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rec.games.chess.compute FAQ [1/3]

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Chess FAQ
rec.games.chess.computer FAQ part 1/3



CHARTER:

The rec.games.chess.computer newsgroup will provide a place to
disseminate reports, discussions and analysis of game servers, where
chess games can be played in real time, similar to playing games of
chess via telephone; information and discussion about databases, games
collections, chess-playing software, and other computer programs of a
similar nature, either offered for sale, or in the state of development.

WELCOME:

Welcome to "The r.g.c.c FAQ", a compilation of information about
computers, chess and the internet. This FAQ is posted bimonthly in 3 parts,
to the newgroups rec.games.chess.computer, , and .
Part 1 is about  Live Net Chess,  FICS, ICC, Software for FICS and
ICC Use (Live Net Chess), Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's), Web Sites
Supplies, Where to Get Books and Equipment, Material Available via
Anonymous FTP,  and Self-Improvement.

Part 2 consists primarily of the Swedish Rating List of Chess Software and
computers.

Part 3 reviews chess playing software and databases and miscellaneous
information.


r.g.c.c is a subdivision of rgc created in June, 1995 to more appropriately
divide the voluminous material that was posted to the original
rec.games.chess. As time goes on the FAQ will offer enhanced sections on
computer software, history of computers and chess, and a discussion of the
algorithms used in chess programs. More chess information is contained in
the rec.games.chess.misc FAQ.


This FAQ list may be obtained via anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu under
 /pub/usenet/news.answers/games/chesscom/part1.  Or, send email to 
mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with:

 'send usenet/news.answers/games/chess/computer/part1' 

in the body of the message, leaving the subject line empty. Repeat and 
substitute for parts 2 and 3.

These files are also available at my web site: 
"http://www.clark.net/pub/pribut/chess.html"


TABLE OF CONTENTS of rec.games.chess.computer Faq Parts 1 - 3

Part 1
Playing on the Net
  [1] Live Net Chess,  FICS, ICC, Usenet, Mailing lists
  [2] Software for FICS and ICC Use (Live Net Chess)
  [3] Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's)
  [4] Web Sites
  [5] Mailing Lists
Supplies
  [6] Where to Get Books and Equipment
  [7] Material Available via Anonymous FTP
Self-Improvement
  [8] I'm a Novice/Intermediate.  How Do I Improve?
  [9] I'm really good. How do I get better? (Class A/B and Up.)
  [10] Publications

Part 2
  [11] Chess-Playing Computers & Software The Swedish Rating

Part 3
  [12] Chess-Playing Software
  [13] Database Software
Miscellaneous
  [14] Common Acronyms
  [15] Biographical Info, Stories, Trivia (under construction)
  [16] Disclaimer and Copyright Notice
---------------------------------------
Subject: [1] E-Mail Games, ICS, Mailing Lists, Gopher, Usenet reader


The Internet Chess Servers (formerly ICS) is a true internet chess highlight!
ICS was originally developed by Michael Moore (mmoore@dsd.es.com).  There
are now 2 primary servers in the United States, ICC and FICS. ICC and FICS
allow interactive chess games for those with Internet telnet capability.  Use
telnet (e.g., "telnet chess.lm.com 5000" or telnet ics.onenet.net 5000)
to connect.  All may log on and  play chess, but if you wish to have your
games recorded and develop a rating, register on the system you use (see
help on the system for more information).  There are several IC Servers
running:


FICS (Free Internet Chess Server) - A new location for FICS appeared at
ics.onenet.net 5000 in March of 1995. This was begun in response to the
institution of charges at ICC (formerly ICS).  The free spirit of the
internet lives on here. Contribute in a positive way to that spirit by
volunteering to help with code enhancements or in whatever way you can.
New features include simultaneous game feature, a new rating system,
and has even stimulated the development of more than one FAQ dedicated to a
discussion of FICS vs. ICC. Events similar to those seen on ICC (Internet
Chess Club) will also be seen here. I suggest visiting both the ICC and FICS
to get a feel for the atmosphere, chess played and guests and then deciding
whether you want to hang out on one server or the other or visit both. Help
files here may also be mailed to your e-mail address once you are registered.
If you would like to contribute time and effort to the free server contact an
administrator once registered. Much of the description above for ICC also
holds true for FICS.

Lectures online are starting, but grandmaster events are limited at this time.

The software is regularly impoving. The competition between the two main
servers has led to the implementation of features such as the glicko rating
system and simultaneous matches.

At FICS you can:

- play chess 24 hours a day.
- play games using any time control you and your opponent
     agree to, ranging from one minute for the whole game to
     5 hours.
- get ratings for blitz and slow chess.  Each game is rated
     right after it is played.  You can play unrated also.
- watch a variety of other players playing blitz.
- obtain "graphical interfaces", that allow you to make moves
     with a mouse on a board on your screen. These are available
     for DOS, Mac, and Unix machines. do "help interface".
- talk to people from all over the world, with the many
     commands for communicating: tell, shout, kibitz, whisper.
- participate or observe simultaneous matches, including blitz simuls.
- other features and events are expected!

ICS-addresses:
  Euro- Server:  anemone.daimi.aau.dk 5000      (130.225.18.58 5000)

  US-   Server:  chess.lm.com 5000            (164.58.253.10 5000)
  U.S. FICS:     ics.onenet.net 5000

  Dutch-Server:  dds.hacktic.nl 5000            (193.78.33.69 5000)
  Aussie-Server:  lux.latrobe.edu.au 5000       (131.172.4.3 5000)


ICS-backup servers (unsaved games)
                telnet iris4.metiu.ucsb.edu 5000
                telnet coot.lcs.mit.edu 5000

Ftp server :    ftp chess.onenet.net 5000 (164.58.253.10 5000)
                To see a sample ftp session, do: help ftp


ICC (Internet Chess Club)

To play on the ICC USA, all you need to do is type:

telnet chess.lm.com 5000

You will be asked for a name. Type in any name you want.
You will then be logged in as an "unregistered" player.

If you want a "registered" account, type "help registration"
and follow the directions carefully. The ICS in March of 1995 is changing its
name to ICC. A fee will be charged for membership of approximately $49 per
year. Students will be half price and unregistered users can play for free.


SOME FACTS ABOUT ICC:

There are over 7,000 accounts on ICC, from all over the world.

There are often over 150 people logged in. Sometimes more than 200.

Players range in skill from Grandmaster down to beginner, so
you can always find someone at your level.

This is "live" chess, not e-mail chess! It only takes a second
or two to transmit your move to your opponent (unless there is
bad lag on the internet).

It's a fun, club-like atmosphere, with people talking about
chess, kibitzing during games, shouting greetings to each
other, discussing sports, arguing politics, etc.

A new program called timestamp became available in the Spring of 1995, which
limits or eliminates lag. It is available only to registered members of
the ICC.

Numerous live events are viewable by all visitors, both registered and
non-registered guests. These events inlude live grandmaster vs. grandmaster
chess, live grandmaster vs. computer chess, live GM vs. others. Live lectures
also take place here.

You can:

- play chess 24 hours a day.
- play games using any time control you and your opponent
     agree to, ranging from one minute for the whole game to
     5 hours.
- get ratings for blitz and slow chess.  Each game is rated
     right after it is played.  You can play unrated also.
- watch Grandmasters and International Masters playing blitz.
- play over and sutdy the past 14 games of any ICS player.
- obtain "graphical interfaces", that allow you to make moves
     with a mouse on a board on your screen. These are available
     for DOS, Mac, and Unix machines. do "help interface".
- talk to people from all over the world, with the many
     commands for communicating: tell, shout, kibitz, whisper.
- search a 7000+ game database of GM, IM and Master games.
For more information, just log in into ICC, and look around.
"help" and "info" give you a list of all the files of
information that you can read.  You can also talk to an
administrator if you have any questions or problems.
Administrators can be found by typing "who" and looking for
a "*" by their name.
- participate or observe simultaneous matches, including blitz simuls.


Subject: [2] Software for FICS and ICC Use (Live Net Chess)

Graphical Interfaces for Internet Chess Servers
------------------------------------

There are several graphical interfaces available for the ICS.
All are available via anonymous ftp from the chess ftp site, in
the directory pub/chess.  I recommend starting with ZIICS for DOS and
SLIC for windows. Many of these programs are available at caissa.onnet.net.

NAME           Operating System                             Author
--------------------------------------------------------------------
GIICS          DOS with modem                               LLama
NGIICS         DOS with TCP/IP                              LLama
ZIICS          DOS with modem                               Zek
JIICS          DOS with modem (requires VGA/mouse)          Peluri
Monarc         DOS with modem                               Kevster
Raja Elephant  MS Windows and modem (also known as "WICS")  fischer
Gilchess       MS Windows and modem                         Azorduldu

SLICS          MS Windows 3.1 - TCP/IP                      dfong
PMICS          OS/2 PM and modem (get pmics091.exe,
                    in pub/chess/DOS/OLD-STUFF)             woof
XBoard         Unix with X windows and TCP/IP (or modem)    mann
XICS           Unix with X windows and TCP/IP               observer
cics           Unix with ordinary terminal (e.g. vt100)     observer
NeXTICS        NeXT with modem or TCP/IP                    red
MacICS         Mac                                          douglas
MacICS-TCP     Mac with TCP/IP                              eew
E-ICS          Mac                                          douglas
Aics           Amiga                                        fischer

Programmers: Please do "help programmers" for suggestions about how to
parse the output from this server.
------------------------------------

Subject: [3] Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's)

CANADA
  Alberta: Chess Hackers.  403-456-5808.

USA
  CompuServe: 800-848-8990.
  HoloNet: 800-NET-HOLO (800-638-4656).
  Prodigy: 800-284-5933.
  ImagiNation Network: 800-IMAGIN-1
  CA: Charles Rostedt's chess BBS: 310-634-8549 (data), 634-8477 (voice).
  CA: Chess Hotline BBS: 310-634-8549.
  CA: Strategies and Tactics: 714-458-0818.
  Berkeley, CA: Berkeley BBS: 510-486-0795.
  Modesto, CA: Flightline of Dbase: 209-551-2227.
  Waterbury, CT: Chess Horizons BBS: 203-596-1443. 755-9749 (voice).  Rob
Roy, 54 Calumet, Waterbury, CT 06710-1201.  Free software catalog.
  Plant City, FL: The ChessBoard: 813-754-6043.
  Chicago, IL: ChessBoard: 312-784-3019.
  IL: Free! Board: 312-275-0848.
  Louisville, KY: The Chess Board: 502-271-5233.
  Metairie, LA: High Tech BBS: 504-837-7941.
  New Orleans, LA: Woodpusher BBS: 504-271-5233.
  Chevy Chase, MD: The Mystery Board BBS: 301-588-9465, 588-8142.
  Fort Meade, MD: Interstate Express: 301-674-6835.
  Durham, NC: The Isolated Pawn: 919-471-1440.
  Brooklyn, NY:  Mind Matters BBS: 718-951-6652.
  Columbus, OH: The Endgame BBS: 614-476-3351.
  Mansfield, OH: DK Jet-Works: 419-524-3959.
  Mansfield, OH: Procyon: 419-524-7825.
  Portland, OR: PDX Chess BBS: 503-232-2282.
  Erie, PA: The Basement 814-838-7344 & 8237
  Austin, TX: Austin Chess Studio: 512-448-4861.

Web Sites:

Chess Week in Review - Mark Crowther's Web Page - "http://www.brad.ac.uk/~mdcrowth/chess.html"
    Mark is the editor and originator of the Chess Week in Review, the most
significant internet, electronic chess publication. Each week interesting
articles, interviews, chess problems and the all of the games of significant
tournaments are published and posted to rec.games.chess. This is also mailed
directly to members of the chess list.

The Chess Connection pages - "http://www.easynet.co.uk/pages/worldchess/home.htm"
First internet version  May 1995. Great! Plans to provide comprehensive service for
chess enthusiasts world-wide. The Chess Connection WWW pages is essentially
an electronic chess magazine which will attempt to include all the latest news,
features, regular columns and reports of chess events world-wide. It is
amazing to see so many different columns here in one place!

Currently includes several chess columns that are published weekly and monthly.
Diagrams, commentary on games, news, etc.

Future plans include: live coverage of the Intel World Chess Championship
match between Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand on the Live Update pages.
Not only will the reader be able to see the latest moves, but The Chess
Connection will also attempt to have a live Grandmaster
Commentary from Cologne with analysis. In addition, there
will be an extensive discussion of chess software and hardware not only
by the journalists of the Chess Connection but also by the software vendors
themselves.

Ordering on line via their Shopping Mall is also planned.

Chess Works Unlimited: "http://www.hooked.net/users/chesswks/cwu.html"
Information regarding their software and publications. Demos are available
through their ftp site, but visit here first. Eric Schiller's homepage is linked
here also. Products include Deja Vu Database (providing over 350,000 games, soon
to be closer to 500,000). Useable in ChessBase, Chess Assistant, Unix and through
Foxpro & Visual Basic. Other products and demos include electronic books and
products designed to work with BookUp.


Chess problems - "http://www.crystaldata.com/scripts/chess_problems"
     Choose from a variety of problems.

Chess Federation of Canada: http://www.globalx.net/cfc/index.html

Others:
WWW Chess Archives - "http://www.traveller.com/chess/"
British Chess links: http://www.chemeng.ed.ac.uk/people/steve/
CHESS: Rudof Steinkellner, Jr.   http://www.ub.uit.no/chess/
USCF Selections Page: http://dab.psi.net/uscfbrowser/
I.C.E. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at: "http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca"

ftp sites:
   Chess Assistant Games:
    FTP access on site : ldis.cs.msu.su    or  158.250.10.196
    User               : Anonymous
    MainDir            : /PROJECTS/FTP/CA-DATA/OUTGOING


Subject: [4] Mailing Lists

The Chess List (chess-l)
There is a mailing list which is not associated with rec.games.chess called
"chess-l."  It averages about 4 posts/day, which are sent to subscribers via
e-mail.  To subscribe to the chess-l news group, send the message "subscribe
chess-l Your-Real-Name-Here" to  listserv@hearn.bitnet.
------------------------------

Subject: [5] Web Sites

Chess Week in Review - Mark Crowther's Web Page - "http://www.brad.ac.uk/~mdcrowth/chess.html"
    Mark is the editor and originator of the Chess Week in Review, the most
significant internet, electronic chess publication. Each week interesting
articles, interviews, chess problems and the all of the games of significant
tournaments are published and posted to rec.games.chess. This is also mailed
directly to members of the chess list.

The Chess Connection pages - "http://www.easynet.co.uk/pages/worldchess/home.htm"
First internet version  May 1995. Great! Plans to provide comprehensive service for
chess enthusiasts world-wide. The Chess Connection WWW pages is essentially
an electronic chess magazine which will attempt to include all the latest news,
features, regular columns and reports of chess events world-wide. It is
amazing to see so many different columns here in one place!

Currently includes several chess columns that are published weekly and monthly.
Diagrams, commentary on games, news, etc.

Future plans include: live coverage of the Intel World Chess Championship
match between Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand on the Live Update pages.
Not only will the reader be able to see the latest moves, but The Chess
Connection will also attempt to have a live Grandmaster
Commentary from Cologne with analysis. In addition, there
will be an extensive discussion of chess software and hardware not only
by the journalists of the Chess Connection but also by the software vendors
themselves. Ordering on line via their Shopping Mall is also planned.


Chess Works Unlimited: "http://www.hooked.net/users/chesswks/cwu.html"
Information regarding their software and publications. Demos are available
through their ftp site, but visit here first. Eric Schiller's homepage is linked
here also. Products include Deja Vu Database (providing over 350,000 games, soon
to be closer to 500,000). Useable in ChessBase, Chess Assistant, Unix and through
Foxpro & Visual Basic. Other products and demos include electronic books and
products designed to work with BookUp.


Chess problems - "http://www.crystaldata.com/scripts/chess_problems"
     Choose from a variety of problems.

Chess Federation of Canada: http://www.globalx.net/cfc/index.html

Others:
WWW Chess Archives - "http://www.traveller.com/chess/"
British Chess links: http://www.chemeng.ed.ac.uk/people/steve/
CHESS: Rudof Steinkellner, Jr.   http://www.ub.uit.no/chess/
USCF Selections Page: http://dab.psi.net/uscfbrowser/
I.C.E. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at: "http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca"



Chess Assistant (I.C.E.) I.C.E. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at:
"http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca"

ftp sites:
   Chess Assistant Games:
    FTP access on site : ldis.cs.msu.su    or  158.250.10.196
    User               : Anonymous
    MainDir            : /PROJECTS/FTP/CA-DATA/OUTGOING


Subject: [6] Where to Get Books and Equipment

Computer Chess Gazette, Box 2841, Laguna Hills, CA 92654.  714-770-8532.
Chess computers and software.

Electronic Games, 1678 Mayfield Road, Lapeer, Michigan 48446.  800-227-5603
or 313-664-2133.  Computers, software, and clocks.

ICD Corp., 21 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746.  800-645-4710
or 516-424-3300.  Chess computers and software.  Associated with _Computer
Chess Reports_ (see [15]) Highly recommended on RGC. A video guide and catalog
is available for $6 + $3 shipping and handling. Good for credit towards
purchase.

PBM International Corp. Inc., 11 Church Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
800-726-4685; fax 201-783-0580.  Computers, software, and clocks.  Catalog
available.


USCF - books, boards, sets, clocks, computers, software.
United States Chess Federation, 186 Route 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553-7698.  Phone
800-388-5464 or 914-562-8350.

Subject: [7] Material Available via Anonymous FTP

FTP is a way of copying files between networked computers.  Information on it
is available via anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu in the file
/pub/usenet/news.answers/finding-sources.  If you do not know how to use
anonymous FTP or do not have access to it, you can retrieve the file by
sending an e-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with "send
usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" as the body of the message.  (Send a
message containing "help" for general information on the server.)  Or, see the
posting titled "How to find sources (READ THIS BEFORE POSTING)" in the news
groups comp.sources.wanted or .  Information on what the various
compression extensions mean (like ".Z") and what utilities are available to
deal with them can be found in the comp.compression FAQ list (see the posting
in comp.compression or  titled "comp.compression Frequently Asked
Questions," or get /pub/usenet/news.answers/compression-faq/* from
rtfm.mit.edu).

Miscellaneous.  A general repository for chess-related material is somewhat
associated with the Internet Chess Server (ICS).  Currently, the 'ICS FTP
host' is caissa.onenet.net.  Material is in the pub/chess directory.  New
material may be placed in pub/chess/uploads.  Many freeware chess programs for
different platforms, including graphical ICS (see [17]) clients, are available
(e.g., for MS-DOS, MacOS, AmigaOS, NeXT, and UNIX vt100 or X Windows
interfaces).  Scores of various matches and other groups of games as well.

	Follows is an outline of some of the available directories on ICS:

    pub/chess: general chess directory
    pub/chess/PGN: Portable Game Notation directory
    pub/chess/PGN/Standard: ASCII version of the PGN Standard
    pub/chess/PGN/Standard.TOC: Table of Contents for above
    pub/chess/PGN/Events: directory of directories of events by year
    pub/chess/PGN/Players: directory with many PGN games by player
    pub/chess/Tests: directory with many chess program test positions
    pub/chess/Tests/Manifest: description of EPD test files
    pub/chess/TB: endgame tablebases
    pub/chess/TB/README-TB: tablebase decyphering documentation
    pub/chess/TB/tbt.c: ANSI C tablebase test harness
    pub/chess/PGN/Tools: PGN tools and utilities directory
    pub/chess/Unix/SAN.tar.gz: Standard Algebraic Notation source kit

GNU chess.  Gnuchess is a freely available chess-playing software program.
Gnuchess 4.0 can be FTP'ed from prep.ai.mit.edu, export.lcs.mit.edu, and
probably other sites.  It can be compiled for X Windows (with XBoard, below),
SunView, curses, IBM PC character set, or ASCII interfaces.  Included in the
package are the utilities gnuan (analysis program), game (PostScript
printout), postprint (prints hashfile), checkgame (checks a game listing for
illegal moves), and checkbook (checks the opening book for illegal moves).
It has been posted to gnu.chess.

Chess Assistant ftp site in Russia: Games in chess assistant format:
    FTP access on site : ldis.cs.msu.su    or  158.250.10.196
    User               : Anonymous
    MainDir            : /PROJECTS/FTP/CA-DATA/OUTGOING

Notation.  Notation is a chess game score preprocessor written by Henry
Thomas (hthomas@irisa.fr).  It reads chess games, either in full algebraic or
shortened notation (i.e., Nf1-g3 or f1g3 or Ng3) and is able to output the
games and/or the board at any move, in ASCII, PostScript, TeX, or nroff.  It
also can generate output for the gnuan and XBoard programs.  It is
multi-lingual for piece identification; understanding French, English,
German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Polish, etc.  The program also handles
variations and symbolized comments.  It works fine on UNIX (Sun SPARCstation
and Sun-3).  It uses standard C, and function declarations are done in both
K&R-C and ANSI-C.  It won't be difficult to compile for MS-DOS with MSC.
Sources have been posted to comp.sources.misc.  You can also get them from
Mr. Thomas by e-mail.  They may be FTP'ed from wuarchive.wustl.edu, in
/usenet/comp.sources.misc/volume28/notation/*.Z (European users use
garbo.uwasa.fi).

Chess notation tool kit.  The Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN) Kit chess
programming C source tool kit is designed to help chess software efforts by
providing common routines for move notation I/O, move generation, move
execution, and various useful position manipulation services.  There are
substantial additions to the previous version which include a standard
position notation scheme along with some benchmarking tests.  A main program
is included which gives sample calls for the various routines.  Simple I/O
functions are also provided.  A clever programmer needs only to add a search
and an evaluation function to produce a working chessplaying program.  A
programmer who already has the source to a chessplaying program may improve it
further by including tool kit routines as needed for standardization.  The
author of this package is Steven J. Edwards
(sje@mv.mv.com).  The SAN Kit may be retrieved from the 'ICS
FTP host'as: ftp://ics.onenet.net/pub/chess/Unix/SAN.tar.gz.

XBoard.  XBoard is an X11/R4-based user interface for GNU Chess or ICS.  As an
interface to GNU Chess, XBoard lets you play a game against the machine, set
up arbitrary positions, force variations, or watch a game between two
machines.  As an interface to the ICS, XBoard lets you play against other ICS
users or observe games they are playing.  You can also use XBoard as a
chessboard to review or analyze games.  It will read a game file or allow you
to play through a variation manually.  This is useful for keeping track of
email postal games, browsing games off the net, or reviewing GNU Chess and ICS
games you have saved.  Beginning with version 2.0, Tim Mann <mann@src.dec.com>
has taken over development of XBoard.  The program can be FTP'ed from the 'ICS
FTP host.'

Slics. Excellent interface for ICS. Currently the most popular for the
windows environment. Programmer D. Fong.

User Contributions:

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