OpenChess is a Chess game, Opening Trainer and Chess database for the Palm OS platform.
OpenChess has a clear and easy-to-understand user interface. While playing you will see the board, coordinates, the last move in SAN notation and a couple of buttons to reach the most used functions with only one click.
For example, you can turn the board, switch side, ask for move suggestion (hint) or display material differences at any time. OpenChess will support Drag and Move - you can make a move with just dragging a piece to the new square.
A clock will display how much time the playing side has consumed so far. The same clock will be used to indicate the progress for computer moves. Additionally, you will be able to change background colors and piece sets.
New piece sets can be either downloaded or you can even create your own one, provided you have bitmaps of your favorite pieces (OpenChess Pieceset HowTo).
OpenChess 3.0 will contain native support for most resolutions of PalmOS devices with PalmOS 3.0 and above.
New in version 3.0 is:
- 320x480, color on PalmOS 5 (i.e. Tungsten T3)
- 240x320, grayscale on PalmOS 3.5 (i.e. HandEra 330)
- 240x320, color on PalmOS 5 (i.e. Qool QDA-700)
Dynamic input area (also called HiRes+) of such devices will also be used by OpenChess, now.
All games played against the computer or by yourself can be loaded and saved to the OpenChess palm database (PDB) and exported as PGN file to the Memo Pad application. Furthermore the board edit mode allows for setup of any legal board position, including information about castling and en passant possibilities. An opening book with 241 opening lines is built-in the OpenChess.prc - in addition, opening books can be loaded onto the device as palm database.
In Player vs. Player mode you can record chess games including variants. In this mode you can go back and forward and recall all positions played. Additionally, it is possible to start a chess engine in order to evaluate the current position.
OpenChess is released under GNU/GPL (Open Source).
OpenChess comes with a built-in engine which is based on GNU Chess 2. This engine runs on all PalmOS versions in origin Palm 68k code. As latest devices are on PalmOS 5 and have an ARM CPU - OpenChess 3.0 also supports chess engines with native ARM code for faster move calculation. These engines will be distributed as separate PRC files. This allows loading of several different chess engines as well as balancing memory consumption.
Currently, the following engines are available:
- Scorpio 1.6 (supports also Time/Game settings)
- Fruit 2.1
- Toga II 1.1a
- GambitFruit 4bx
- GNU Chess 2 (built-in engine in ARM code)
All ARM engines (except GNU Chess 2) reached an ELO value of 2300 and above in the BT2450 test - for details refer to the result list.
As OpenChess supports an open concept for chess engines it is possible to port any chess engine to OpenChess as long as the code is available in C/C++.
PC Tools and Conduit
As OpenChess uses PalmOS data bases (PDBs) for Opening Books and Chess data bases PC tools are available to convert PGN files into PDB files and vice versa.
A conduit is also available - this syncronizes a PGN file on you PC with the OpenChessDB on you device.
As the programs do not yet belong to the Open Source project all OpenChess supporters can requested a test version by the OpenChess author.
Not only for ambitious chess players OpenChess offers an Opening Trainer which allows for easy training of opening books or your own opening repertoire. Knowing openings by heart saves a lot of time in chess games and avoids mistakes in the first phase of a game.
If you want to learn more about openings just search the Web (i.e. chess opening repertoire).
Besides the internal Opening Book you can load additional Opening Books onto the device as palm database (PDB). Usage of separate Opening Books for playing as white or black is supported as well.
Opening Books for OpenChess can be created from any PGN file (multiple games, their variants and comments will be considered) - see PC Tools for details.
In addition you can check out the tracker section of OpenChess's Sourceforge page.
Currently, OpenChess is available in 10 languages. The main PRC file (OpenChess.prc) contains all English descriptions except for the help texts. These texts are delivered in the English translation file.
Additionally, the following languages are available:
If you run a support program for the letters of these languages, you can use the translation for OpenChess as well: