Fast Queen Promotion on Electronic Chessboard

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abik
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Fast Queen Promotion on Electronic Chessboard

Post by abik » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:26 am

Many users of Chess for Android use the combination of an electronic chessboard (Certabo, DGT, or Millennium) and online play, where making moves quickly can make the difference between winning or losing. In the past, I have made improvements that enabled quicker castling and taking en-passant. However, one request for quicker promotions was still pending.

When using the electronic chessboard, there were two ways to promote a pawn. One way is to make the move with the pawn first, then use the popup window in the GUI to select the promotion piece, and finally replace the pawn with the piece on the electronic board. The second way is to remove the promoting pawn from the electronic board first, and then place the promotion piece on the board thereafter. Either way registers the promotion correctly, both for regular or minor promotion.

However, during rapid games, even this simple procedure may be a bit cumbersome. Therefore I added an extra option to Chess for Android. While setting up the electronic chessboard, you can now also select the "Always Queen Promotion" option. With this option, moving just the pawn will register the promotion into a queen right away (and send the move to the online server when connected). This enables players to replace the pawn with the queen outside their own time. Minor promotions are still possible with this new option, but require the second way described above.

The new feature will be available soon on Google Play!

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mephisto
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Re: Fast Queen Promotion on Electronic Chessboard

Post by mephisto » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:08 am

Thanks Aart
What's my next move? - to the fridge for another beer !!

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hgm
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Re: Fast Queen Promotion on Electronic Chessboard

Post by hgm » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:37 am

In WinBoard there is the option "Nearly always promote to Queen", which switches on "detour underpromotion". In this mode moving a Pawn directly to the promotion square automatically gives you a Queen. But in the rare case you want to under-promote you can still do it by first pulling the Pawn backwards, before landing it on the promotion square. The first offered alternative will be the Knight, but as you pull back further this then changes to Bishop, and finally Rook. There is visual feedback through the pictogram of the piece you are dragging; when the piece of choice appears you can start moving it forward to finish the promotion.

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There is no reason why something similar could not be done with an electronic chessboard. After lifting a 7th-rank Pawn putting it down immediately on the promotion square can be interpreted as promotion to Queen (as you have now), but tapping 6th rank with the Pawn before putting it (or a Knight) on the promotion square can be interpreted as promotion to Knight. :idea:

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abik
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Re: Fast Queen Promotion on Electronic Chessboard

Post by abik » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:41 pm

hgm wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:37 am
There is no reason why something similar could not be done with an electronic chessboard. After lifting a 7th-rank Pawn putting it down immediately on the promotion square can be interpreted as promotion to Queen (as you have now), but tapping 6th rank with the Pawn before putting it (or a Knight) on the promotion square can be interpreted as promotion to Knight. :idea:
That is an interesting idea! There is of course always a chance that the 6th or 5th rank is fully occupied, but in most cases, this, or some other tapping method, may indeed be a nifty way to quickly enter a minor promotion. But hopefully the need for minor promotion in rapid online games is so rare, that the "second way" above suffices (would save me some engineering efforts! :-)).

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