Connecting Chess for Android to a Remote Server

I have received several questions on how to connect Chess for Android running on an Android device (e.g. a phone) as client to a remote chess server (e.g. a powerful desktop), so I decided to write a small document with detailed instructions.
What you will need:
The server software from Bernhard Wallner's chess utilities, suited for your server's operating system (if, say, your desktop runs Windows, you will need to download the Windows version). You do not need to download the client software in this case.The network enabled version of Chess for Android.On the server, start the engine server software, and construct a new row for every engine you want to run remotely. Assign a name, port number, and select the full path to each engine binary (an executable that runs on the server). You can also supply command line options for starting the engine. Check the active checkboxes and click start when done. This yields something similar to the screenshots below. Here, I have started …

Chess for Android 3.1.5

I just released version 3.1.5 of Chess for Android, available either at the Android market or as direct download. New features include:
Ability to filter PGN games (on player, event, ECO, ELO rating range, or result)Automatically re-import last UCI/Xboard engine on exit-re-entry of applicationFinger sweep left or right as alternative game navigationMinor improvements in setup position feature

Filtering on ELO

I got a useful suggestion at the talkchess forum for filtering the ELO rating of players. Rather than allowing individual ranges for white and black, I decided to provide a single range that applies to both the white and black player. In the example below, only games where both players have an ELO rating in the range "1200-1700" will be shown. Leaving the lower or upper field empty effectively makes that field unbounded (for "1200-" means all ELO rating 1200 and above, while "-1700" means all ELO ratings 1700 and below).

Filtering PGN Games

I have extended the game storage features of Chess for Android with the ability to filter PGN games, which is a useful feature when dealing with larger files. To use this feature, long press the notation window and select Game Storage. From there, you see the usual game storage choices, now extended with Filter Game from SD.

After a file has selected, a filter window pops up. Here, you can define a filter involving the white and/or back player, the event, an ECO code, and/or the result of the game.

After the file has been loaded, a window prompts all games that match the filter. The user can subsequently decide what game should be loaded into Chess for Android.

The new feature should be released very soon!

Arasan 14.0.1 for Android

Jon Dart released version 14.0.1 of Arasan and Jim Ablett kindly provided a binary for ARM-based Android devices. I did a 1 second per move match from both sides of the Nunn opening suite between version 13.4 and the new 14.0.1 using Chess for Android, which ended in 11-9 in favor of the older version (of course not enough games to say anything conclusive; the match was merely a quick sanity check on the new version).

Chess for Android 3.1.4

It has been quiet for a while, because I was really busy at work, but finally Chess for Android version 3.1.4 has been released, available at the Android market or as direct download. New features include:
Position setup improvementsEnhanced x-chess-pgn content viewingOption to hide engine's principal variation (useful when playing a real game)Simplified connection with remote UCI/XBoard engine (network version only

Chess Puzzles

My eight year old daughter Karina is learning chess and we have gotten into the habit of solving a few mate-in-one puzzles from Laszlo Polgar's book Chess - 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games every night after homework. She is really enjoying it, especially when we are using an electronic DGT board coupled to Chessbase Fritz. Each time she solves a puzzle, Fritz rewards her by saying "checkmate" with a German accent.

Country Chess Netherlands, first division

BikJump ended at 7th place in Geert Maeckelbergh's Country Chess First Divsion of The Netherlands. After a result like this, I feel the well-known "itch" to go back to work on my chess engine again. But first a few more improvements in Chess for Android.

In any case, thanks for running the tournament Geert.

Virutor Chess for Android

Vaclav Vavra set up a new website for Virutor Chess, an UCI engine available for Windows, ARM-based Android devices (and Linux soon to follow). The Android version imports without any issues in Chess for Android. I also ran a quick tournament between the built-in engine, BikJump, and Virutor. The results are show below.
                         1    2     3   1 BikJump              *   9.5  10.0   19.5/20   2 Chess for Android   0.5   *    8.0    8.5/20   3 Virutor Chess       0.0  2.0    *     2.0.20

Cheng3 for Android

Another engine that can be imported in Chess for Android just became available. Martin Sedlák released a new version of his engine Cheng3, and Jim Ablett kindly made a binary available for ARM-based Android devices. The engine functions well, although it responds with "no GTB found" for the Gaviota endgame tablebases, even thought the cp4 versions reside in /sdcard/gtb.

The results of a quick tournament with different engines varying in strength is shown below. Quite impressive!

                     1          2          3          4          5        
1 Stockfish 2.1      ********** 1111111111 1111111111 1111111101 1111111111 39.0/40
2 cheng3 1.07 JA     0000000000 ********** 10½0½100½1 11111½0111 1111111111 26.5/44
3 GarboChess3        0000000000 01½1½011½0 ********** 11110½½010 1111111111 21.5/40
4 Daydreamer 1.75 JA 0000000010 00000½1000 00001½½101 ********** 1½11111111 16.0/40
5 BikJump v2.1P      0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0½00000000 **********  1.0/44