Friday, February 25, 2011

Chess for Android as Client of a Chess Server

User PJ+ at the OpenChess forum implemented a nifty client utility that converts Chess for Android to a client for a remote chess server. To make this work (assuming you already have a remote chess server running at some hostname and port), simply do the following steps.
  1. Download the version of Chess for Android that grants network permission to its UCI clients (the default version at the market does not do this for obvious security reasons).
  2. Download PJ+'s client-android-cli utility.
  3. Construct a file, for example uci_client, that contains the single line ./client-android-cli <hostname> <port> for the hostname and port of the remote chess server.
  4. Copy 2. and 3. to SD card, then install these from SD just like the first-time install of UCI engines.
  5. Finally, the single line file uci_client can now be imported as any other UCI engine, and will connect to the remote chess server.
I tried this method myself connecting Chess for Android as client to a remote chess server with a 64-bit BikJump engine on a Linux desktop, and this yielded over 1,000KNs. PJ+ used his utility to connect to a remote chess server with Houdini, yielding over 25,000KNs. Pretty neat to run a 25 million nodes per second search on a phone, right? Thanks PJ+!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rotor on Android

Jan Brouwer ported his UCI engine Rotor to Android. Below the results of a few matches against other engines on a Nexus One (1GHz Snapdragon), one second-per-move, 16MB hash, and Nalimov/Gaviota/Scorpio endgame tablebases on SD card.

Rotor 0.6a - Stockfish 2.0           0.0 - 10.0    +0/-10/=0      0.00%
Rotor 0.6a - Toga II 1.4.1SE         0.5 -  9.5    +0/-9/=1       5.00%
Rotor 0.6a - gaviota v0.80.0.107     5.5 -  4.5    +5/-4/=1      55.00%
Rotor 0.6a - GNU Chess   7.0 -  3.0    +7/-3/=0      70.00%
Rotor 0.6a - BikJump v2.1P          10.0 -  0.0    +10/-0/=0    100.00%
Rotor 0.6a - ZCT-0.3.2500           10.0 -  0.0    +10/-0/=0    100.00%

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tablets are Coming!

I don't have a tablet myself yet, but Roel from Belgium kindly emailed me this picture of Chess for Android running on a 7 inch tablet. As you can see, he was running an engine-engine match between UCI engines at the time. Thanks Roel!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Direct Downloads

Because not all Android devices support the Android Market yet, I decided to made my Android applications available as direct downloads:
After the download completes, simply click the apk to start the install (make sure to check "unknown sources" under settings=>applications).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

GNUChess Match on Android

I ran an engine-engine match between Michel Van den Bergh's two latest GNUChess engines in Chess for Android, playing 100 games (50 fixed book opening lines from both sides) on a Nexus One (1GHz Snapdragon), one second-per-move, Hash 16MB, TB cache 8MB, complete 3- and 4-piece Gaviota endgame tablebases on SD card (only supports Gaviota).
1   GNU Chess        +42/-33/=25 54.50%   54.5/100
2   GNU Chess  +33/-42/=25 45.50%   45.5/100

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Auto Rotate Chess Pieces

Several folks who use Chess for Android to play against another human have requested a feature to auto rotate pieces towards the side to move, so that they can use the phone or tablet as a chess board without constantly having to pass the device around. I have added this feature and also made cautious steps towards some animation in the application. The following clip shows the results. Expect this feature in an update soon. Comments welcome.