, Bookup, Inc. 2763 Kensington Place West, Columbus, Ohio 43202 (800-949-5445). Version 8.5 is now available for $149. Version 2.5.1 for MacOS costs $99. Online demo is available at caissa.onenet.net. This demo may read any version 8 database and includes a subset of the e4 openings. Definitely look at the demo and sample data on ICS. Opening study books are also available. Books on disk include The Scheveningen Sicilian, London System, Samisch Seminar, Open Game, Classical Ruy, Smith-Morra, and the Closed Game. Books on disk are priced from $25- $29 The opening books are directed at a varied audience from club player to that which would be suitable for a grandmaster's opening repertoire. Annotations are geared to the level at which the specific book is directed. Hundreds of books-on-disk are available commercially from companies such as Chessworks Unlimited 1-800-700-1242 (info@chessworks.com) and http://www.chessworks.com. Chessworks Unlimited has demos of their products at ftp.chessworks.com. DixonData (614-890-4140) is another supplier of compatable educational material. More information is available free by sending a note to bookup@bronze.coil.com or by calling or emailing one's postal address. ChessAssistant 1.4 (MS-DOS); $195. Free conversion utilities for PGN, NICBase, ChessBase formats. Free functional demo available. The demo works on up to 250 games. Get the demo! This functional demo will give you an idea of the power of this program. It is available directly from ICS, Seattle, Washington and is also found online at caissa.onenet.net. The online name is capgn.exe. (550,000k+of selfextracting file). International Chess Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 19457 Seattle, WA 98109 1-800-26-CHESS or 206-448-1066. 5,000 games included in basic. One of the outstanding features is the "tree", from which all of the paths leading into and out of a particular board position are displayed. The percentages wins for white, draws, wins for black are displayed for each move , and the same statistics may be toggled on for that particular board position. Header and position searches. Easy easy to use, the interface and menu is quite intuitive. When entering your own games, a move guessing algorithm is used by CA and is extremely helpful. May be linked to Zarkov, Chess Genius, Fritz or HIARCS for analyis assistance. 1995 subscription 12,000 games sent every 2 months $150. 350,000 games on CDROM $250. This is truely an amazingly large number of games. Annotated Game Collections: include CA-Light Ruy Lopez (Spanish), Sicilian Chelyabinsk (...e5, Lasker/Pelikan), King's Indian Averbakh, Sicilian Rossolimo - $15 each. Toll free support is available 5 days per week. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at: "http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca" . ChessBase 4.0 (MS-DOS only); basic $295, deluxe $395, super mega - $595. upgrade from 2.2 $75. ChessBase ACCESS $39.95. ChessBase USA, P.O. Box 133, Hagerstown, MD 21741. 301-733-7541 (orders only: 800-524-3527); fax 301-797-6269. USCF prices: 3.0 $279, ACCESS $37.95. ChessBase 4.0 is out; upgrade from 3.0 is $60-70, Depending on manual. $5 demo disk. ChessBase for Windows (1.1)(Windows 3.1); $295 basic. deluxe $395. Currently there is a special available with the basic ChessBase for Windows: 200,000 games are included at no extra charge. Upgrade from CB 4.0 for DOS is $90. Upgrade from ChessBase for Windows 1.0 approximately $60.00. Analysis module $60. ChessBase USA, P.O. Box 133, Hagerstown, MD 21741. 301-733-7541 (orders only: 800-524-3527); fax 301-797-6269. A demo is available at the Upitt home site in 2 files: <a href="ftp://ftp.pitt.edu/group/chess/CB/cbdemo1.zip"> ChessBase Windows - 1/2</a><br> <a href="ftp://ftp.pitt.edu/group/chess/CB/cbdemo2.zip"> ChessBase Windows - 2/2</a><br> This is the only chess database program currently available to run directly in Microsoft Windows. Note that Windows requires a fast computer. I would recommend a 486 50DX at a minumum, but those with more tolerance for waiting than I could use a slower machine. The quick start manual recommends a minimum of a 486-33, although it will run on a 386. VGA graphics are viewable at 640 x 480 although the manual recommends 800 x 600. (Maybe they have a 17" monitor!). It is an exceptional program and makes full use of the features of windows. Multiple games may be viewed simultaneously, each one may be miniaturized so that 6 or more games may be visible, each with independent controls. The same game may be viewed at different stages. It is easy to edit or add alternate lines and comments, annotations or "?", "!", etc to any game in your database. Just begin using your mouse to enter the moves or click on the appropriate icon to add comments. You do not have to switch to any other submenu area. This is an incredible convenience and an amazing time saver. The game may then be saved either in the original database or an alternate or "training" database. Several games may be combined. If you are studying a particular opening and want to combine 4 or 5 games that exemplify this opening, you may combine them together as alternate lines of each other. Highlight the games, press the enter key and the games will be combined together. ECO type viewing of the lines is available one mouse click away. Searching and sorting on a variety of fields is available. Classification by ECO is one Control-C away. Besides the oridinary position search a feature called "find novelty" features a modified position search which will find games that are similar to the game that you are viewing or have just entered. It will search the currently open database. The printing and publishing features are exceptional, and like other truetype windows printing programs, extremely easy to use. If your windows has already been configured for your printer there is no set up necessary. ChessBase magazine includes approximately 1,000 games every second month, 25% - 50% annotated, along with a section on tactics, endgames, dramatic master errors and an opening study. These may be added to your database choices within CBW. $115. (CBM Express $225 includes CB Magazine and monthly disks totalling 16,000 games per year). Chess Genius: Written in 386 assembler.$149 for Genius 3, or $75 for the Genius 2 to 3 upgrade. Deja Vu Chess Library (Chessworks Unlimited at 1-800-700-1242, or via fax (415) 712-0720 or via Internet (info@chessworks.com or Chessworks@aol.com. $349.00 list price.) <A HREF="http://www.chessworks.com">Chessworks homepage</A>. Deja Vu Chess Library is a CD-rom containing over 350,000 chess games in a FoxPro-based database, including a powerful search engine. It can be used as a standalone research database or in conjunction with most popular playing and chess processing programs. Data is accessible from ChessBase, Chess Assistant, Nicbase, Bookup and others. Macintosh and Windows versions are available. Since this is in a Foxpro based database, Foxpro or Visual Basic or Microsoft Access may also be used to develop your own program or set up features you would like to use. A new version is expected by the end of summer, a discounted upgrade to the new version will be available. Yearly CD database upgrades are expected to be available at less than $100 per year. National Master Eric Schiller designed the database project, which was implemented by John Crayton of J.H. Crayton & Associates. The games supplied on the CD are not annotated. Games can be annotated, if they are on your hard disk rather than the CD, by inserting comments wherever you wish. All fields are editable, including the game itself, which is stored in a Fox Pro memo field. A broad range of games from early excursions by Greco to events of June 1994. Most of the games are from professional chess events, included also are correspondence play (over 17,000) and 10% of the collection is from Open and amateur events. This allows for a diverse database which includes extensive examples of Gambit and unusual line play that is not as frequently seen in GM vs. GM collections. Deja Vu itself will Search by player, event, year, result, number of moves, specific sequences of moves, openings (both ECO codes and by name) and any combination of these (including Boolean searches). Virtually any program that accepts ASCII or PGN import, including ChessBase, Chess Assistant, NICbase, Zarkov, Hiarchs, Kasparov's Gambit, Chessmaster, Chess Genius 3, Gazebo, Bookup. Some programs require a conversion utility for PGN import. Chessworks Unlimited supplies a converter for ChessBase. Exportable data can be produced in the following formats: ASCII, PGN, Kasparov's Gambit, Figurine notation (USCF standard), Bookup and FoxPro/dBase. A CD-rom player, 3 Megs of available hard disk space, and 4 Megs of RAM, with Macintosh or Windows operating systems. You do not require FoxPro, since a runtime version is part of the Deja Vu application. Deja Vu is a game collection, and intended to be used with other programs, not compete with them. The unique aspect of Deja Vu is that the games can be used with almost any program. You can even import them directly into Microsoft Word, Excel or Access. It is a true Windows/Mac program, with copy and paste functions via the clipboard. It does not have at this time have position search/compare features, built-in replay options, or other advanced chess playing functions. It is not copyprotected. A demo is available, which has only the import feature disabled at: ftp.netcom.com in the directory ftp/pub/chesswks/DejaVuDemo NICBase 3.0 (MS-DOS or Atari ST: $195 with 5,000 games; $595 with 50,000 games) & NICTools ($125) from Chess Combination, Inc. P.O. Box 2423 Noble Station, Bridgeport CT 06608-0423. Phone 203-367-1555 or 800-354-4083; fax 203-380-1703; e-mail 70244.1532@compuserve.com (Albert Henderson). Free catalog and sample of _New in Chess_. NICBase 3 demo disk free to users of CompuServe and the Internet. NICBase 3 was reviewed in _Chess Horizons_ Jul/Aug 1992, Canadian _En Passant_ Apr 1992, _California Chess Journal_ Feb/Mar 1992, and USAT _Chess Perspectives_ Nov 1991. Smart Chess, available from 4M Data Systems, Inc. 800-125-3555 162 W. Washington St. Hagerstown, MD 21740 Macintosh Software ------------------------------ Subject: [14] Common Acronyms BIT: 1 unit of infomation. A 0 or 1. BYTE: 8 bits. HASH TABLE: A table read in to memory for lookup. May be used for endgames. K (Kilobyte): 1,024 bytes. MB (Megabyte): 1,024 Kilobytes. MIPS: millions of instructions per second. RAM: Random access memory. RISC: Reduced instruction Set Code. ------------------------------- Subject: [15] Sketches of Computer Software Authors: More authors will be added on a regular basis. Biographical sketches are readily accepted-please email them to me. The Computer Chess Reports was the source of much of the information below. David Kittinger: Author of WChess. Primary programmer of Novag for more than 10 years. His programs on the 6502 chip include The Novag Superconstellation which became the first certified Expert level program by the C.R.A. He then programmed on the 68000 chip, designing the software for the Diablo and Scorpio. He also wrote the software for the Diamond/Sapphire series. PC experience before WChess included Chessmaster 2000. Dave lives in Mobile, Alabama. He also enjoys coaching youth soccer and baseball. Subject: [16] Disclaimer and Copyright Notice The FAQ is compiled and posted by Stephen Pribut at pribut@us.net. Some answers given may reflect personal biases of the author and the chess FAQ listing's contributors. In cases where the answers name specific products and their respective manufacturers, these are not to be taken as endorsements of, nor commercials for, the manufacturer. Where cost information is stated this is based on "street" information, and is in no way binding on the seller. Unless otherwise stated, prices, addresses, and telephone numbers are in United States' terms. The answers contained herein pertain to discussions on the rec.games.chess news group, and are by no means exhaustive. "The rgcc FAQ" is copyrighted 1995. Before reprinting a FAQ article for monetary gain (or major portions of one), please obtain permission from the author of the article. The chess FAQ list owes its existence to the contributors on the net, and as such it belongs to the readers of rec.games.chess. Copies may be made freely, as long as they are distributed at no charge, and the disclaimer and the copyright notice are included. ------------ Stephen M. Pribut pribut@us.net ----------------------------------------------------------