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Using Winboard or UCI compatible engines in ChessPartner 

Monday, October 25, 2010 9:27:00 PM

ChessPartner includes a Winboard adapter which allows the use of Winboard compatible engines within the ChessPartner interface. These pages will try to give some step by step instructions on how to setup the Winboard engines.

NOTE: This applies to ChessPartner 5.4 and below. For ChessPartner 6.0 there is engine import wizard in the extra menu, see the manual.

Before you can use Winboard engines you have to set them up. In this sample we show you how to install Crafty, later we also provide an example of a engine which is not pre-configured.

Setting up Crafty in ChessPartner

Step1

The first step is to install crafty somewhere on your hard disk. The recommended location is to create a new directory in the engines directory in your installation directory. In this sample I use crafty 15.14.
Default is:  c:\Program Files\Lokasoft\ChessPartner5.0\engines\crafty
Copy the crafty executable and possible other file like opening book in the just created directory. After you have copied the files, you can check the engine works by starting it from a command prompt. If all is ok you should be able to input moves and get back some output.

Step2

The next step is to tell ChessPartner about the installed engine, to do this first start ChessPartner, then from the 'Extra' menu select the Options dialog.

optionsdlg

Click the Engine button select the Winboard adapter from the following dropdown list.

selectengine

After clicking OK you probably get an error message as there is no properly configured engine yet.

errengine

After selecting Yes, you should get the following dialog:

wbengprop

In this dialog you can select which Winboard engine you want to use. But before you can select the engine we have to edit it's profile, to do that click on the Edit Profile button. This brings us to 

Step 3

All the settings are stored in a file called 'ENGINEEXT.INI' , this file is located in the windows directory. As result of the previous steps you should now have this file open in Notepad.

This file has a section for each engine. A section starts with [Engine name] followed by a list of engine specific parameters, each parameter has the form of keyword=value pairs.

As we are setting up Crafty and Crafty is already pre-configured we just look through the file until we find the section starting with [CRAFTY]

engineext

Of all the parameters the first five are the most important.

Console=1  - means Crafty is started in a visible window, set to 0 to hide it.
Logfile= - Here you can specify the name of a file where a commands send to the engine are logged in.
EngineDir= - The current directory will be set to this value, best to leave blank.
EnginePath= - here you have to give the path name of the engine, you may use a absolute path like: c:\crafty\wcrafty-15_14.exe or relative as shown above.
NameRev= - This is the name as is displayed in ChessPartner.

After making the changes, save the file and close Notepad.

Step 4

Now you should select CRAFTY from the dropdown box and after clicking OK the crafty engine should load. You have to click OK once more to close the options dialog. After that you may want to save the settings, this can be done from the Extra menu.

Conclusion

Although it may look a bit difficult, once you have setup you can quickly switch engines using the Advanced button in the engine options page. A number of Winboard engines  already have a section in the ENGINEEXT.INI file, to configure those in most cases only the EnginePath variable needs to be changed.

What if the engine in not pre configured ?

In that case you will have to experiment a bit, the easiest way is to create a new section by copying an existing one, then only change the EnginePath variable to the engines path.

We have planned to post more configurations on this website. Feedback is welcome.