ChessV Universal Chess Program
Update 2017-12-31 ChessV 2.1 released - What's New
What is ChessV?
ChessV is a free, open-source universal chess program with a graphical user interface,
sophisticated AI engine, and other features of traditional Chess programs. As a "universal" chess program, it not only plays
orthodox Chess, it is also capable of playing games reasonbly similar to Chess. It currently plays over 70 different chess variants,
and can be programmed to play additional variants.
Download ChessV 2.1
Version 2.0, released March 2017, was a complete rewrite from scratch. It was six years in the making with over 250 files of source code.
The Version 2 rewrite has many improvements over previous versions, including:
Download version 2.0
- A vastly improved user interface with better graphics and more features
- In addition to providing a built-in computer opponent, version 2 also supports being used as a GUI to control other engines that support the XBoard protocol
- Starting with version 2, the program is now a .NET Framework application, allowing better cross-platform support. It can run on non-Windows operating systems, such as Linux, using Mono
- ChessV 2 is far more universal, allowing support for many more types of games. Here are some of the new features with examples of games that are now supported:
- A scripting language, providing limited support for defining custom variants without needing to recompile ChessV itself. This feature is in early development and subject to change.
For examples, look in the Include directory. The following games included with ChessV are implemented through the scripting language:
Almost Chess, Butterfly Chess,
Enep, Janus Kamil Chess, and
Latrunculi duo milia et septum
Version 0.95 was the final version of the original ChessV, which was a native Microsoft Windows application written in C++.
It was impressive for its time, but the source code was a tangled mess. It was my first attempt at making any sort of chess program,
nevermind a universal chess program, so it contained a lot of unfortunate design decisions. I decided it was best to abandon it and
start from scratch. I chose to use C# for the rewrite rather than C++. Although not as fast, and offering less ability for optimization,
using C# allowed me to incorporate powerful features that would have taken much, much longer in C++ and would have been much harder to debug.
Using .NET also allowed better cross-platform support. Although the C# re-write began in 2012, I did release a final updated
version of the old C++ program, version 0.95, in November 2016 to fix a couple of long-standing issues. For a universal chess program, it
still offers a reasonably strong AI, even by modern standards, and as one of the first programs of its kind, it has some
Download version 0.95
There is no installation program for this version - simply unzip (preserving folders) and run. It should also run under Linux using Wine.
COPYRIGHT (C) 2017 BY GREG STRONG