Sunday, November 11, 2012

How to install chess engine in the winboard


To install engines in the Winboard you must pay attention that WINBOARD files and ENGINE files are set in specific folders and should not be removed from there.

Once you have learned how to install the engines then you can select new directories as you like and repeat the procedures.

Let's start the easy way:

1) Create in drive C one folder with the name CHESS (C:\CHESS), probably you have done it already. If you have another drive e.g. drive D, replace below the letter C with D.

2) In Folder CHESS create two Subfolders a) WINBOARD (C:\CHESS\Winboard) and b) ENGINES (C:\CHESS\Engines).

3) Download the Winboard program. Suppose you get this file: WINBOARD-4_2_6.exe of a size of 2,37 MB (2.490.333 byte). Double-click this exe file and select to put it in the Folder C:\CHESS\Winboard. It will ask you if you want it to view the PGN and FEN files. Press Yes, as in ARENA there is a drag and drop facility (on Arena Board) to load PGN and FEN files.

4) In the unzipped files in the Winboard Folder there must be a file called winboard.ini and this is the critical file to work with. Now you do not see it because it is self created when the program starts! Double click the program winboard.exe (with the black knight icon) and a window pops up (it is called: WinBoard startup dialog). Select "Play against a chess engine" and you will see GNUChess engine (which is delivered with Winboard program). Press OK and the program opens. Now, close it and go back to Winboard Folder and you will see the winboard.ini created (this is a text file to open and edit accordingly). Since you run the risk to ruin this file by wrong editing etc, make a copy-paste of it and call the new copy Firstwinboard.ini. (when you have ruined the good winboard.ini, cancel it and go to Firstwinboard.ini and cancel the word First, so you get the workable winboard.ini back (re-make a copy).

5) Double click the winboard.ini file, it opens and shows all its settings as below. At the end you shall see the GNUChess engine settings as (it will be highlighted with yellow the part of interest inside the winboard.ini file).


"GNUChes5 xboard"

"GNUChes5 xboard"

Have a look to above settings in the table below and go on reading after this table:

; WinBoard 4.2.6 Save Settings file
; You can edit the values of options that are already set in this file,
; but if you add other options, the next Save Settings will not save them.
; Use a shortcut, an @indirection file, or a .bat file instead.
/size=tiny /clockFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=teeny /clockFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=dinky /clockFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=petite /clockFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=slim /clockFont="Arial:12 b"
/size=small /clockFont="Arial:14 b"
/size=mediocre /clockFont="Arial:14 b"
/size=middling /clockFont="Arial:14 b"
/size=average /clockFont="Arial:15 b"
/size=moderate /clockFont="Arial:16 b"
/size=medium /clockFont="Arial:16 b"
/size=bulky /clockFont="Arial:17 b"
/size=large /clockFont="Arial:19 b"
/size=big /clockFont="Arial:20 b"
/size=huge /clockFont="Arial:21 b"
/size=giant /clockFont="Arial:22 b"
/size=colossal /clockFont="Arial:23 b"
/size=titanic /clockFont="Arial:24 b"
/size=tiny /messageFont="Small Fonts:6"
/size=teeny /messageFont="Small Fonts:6"
/size=dinky /messageFont="Small Fonts:7"
/size=petite /messageFont="Small Fonts:7"
/size=slim /messageFont="Arial:8 b"
/size=small /messageFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=mediocre /messageFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=middling /messageFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=average /messageFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=moderate /messageFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=medium /messageFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=bulky /messageFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=large /messageFont="Arial:10 b"
/size=big /messageFont="Arial:11 b"
/size=huge /messageFont="Arial:11 b"
/size=giant /messageFont="Arial:11 b"
/size=colossal /messageFont="Arial:12 b"
/size=titanic /messageFont="Arial:12 b"
/size=tiny /coordFont="Small Fonts:4"
/size=teeny /coordFont="Small Fonts:4"
/size=dinky /coordFont="Small Fonts:5"
/size=petite /coordFont="Small Fonts:5"
/size=slim /coordFont="Small Fonts:6"
/size=small /coordFont="Small Fonts:7"
/size=mediocre /coordFont="Small Fonts:7"
/size=middling /coordFont="Small Fonts:7"
/size=average /coordFont="Arial:7 b"
/size=moderate /coordFont="Arial:7 b"
/size=medium /coordFont="Arial:7 b"
/size=bulky /coordFont="Arial:7 b"
/size=large /coordFont="Arial:7 b"
/size=big /coordFont="Arial:8 b"
/size=huge /coordFont="Arial:8 b"
/size=giant /coordFont="Arial:8 b"
/size=colossal /coordFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=titanic /coordFont="Arial:9 b"
/size=tiny /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=teeny /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=dinky /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=petite /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=slim /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=small /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=mediocre /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=middling /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=average /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=moderate /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=medium /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=bulky /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=large /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=big /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=huge /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=giant /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=colossal /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=titanic /tagsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=tiny /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=teeny /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=dinky /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=petite /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=slim /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=small /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=mediocre /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=middling /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=average /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=moderate /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=medium /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=bulky /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=large /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=big /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=huge /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=giant /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=colossal /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=titanic /commentFont="Arial:9"
/size=tiny /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=teeny /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=dinky /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=petite /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=slim /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=small /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=mediocre /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=middling /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=average /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=moderate /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=medium /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=bulky /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=large /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=big /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=huge /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=giant /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=colossal /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/size=titanic /icsFont="Courier New:8"
/colorSShout="b #289808"
/colorChannel="b #4040ff"
/colorKibitz="b #ff00ff"
/colorTell="b #ff0000"
/colorChallenge="bi #ff0000"
/colorRequest="bi #ff0000"
|&Tell (name),tell,1,0
M&essage (name),message,1,0
&Finger (name),finger,1,1
&Vars (name),vars,1,1
&Observe (name),observe,1,1
&Match (name),match,1,1
Pl&ay (name),play,1,1
/icsNames={ /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timestamp /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timeseal /icsport=6000 /icshelper=timeseal /icsport=5000 /icsport=5000 /icsport=5000 /icsport=5000 /icsport=5000 /icsport=5000 /icsport=7890 /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timeseal /icsport=5000 /icsport=5000 /icshelper=timeseal /icsport=5000
"GNUChes5 xboard"
"GNUChes5 xboard"

6) Now close the winboard.ini file and let's look to install the engines. Let's start with 3 engines, then you can add all others of your interest (there is an extra page in this web site with a chess engine rating). So, Download CRAFTY, DELFI and RUFFIAN in first instance. Open the Subfolders CRAFTY, DELFI and RUFFIAN under C:\CHESS\Engines. Now your folders look like ( [ ] : is here to show the Folder icon)

- [ ] CHESS
- [ ] Engines
[ ] Winboard

Unzip the downloaded engines and put them in their Folders. Some engines have also some book files together.

7) Now open winboard.ini and go to the settings, where you already noted that the GNUChess is installed twice, in a First and in a Second Directory:




You have to insert the new engines twice as the Chess Software loads two engines (for white and black, if they play one against the other). The new engines must be inserted between the braces } and }. Find now the pathway of the engines which is:

and type in the winboard.ini below the line GNUChess5 xboard in both directories the new engines of interest. The first is written as /fd and second as /sd Be careful not to write fd in the second directory but sd (a common mistake). Type the engine name as delivered by the download. Here one of Crafty versions has the name crafty-1903b.exe You can rename to simple "crafty" but then you do not know which version is. Type in the first directory under GNUChess, Using " and " for the engine name.

"RUFFIAN" /fd c:\CHESS\Engines\Ruffian
"CRAFTY-1903b" /fd c:\CHESS\Engines\Crafty
"DELFI" /fd c:\CHESS\Engines\Delfi
(if your files are in drive D replace c:\ with d:\)

For the second directory type (or copy-paste the above and change all fd to sd)

"RUFFIAN" /sd c:\CHESS\Engines\Ruffian
"CRAFTY-1903b" /sd c:\CHESS\Engines\Crafty
"DELFI" /sd c:\CHESS\Engines\Delfi

and insert the above in the first and second directory. What you must see now is:

"GNUChes5 xboard"
"RUFFIAN" /fd c:\CHESS\Engines\Ruffian

"CRAFTY-1903b" /fd c:\CHESS\Engines\Crafty
"DELFI" /fd c:\CHESS\Engines\Delfi

"GNUChes5 xboard"
"RUFFIAN" /sd c:\CHESS\Engines\Ruffian
"CRAFTY-1903b" /sd c:\CHESS\Engines\Crafty
"DELFI" /sd c:\CHESS\Engines\Delfi


NOW click "SAVE" at your winboard.ini file, with these new 3 engines installed. Open the Winboard program and you will see all these engines in the Startup dialog. Try to see if they are all properly running.

8) If the engines do not play there is a mistake somewhere. Check that:
- The programs and folders are set as described.
- You have properly typed the names of the engines in the winboard.ini file and saved it.
- All symbols as " ", /fd and /sd are properly set and the fd and sd directories are not mixed up
- If one of the engines does not start see if there is any missing file from those unzipped.

9) If you face further problems with a specific engine please contact the Author for further instructions.

Further, the engines you will be trying to install must be of the Winboard type Protocol (WB Engines). You cannot install the so called UCI engines in Winboard but to ARENA GUI. Ending you may reasonably think why programmers have not made yet any windows utility to install automatically the engines in the Winboard. The answer may be that above procedure appears very simple to them.
excellent tutorial from:

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