FAQ [3/3]

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Stephen M. Pribut

Nov 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM11/4/95
Archive-Name: games/chess/computer/part3

Chess FAQ FAQ part 3/3

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Part 3
[12] Chess-Playing Software
[13] Database Software
[14] Common Acronyms
[15] Biographical Info, Stories, Trivia (under construction)
[16] Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

Subject: [12] Chess-Playing Software

This area is undergoing major revision. Hopefully, enhanced reviews will
appear shortly. The strength of chess-playing software is highly
dependent on the hardware it runs on (all software discussed is for
programs available for MacOS are noted). Here is a method to approximate
strength differences for the same software running on different hardware
(source: _Computer Chess Reports_).

Computer Chess Reports now analyzes its software on a 486/66 or 486/50.
The 486 machines are expected to have a 256K cache, 386 a 64K cache and
386 sx no cache. Please note, most new, stronger programs require a 386
faster to run.

The following table to adjust ratings, appeared in the Volume 5, number 1
issue and was compiled by IM Larry Kaufman:

Processor Adjustment

Pentium 90 MHz +65
Pentium 66 +50
Pentium 60 +40
486 DX 50(DX2-66) 0
486 DX4 100 MHz +20
486 DX2 50 MHz -25
486 DX/SX 33 -35
486 DX/SX 25 -60
486 SX 20 -80
386 DX 40 -80
386 DX 33 -95
386 DX 25 -120
386 SX 25 -140
386 SX 20 -160
386 SX 16 -180
286 16 MHz -180
286 12 MHz -205
286 10 MHz -245
286 8 MHz -265
8088 10 MHz -320
8088 8 MHz -340
8088 4.77 MHz -385

Processor "Chess MIP's"

8088 Speed in MHz divided by 19
80286, 1 wait state Speed in MHz divided by 8
80286, 0 wait states Speed in MHz divided by 6
80386, no cache memory Speed in MHz divided by 6
80386 with cache Speed in MHz divided by 4.7
80486 Speed in MHz divided by 2.3

(Note that math coprocessors--used before the 486--don't change the
since chess programs don't use floating point arithmetic at all.)

Now, if a program has a given rating on a 1 (Chess) MIP machine, this is
to adjust the rating for other MIP's (interpolate between points):

MIP: 0.25 0.5 1 1.5 2 3 4 6 8 12 16 24 32 48 64
Adj.: -180 -87 0 47 80 124 154 195 223 261 287 323 347 379 402

For example, a program running on a 10 MHz 8088 (0.5 MIP's and -87
will be about 272 USCF rating points weaker than the same program running
a 33 MHz 80386 (no cache: 5.5 MIP's and +185 points).

Chess Genius 3.0: by Richard Lang. 386 Assembler language. Requires 386
or faster.
copy protected 3 installs. Can read Chesssbase data. EPD files.
Displays opening names. Moves can be displayed in figurine notation.
user opening books depending on move chosen. Can process EPD file and add
evaluations and analysis lines to each position. In August 94, Genius 3
Kasparov in a 2 game match - the first Computer ever to defeat a player
his status in a serious non-blitz match (25 minutes per game). It also
GM Nikolic in the same tournament, achieving a 2795 ELO rating for its
performance in that tournament, running on a 100Mhz Pentium computer.

Hiarcs 3.0. 386 or faster. EGA, VGA, XGA. 640 K Ram. copy protected.
3 installs. Runs from hard disk or floppy. Processes EPD/FEN files.
Can import/export PGN notation. Languages: English, German, French,
Compatable with Chess 232 board. Endgame knowledge includes: mate with
and knight, exact king and pawn knowledge. king and queen vs. king and
on 7th rank, wrong color bishop and rook pawn endings. Opposite color
bishop endings.

M-Chess Pro 4.0 ~2520 by Marty Hirsch, San Rafael, California.
386 or faster. Dos 5 or higher. 640 Kb RAM. VGA. 3 meg hard disk space.
Copy protected. 3 installs. Interface for external Auto-sensory
(Chess 232). According to Computer Chess Reports was expected to have an
improved endgame and evaluation function. Improved database capacity.
Supports pgn databases,
up to 250,000 games per file. 150,000 EPD positions per file. Opening
book 350,000 moves. Transpostions are noted.

MChess Pro 3.5 ~2500 by Marty Hirsch, San Rafael, California
Runs on a 386, 2 meg RAM. VGA, 3 meg of hard disk required.
Opening book is 250,000 positions. Next best move option.
User-programmable opening books. Up to 10 megabyte RAM hashtable can be
Copy protected, 3 installs.

MChess 1.1 - 1.72 2400 by Marty Hirsch
DM 180

Rebel 6.0 386 or faster. VGA. 2MB RAM. 1.5 mb hard drive space. copy
3 installs. 3 playing strength levels. 16mb hash table available.
available: German, Dutch, English.

Rebel 7.0 Now available. Functional Rebel Decade is available at the
Upitt site under utilities for some unknown reason.

Zarkov 2.6 2350 by John Stanback / Chess Laboratories
Interfacing to the chess database software Bookup.
Supersedes Zarkov 2.5 (USCF 2280) by John Stanback.
Best analyzation features. DM 135

ChessChampion 2175 2340 by Chris Whittington
Program uses Shannon B strategy, not brute force like all the others.
Supersedes ChessPlayer by Chris Whittington. DM 115

KnightStalker II ~2300 by Frans Morsch / ChessBase
Interfacing to the chess database software ChessBase.
Program can be used as background-evaluator while working
with ChessBase 4.0. It can read ChessBase libraries. DM 178
Supersedes KnightStalker I (USCF 2260, DM 99) by ChessBase.

Grandmaster Chess 2300 by John Stanback / Capstone
Mass market version of Zarkov 2.55 with pull-down menus and fancier
(2d and 3d board), but is missing some of Zarkov2.6's features such as
generating multiple candidate moves when analyzing games, annotations,
generating PCX or WPG chess diagrams, interfacing to Bookup7 etc. DM

Rexchess 2.30 2290 by Larry Kaufman
DM 99. Will be superseded by TitanChess by Larry Kaufman,
which is expected to come out Dec 92.
- Heuristic Alpha by Larry Kaufman
Written for 8086er and 80286er in C. Selled to Electronic Arts.
Expected to come out spring 93.
- Sokrates by Larry Kaufman
Written for 80386er and 80486er in Assembler.
Hasn't found any publisher up to now.
Psion 2 2290 by Richard Lang / Psion Ltd.
Supersedes Psion 1 (USCF 2140) by Psion Ltd.
Program of Mephisto Amsterdam, recompiled for IBM PC.
CheckCheck by Wolfgang Delmare / Digital Concepts
German but completely self-explaining (mouse/buttons/icons).
Full version contains complete database of four-piece-finishings.
That needs 16 Mb on the hard disk.
DM 99 without database or DM 168 for full version. VGA only
Chessmaster 4000 (2304 ELO) by Software Toolworks <>
No copy protection. No limited number of installs. Auto
CD ROM version for windows available. Approximately $40. Incredibly good
to game quality ratio! CD Rom Version has larger
library of annotated games and Karpov (voice) discussing several of
his games - you can here him moving pieces in the background.

Approximately $40. Incredibly good cost to game quality ratio!

Chessmaster 5000 by springtime, 1996. Features expected
include a link to Bookup for analysis and ChessAssistant via epd files.
The game quality is expected to improve - but a rating of 2304 will beat
most of us anyway. If you think you are beating chessmaster 4000 easily
and have only recently started to play - check the level and time you
are allowing for thought and make sure deep thinking is on.
You may reach the CM5000 team at:

Sargon V ~2100? by Dan and Kathy Spracklen / Activision
DM 115. Supersedes Sargon IV by Spinnaker.
Colossus Chess X 2090
DM 50
BattleChess by Interplay
Very weak program with the most entertaining graphics. DM 50
A windows version of BattleChess is marketed as well for DM 110.
Little trap: BattleChess II isn't a chess but a chinese chess program.

WChess by David Kittinger. VGA. 600K disk space. 2 megabytes of RAM
minimum. 8 recommended.
386 processor. Hard drive required. Copy protected 2 or 3 installations.
Game file of Harvard Cup inluded. Games of Bobby Fischer. Has file
how WChess learns from its games. Test position file of Larry Kaufman
included. Can run in MSDos window of windows. Next best move for multiple
moves. Will operate with Chess 232 (external Chess Board).

Available for MacOS: Chessmaster 3000 & 2100, Sargon IV (V due soon),
BattleChess and CheckMate. Available for the Amiga: Chessmaster 2000 and
2100, Sargon III and IV, Chessplayer 2150 and Chess Champion 2175,
and CheckMate, ChessMate, The Art of Chess, Colossus Chess and the

Gnuchess is a freely available chess-playing software program (see [18]).
Its strength varies widely based on the machine for which it's compiled.

Subject: [13] Database Software

Chess databases store games and information about games, and can
and recall that information in a variety of ways. The "big four" of
databases are Chess Assistant, ChessBase, NICBase, and Bookup. You can
purchase data disks for each of these databases. NICBase and ChessBase
game-oriented,Chess Assistant is position or tree oriented and Bookup is
opening-oriented. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. A good (but
review of these programs was written by Eric Schiller and appeared in the
Sept. 1990 _Chess Life_. A more current review was written for the APCT,
Jon Edwards has volunteered his e-mail address for information: At this time, I believe each of these
programs can interface with Fritz, Zarkov, HIARCS, and Chess Genius.
A saved postion can even be retrieved by ChessMaster 4000.

A saved postion (epd format) can even be retrieved by ChessMaster 4000.
The next version of ChessMaste 5000 is expected to be able to have a
integration with the database software. Reviews will be incorporated and
expanded here as I more fully
evaluate the programs.

Chessbase for Windows Chess Assistant now have an expanded review
and improved coverage. Deja Vu, Bookup, Nicbase and others will follow,
as available. Sincere thanks to both ICS and ChessBase USA for making
programs available for evaluation.

Bookup from Chess Laboratories, Bookup, Inc. 2763 Kensington Place West,
Columbus, Ohio 43202
(800-949-5445). Version 8.5 is now available for $149.
Version 2.5.1 for MacOS costs $99. Online demo is available at
This demo may read any version 8 database and includes a
subset of the e4 openings. Definitely look at the demo and sample
data on ICS. Opening study books are also available. Books on disk
The Scheveningen Sicilian, London System, Samisch Seminar, Open Game,
Classical Ruy, Smith-Morra, and the Closed Game. Books on disk are priced
from $25- $29 The opening books are directed at a varied audience from
player to that which would be suitable for a grandmaster's opening
repertoire. Annotations are geared to the level at which the specific
is directed.

Hundreds of books-on-disk are available commercially from companies
such as Chessworks Unlimited 1-800-700-1242 ( and
Chessworks Unlimited has demos of their products at DixonData (614-890-4140)
is another supplier of compatable educational material.

More information is available free by sending a note to or by calling or emailing
one's postal address.

ChessAssistant 1.4 (MS-DOS); $195. Free conversion utilities for PGN,
ChessBase formats. Free functional demo available. The demo works on up
to 250 games.
Get the demo! This functional demo will give you an idea of the power of
program. It is available directly from ICS, Seattle, Washington and is
found online at The online name is capgn.exe.
selfextracting file). International Chess Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box
Seattle, WA 98109 1-800-26-CHESS or 206-448-1066. 5,000 games included
basic. One of the outstanding features is the "tree", from which all of
paths leading into and out of a particular board position are displayed.
percentages wins for white, draws, wins for black are displayed for each
, and the same statistics may be toggled on for that particular board
position. Header and position searches. Easy easy to use, the interface
menu is quite intuitive. When entering your own games, a move guessing
algorithm is used by CA and is extremely helpful. May be linked to
Chess Genius, Fritz or HIARCS for analyis assistance. 1995 subscription
12,000 games sent every 2 months $150. 350,000 games on CDROM $250. This
truely an amazingly large number of games. Annotated Game Collections:
include CA-Light Ruy Lopez (Spanish), Sicilian Chelyabinsk (...e5,
Lasker/Pelikan), King's Indian Averbakh, Sicilian Rossolimo - $15 each.
free support is available 5 days per week.
The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at:
"" .

ChessBase 4.0 (MS-DOS only); basic $295, deluxe $395, super mega -
$595. upgrade from 2.2 $75. ChessBase ACCESS $39.95. ChessBase USA,
P.O. Box
133, Hagerstown, MD 21741. 301-733-7541 (orders only: 800-524-3527); fax
301-797-6269. USCF prices: 3.0 $279, ACCESS $37.95. ChessBase 4.0 is
upgrade from 3.0 is $60-70, Depending on manual. $5 demo disk.

ChessBase for Windows (1.1)(Windows 3.1); $295 basic. deluxe $395.
there is a special available with the basic ChessBase for Windows:
games are included at no extra charge. Upgrade from CB 4.0 for DOS is
Upgrade from ChessBase for Windows 1.0 approximately $60.00.
Analysis module $60. ChessBase USA, P.O. Box 133, Hagerstown, MD 21741.
301-733-7541 (orders
only: 800-524-3527); fax 301-797-6269. A demo is available at
the Upitt home site in 2 files:
<a href=""> ChessBase
Windows - 1/2</a><br>
<a href=""> ChessBase
Windows - 2/2</a><br>

This is the only chess database program currently
available to run directly in Microsoft Windows. Note that Windows
requires a
fast computer. I would recommend a 486 50DX at a minumum, but those with
tolerance for waiting than I could use a slower machine. The quick start
manual recommends a minimum of a 486-33, although it will run on a 386.
graphics are viewable at 640 x 480 although the manual recommends 800 x
(Maybe they have a 17" monitor!). It is an exceptional program and makes
use of the features of windows. Multiple games may be viewed
each one may be miniaturized so that 6 or more games may be visible, each
independent controls. The same game may be viewed at different stages. It
easy to edit or add alternate lines and comments, annotations or "?",
"!", etc
to any game in your database. Just begin using your mouse to enter the
or click on the appropriate icon to add comments. You do not have to
to any other submenu area. This is an incredible convenience and an
time saver. The game may then be saved either in the original database or
alternate or "training" database. Several games may be combined. If you
studying a particular opening and want to combine 4 or 5 games that
this opening, you may combine them together as alternate lines of each
Highlight the games, press the enter key and the games will be combined
together. ECO type viewing of the lines is available one mouse click
Searching and sorting on a variety of fields is available. Classification
ECO is one Control-C away. Besides the oridinary position search a
called "find novelty" features a modified position search which will find
games that are similar to the game that you are viewing or have just
It will search the currently open database. The printing and publishing
features are exceptional, and like other truetype windows printing
extremely easy to use. If your windows has already been configured for
printer there is no set up necessary. ChessBase magazine
includes approximately 1,000 games every second month, 25% - 50%
along with a section on tactics, endgames, dramatic master errors and an
opening study. These may be added to your database choices within CBW.
(CBM Express $225 includes CB Magazine and monthly disks totalling 16,000
games per year).

Chess Genius: Written in 386 assembler.$149 for Genius 3, or $75
for the Genius 2 to 3 upgrade.

Deja Vu Chess Library (Chessworks Unlimited at 1-800-700-1242, or via fax
(415) 712-0720 or via Internet
( or $349.00 list price.)

<A HREF="">Chessworks homepage</A>.

Deja Vu Chess Library is a CD-rom containing over 350,000 chess games
in a
FoxPro-based database, including a powerful search engine. It can be used
a standalone research database or in conjunction with most popular
and chess processing programs. Data is accessible from ChessBase,
Chess Assistant, Nicbase, Bookup and others. Macintosh and Windows
versions are available. Since this is in a Foxpro based database, Foxpro
or Visual Basic or Microsoft Access may also be used to develop your own
program or set up features you would like to use. A new version is
by the end of summer, a discounted upgrade to the new version will be
available. Yearly CD database upgrades are expected to be available at
less than $100 per year. National Master Eric Schiller designed the
database project, which was implemented by John Crayton of
J.H. Crayton & Associates.
The games supplied on the CD are not annotated. Games can be
if they are on your hard disk rather than the CD, by inserting comments
wherever you wish. All fields are editable, including the game itself,
which is stored in a Fox Pro memo field.
A broad range of games from early excursions by Greco to events of
1994. Most of the games are from professional chess events, included also
are correspondence play (over 17,000) and 10% of the collection is from
Open and amateur events. This allows for a diverse database which
extensive examples of Gambit and unusual line play that is not as
seen in GM vs. GM collections.
Deja Vu itself will Search by player, event, year, result,
number of moves, specific sequences of moves, openings
(both ECO codes and by name) and any combination of these (including
Boolean searches). Virtually any program that accepts ASCII or PGN
import, including ChessBase, Chess Assistant, NICbase, Zarkov, Hiarchs,
Kasparov's Gambit, Chessmaster, Chess Genius 3, Gazebo, Bookup. Some
programs require a conversion utility for PGN import. Chessworks
supplies a converter for ChessBase.
Exportable data can be produced in the following formats: ASCII,
Kasparov's Gambit, Figurine notation (USCF standard), Bookup
and FoxPro/dBase. A CD-rom player, 3 Megs of available hard disk space,
and 4 Megs of RAM, with Macintosh or Windows operating systems. You do
not require FoxPro, since a runtime version is part of the Deja Vu
Deja Vu is a game collection, and intended to be used with other
programs, not compete with them. The unique aspect of Deja Vu is that the
games can be used with almost any program. You can even import them
into Microsoft Word, Excel or Access. It is a true Windows/Mac program,
with copy and paste functions via the clipboard. It does not have
at this time have position search/compare features, built-in replay
or other advanced chess playing functions. It is not copyprotected.
A demo is available, which has only the import feature disabled at: in the directory ftp/pub/chesswks/DejaVuDemo

NICBase 3.0 (MS-DOS or Atari ST: $195 with 5,000 games; $595 with 50,000
games) & NICTools ($125) from Chess Combination, Inc. P.O. Box 2423 Noble
Station, Bridgeport CT 06608-0423. Phone 203-367-1555 or 800-354-4083;
203-380-1703; e-mail (Albert Henderson). Free
catalog and sample of _New in Chess_. NICBase 3 demo disk free to users
CompuServe and the Internet. NICBase 3 was reviewed in _Chess Horizons_
Jul/Aug 1992, Canadian _En Passant_ Apr 1992, _California Chess Journal_
Feb/Mar 1992, and USAT _Chess Perspectives_ Nov 1991.

Smart Chess, available from 4M Data Systems, Inc. 800-125-3555
162 W. Washington St. Hagerstown, MD 21740 Macintosh Software

Subject: [14] Common Acronyms

BIT: 1 unit of infomation. A 0 or 1.
BYTE: 8 bits.
HASH TABLE: A table read in to memory for lookup. May be used for
K (Kilobyte): 1,024 bytes.
MB (Megabyte): 1,024 Kilobytes.
MIPS: millions of instructions per second.
RAM: Random access memory.
RISC: Reduced instruction Set Code.

Subject: [15] Sketches of Computer Software Authors:

More authors will be added on a regular basis. Biographical sketches are
readily accepted-please email them to me. The Computer Chess Reports was
source of much of the information below.

David Kittinger: Author of WChess. Primary programmer of Novag for more
than 10 years. His programs on the 6502 chip include The Novag
Superconstellation which became the first certified Expert level program
by the C.R.A. He then programmed on the 68000 chip, designing the
for the Diablo and Scorpio. He also wrote the software for the
Diamond/Sapphire series. PC experience before WChess included Chessmaster
2000. Dave lives in Mobile, Alabama. He also enjoys coaching youth soccer
and baseball.

Subject: [16] Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

The FAQ is compiled and posted by Stephen Pribut at

Some answers given may reflect personal biases of the author and the
chess FAQ
listing's contributors. In cases where the answers name specific
products and
their respective manufacturers, these are not to be taken as endorsements
nor commercials for, the manufacturer. Where cost information is stated
is based on "street" information, and is in no way binding on the seller.
Unless otherwise stated, prices, addresses, and telephone numbers are in
United States' terms. The answers contained herein pertain to
discussions on
the news group, and are by no means exhaustive.

"The rgcc FAQ" is copyrighted 1995. Before reprinting a FAQ article
for monetary gain (or major portions of one), please obtain
permission from the author of the article. The chess FAQ list owes its
existence to the contributors on the net, and as
such it belongs to the readers of Copies may be made
as long as they are distributed at no charge, and the disclaimer and the
copyright notice are included.
Stephen M. Pribut


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