Svetlana Tkachenko | 29 Jan 10:59 2015

2 people mode

Strangely I can find machine-white, machine-black, and 2 machines modes, but not a mode without a machine
involved (2 people at 1 computer move pieces in turn). I checked again in a couple hour but I don't see what I
could've missed...


Svetlana Tkachenko

Chris Bannister | 28 Jan 06:41 2015

save position dialog box


I've just noticed an annoying behaviour with Xboard 4.8.0

When I choose save position from the file command, the dialog box that
pops up shows me a list of folders to choose instead of just showing the
list of filenames in the current working directory.

I don't know when this changed, but I'm finding it a damn nuisance that
it doesn't remember the last folder.

It even tries to second guess the fen name I want to save it as! Bloody
nuisance, as I have to alter that also.

I'm running Xboard on Debian Jessie installed via the package manager.

Is it an xboard problem, or something else.

I truly honestly prefer the older behaviour, where I didn't have to jump
through hoops because it used the same directory as last time.


"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people
who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the 
oppressing." --- Malcolm X

enrico tognoni | 26 Jan 15:33 2015

xboard: ICS interaction: i need a tab that navigate in main console window

If i want to see the main window (from ICS Interaction) i have to press 
Alt Tab to set board focus then i have to type some character to have 
back main ICS Interaction window, while to simply press tab would be 
very useful to navigate trough friends, channels or main window.
This would set free mouse to play on board (very useful for blitz or 
lightning games where moving mouse from board is a waste of precious msec).

Im using arch linux xboard
Thanks you very much for xboard/winboard


Svetlana Tkachenko | 25 Jan 10:59 2015

TCP connection (expiry?) with ICS

I leave xboard open and connected to Internet chess server (ICS). After a while, because of what I think is it
not sending any data to server, the connection dies. Due to the way TCP/IP works, the fact that the
connection died is only known to server in some 20-30 minutes.

Is there a way to make xboard do something -- such as, if my understanding above is correct, send some dummy
messages to server every few minutes -- so that I don't encounter the above issue, and can leave xboard
connected to an ICS for days?

H.G. Muller | 20 Jan 15:44 2015

Re: [Bug-XBoard] Accessibilty request.

I looked a bit at XBoard, and it seems the accessibility is awful. I 
recal that someone
was doing a GSOC project on this, but I never heard about it again.

For use by blind people it is essential that everything can be 
controlled from the keyboard.
But XBoard does not even have a way to pen the main menus through 
keystrokes. This
is easily repaired by using "gtk_menu_item_new_with_mnemonic" in stead 
of ...with_label,
and putting underscores in the menu names before the shortcut letter. 
This will allow
people to use <Alt> + letter to open the corrsponding menu. For 
selecting an item from
the menu he is then dependent on the up/down arrow keys, as the 
individual menu items
also have no mnemonics defined for them.

One of the WinBoard for JAWS features which was pretty essential was the 
ability to
navigate through all windows using the Tab key. Within a GTK dialog the 
Tab key navigates
through all controls, and allows the user to type something there, 
toggle a checkbox, etc.
This is perfect for transient dialogs, as they are supposed to grab all 
mouse and key events,
and allow return to other windows only after you close them. But in the 
non-modal 'auxiliary
windows' Engine Output, Move History, Edit Tags/Comment etc. there are 
large (multi-line)
(Continue reading)

Svetlana Tkachenko | 12 Jan 09:29 2015

Logging messages to and from server

I'm using xboard with a chess server. In the console I send and receive messages from and to it. How do I log
them to file? "xboard -ics -icshost | tee myfile.log" works, but it does not log anything I
type (stdin), and the server does not echo some of them back.

Svetlana Tkachenko | 10 Jan 20:35 2015

Re: analyzing games

Joshua Pettus wrote:
> The only problem is that having the -zp switch enabled makes the fics admins jumpy since they detect the
engine loaded on the server with your non computer account. 
> -Josh

This is correct: the engine also started /playing for me/ with this setup and I had to exit before it figures
out how to move. (-zp option is not in 0.8.0 for some reason, only in 0.7.x).

Now I'm not at all sure how to analyze games while connected to the FICS server, though.

Joshua Pettus | 10 Jan 20:32 2015

Fwd: analyzing games

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Re: [XBoard-devel] analyzing games
From: Joshua Pettus <jshpettus <at>>
Date: January 10, 2015 at 2:32:17 PM EST
To: Svetlana Tkachenko <svetlana.tkachenko <at>>

The only problem is that having the -zp switch enabled makes the fics admins jumpy since they detect the engine loaded on the server with your non computer account.


On Jan 10, 2015, at 1:46 PM, Svetlana Tkachenko <svetlana.tkachenko <at>> wrote:

Svetlana Tkachenko wrote:
"H.G. Muller" wrote:

Svetlana Tkachenko schreef op 1/10/2015 om 3:58 AM:
I do not see how to analyze a game with a chess engine -- with it showing which moves are mistakes. Is this feature available?

'Mistake' is a relative concept. Even the best human player does play
most moves different from what a top engine would consider best, and
loses score as a consequence. In XBoard you can use the Mode->Analyze
Game menu to analyze the currently loaded game from the currently
displayed position to the end (or to when you decide to stop, by
selecting another Mode).

When over FICS, the "Mode->Analyze Game" menu is greyed out, but I would like to analyze games together with other players at the server.

Err, no. -zp switch makes the 'analyze game' menu available.

But I can't observe myself. Like described here:
From what I could see there is a workaround - creating a second account on server just for analyzing a past game.

Svetlana Tkachenko | 10 Jan 19:23 2015

4.8.0 images

Downloaded latest release and compiled by hand. Interesting error message.

> user <at> localhost:~/dev/xboard-4.8.0$ ./xboard
> No default pieces installed!
> Select your own using '-pieceImageDirectory'.

What options can I select from? Where is that directory?

kamaraju kusumanchi | 10 Jan 19:19 2015

evaluation graph is empty

The evaluation graph window is empty when I do

$ xboard -fcp crafty -lgf elfat_7_vs_KamarajuKusumanchi_2015_01_10.pgn

I see that the blue vertical line is moving right on each move but no
vertical bars are displayed.

However, if I do

$ xboard -fcp crafty -initialMode Analysis -lgf

and select Mode -> Analyze Game in the xboard window, I see vertical
bars in the evaluation graph window. What is the correct way to start
xboard, so the game is analyzed as soon as I start it?

I am using Debian Jessie and have the following package installed.
rajulocal <at> hogwarts:~/chess$ dpkg -l \*xboard\* | grep ^ii
ii  xboard         4.8.0-2      amd64        X Window System Chess Board


Kamaraju S Kusumanchi

H.G. Muller | 9 Jan 19:44 2015

XBoard themes

Someone was willing to make the effort to create some nice SVG piece 
sets for regular Shogi, Chu Shogi and Tori Shogi. As a result I was 
forced to thin some more on how such 'themes' could best be distributed. 
What seems to work reasonably well is this:

Each piece set comes as a tar ball, including the SVG piece images, 
possibly some PNG board texture bitmaps, a Makefile with an install, 
uninstall and dist target, a README file for author and copyright info, 
and an XBoard settings file. The latter installs in 
$(datadir)/themes/conf, where XBoard looks for 'indirection files' 
invoked with the  <at>  sign. So

xboard  <at> chu

would run XBoard with a Chu Shogi theme, which does not only define the 
graphics, but also sets XBoard to play Chu Shogi, redefines the default 
engine as HaChu, and sets various rule modifications (e.g. adjudicate on 
4-fold repeats rather than 3-fold repeats, switch off the 50-move rule). 
To prevent these settings would leak into the persistence file, and be 
used the next time, when the user might want to play orthodox Chess, it 
also redefines the persistence file. That basically means Chu-Shogi 
settings lead their own life, remembered from  <at> chu session to  <at> chu 
session, invisible for other invocations of XBoard. This is basically 
already how it is now, except that the HaChu engine is in the same 
package as the theme.

But now there is an alternative Chu-Shogi theme, which comes with a 
settings file called 1-kanji-chu, so that it can be instated with

xboard  <at> 1-kanji-chu

There is a subtle difference between this file and the  <at> chu theme, 
though: the latter is a 'general theme', the main purpose of which is to 
switch XBoard to Chu Shogi, and in particular, use the persistent 
Chu-Shogi settings. So the redirection to the persistence file 
~/.xboard-chu-rc occurs at the end of the 'chu' file, so that (in case 
this file already exists) all persistent settings, in particular those 
associated with the piece and board graphics, will be overruled by the 
user's preferences of his previous Chu-Shogi run. The specification of 
the theme is thus only effective the first time that user uses  <at> chu, and 
acts as an altered default of a persistent option.

With  <at> 1-kanji-chu, the user requests a 'specific theme'. In this 
settings file the persistent Chu settings are redirected before the 
theme is specified, so that the latter will overrule the theme stored in 
the persistence file. Settings desirable, but not strictly necessary to 
Chu Shogi (such as whether promotions invoke a popup or not) can still 
be put before the redirection, so that the persitence file prevails 
there. This way the file can still be used to create a Chu-specific 
persistence file with recommended Chu settings even when the user has 
never used  <at> chu before. But when he uses  <at> 1-kanji-chu, he forces the 
theme of single-kanji tiles, which then would become (Chu-)persistent, 
so that next time he invokes XBoard with  <at> chu this theme will be used.

This solves the problem of retyping long and cumbersome theme names (as 
themes are bound to have, to meaningfully distinguish them) for 
command-line users. After having used the specific theme file once, they 
can simply swicth back to typing  <at> chu each time they want to play Chu. 
To force a switch back to the default Chu pieces now distributed with 
HaChu, there should be another settings file included to launch it as a 
'specific theme', e.g. through  <at> default-chu. So the package with the 
default Chu-Shogi theme should contain a general theme file 'chu' as 
well as a specific theme file 'default-chu'. Or perhaps any theme should 
also contain that config file 'chu'. (But this will cause trouble with 
uninstall, unless we exempt that file from uninstall, which also seems bad.)

Of course it would also be nice if newly used themes would automagically 
become available in the 'Themes' listbox of the View->Board dialog, so 
that they can be selected there. For this a similar system could be used 
that already exists for adding engines: the make-install script of a 
theme could call XBoard with the -addMasterOption "xxx" option to add a 
time-samped line xxx to the XBoard master settings file. This line would 
then be a yet-to-be-implemented option -addTheme THEMEDEF, which would 
add THEMEDEF to the user's -themeNames list in his persistent settings 
file when he runs XBoard for the first time after the theme install 
(with that particular persistence file). This way newly installed themes 
would automatically triccle into all his persistence files.

The equivalent of a general theme like  <at> chu to a desktop user should be 
a new .desktop file that starts XBoard with the  <at> chu settings.

Commenst and suggestions welcome!