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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Games
Xboard with Arasan chess engine
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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Wed 02 Jan 2013, 07:43    Post subject:  Xboard with Arasan chess engine
Subject description: yet another chess game
 

Hi all,

Here's another chess game based on Arasan, a chess engine that has been around since 1994 and is still under active development. It's designed now to work with Xboard, the front end gui. Xboard works with a number of different chess engines and now has international language support.

FYI:
Quote:
Arasan means "king" in Tamil, a language spoken in South India and Sri Lanka. It is related to the Sanskrit word "raja." The Arasan website header has "Arasan" written in Tamil script.


Originally developed for Windows, Arasan is also now written for Linux based systems as well as for the Mac. I still play Arasan on my "cough cough" Windows XP laptop... ahem.... Aside -- I also have ChessMaster for XP but it's system requirements (graphics) are too much for the integrated video chip on my laptop as it turns out.

Anyway... I spent some time trying to compile various versions of Arasan with little or no success.... too many warnings and errors of one sort or another. I was almost ready to give up when I noticed on the Arasan website that for some versions there are some pre-compiled binaries for Linux systems. So, I decided to work with those, and I put together a package. It's fairly minimal, without all of the extra bells and whistles but does include a bit of documentation. While my package is 32 bit, note that Arasan can be compiled for 64 bit systems and there are 64 bit binaries available for packaging at the Arasan website here.

While not the latest version of Arasan, my package is the most recent one available that includes pre-compiled binaries. However, I did combine it with the most recent and stable version of Xboard which compiled nicely... Smile

Once you've completed the installation, you can start playing chess via the command line, or the menu. At the terminal type:
Code:
xboard -cp -fcp /usr/local/bin/arasan-14.3.0/arasanx

and Xboard will start up with the Arasan chess engine. To use the Menu, you'll need to make some adjustments. You'll find Xboard in the "Fun" category of the Menu. However, since Xboard looks for the FairyMax engine by default, it throws up an error message then closes. So... open up ROX-Filer, and click on the big eye along the top panel to access your hidden files and folders. Go to .jwmrc right-click it, Open As Text, then look for the following line under the "Fun" label:
Code:
<Program label="Xboard" icon="mini-maze.xpm">xboard</Program>

Now modify it to the following:
Code:
<Program label="Xboard-Arasan" icon="mini-maze.xpm">xboard -cp -fcp /usr/local/bin/arasan-14.3.0/arasanx</Program>

Save your changes, close out, then go to the Puppy Menu button -->Shutdown --> Restart JWM The desktop will now rebuild to include the change you made in .jwmrc and you are good to go... From now on, you should be able to start playing chess from the main menu of your destop. Note that I compiled, packaged, and tested this on my Wary Puppy system, so I don't know how well it will work in other 32 bit Puppy breeds, but I definitely feel it is worth a try.

Cheers,
Monsie
xboard_NLS-4.6.2-i686.pet
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pet

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Filename  xboard_NLS-4.6.2-i686.pet 
Filesize  90.54 KB 
Downloaded  256 Time(s) 
xboard-4.6.2-i686.pet
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pet

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Filename  xboard-4.6.2-i686.pet 
Filesize  672.06 KB 
Downloaded  272 Time(s) 
arasan-14.3.0-i686.pet
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pet

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Filename  arasan-14.3.0-i686.pet 
Filesize  249.52 KB 
Downloaded  275 Time(s) 

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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jan 2013, 23:34    Post subject: Xboard with Arasan chess engine  

Hi all,

Edit: Jan. 14th, 2013

Here's an update:

I have since found out that the modified menu entry that I specified in my initial post reverts to the original menu entry each time I install or remove a program. While I can re-make the change to .jwmrc each time this happens, this is an inconvenient solution. I assume this is happening because Puppy Package Manager checks the database of installed packages, and when it finds a discrepancy during an update to the collection of programs that are installed, then it restores the original data.

So, after some testing, I have re-configured the Xboard package to work with the Arasan chess engine via the desktop menus by default. Now, it appears to be working properly; the menu entry is remaining intact following the adding/removal of programs and also after a re-boot.

Here is a new Pet for Xboard that works directly with Arasan. I am leaving the original Pet for download as is, because that is the default package which can be set up to work with a number of different chess engines.... and some people may just want to update their version of Xboard because they already use other chess engine(s). Note that you still need to install the Pet for Arasan if you haven't done so already if you want to play this Chess variant. Also, note that my new Pet is a quick re-package and might not work properly with the Xboard_NLS Pet. If that is the case, please let me know and I will re-compile my re-configured Xboard from scratch.

with apologies,
Monsie
xboard-arasan-4.6.2-i686.pet
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pet

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Filename  xboard-arasan-4.6.2-i686.pet 
Filesize  677.23 KB 
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