German France
Manual


1 Manual

Welcome to Freeware-Chess!
Freeware-Chess is easy to use. To play a simple game, it is not necesarry to read the manual.
Freeware-Chess creates two windows: Chess board and Main.

2 Chessboard

To move the chessmen click on the source and on the destination field. You do a castle by moving the king two fields towards the rook. Allowed fields will be coloured marked for a few seconds.
The fields of the last draw will be marked with a symbol. In the settings menu you can switch off this marking.

2.1 Mark in the chessboard window

Right above there is a coloured mark with a number 1 to 9. Number 1 in red means a bad position for the computer. Number 9 in green is good for the computer.

2.2 Tie game, stalemate

Freeware-Chess will recognize tie game or stalemate and send a message to you.

2.2.1 Tie game proposal

With the button 0:0 or the menu "Game/Tie game proposal" you can give the computer opponent a tie game offer. This button will be active if

  • on both sides only less figures and
  • for the last five moves no pawn and
  • the figures of the computer are not predominant

Furthermore the 50 moves rule will be considered: For the last 50 moves, no move of a pawn and no hit of a chessman.

After the button click you will be asked for a tie game. If you confirm the dialog, the game ends in a draw.

3 The main window

In this window a protocol which documents all events and draws will be displayed. If you click on a draw in this protocol, the concerning chessmen positions in the board window will be shown. With Ctrl (Strg) + C (or right click) the text in the listbox will be copied to the clipboard.
If you want to cancel a draw, click on the button in the toolbar with the triangle (left arrow).
You can terminate the calculation by clicking on the flashing square button.
If the color of the waiting bar changes to green, the calculation will be forced to finish. This happens only in difficult level "medium".
Furthermore you can find out the thinking times of both players, do some settings and save/load games.
In the status line (below) there is a letter which displays the phase of the game:
S=Start 1; T=Start 2; W=Try change of Pawn; E=End phase of the game; F= Force the king to the margin
In the main menu you can:

With a right click in the main window you open a popup menu:

  • Copy protocol to clipoard "Ctrl+C"
  • Game quick to the beginning "Home"
  • Game quick to the end "End"
  • Load game quick "L"
  • Save game quick "S"
  • UCI handling

3.1 Hotkeys

By pressing a hotkey the concerning function will be executed:

HotkeyFunktion
F1Hints
F2New game
F3Exchange Chessmen
Ctrl+CProtocol to clipboard
ESCTerminate play of draws
Pos1 (Home)Go to the start of the game
EndGo to the end of the game
arrow leftDraw backward
arrow rightDraw (or proposal) forward
LLoad game quick (recommended)
SSave game quick (recommended)
FSet chessmen
EExport FEN to clipboard
Alt+F4Finish chess

3.2 Menu Settings

3.2.1 Mark fields of last draw

The fields of the last draw will be marked with symbols. With this setting you can switch it off.

3.2.2 Select kinds of chessmen

In the menu "settings" you can select two kinds of chessmen it will be shown.

3.2.3 Select language

When you start Freeware-Chess the first time, you will be asked for your language. Click on the flag "German", "Great Britain" or "France". Later you can change the language in the menu "Settings/Language".
Furthermore you can enter your name (3..10 characters). Your name will be displayed on several locations in the program.

3.2.4 Levels of difficulty

There are four levels of difficulties: Very easy (for children), easy (quick), medium (recommended) and hard (need some time to calculate).
Your setting of the difficulty will be stored in the config file. When you restart Freeware-Chess, the level of difficulty of your previous session will be adjusted automatically. In the status line (below), there is a hint of the maximum deep of calculation (example "T6").

3.2.5 Optimization

With "optimization" Freeware-Chess calculates faster, because "senselessly" moves will be ignored.

3.2.6 Proposal

You get a proposal for the current draw if you click on the toolbutton with the light bulb. If you want to get a proposal after every draw, tick the function "proposal" in the menu "settings".

3.2.7 Start

In the menu "settings" you determine who starts the game. With the "traffic light button" or hotkey F2 you start a new game.

3.3 Menu Game

3.3.1 Exchange chessmen

If you want to play with the chessmen of your opponent, exchange them with the menu function "game/exchange chessmen".

3.3.2 Set chessmen

With this function (in the menu "game") you can set the chessmen on the board. This could be interesting to solve a chess riddle. After finishing of this function an unsaved game is not available.
With the hotkey F1 you can call some useful hints.
With the "four squares" button you remove all chessmen from the board. You set the chessmen with the mouse or keyboard:
Mouse:
Click on the field you want to change, than select the chessman right beside, or the button "free field". It is also possible to move the chessmen like in a normal game.
Keyboard:
Move the coloured cursor (arrow keys) on the board to the field you like to change. Press the key "w" if you want to set a white chessman, "s" for black. By entering the following key the concerning chessman will be set: b=Pawn, p=Knight, l=Bishop, r=Rook, q=Queen, k=King. To remove a chessman from the board: Press the Space- or Del-key.
Checkboxes:
Furthermore you can determine the colour for the players and who moves first. You can also determine allowed castlings.

"Forsyth Edwards Notation" (FEN)
Freeware-Chess works with "Forsyth Edwards Notation" (FEN). This is a string which describes the position of chessmen on the board. With the Buttons "FEN exp" and "FEN imp" you can send or receive this string to / from the clipboard.

With the Cancel button (red X) you can reject your settings and go back to the main window. With the Finish button (green tick) a plausibility check will be executed. If everything is ok, you can play with your entered chess position.

3.3.3 Export FEN to the clipboard

The FEN string of your current board will be copied to the clipboard. For more details look in the chapter Set chessmen.

3.3.4 Telechess via mail

You start Freeware-Chess and your chess partner also starts Freeware-Chess on his computer. Now you can play from any location with internet access against your chess friends. Further, it is possible to exchange messages during the game.
The connection follow via your mailbox (POP3 and SMTP). Freeware-Chess sends and receives mails (like Outlook).

Unfortunately many mail provider only support encrypted mails as from 2014 :-( Today Freeware-Chess doesn't support encrypted mails. Sorry, it is not possible to use telechess with every mail provider. I try to include the support of encrypted mails in the next version of freeware-chess.

Telechess is started under the menu item "Game" : There is a separate window in which there are three index cards with the following tabs:

  • Settings
  • Contact
  • Messages

Tab "3.3.4.1 Settings"

If telechess is started for the first time, the view "Settings" appears. Here you enter the data of your mail account. On the website of your mail provider, you will find the parameter of settings.

  • Outgoing mail (SMTP):
    • Server name (e.g. mail.gmx.net )
    • Port (default: 25)
    • encryption
      • No encryption: Recommended for port: 25
      • Implizit TLS encryption: Recommended for port: 465
      • Explizit TLS encryption: Recommended for port: 587
      • Require TLS
    • Username (e.g. Max.Mustermann@gmx.de or myNumber123)
    • Password (stored encrypted(!) in the config file)
    • Server needs authentication (Yes/No Default: Yes)
  • Incoming mail (POP3):
    • Server name (for example pop.gmx.net )
    • Port (default: 110)
    • encryption
      • No encryption: Recommended for port: 110
      • Implizit TLS encryption: Recommended for port: 995
      • Explizit TLS encryption
      • Require TLS
    • Username (e.g. Max.Mustermann@gmx.de or myNumber123)
    • Password (encrypted (!) Stored in the config file)
    • Intervall [Sec.] (Time between queries to the mailserver)
    • Variable Intervall (Change time of query automatically (recommended))
Encryption (openSSL)

If you use encrypted mails, then you need the files "libeay32.dll" and "ssleay.dll". You will find these files in my chess-zip-file.
Please check which port numbers your mail provider use. Depending on the portnumber a special encrytion method is applied: Explicit TLS is required for port 587. Implicit TLS is required for port 465 and 995.
I think, you don't need "Require TLS". I have included it for testing reasons.

Setting time intervall of mail requests

There are email providers which stop the service if there are too many mail queries in a time intervall. It is bad if you are in the middle of a game.
Please check the website of your provider for "time interval POP3 server". The values at web.de and gmx.de are 60 seconds (in the free version). This waiting time for a move, of course, is hard. Therefore, I have installed the checkbox "Variable Intervall". This means: When you are waiting for a move, FWC does a query every 5 seconds. The longer you wait, the longer is the time intervall until your preset time value is reached. When it is your turn to move, the time interval will be the set value (i.e.60 seconds). I think this is ok. gmx.de and web.de seem to tolerate it.
After confirmation of your entries, the tab "Contact" will be displayed automatically.

3.3.4.2 Tab "Contact"

Here you can enter the email address of your chess partner and determine the color of your figures. After confirmation, a request will be sent to your chess partner. If your chess partner has started "Freeware-Chess" and the function "telechess", he will be asked, whether he likes to play. If your partner agrees, the card "Messages" will be displayed on both sides.
Mailing list
Here you have the possibilty to enter some addresses in a mailing list. Several mails have to separate with comma signs. The receiver of the mailing list get their mails only at the end of the game. The content of the mail is the game in PGN format. This could be interesting for chess clubs. As default you will find the mail: "freeware.schach@gmail.com" in the edit field. With this mail you will give the author of freeware-chess the possibility to have a view to your game. If you don't want this, you can of course delete this mail.

If there is a connection error, an error message appears and the card "Settings" will be displayed automatically.

3.3.4.3 Tab "Messages"

During the game, this card shold be always displayed.
There are two fields on this card. You can write a message to your chess partner in the field below. When you click on the confirm button, the message is sent. Incoming messages from your opponent or other information are shown in the field above. Now the game can be started with the first move of a white figure.

3.3.4.4 General

Normally Freeware-Chess deletes a chess-mail immediately after receiving it. But when there is no opposite side, the mail can not be deleted. Therefore, it may be happen that mails remain on your mail server. Of course, you can delete these mails with your "normal" mail program.
On the "Contact" and "Messages" card you can find right below a white dot. When this dot changes the color, chess checks whether new mails are available. The number beside the dot shows the seconds of the time intervall of the mail request.

3.3.4.5 Problems with the mail

If there are any problems, please close a mail program like outlook which is possibly running.
Please check, if your mails are in the spam filter. If yes, set the mail address of your opponent in the withelist of your provider.
A firewall could forbid an access to the internet.
If no mail will be received, it could be possible that the time intervall is too short or your mail server is currently overloaded. You can only wait. If this happen quite often, perhaps you could look for another (free) mailer. I have successfully tested the freemailer "gmx.de". There are some providers which send the mail after a few minutes (like mail.de). This is unuseable.

3.3.5 Human plays against Human

This function is intended if you want to play against yourself, or against a human partner and you do not have a chess board. It is also well suited for replay of games and creating PGN files.
Move the chessmen alternately on both sides. It is possible to request a proposal. You can save your game as usual.

3.4 Menu File

3.4.1 Game save and load

In the menu "file" you will find functions for save and load games. "Load/save quick" means that it is not necessary to select a filename or directory. The filename is determined with "FreewareSchach.pgn" in the directory of your chess program. If you want select a filename in a directory, use the "normal" load and save. You have to use the file extention "PGN".
"PGN" means "Portable Game Notation"; you can use this file format with many chess programs. It is possible to store a lot of games in one PGN-file. You can modify a PGN-file with any editor.
Before saving the game you can enter some information about it. Example: Names of the player, place of game and so on.
After loading the game, you play the draws with the arrow-keys or -buttons. With the keys "Home" and "End" you set the game quick to the start or to the end.
In your operating system you can set a link of PGN-files to Freeware-Chess. So it is possible to start chess with a double click on a PGN file. Drag and drop of a PGN file on the chess main window is also possible.

3.4.2 Load opening and view

You can load an opening (in the file menu) like a game. After this it is possible to play the opening draws like a loaded game.
A new window will be open with a list of 500 openings. This window is similar like the window "load game". After selecting an opening you play the moves with the arrow keys or - buttons.

3.4.3 Help menu

  • The function "hints F1" opens a small window with some comments.
  • With "manual" this text is shown.
  • Go to the homepage of Freeware-Chess
  • The Info window shows the version number, date, homepage and EMail of Freeware-Chess.

3.5 UCI

If you are interesting in computer chess you can work with UCI in Freeware-Chess (FWC).
With UCI (Universal Chess Interface) FWC plays automatically against another chess program. You can determine if you - or FWC plays against the other chess program.
A nice example is the "Open Source" Stockfish. Stockfish has no GUI (Graphical User Interface) like FWC. Stockfish is a console application. FWC starts Stockfish, plays the moves via UCI and closes the application at the end of the game.
You have to use the GUI of FWC. It is not possible that FWC controls the GUI of another chess program.

3.5.1 Example Stockfish: Customize UCI

  • Download Stockfish as a ZIP-file: Stockfish (Engine: Stockfish ... for Windows)
  • Copy the file "stockfish-???-32-ja.exe" from the zip to the directory of your FWC
  • Start FWC
  • Rightclick in the small window
  • In the "pull down menu" select the function "UCI adjust"
  • A new window will appear
  • Click on the button right above to select the Stockfish file name
  • Stockfish should write a message
  • Finish

If the opponent chess program needs a parameter (i.e. GnuChess: -u), you can simply add it after the program name.

To start the first game FWC against Stockfish, click on the triangle button. To break the game, click on the square-button.
If you want to play against Stockfish, restart FWC, right click in the small window and select "UCI against human".