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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.
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).Download PJ+'s client-android-cli utility.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.Copy 2. and 3. to SD card, then install these from SD just like the first-time install of UCI engines.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…

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 5.07.170.7b   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%

Tablets are Coming!

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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!


Direct Downloads

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

GNUChess Match on Android

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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 5.07.170.7b supports Gaviota).

1   GNU Chess 5.07.153.3b-32        +42/-33/=25 54.50%   54.5/100
2   GNU Chess 5.07.170.7b-libgtb-3  +33/-42/=25 45.50%   45.5/100



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.

Auto Rotation Clip

Chess for Android 2.6

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Version 2.6 of Chess for Android adds some choices of board colors and piece sets. To change, press menu, then options, and select either board color or piece set. This brings up another dialog with the choices in colors or piece sets.






Improving Graphics

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I got a couple of requests to improve the graphics in Chess for Android, especially now that tablets are becoming more widespread. I found a public domain chess piece set that looks nice and increased the resolution of the wood texture (really just a picture of my coffee table!). I also added a few more board colors.
This is how it looks now (click for the full resolution picture).

And this is how it may look soon (again click for the full resolution picture). Comments welcome, of course.

Chess for Android 2.5.5

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Version 2.5.5 of Chess for Android introduces the following new features.
Ability to save games to SD card. Games are appended in PGN format to file /sdcard/games.pgn on the SD card, so that users can examine these later, for example, in a chess application on the desktop.Ability to define common UCI engine options in a pop-up window:hash table sizeELO strength restriction endgame tablebases formats (Nalimov, Gaviota, or Scorpio) and cache sizeThe options are populated with the engine's defaults.

Chess for Android 2.5.1

Version 2.5.1 of Chess for Android simplifies installing third party UCI engines quite a bit. Most importantly, it is no longer required to install the Android SDK in order to push binaries to the Android device. Instead, UCI engines can simply be copied to the SD card and, from there, installed into internal memory.

A few important links:
Updated instructions on installing UCI enginesChess for Android manualList of UCI engines that can be importedA big thank you to Michel Van den Bergh for inspiring me to simplify the installation process in Chess for Android!