My nearly-eight-year-old son has taken a renewed interest in playing chess, and is also getting his father somewhat inspired as well. A few years ago when he was first interested, I had an old Mac that I ran MacChess on. It was perfect for a five-year-old because you could set it to make completely random moves. Sure it would just happen to take a piece once in a while, but it gave my son lots of confidence that he could play the game and win. Plus I could set it weak enough that I was likely to beat it too if I got tired of getting creamed. Plus my son had fun toying with all the different board and piece designs.
That old Mac is history, now it's FreeBSD and Linux or nothin'. So I've built two chess engines -- gnuchess and crafty -- and two GUIs for them -- xboard and knights. This is all well and good if you happen to be a good chess player. Which neither my son nor I are. I've scoured the Internet the best I know how to find something akin to that ol' MacChess program, but I can't find anything. Do any of you have any suggestions?
1. A chess engine that is actually beatable. A truly random move setting would be cool. No matter how weak I make gnuchess and crafty, I get creamed. (OK, I'm really bad. Or I haven't learned how to properly hobble the engines.) Imagine how frustrating it is for an eight-year-old just trying to learn the game. We have to take away the opponent's rooks -- and sometimes the queen, too -- to give him a fighting chance. That's no fun.
2. Alternate GUIs. Personally, I like the look of xboard, but my son gets a kick out of selecting piece sets. Are there any other chess GUIs beyond xboard? Or other piece sets for xboard that folks have built?
3. I can't get knights to work. It doesn't appear to have been updated in over a year. It doesn't work with versions of gnuchess past version 4 (it's been well into version 5 for some time). It doesn't work with the latest version of crafty. There doesn't appear to be any way to just play a game that doesn't involve a game clock. It does, however, have lots of fun board and piece designs, which is why I got it in the first place.
_______________________________________________ [EMAIL PROTECTED] mailing list http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[EMAIL PROTECTED]"