Contents of the CHESSCOM.DOC file
ChessCOM (c) Version 2.5
The GRAPHICAL Connection to BBS-Chess (c)
Copyright (c) 1988-1991 by B.H. Forbes
All Rights Reserved
Welcome to the SHAREWARE version of ChessCOM ! This program will
convert the standard ANSI graphics of BBS-Chess to high resolution
bit-mapped graphics. In order to use this particular version, you
MUST have an EGA/VGA (or better) graphics adaptor.
This is a PRE-RELEASE BETA version. It "should" work fine. If
you have ANY problems with it, please let me know. I can always
be contacted at THE BEST OF CHESS, (713) 852-4541 (2400 baud).
This is VERSION 2.5.... it has many improved features over the 1st
version including... FULL MOUSE SUPPORT. Click that BBS-Chess menu
item... click the piece to be moved, and then click to where you
want the piece moved to... click, click, click. It can't get much
easier than this !!
NOTE: If you have a mouse, ChessCOM will "attempt" to use it.
If your mouse is setup properly, all is well.... if it
is NOT setup properly, not only will the mouse not work,
ChessCOM may not work at all. See the notes at the end
of this document if you are having problems with the mouse.
What is ChessCOM ?
ChessCOM (c) is a communication program that acts like most other
communication programs but with one MAJOR difference. When you use
ChessCOM to call a BBS system and play BBS-Chess, it will trigger
BBS-Chess into its HIGH SPEED, HIGH RESOLUTION Color Graphics Mode.
Instead of seeing the standard "letters" for chess pieces, you see
great-looking chess pieces in colors that YOU select.
Graphics, over a modem ?? It's GOT to be slow. Right ??
Nope..., ChessCOM will paint an entire chessboard, complete with
colored GRAPHICAL pieces, in less than TWO seconds ..., and that's
on a SLOW 1200 baud modem!!
Will it work with ALL versions of BBS-Chess ?
What happens if you call a BBS that does not have the "graphical"
version of BBS-Chess ? Nothing unusual... you get the same screens
you would with any standard communication program.
ChessCOM GRAPHICS MODE will work with ANY BBS-Chess version 2.0 and
greater but it will only work IF the Sysop of the BBS has installed
the new graphical version of BBS-Chess. This graphical version upgrade
is available to ANY registered owner of BBS-Chess at a MAXIMUM cost of
FIVE DOLLARS ($5) and... it only costs $5 if I have to mail him a disk.
It's FREE if they download the files from my BBS. Yep FREE !!
All the Sysop has to do is contact me and request the new version.
So, if your Sysop does not have the graphical version of BBS-Chess,
tell him to "get with the times" and have him contact BBS-Chess
headquarters at Byte Busters BBS, The BEST in Chess, (713) 852-4541.
Caveats with ChessCOM.
This SHAREWARE version of ChessCOM is FREE, but it does have a few
features that have been disabled.
1. You'll be able to customize the board and chess piece
colors to YOUR preference (using ALT S for SETUP) but,
you will not be able to save your settings. They will
revert back to the default colors once you exit ChessCOM.
2. Ditto the above for your modem/comport settings. You can
set them to anything you want (using ALT P for PARAMETERS)
but you will NOT be able to save your settings. When you
exit ChessCOM, the settings will revert back to the defaults
of COM1, 2400 baud.
3. This new release of ChessCOM Version 2.5 includes, among other
things, a new "Dialing Directory" that you can use to store all
all your favorite BBS phone numbers. However, you will NOT be
able to SAVE these numbers in the SHAREWARE version - you must
have a REGISTERED version of ChessCOM to be able to save any and
4. You will not be able to UPLOAD or DOWNLOAD files using this free
SHAREWARE version of ChessCOM because the SHELL TO DOS feature of
ChessCOM has been disabled. With the REGISTERED version, you can
SHELL out of ChessCOM and use your favorite EXTERNAL file transfer
program. (ie. ZModem)
Heck, with the registered version, you can shell out of ChessCOM,
fire up a different terminal program, and use any of it's file
transfer protocols. You can also use a different terminal program
to dial a BBS, and then when ready to play BBS-Chess, exit that
program, fire up ChessCOM, and be ready to play.
A REGISTERED copy of ChessCOM can be obtained from ANY Sysop that
has the graphical version of BBS-Chess. The cost of one REGISTERED
version of ChessCOM is in the $24-$29 price range. The actual cost
may vary depending on your location, method of shipment, taxes, etc.
When you purchase a registered copy of ChessCOM, you will receive a
disk with the full-featured ChessCOM program.
BE ADVISED !! The disk you receive will be serialized to your name.
and... BBS-Chess knows the name and serial number of ALL copies!
If your Sysop has elected not to provide registered copies, you can
always contact me. My full mailing address is at the end of this
document however, I ask that you make every effort to obtain a copy
from your local Sysop. Why? See the "Soapbox Stuff" at the end of
To run the SHAREWARE version of ChessCOM, simply type CHESSCOM from
the DOS prompt. This will fire it up with the defaults of COM1, 2400
baud. If you are not using COM1, or want to change the baudrate, you
can change them after you are in ChessCOM by hitting ALT P, or you
can change them BEFORE entering ChessCOM by including your settings
in the command line. If you want to use different comport settings,
type.... CHESSCOM [comport] [baudrate].
Example: CHESSCOM <--- Runs CHESSCOM, COM1, 2400 Baud
CHESSCOM 2 9600 <--- Runs CHESSCOM, COM2, 9600 Baud.
CHESSCOM 4 1200 <--- Runs CHESSCOM, COM4, 1200 Baud.
Again, you can always change them inside ChessCOM by hitting ALT P.
NOTE: Before dialing a BBS phone number, you should use ALT P to set
the baud to "whoever is the slowest"... you or the BBS you are calling.
If the modem speed is not set correctly, you will most likely get
garbage on your screen after you connect to the BBS. If this happens,
simply hit ALT H to HANGUP, reset the speed using ALT P, and then redial
the number again.
First Things First <--- DO THIS !!!!
After you fire up CHESSCOM, the first thing you should do is hit ALT S
and set the colors of the chess pieces (and board) to your preference.
After you have all the colors set right, hit the ALT D for "Dial" and
let 'er rip.
Once you have connected to the BBS, type the normal command that will
run BBS-Chess. When BBS-Chess starts, it will check to see if you are
using ChessCOM and if so, automatically fire up the HIGH SPEED GRAPHICS
routines. You'll see the results beginning with the BBS-Chess Menu.
Get ready for some super graphics !!
If you would rather go back to the standard "non-graphic" version of
BBS-Chess, simply hit ALT T (for TEXT). You can switch back again by
hitting ALT G (for GRAPHICS).
NOTE: Once in BBS-Chess... line noise may prevent a clean display.
Simply hit "F" (for FRESH Screen) at any time and your screen will be
redrawn. This "F" only works while in BBS-Chess !! Do it outside
of BBS-Chess and no-tellin what will happen. File listings? I dunno.
You can freely switch back and forth from TEXT to GRAPHICS at ANY time
but... you should only do it while in BBS-Chess. If you are connected
to a BBS and switch to GRAPHICS, you'll get erratic results and, you
may have a hard time getting back to standard TEXT. Heck, this makes
sense doesn't it? The BBS system can't handle the GRAPHICS mode of
ChessCOM. It expects the standard ANSI/TEXT screens on your end.
When you exit BBS-Chess, it will automatically switch ChessCOM back to
the standard TEXT mode.
You can hit ALT S at ANY time to set the colors of the board and pieces
to your liking. You can do this while playing BBS-Chess, before you
dial up a BBS, or even after you have connected to a BBS but not yet
WARNING: Even though you can hit ALT S at ANYTIME, you should only do
it while playing BBS-Chess, or BEFORE you connect to a BBS system.
Hitting ALT S after you connect to a BBS (and not yet in BBS-Chess)
can cause erratic results... nothing critical but erratic none-the-less.
Other ChessCOM Commands.
Once in ChessCOM, hit ALT Z (for HELP) to get a short summary of other
ChessCOM commands. There are however, TWO sets of commands that are
not listed in the ALT Z help screen. Macro keys, and DOORWAY mode.
Macro Keys (ALT 1 thru ALT 9)
You can create up to NINE "macro keys" to "play-back" a command or a
particular key sequence.
For example, you can program ALT 1 to send your name and password when
logging on to a BBS. When the BBS system asks for your name, simply
hit ALT 1 and ... qwik as a flash, it's dumped out the port.
To display all "recorded macros"... hit ALT 0.
To program the macros, go to DOS, and using any editor you want,
create or edit a file called CHESSCOM.MAC. When ChessCOM fires up,
it will check for this file, and if it exists, will load up whatever
macros it finds. You can have up to 9 macros, numbered 1-9.
Here is a typical CHESSCOM.MAC (do not include the comments !)
pat forbes mypassword <--- 1st line in file, becomes ALT 1
pat forbes mypassword^M <--- 2nd line in file, becomes ALT 2
pat forbes y mypassword^M <--- 3rd line in file, becomes ALT 3
...etc.... up to NINE lines total (ALT 1 thru ALT 9)
The ^M tells the macro to also send a .
DOORWAY Mode (ALT = toggles DOORWAY Mode ON/OFF)
If you don't know what DOORWAY mode is, then don't worry about this key.
If you do know about it, then you know why it "might" be necessary.
Whether you know about it or not.... remember one thing. Once in
in DOORWAY mode, ALL FUNCTION KEY ASSIGNMENTS ARE DISABLED including
ALT X to exit and ALT D for Dialing Directory. In addition to disabling
function keys, the screen colors are set to black and white, and the
bottom status line is removed.
To return to normal mode, simply hit ALT = again. The function keys
will then be re-activated, and your colors and status line will be
Using the MOUSE with ChessCOM Version 2.5
The MOUSE (and arrow keys) should be "alive and active" on any screen
that "could" use them. The MOUSE will also be active while playing
BBS-Chess. You can use it to CLICK a BBS-Chess MENU ITEM, you can
use it to move pieces, you can even use it to "Take-Back" moves.
Try it at various places when playing BBS-Chess and see if it is
"active". Please note though that the mouse will be turned off and
on, as applicable within the program.
Use the mouse to move a piece: put the mouse on the piece to be moved,
click it by hitting button #1 on your mouse, LET GO OF THE BUTTON,
then move the mouse to the new location and "click it again".
DO NOT try to DRAG the piece to it's new location !!!
Is your mouse active (and seen by ChessCOM) ?? I dunno, fire up
ChessCOM and then start moving the mouse. You should see the
mouse cursor of ChessCOM move around.
If you have a mouse, and you have loaded it's driver properly, the
thing "should" work however... I have seen a few problems with some
mouse drivers. I have tested it on Genius Mouse (GMOUSE), Microsofts
mouse (MOUSE), and a "generic" mouse (TMOUSE). All of these seemed
to work ok. If your mouse does not seem to be working, try loading
the driver a different way... ie: If you have loaded it via your
CONFIG.SYS program, try removing it from CONFIG.SYS and load it from
DOS using your mouse command. (ie: MOUSE 2 for com2)
Places the mouse should work include:
o Dialing directory... position mouse and click it to "tag/untag"
o Help screen (ALT Z).. position the mouse and click it.
o Changing the Chess board and piece colors. (ALT S)
o Moving a piece, selecting a BBS-Chess menu item.
Note: To move a piece with the mouse...
1. Position the mouse cursor on the piece to be moved.
2. Click the mouse button.
3. Let go of the button <-- VERY IMPORTANT !!
(Do NOT attempt to "drag" the piece)
4. Position the mouse cursor on the "new square".
5. Click the mouse button again.
If you did it right, the piece "should" have moved.
If it didn't, move the mouse off the chessboard, click the
mouse button a few times, then try again.
o Clicking BBS-Chess commands like "N" for Next Game, or
"T" for Take-Back, "X" for Exit.... etc.
o Setting modem paramaters... position the mouse and click it.
o Getting fresh screens from BBS-Chess and toggling graphics on/off.
Uploading/Downloading with ChessCOM.
There are NO internal file transfer routines built-in to ChessCOM.
Howvever, the REGISTERED version of ChessCOM has the abilty to SHELL
to DOS so that you can use any of the popular file transfer programs
(such as DSZ for ZMODEM). We have supplied 2 batch files to help you
with the file transfers. You can use DNLOADZ.BAT to download a file,
or UPLOADZ.BAT to upload a file. Both of these bat files use DSZ, and
both assume that DSZ is located "somewhere" in your path.
Even though these two bat files are included, you can use ANY program
you prefer. In fact, you can even use another communications program.
If you want to use your own program, simply SHELL to DOS from ChessCOM
using ALT E (Exit/Shell to DOS) or PgUP/PgDn. When you get to DOS,
run your program, and when done with your program, simply type EXIT to
return to ChessCOM.
NOTE: If you exit ChessCOM using ALT E, PgUP, or PgDN, then ChessCOM
is still in memory, active, and waiting to be "re-activated". This
means you might run out of memory if you try to run another large
program. If this happens, use ALT X to exit ChessCOM. Using ALT X
will remove ChessCOM from memory and you'll have to type CHESSCOM to
fire it up again.
Using DNLOADZ.BAT and UPLOADZ.BAT
To use these bat files, you must first leave ChessCOM by typing
ALT X, ALT E, PgUP, or PgDN.
1. Using ALT X completely removes ChessCOM from memory.
Type CHESSCOM to start it up again.
2. Using ALT E, PgUP, or PgDN SHELLS to DOS, leaving
ChessCOM in memory. Type EXIT to start ChessCOM up again.
Once you have left ChessCOM (using one of the above keys), you can
then use DNLOADZ.BAT and UPLOADZ.BAT to download or Upload a file
via DSZ (ZModem).
If you simply type DNLOADZ, then the files will be DOWNLOADED to the
current directory. If you want the downloaded files to go somewhere
else (to a different directory), simply include that directories' name
when you type DNLOADZ. ie: DNLOADZ C:\TEMP will put downloaded files
into a directory called C:\TEMP.
Using UPLOADZ.BAT is just as easy... simply type UPLOADZ [filename]
ie. UPLOADZ C:\TEMP\MYFILE.ZIP will upload a file called MYFILE.ZIP
that is in the C:\TEMP directory.
NOTE... again... you cannot SHELL to DOS with the free shareware
version. This feature is only available on the REGISTERED versions.
Ordering a REGISTERED version of ChessCOM.
You can always contact me at Byte Busters BBS, The BEST of Chess,
at (713) 852-4541, or you can reach me via the good ole mail box
B. H. (Pat) Forbes
19811 Pine Wind Drive
However..... if you are contacting me to purchase a registered
copy of ChessCOM, I would prefer that you contact your local sysop
and purchase the copy through him. Why ??? Read my SoapBox Stuff
SoapBox Stuff - It's the SYSOPS' turn !
Of all the people that seem to be hurting the most, it seems that the
Sysops of today's BBS systems are the ones that continually have to
shell out major bucks for their expensive "hobby". Some try to make
a business out of it by charging annual fees while others may ask for
some sort of contribution. Most receive VERY little, if anything at
all. Regardless of how they pay for their stuff, it does cost BIG
bucks to set-up a BBS system, takes a huge hunk of time, and at times,
can be very frustrating dealing with irate (spelled immature) callers.
On top of all this, sysops are continually being pressured by door
(and BBS software) authors to shell out more bucks... just so the
sysop can provide his callers with nice features.
Well, I think it's time for the Sysop to be on the RECEIVING end
of this cash flow and.... this is why I ask that, if you decide to
purchase a copy of ChessCOM, that you do so by buying it from your
Sysop. The Sysop gets a commission on every copy of ChessCOM that
is purchased from him. It ain't much... he won't be heading off on
a luxury ocean cruise with the proceeds, but it will be a way that
he can put money BACK into his pocket instead of shelling it out
all the time.... and yes, I'm one of the ones that USED to ask for
Now though, I want to find a way to put some money back in their pockets,
and help them pay for the BBS system they provide to you the caller.
Please, if you use ChessCOM, purchase your registered copy of ChessCOM
thru your local or favorite BBS Sysop, and help him keep his system up.
He'll appreciate it, and you'll be doing your part by supporting him.
What's in it for the Sysop?
In addition to hard, cold cash commissions, each registered ChessCOM
obtained through your Sysop earns him credit that applies toward FREE
upgrades to higher and more powerful versions of BBS-Chess.
After they have reached the highest version of BBS-Chess that they
need, they get the BONUS upgrades !! These BONUS upgrades are NOT
for sale... they CANNOT be purchased... they can only be earned by
distributing registered copies of ChessCOM.
Bonus #1 - Fun Chess. Four different BBS-Chess games.
1. It's FOUR knights vs EIGHT Pawns with 5 min time limits
2. Speed Chess with 10 minute time limits per game.
3. Blitz Chess - 30 second time limit per move.
4. Tourney Chess - 60 minute time limit per game.
Bonus #2 - Games of the Masters. Actually replay the games online
watching move-by-move. 1990 World Championships are
included, as well as other historical games.
Bonus #3 - Puzzles... Mate-In-Two, Mate-In-Three puzzles. Can you
find the mate??
Bonus #4 - Chess Tutor... the Openings. All the famous openings
Bonus #5 - I'm working on it now - no hints except... IT'S AWESOME !!!
By purchasing your copy of ChessCOM through your Sysop, both you and
he will benefit. He gets the latest and greatest BBS-Chess for FREE,
you enjoy the fruits of his labor, plus... you do your part in helping
him keep his system (your BBS) alive and functioning.
If you see a BBS with any of these BONUS features, then you'll know
that the Sysop has worked hard to bring you....
The BEST in Chess !!
B.H. (Pat) Forbes.
Byte Busters BBS, The BEST in Chess, (713) 852-4541
If you have a mouse, and ChessCOM does not "see" it, or it does not
work... perhaps the following will help.
If ANY ONE program wants to use TWO devices, and BOTH devices have
the EXACT Interrupt (IRQ), then the program will fail. The program
tells Device #1 to do something, but since Device #2 has the same IRQ,
the two devices get confused and fight over the command.
Don't think that just because your communication program works fine,
and your desk top publisher (that uses the mouse) works fine that all
is well. The problem arises when the SAME program is trying to use
BOTH devices within the SAME program, AT THE SAME TIME. (Like ChessCOM)
ChessCOM tries to use the comport and the mouse at the same time and
it is constantly checking for input from the modem, and also checking
for movement of the mouse. Both are SERIAL devices with designated
(and "set-able") IRQ numbers. The IRQ's can be changed (set) by moving
jumpers on each device (or card) but you'll need the book on the card.
If your mouse is set as the same IRQ as your modem, ChessCOM will
NOT work. Heck, this makes sense... you send something out the
comport, and the goofy mouse thinks it's his command - it goes whacko.
You move the mouse, and the dumb modem things something is coming in
thru the comport - and it spits a line of garbage across the screen.
All because their IRQ's have been set wrong... they equal each other !!
Now, what makes this more confusing is the COM designations.
Sure... you have a COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, etc.. your mouse is on
COM1 and your modem is on COM3... fine you think, but what are the
IRQ's for each of these devices?? Little known fact... most PC's
come with the IRQs of COM1 and COM3 equal to each other. Ditto for COM2
and COM4. On a standard IBM PC Clone, the following is almost ALWAYS
Com1 IRQ equals Com3 IRQ
Com2 IRQ equals Com4 IRQ
In other words, if you have a modem on COM1, and a mouse on COM3,
(unless you have changed the IRQ) they BOTH have the same IRQ and....
if ANY program tries to use both of them AT THE SAME TIME, the program
will bomb. Likewise, if your modem is on COM2 and your mouse is on COM4,
they share the same IRQ, and will fail if any ONE program tries to use
I could go on, but the point is academic... if you want your programs
to work, you must be very careful about what your call them, or better
yet, what you set their IRQ's to.
Modem on COM1, then mouse should be on COM2 or COM4
Modem on COM2, then mouse should be on COM1 or COM3
Modem on COM3, then mouse should be on COM2 or COM4
Modem on COM4, then mouse should be on COM1 or COM3
Mouse on COM1, then modem should be on COM2 or COM4
Mouse on COM2, then modem should be on COM1 or COM3
Mouse on COM3, then modem should be on COM2 or COM4
Mouse on COM4, then modem should be on COM1 or COM3
If you have a conflict, you have two choices. Change the comport,
or grab the book on the device, and change the IRQ. Ignore these
rules and you are destined to have problems... maybe now, maybe later
but you WILL have problems.
Mouse STILL don't work??
If the mouse does not work, and you know you have a good mouse and a
good mouse card, then the problem is simple. If you are running a
program that uses the mouse, and you "SEE" the mouse cursor, but the
mouse cursor will not move, then you have one of two problems.
1). IRQ problem - it is set the same as something else.
2). Bad mouse card (or mouse), or bad cable/connection.
If you know for a fact that the mouse and mouse card are ok, then it
is definitely an IRQ problem. Believe it...
On the other hand, if you do not SEE the mouse cursor, then the
problem is an improperly loaded mouse driver. Is your mouse on
COM1 and you loaded the driver by saying MOUSE 2, or is your mouse
on COM2 and you loaded the driver by typing MOUSE (which defaults it
to COM1) ?? You gotta load the driver right, and you gotta be
careful where you hook the things... hook the mouse to COM1 and
the modem on COM3, and it won't matter how you load the driver
because "you gonna have problems" sooner or later.
(NOTE: Mouse cursors are usually an arrow on graphics screens, and
a "block" on text screens)
I hope I have not confused you... if I have, I apologize. If you
do have problems, leave a message on some BBS and ask for help.
Perhaps there is someone a phone call away from getting your problems
Good luck.... and I hope you enjoy ChessCOM, and BBS-Chess.
1.0.... First beta release
2.0.... Second release
o Added mouse, (whatta bear)
o Added arrow key usage and detection where needed.
o Activated dialing directory, editing screens.
o Allowed saving of colors, comport settings.
2.1.... Changed CONNECT detection due to problems with some HST
modems. Now looks for CONNECT or... carrier.
2.2.... o Intermittent problem with self-registration corrected
o Corrected problems with using mouse, when it was not
2.3.... o Added support for 38400 baudrates.
2.4.... o Bug Fix... ALT M (Manual Dial) bombing out.
(Special THX to Steve Harris and one of his callers
for spotting and reporting this bug)
o Changed SHELL to DOS key from ALT F to ALT E,
o Added PgUP and PgDN keys for uploading/downloading
(to be more consistent with other terminal programs)
o Created UPLOADZ.BAT and DNLOADZ.BAT for use when
Uploading or Downloading files (ZModem).
o Added "Click the Mouse" detection on the opening
screen. (You can now click the mouse where it says:
"Hit ESC to abort, or any other key to Continue"
o Removed the beeps when an invalid key is hit.
Heck, "invalid" to ChessCOM may be "valid" for a
o Added User-Defined Macros (ALT 0-9)
o Added DOORWAY Mode (ALT = toggles ON/OFF)
o Fixed the code for arrow keys when using full screen
editors on BBS's that offer them.
2.5.... o Another "bug fix". The macro keys ALT1-9 were
disabled... forgot to "uncomment" that goofy code.
o Changed default init string from ATE0 to ATE1 so you
can see what you type. (Characters get "echoed").
o Added ALT0 to display all macros.
o Added ability to edit the Modem Init String for those
that don't like mine (or need more things sent).
o Added the ability to send a "prefix" with each number
that gets dialed.... to allow for example, sending *70
to disable call waiting (on phone systems that allow it).
NOTE: If you blow the init string, or mess up the prefix, simply
erase CHESSCOM.INI and they will return to my defaults.