On-line engine blitz tourney May

Discussion of chess software programming and technical issues.

Moderators: bob, hgm, Harvey Williamson

Forum rules
This textbox is used to restore diagrams posted with the [d] tag before the upgrade.
Joost Buijs
Posts: 1039
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:47 am
Location: Almere, The Netherlands

On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Joost Buijs » Wed May 13, 2020 6:35 am

The monthly on-line engine blitz tourney for May will take place on:

Saturday May 16, 2:00 PM EST (Boston time), 20:00 CET (Amsterdam time)

To connect:

winboard -zp -ics -icshost nightmare-chess.nl -icshelper timeseal -fcp ENGINE.exe -fd ENGINEFOLDER -autoKibitz

(for UCI engines, add -fUCI)

People without an account on the server can submit a request for a (new) account to admin@nightmare-chess.nl

Tourney format: 9 rounds Swiss 5/1

Our tournament manager will be: Eendje (Lisebeth) from ICC

Daniel Anulliero
Posts: 698
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:55 pm
Location: Nice

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Daniel Anulliero » Fri May 15, 2020 5:50 am

Good news!
My new bitboards isa is not ready yet but of course I'll be there with my old one 😊

RubiChess
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:20 am

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by RubiChess » Fri May 15, 2020 6:14 am

I asked for an account via email some minutes before but I never played on an ICS server before and would like to ask if there is some "training" server that I can use (even without account or with some guest access) to become familiar with the GUI and the commands and everything. Don't want to crash a tourney by not knowing how to use the ICS client.

Thanks, Andreas

jdart
Posts: 3924
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:23 am
Location: http://www.arasanchess.org

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by jdart » Fri May 15, 2020 9:13 am

"some "training" server that I can use"
The best thing probably is to log into the nightmare-chess.nl some time before the tourney - there are usually a few engines logged in there and you can try playing a few games with them.

Alternatively, you can try your engine on FICS (freechess.org). It is the same interface, pretty much (the nightmare-chess.nl server runs server code that I believe is an earlier version of the FICS code). But you need to apply to have a computer account - you are not allowed to just log in and start running a computer on the server. See "help computer_app" on the server for the process. It can take some time to get an approved account.

RubiChess
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:20 am

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by RubiChess » Fri May 15, 2020 10:46 am

I have an account now for nightmare-chess.nl (thanks Joost for quick response) but it seems not trivial to get xboard under Linux (Ubuntu 20.04) running and connecting to this ICS.
First I needed to learn that I have to install polyglot which is not part of the xboard package to run UCI engines.
Now after making my own engine run in local xboard I connected to the ICS server (without the -icshelper parameter) and tried to play a match but it ended in a time forfeit cause my engine didn't play and I had to do the moves myself. It seems that the "-icshelper timeseal" is important for letting the engine play. But this timeseal program seems no standard package and is not part of Ubuntu. So I downloaded some old 32bit binary from the Link in this page https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Scid/ put it in the /usr/games folder where the xboard binary is and it seems to work standalone:

Code: Select all

andreas@andreas-xubuntu:~/Entwicklung$ timeseal nightmare-chess.nl 5000
Timeseal: Success
But I still don't get a connection (login page) when I use the -icshelper timeseal parameter with xboard.
Any idea? Meanwhile I will give winboard under Windows a try but that would be 2nd best solution...

Regards, Andreas

Modern Times
Posts: 2544
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:02 pm

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Modern Times » Fri May 15, 2020 11:34 am

I used Gaviota under XBoard a few years back, and it was fine. So it is possible, but I can't recall exactly what I had to do, sorry. I don't run Linux any more. But HG will surely be able to help if he sees your post.
.

Opinions expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the CCRL Group.

Henk
Posts: 6367
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 8:31 am

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Henk » Fri May 15, 2020 11:46 am

Daniel Anulliero wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 5:50 am
Good news!
My new bitboards isa is not ready yet but of course I'll be there with my old one 😊
bitboards go well with a nightmare

User avatar
Ronald
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:18 am
Location: Rotterdam
Full name: Ronald Friederich
Contact:

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by Ronald » Fri May 15, 2020 12:36 pm

I beleive Timeseal is used for correction of the clocks, so that the speed of your connection doesn't play a role. So you should be able to get a login screen even without timeseal.

From my raspberry pi I connect with the following:

Code: Select all

xboard -zp -ics -icshost nightmare-chess.nl  -fcp /home/pi/Chess/rofChade/obj/rofChade -autoKibitz -fUCI -icshelper /home/pi/Chess/timeseal/openseal
Make sure you have an ini file for your engine for polyglot. The name is the uci "id name" returned by your engine after "uci" (spaces become an underscore) in the right directory. You can put the startup parameters for your engine in there.

For the tournament you need a working timeseal. On my pi a precompiled version didn't work, so I compiled one myself. This one worked:

https://github.com/ecolitan/fatics/blob ... openseal.c

User avatar
hgm
Posts: 24447
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:06 am
Location: Amsterdam
Full name: H G Muller
Contact:

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by hgm » Fri May 15, 2020 12:58 pm

Running engines on an ICS through XBoard is known as 'zippy mode' (for historic reasons). But you have to be careful, because including that mode in XBoard requires a compile option, which not all Linux distro maintainers might have switched on. So it is best to install XBoard from source, using the commands

./configure --enable-zippy
make
sudo make install

Be sure to include the -zp option when you run XBoard; without it XBoard will think you want to play as a human, and ignore the engine.

Indeed Polyglot for Linux is in a separate package. (It is against Linux philosophy to bundle software.) And unfortunately the distro maintainers are not willing to treat it as a dependency, because not everyone does use XBoard for running engines, and you don't need Polyglot to use XBoard as an ICS client for human play. So I think the XBoard binary package only 'recommends' Polyglot, which is not enough to automatically install it when you install XBoard.

When you have installed XBoard and Polyglot, the command given by Ronald below should work fine, provided you have a Linux version of timeseal installed. You can do without it, (by leaving out the -icshelper option), but then any network lag is taken out of your engine's time. Forget about ini files, these should never be touched. If you want to change the engine's parameters, use XBoard Engine Settings dialog. If you want to make these settings persist into later sessions, press "Polyglot Save" in that dialog.

Beware that Linux will only run binaries in the current directory if you prefix their name with "./" . So if you put timeseal in the same directory as XBoard, be sure to say "-icshelper ./timeseal".

jdart
Posts: 3924
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:23 am
Location: http://www.arasanchess.org

Re: On-line engine blitz tourney May

Post by jdart » Fri May 15, 2020 1:20 pm

I use icsdrone (https://github.com/DrRibosome/icsdroneng). This has native UCI support. The only complication with that is that it is really designed to run an engine on the server automatically, without any intervention by the engine owner. For tournaments though you either need to be able to command the engine to join the tourney or get the tournament manager to force-join it. To do the former, you can get a second account on the server, login in as the human "owner" of the engine, and then you can give the engine commands by issuing a "tell" to it. This will also allow you to observe the engine's games. (xboard in "zippy" mode has a similar feature, but you don't need it so much because you can just type into the xboard console of the engine).

Post Reply