Thursday, April 21, 2011

RobboBases in Chess for Android

Chess of Android supports setting up Nalimov, Gaviota, and Scorpio endgame tablebases on the SD card, but Robbobases were missing. Therefore, I added support for RobboTotalBases as well. I tested the setup with the UCI engine IvanHoe 999947c (modified slightly to relax file permissions when reading) and the /3 and /4 piece directories on the SD card. The engine reports

info string 66 RobboTotalBases registered with 2499 indici 0mb

and plays simple endgames flawlessly afterwards. The setup will be in the next release of Chess for Android.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

GreKo Chess Engine

I compiled Vladimir Medvedev's UCI engine GreKo for Android (ARM) for use in Chess for Android and put the binary on UCI engines for Android (with kind permission of Vladimir). Below a screenshot and the results of a few quick matches with other engines on a Nexus S (1GHz Hummingbird) with 32MB hash and Nalimov/Gaviota/Scorpio endgame tablebases on SD card.

Greko 8.0 - RobboLito 0.085e4l     0.0 - 10.0  +0/-10/=0   0.00%
Greko 8.0 - IvanHoe-Beta v999947c  0.5 - 9.5   +0/-9/=1    5.00%
Greko 8.0 - Stockfish 2.0          1.0 - 9.0   +1/-9/=0   10.00%
Greko 8.0 - Rotor 0.6a             3.0 - 7.0   +2/-6/=2   30.00%
Greko 8.0 - Gaviota v0.80.0.107    5.5 - 4.5   +4/-3/=3   55.00%
Greko 8.0 - GNU Chess 5.07.153.3b  6.0 - 4.0   +6/-4/=0   60.00%
Greko 8.0 - RedQueen 0.9.5         6.5 - 3.5   +5/-2/=3   65.00%
Greko 8.0 - BikJump v2.1P         10.0 - 0.0   +10/-0/=0 100.00%
Greko 8.0 - ZCT-0.3.2500          10.0 - 0.0   +10/-0/=0 100.00%


Friday, April 15, 2011

Android UCI Engines with Parallel Search

Multi-core Android devices are becoming more widespread. Therefore, v2.8.2. of Chess for Android, available from the Android Market or as direct download, adds support for setting up UCI engines with parallel search. Unfortunately, the UCI protocol did not standardize the option name for parallel search (despite some efforts) so the GUI simply looks in the UCI engine output for commonly used option names like "Cores", "Processors", "Threads", and "CPUs". The GUI then presents this choice in the option setup window (always labeled as CPUs), and eventually sends any selected value back to the engine using the recognized option name. Please let me know if you would like to see alternative option names for other UCI engines on Android with parallel search. As for all other options, only option values supported by the engine can be selected in the setup window.

Below a screenshot of the new UCI option setup window.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

6502 Microcomputer

It is nice to hear that others sometimes find my toy projects useful. As I reported in an earlier blog entry, a while back I implemented a 6510 cross-assembler to relive the good old times of programming a Commodore 64. Today I got an email from Antonino Brisindi who is using this assembler to burn an EPROM for his home-made 6502-based microcomputer. Below you see a picture of his impressive project in progress.



Monday, April 4, 2011

Nook Color

Marc F. Ferguson is writing about experiences with rooting the Nook Color on his blog FergyTech and he kindly emailed me the following pictures of Chess for Android running on the Nook Color. It is cool to see so many new devices running Android. Thanks Marc!



Saturday, April 2, 2011

RedQueen Chess Engine

I compiled Ben-Hur Carlos Langoni's UCI engine RedQueen for Android (ARM), and put the binary on UCI engines for Android. Below screenshots and results of a few quick matches against other engines on a Nexus One (1GHz Snapdragon) with 32MB hash and Nalimov/Gaviota/Scorpio endgame tablebases on SD card.

RedQueen 0.9.5 - Stockfish 2.0          0.0 - 10.0 +0/-10/=0    0.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - Toga II 1.4.1SE        0.0 - 10.0 +0/-10/=0    0.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - IvanHoe-Beta v999947c  0.0 - 10.0 +0/-10/=0    0.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - Rotor 0.6a             3.0 - 7.0  +3/-7/=0    30.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - GNU Chess 5.07.170.7b  3.0 - 7.0  +1/-5/=4    30.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - gaviota v0.80.0.107    3.5 - 6.5  +3/-6/=1    35.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - BikJump v2.1P          8.0 - 2.0  +8/-2/=0    80.00%
RedQueen 0.9.5 - ZCT-0.3.2500           8.5 - 1.5  +8/-1/=1    85.00%





Friday, April 1, 2011

Chess for Android 2.8

I just released version 2.8 of Chess for Android, available from the Android Market or as direct download.

New features include:
  • full PGN support (clipboard import/export, file load/save)
  • improved layout for xlarge screen sizes (api 9 and up)
  • bug fix in draw detection after FEN import
To load a game from a file in PGN format, long press the notation window, select "Load Game from SD", and navigate to the file. This opens another window with the actual games in that file. Then select the desired game. Very large PGN files may take a while to download (or even run out of memory), but the idea is that future versions will be able to navigate quickly between successive games. I have tried to make the PGN parser reasonably robust (it accepts sloppy SAN for instance), but certain non-standard constructs are rejected. Please let me know if you encounter bugs though.