I've always found it interesting watching two chess programs play each other, and the
Arena Chess GUI
provides a good way of doing this. However it only allows for round robin (all play all) and gauntlet (one
plays many) type competitions. In chess it is very common to have
Swiss style tournaments
where each round has players paired against others with the same number of points. Arena doesn't provide
for this, but I found a program called ArenaSwiss by Eberhard Jiritschka from 2009 that interfaced with Arena. I took
his program and updated it to create this new version.
It runs in a text based DOS style window, and at first I was thinking of changing it to a more modern graphics based screen. After using it for a while I have found the current screen works reasonably well so I might not bother.
The download contains the program, source code and GPL license. You should look at the README.TXT file as it provides all the information you need to amend the ArenaSwiss.ini file for your PC.
Note: If you are using an older version of ArenaSwiss complete any running tournaments before loading this new program.
Having provided for Swiss tournaments I thought I'd create a program to run knockout Cup tournaments too. The program allows for random and seeded pairings, multiple games per pairing and so on. It also runs in a text based DOS style window, which will change if I ever get around to changing ArenaSwiss!Current version: 0.2 Released: 22 May 2019
The download contains the program, source code and GPL license. You should look at the README.TXT file as it provides all the information you need to amend the ArenaCup.ini file for your PC.
Chessmaster in Arena
One of the programs I wanted to use in Arena was TheKing from Chessmaster, but you can't just copy the file
TheKing.exe into Arena due to its copy protection. I found out online how extract the security code ("OPK") using
log files created by the
chess engine, but doing this manually each time I wanted to use TheKing was
too much work. So I wrote this program to automate it.
In January 2016 I finally managed to test it with the Grandmaster Edition (Chessmaster 11) and made a few small changes to my program and the instructions.
Current version: 1.4 Released: 3 January 2016
The download contains the program, source code and GPL license. You should look at the README.TXT file as it provides all the information you need to amend the CM_opk.ini file for your PC. Of course, you also need a (licensed!) copy of Chessmaster.
Opening book conversion (OBK, ABK, BIN)
The opening book editor in Chessmaster is very good but it only saves files in its own OBK format. These programs allow you to convert opening book files between Chessmaster OBK, Arena ABK and Polyglot BIN formats for use in other programs. During the conversion you can also output PGN and TXT versions of the files.Current version: 1.0 Released: 22 September 2017
The download contains the various programs, source code and GPL license. You should look at the README.TXT file for details about how to use the programs.
Novag UCB drivers
The existing, and very old, drivers for the Novag Universal Electronic Chess Board weren't working very well for me so I wrote some new ones. I first updated the documentation of the UCB communication commands and used this to write UCI and Winboard chess "engines" to control the UCB. I have tested them with Arena and Chessmaster for normal chess, including starting from a specific position (FEN) and from a series of moves (PGN).
But using an engine to control the board has many limitations so I then wrote a DLL version. This partially imitates the driver that is used by many interfaces to control DGT's e-boards. Currently it has only been tested in Arena and LucasChess but I hope to add support for other interfaces in the future. The programs are for Windows only, but it might be possible to recompile them for Linux.
Please see the enclosed README.TXT file for instructions.