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Wulebgr Chess

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Chess Software

Database Organization

Chess Informant Chess Informant has been publishing some of the most important chess books since 1966. Their software permits access to the electronic versions of these books and much more. For example, the chess diagrams on these pages were easy to create with CI Expert. CI Expert Light, the trial version is free.
ChessBase The standard for database storage and organization. Their database software sets the standard, and their playing/analysis engines are among the best. Chess Base Light, the trial version is free.
Chess Assistant The main rival to ChessBase with many similar features. In addition, Chess Assistant can be used as an interface for accessing ICC. Chess Assistant Light, the trial version is free.
SCID Shane's Chess Information Database. Many players claim this program is exceptional; I have not tried it. It is free, but there are additional perks for financial donors.
Bookup Reputedly the best software for developing and refining an opening repertoire. I have not used it, as the powerbook feature of ChessBase appear to meet my needs. A free trial version is available.

Playing Programs

Fritz This software sets the standard for chess playing. Two essential elements are packaged together as Fritz. The Graphic User Interface (GUI) and the engine. The Fritz GUI supports limited database features, opening training, and with an engine performs automatic game annotation. The GUI is shared by all playing programs marketed by ChessBase--Fritz, Shredder, Junior, and Hiarcs. The Deep versions of these are for multiprocessor systems. Each of these engines rivals the others for claim of the strongest engine. The GUI supports all these engines, as well as others that have been configured to run with it--Crafty, Comet, Anaconda, and others. It also supports the Universal Chess Interface (UCI) for which there are more than 100 engines available, many free.
Hiarcs Hiarcs has a more positional, almost human-like style than Fritz. It is also the strongest engine available for Palm and Mac platforms. It is often my first choice for game analysis, although Fritz, Crafty, and Ruffian all receive regular use on my PC.
Chessmaster Chessmaster 10th edition has a completely new interface quite different than the standard that prevailed from 3000 through 9000. It still has the exceptional training feature--many levels of play designed as personalities, interactive lessons by Josh Waitzkin and others, and limited database features. Only one playing engine--the King--is supported, however. The King appears only marginally weaker than Fritz and family in playing strength.
Arena Arena is an interface with limited database features, but exceptional engine support. A user may play against any of the hundreds of engines it supports--as many as six may be downloaded as part of the basic Arena set-up package. It supports Winboard protocol and UCI. It is the software of choice for engine vs. engine matches and tournaments. The software can run tournaments with little to no attention from the user. Arena is free.
Winboard Winboard, and its Unix-compatible counterpart Xboard set the standard for open-source GUIs, a standard followed by UCI. Winboard is a PGN viewer, a chess server interface (it can be used to access FICS, for example), and a chess engine interface. Since its introduction with the Gnuchess engine in 1991, hundreds of chess playing programs have been developed to work with it. Because it is open-source, anyone with the requisite programming knowledge can write an engine program to work with it.

Winboard Engines

Tim Mann's Chess Pages Tim Mann developed Winboard and Xboard, as well as several other chess applications.
Aaron's Winboard FAQ Aaron Tay's FAQ pages offers loads of history of Winboard and UCI protocols, as well as explanations of tablebases, and how-to accomplish many tasks with Winboard and UCI interfaces and engines.
Winboard Forum This forum, which requires registration to access, is a primary means of communication for Winboard engine developers. It is also an excellent source of news and information for users of Winboard engines.
Tom's Stuff Thomas McBurney has developed two Winboard engines, as well as several utilities for Winboard. I use his Engine Manager for installing and managing engines in Winboard, and his Network Adaptor for connecting two computers (pitting my partner's Athlon against my Pentium, for example).
WBEC Ridderkerk This site is devoted to Winboard engine tournaments. It offers information on currently running engine tournaments, as well as many that have finished. The site offers engine rating lists, and is an excellent gateway to download pages for many free Winboard compatible engines.
RWBC: Regensberg Winboard Circuit This site is also devoted to Winboard engine tournaments. It offers information on currently running engine tournaments, as well as many that have finished. The site offers engine rating lists, a WB engines chronology, links to the best Winboard sites, and PGN files of engine matches for download. These games can also be replayed on an Applet chessboard built into the site.
Winboard-Newsticker Although no longer updated, this site offers useful information concerning many Winboard engines with links sites for download.

UCI Engines

UCI This site functions as a gateway for information about UCI interfaces and engines. It lists more than seventy free UCI engines with links to the creators' homepages for more information and download. The news-ticker records continuing developments in Arena and other UCI interfaces, and efforts to improve compatibility between Winboard and UCI.
Ruffian The Homepage for Ruffian, one of the strongest free engines.
Aristarch and List The Homepage for Aristarch and List, two of the strongest free engines.