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ChessatmyboarD

My Chess Blog
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I don’t believe it!

Posted on November 15th, 2012 by Richard

Wow it appears to be just over a year since my last post here!
If blog posting was a chess game I would have lost on time ages ago! I must have been doing too many other things (I have even started a football blog following Ipswich Town FC-bet there aren’t many of those around these days! Surprisingly I have kept it regularly updated-see the sidebar for a link to it).

So what can I report on my chess front?
My chess playing has taken a step back over the last season. I played some poorish games in my club play and lost too many and sadly I felt I could get not enough support to help me improve. So I took the decision not to join the chess club for this new season. I feel I get much more enjoyment playing blitz chess online and playing chess programs on the computer as OTB in the club. Actually I haven’t played that much chess on the computer. I did treat myself to Chess Position Trainer (CPT) and started to practice with it but I have not used it in many weeks. I still would like to improve my online blitz rating and did have a good game against a 1350 player today but the game was drawn just as I was about to deliver mate! (at least I didn’t lose). I have actually been doing more chess programming recently and have started blog posts about this ( see Chess Programming page on nav/menu-EDIT-I have just noticed this page is not working fully & I will need to adjust my WordPress theme files to fix this). I have also done a couple more chess videos (see them at my Youtube video page rpdatutube).

I did play a rapidplay tournament a while ago- the Thetford RapidPlay and did better than last year with 3/6 in the Minor section. I had x2 wins x2 draws and x2 losses-consistently mediocre!

ThetfordRapidPlayChess_150912

ThetfordRapidPlayChess_150912

Finally I have recently had a good contact with another chess blogger Chris- he runs a fine chess site called Chess Musings. We have swapped links-see the link to his blog on the sidebar links.
Well of course I hope to do more regular posts on all aspects of chess here but for now happy chessing all! 🙂

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Chess programming introduction

Posted on November 15th, 2012 by Richard

Chess programming is a hobby I enjoy.

I have done several code snippets in several programming languages for help with computer chess play.
I do have an ambition one day to have programmed my own chess engine.

So far I have done a java chess engine but that was with the help of ThinkQuest and used sections of premade code. My very first introduction to chess programming was writing Perl scripts to clean and parse pgn files using regexes. I learnt a little bit of Perl programming and of course it is a great language for text & data wrangling & so quite suitable for chess.
I even made a perl script that takes a pgn file and outputs music! Quite amazing what is possible to do in programming.

This week I made the start of a console chess game in C. Getting a good board representation (and with a GUI if you want good graphics) is a basic first stage in chess programming. GUI=Graphical User Interface and is a nice frame to hold the chess game and display nice images like a real chessboard in as opposed to a basic text output at the console (command shell).See screenshot below:

2 player console chess in C

2 player console chess in C

The next obstacle is to get the moves input and output & I struggled with this. It is a good, but for me, a hard learning curve and this was only for a basic console output without AI (AI=Artificial Intelligence)! Topics covered include array handling and string manipulation. Screenshot of part of the code in code editor below:

Code for chessgame in C

Code for chessgame in C

I started then to look at wrapping this all in a Windows GUI with a Win32 project in Visual C++ (MS Visual Studio) but this needs a lot more work. So there is still a lot more to be done with the chess logic and GUI programming. Great fun…..

I have also looked at chess in a web browser with JavaScript and HTML5. Hopefully I will do some posts on this later. The joys of chess are not just limited to playing but for me extend to programming too!

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