It took me a bit longer than planned, but I finally finished the alpha version of a FICS (Free Internet Chess Server) interface in Chess for Android. Either play directly on a phone or table, or first connect to an electronic chessboard (DGT, Certabo, and Millennium) to play over an actual chess board with people online.

To connect to FICS, long press the notation window in Chess for Android to open the extended menu. Then select "Connect to FICS" and login as a guest or using your register username and password. The formula string can be used to filter out match requests. For example time >= 5 & inc = 1 only accepts games with at least five minutes start time per player and exactly one second increment per move. The formula syntax is explained in more detail on the FICS help page.

Once connected, your username or temporary guest name is shown at the bottom of the screen. Match requests that pass the filter are shown in a dialog with the player names and game parameters. Either decline, or accept and the game starts at once. During the game, both players' names are shown at the bottom of the screen (white always at the bottom) and the board is automatically oriented with the side you are playing down. The status message shows whether it is your turn or the opponent's turn. Chat messages, if any, are shown next to the player's name. Click one king and then the other king to open a dialog to offer a draw or resign. If the opponent offers a draw, use the same mechanism (in that case offering really means accepting). When the game ends, a termination message appears at the bottom of the screen. The game can be saved to SD card or shared with another program as usual.

Per FICS policies, all chess engine features are disabled while connected to FICS. To analyze a game with a chess engine, first disconnect from FICS.

Below you see my FICS testing setup without bothering online players. Chess for Android on a tablet connected to the Millennium chess board and as guest to FICS. Another test account on Mobialia Chess on the web.


Bryan Whitby said…
Hi Aart

I noticed this post on the Hiarcs and TalkChess forums. Maybe more people would be interested on the forum by the response you received.

Aart Bik said…
When it goes to production, I probably will make it known at some other places too. But, alas, my German is not good enough to post in (even though I got a few years in high school :-)

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