POCKETCHESS DELUXE (VER 2,51) AND DESKTOP COMPANION ext.
Pocketchess is one of the oldest available software for Palm OS system. starting from ver 1.0 till the current version the program passed through various phases of progress.
It is also one of the largest files available for the Palm OS Compatibles as far as chess software is concerned.The program size is due included database of games . Historicals and World Championship Games,and Mate Solutions.The menu of the program is efficient and the use of the program is easy.Time Control is verified by an internal clock which is visible in digital form also in countdown modus of prefixed thinking time progress can be seen in sliced time counter. The programmer is Scott Ludwig who has programmed other handheld compatible versions of Pocketchess.The Desktop Companion is a uniqe program and is so helpful that no other program has such facility in such an easy form of converting chess games from PGN format into Palm OS readable format.I myself converted a database of 5000
games with great ease in a few minutes and saving on my Palm Handheld replayed the games.It is a very helpful tool specially if you want to study a specific or a favorite chess variation by replaying games .Considering that some programs can only import games one by one imagine the time saved when considering 5000 games.The desktop companion which is windows compatible can be used on your PC and replay games which gives larger visibility due to the size of the screen.
The menu starts with New game where color of play can be selected skill level is adjusted according to time needed for each move from instant play till any time length for the move or for the entire game.The played game can be categorized for example a series of games or unfiled even a category can be programmed.Details selection is identical with the choice in new game command.Delete Game ,Resign Game ,Beam Game ,Import and Export Game Command are also on these menu.Game list reflects both games Played by the player against the computer or those available in the Database.Finally the last command in this column is Beam Demo feature.
The second column of the menu (Edit)is Undo Move Copy to Clipboard.Delete,Hint regarding a move .View is related to the screen view.Large board with no other feature visible,Medium Board with Clock and various command signs related to the course of the game.And Medium without the clock but all functions .In case of a game is replayed from database the names of players are also visible.
The third and the last columt(Options) consists of moves where the last three moves for each side is reflected.Colors function enables change of colors both for the board and the color of the pieces.Blindfold enables blindfold play by neutralizing the pieces or any figure as you like can be adjusted for blindfold play.Pieces Taken and Preferences regarding the animation , Autoplay ,Hint Level and notation Type as well as sound effects,default autoplay etc and finally a tutorial regarding the gameplay. e to add r xt.
In the endgame the program can make the following elementary mates :
Q + K versus King
R + R + K versus King
B + B + K versus King
B + N + K versus King - Unfortunately mate can not be made in this category and games even at very long thinking time are drawn after 50 moves. I assume the program is not familiar that the Bishop should make the last move.The King can not be drawn to the right corner.The opponent King escapes and the action starts again and again and ends without success .
In testing the ability of the program to achieve a passed pawn and winning the game in the formerly tested setup :
White Pieces :
Pawns on f5 , g5 , h5 King on a1
Black Pieces :
Pawns on f7 , g7 , h7 King on c1
White to move,we know that the correct move is 1.g6
The program finds the move as of one minute thinking time per move level
or adjusted to such time slice and at shorter thinking time the correct move can not be found.I assume the engine of the program is too slow.
I am afraid the program has no opening book which can easily be understood from the moves made when playing Black and when opening the game with White pieces.
With Black against ,
1.e4 the reply is 1..Nf6
1.d4 the reply is 1..Nc6
1.c4 the reply is 1..Nf6
1.b3 the reply is 1..Nf6
1.Nf3 the reply is 1..Nc6 or 1..Nf6
The program playing White opens either
1.Nc3 or 1.Nf3
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MIDDLE GAME:lick here to add your text.
To test the abilities of the program during the middle game the following set-up also applied to former programs was given which is as below:
White : Pawns on a4 , c5 , h6 and Rc4 , Ke1
Black : Pawns on a5 , f3 , f7 , g6 , h7 and Be4 , Nh8 , Kd5
This setup was given at various levels having different thinking level and even at very long thinking times the the move 1.RxB was not found. The program played instead 1.Rc1
Here the aim was to find out if pawn promotion to figure other than a Queen is recognized by the program therefore the setup used formerly in a similar case was given to the program.
The following set-up already used formerly was given.
White : Pawns on h6 , f7 , Ne7 , Ng6 and Kg5
Black : Kh7
The position is a simple mate in one after promotion and only a Knight can save the game The program found the move and getting a Knight for the promoted pawn checkmated the King.A choice of figures is also available meaning the pawn can be promoted to a Queen , A rook , A Bishop or a Knight.
The programs extras are useful and sufficient and as mentioned earlier the Desktop Companion is a very very useful tool. I do hope that the coming versions will be much stronger as far as playing strength is concerned.