Monday, September 28, 2009

ChessPad 2.0.1 released

This is just a bug fix update, resolving some minor issues. Download it

  • Fixed: Help->ChessPad Home Page links to ChessPad 1 Home Page.

  • Fixed: Fonts folder is not retrieved correctly by name.

  • Fixed: Requesting current position in search window gives error.

  • Fixed: Searching for position with piece NOT on a square does not work.

  • Fixed: Cancel after adding new engine leaves a new engine in the available list.

  • Fixed: Preferences->Open->On Game Load Show Last Position does not work in the main game viewer.

  • Fixed: When the game is view only, the notation popup still has editing features.

  • Fixed: Shortcuts for engine command give error when no engine is active.

  • Fixed: Gamelist header does not get updated when language is switched.

  • Fixed: Progress in export games and in operations on sets of games is strange.

  • Fixed: Export games to another ChessPad database does not work.

  • Fixed: Move options alternatives in line, alternatives as tree, set main altternative are not stored.

  • Fixed: Shortcuts Ctrl+'!' and Ctrl+'=' do not open the button menus.

  • Fixed: In the game list, Goto Game Nr selects the previous game nr.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Game Notation popup menu – Alternatives in line, as tree, set as main alternative

When you right click on the game notation, the following menu appears:

gamenotationpopupThe three highlighted commands can be used to change the layout of variations in the game notation. As an example, I have taken a fragment from the game Pillsbury – Lasker, St. Petersburg 95/96, with comments from Kasparov.


By default, the comments are all put in one paragraph, line by line with no special formatting. The comments contain a number of variations. Sometimes, the variations are more clear if they are structured more like a tree, than on a line. Setting Alternatives as tree on the move Ra3 will change the view into this:

altastreeonRa3 The alternatives after the move Ra3 (except the game move) will start a new, indented, paragraph. Repeating this for the move Qb6 yields this:

altastreeonQb6Finally, if you look at the move Ka2, the first sub-alternative. It can be set to be the main alternative which gives this:

setmainaltonKa1The main alternative will be continued in the paragraph, while the other alternatives are listed subordinately.

The main settings for the game notation layout can be found in the Preferences->Game Display->Display Settings.

relatedsettingsHere you can select the default style of the comment layout, narrative (everything in a paragraph) or tree-like. 

Alternatives as tree can be used when the game is displayed with the Narrative Comment Lay-out option to force the tree-like comment layout for selected moves.

Alternatives in line can be used when the game is displayed with the Tree-like Comment Lay-out option to force the Narrative comment layout for selected moves.

Set as main alternative can be used when the alternatives are laid out like a tree, to force for that move the narrative comment layout style.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Preferences Window – the Open page

ChessPad has many options, they can be found in the Preferences window. In this post I will show you the Open page.


With View Game Only, you control the View Games Only behavior in the Game Viewer. By default it is on, and when opening a database, it will be automatically set to View Games Only (see the menu Database->View Games Only in the main window)

When a database is set for View Games Only, upon loading a game from the database, it will be for viewing only (see the menu Game->View Only), and when a move is made on the board the game viewer will go into Try out mode and not make changes to the game.

Show last position: Select this option when you want to load a game at the last position. This is handy with some training databases, where you have to continue play at the end of training game. (For training, use also View From Color to Move). But also with regular games it can be nice to have, since it provides some extra information about the game immediately. Default is Show first position.

View From Players: Loading a game that has one of the players in this list will open with that player’s pieces at the bottom. Use this option for your favorite players, or for your own games. The name you enter must be an exact match.

View From Color To Move: Select this option when you want to game to load with pieces that have the move on the bottom. This is rather handy with training databases, where you have to continue play at the first or last position. (See also Show last position). 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Annotating games

With ChessPad you can create nice-looking annotated games or positions, and they can be printed easily. In this post I will show how to put markings on the board and how to add diagrams in the game notation.


Add board markings


To highlight a square, Alt+click on the square to put in a green highlight, Alt+Ctrl+click for yellow, Alt+Shift+click for red.

To draw an arrow on the board, keep Alt pressed while dragging the mouse from the start square to the end square to put in a green arrow. For a yellow arrow drag with Alt+Ctrl, for a red arrow drag with Alt+Shift.

To remove a square highlight or an arrow, just apply the same color highlight or arrow again. (or just Alt+Click twice to remove the highlight and Alt+drag twice to remove the arrow.)

To remove all board markings, use the menu command Position->Delete Marks.

Add diagrams in the game notation

To add a diagram after the current move in the game notation, insert a diagram symbol. Use the menu command Position->Symbols (or press Ctrl+A) and the Comments window will open on the symbols page. Here are two diagram symbols.


You can choose between adding a diagram with the white pieces at the bottom or a diagram with black pieces on the bottom. Click the diagram you want, click OK and a diagram will appear in the notation. To remove a diagram, open the Comments window again, and click again on the diagram marker to unselect it.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sorting the Game List on Multiple Criteria

The game list in ChessPad 2 can be sorted on more than one criterium.
For example, it is possible to sort the game list first by White player, and then by Black player name. You do this by ctrl-clicking the additional criteria. In this case, first click the White column header, and then ctrl+click the Black column header. Ctrl+clicking will keep the already present sort criteria, and add or reverse the criterium for the clicked column header. The column's sort direction arrows get a number attached to indicate the order of the sort keys.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Using Crafty in ChessPad 2

First, get a version of Crafty. I downloaded Crafty 23.0 from Make sure the exe file is not blocked by Windows, unblock it if needed.

In ChessPad, go to the menu Database->Preferences->Engine, and click Add to add a new engine for ChessPad to use.

In the Engine Configuration window, type a name for the engine, and select the Crafty executable file. Also, set the engine type to the WB2 protocol.

That's basically what is needed to make Crafty usable in ChessPad.

Click OK to close this window.

Back in the Preferences window, under the available engines, select Crafty and click the right pointing bracket to start using the engine.

Click OK to close the Preferences window.

At the bottom of the ChessPad window, the engine control buttons are now visible:

  • A: Starts/stops analyzing (it shows what the engine is thinking)

  • P: Starts/stops play mode. After clicking it, the engine will respond to your next move

  • M!: Force the engine to make a move

If you want to close the engine panel, you can right-click on the name, and a menu will popup.

That's it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Problem: ChessPad does not install the chess fonts

Sometimes the chess fonts with ChessPad do not install correctly. If you have this problem, it is easy to fix by installing them manually as follows:
  1. Open the ChessPad installation folder and go to the common subfolder. (In a default install it would be C:\Program Files\ChessPad2\common.)

  2. For Vista and later: Right-click each of the 4 font files (IS-TT-21.TTF, PRG55CHE.TTF, STCHESS.TTF, TBASEDIA.TTF) and click Install in the popup menu.

  3. For XP: Copy each of the 4 font files (IS-TT-21.TTF, PRG55CHE.TTF, STCHESS.TTF, TBASEDIA.TTF) into the windows Fonts folder (by default C:\Windows\Fonts). That will install them.

The next time you open ChessPad , it should use the chess fonts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ChessPad 2.0 release

After quite some time, I've released a major update to ChessPad. It has many new features, I hope you like it. Also, on the website I've added a forum and a wiki. A forum for any questions you might have, and a wiki to put in any documentation that I will happen to write. I hope also through this blog to be able to give information about ChessPad features.