Contents of the EDCV199.DOC file
E d C h e s s
(C) Copyright 1988, 1989, 1990 by EdTech Associates Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Program written by
John T. Bell
NOTICE: This product is copyrighted and is not Public Domain software.
SHAREWARE: Permission is granted to copy and distribute this software in
the US and Canada on a not-for-profit basis, provided that the copyright
notices and the software are not modified in any manner. This product
may not be sold either by itself or packaged with another product with-
out the express written permission of EdTech Associates. This document
file must also be included with any distributed copy of the program.
If you would like to be included on our product update list and receive
the latest improvements to EdChess please send $15 to:
EdTech Associates Inc.
PO Box 1665
College Park, MD 20740
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ........................... 2
STARTING THE PROGRAM ................... 2
USING MENUS ............................ 2
THE MAIN MENU .......................... 3
CONFIGURATION MENU ..................... 4
NOTES ON PLAYING ....................... 5
HISTORY ................................ 6
CHANGES IN THIS RELEASE ................ 7
REGISTERED VERSION 2.0 FEATURES ........ 7
THE FUTURE OF EDCHESS .................. 8
NOTES ON REGISTRATION .................. 9
What is Ed's Chess?
Ed's Chess (or EdChess) is a computer program for the IBM-PC and close
compatibles which plays the game of chess. The program has been written
by David Hendricks and John T. Bell over a period of three years.
Version 1.99 is our second ShareWare public release, and represents
changes and improvements which are over a year in the making.
We have added a number of features to EdChess since the first release.
Although we have tried to keep things simple we feel that a little
explanation of EdChess's features will be helpful.
STARTING THE PROGRAM
The files included with this program should be:
File Size Date Description
EDCV199.EXE 51534 2-04-90 - the chess program.
EDCHESS.LIB 45300 2-04-90 - the opening library.
EDCV199.DOC 23747 2-04-90 - this file.
To invoke the EdChess program enter;
at the DOS prompt. EdChess should work on any IBM PC compatible
regardless of the video display card. Occasionally, a machine with a
monochrome monitor, and a video card which appears to the software as a
color card, (ie; Columbia, Corona, and Compaq) will not display the
chessboard correctly. If this is the case with your computer then use
The -m option tells the chess program that it is really working on a
After the copyright notice has been displayed, EdChess will display the
chessboard on the left hand side of the screen and a menu on the right
hand side. Items are selected from the menus by using the up and down
arrow keys on the cursor keypad and pressing when the
appropriate selection has been highlighted. A menu item can also be
selected by hitting the first letter of the menu item.
THE MAIN MENU
The EdChess Version 1.99 Main Menu offers the following selections:
In Autoplay mode the computer plays against itself. Whenever a
game has been completed the computer will stop and wait at the
opponent menu for another menu selection. The game which the
computer played may be saved at this point by using the Save
game option of the files menu. A computer game may be stopped
or paused at any time by hitting the key.
This allows the player to move backwards through the moves
which have been played. The player may then continue play from
the new board position. This is very useful if you have made
a mistake and want to find out what would have happened if you
had played the game differently.
The Configuration Menu allows the user to adjust the skill of
the computer to that of the opponents.
This permits the player to move forward through positions
which have already been played but have been backed up over.
Forward and Backward allow the player to single step through
an entire game to observe how it was played.
This allows a previously saved game to be restored and
This lets the Human opponent enter a move. If the computer is
the opponent (that is that verify only is OFF) then after the
move is made the computer will immediately start to take its
move. In order to play White the player should use this menu
option to take the first move. To move a piece use the cursor
keys to position the board cursor over the piece to be moved.
Then hit the key to mark that piece. Then move the
board cursor to the square where the piece is to be moved and
hit the key once more. Moves may also be entered by
algebraic notation. To do this, enter the letter which
identifies the column of the piece followed by the digit for
the row. Repeat this for the destination square and hit enter.
To move the pawn from E2 to E4 one would key "E2E4".
Note; Do not enter the quotes.
To Castle, either use the cursor keys to move the King to the
square which he would appear on after the castling, or enter
O-O for a King's side castle or O-O-O for a Queen's side
castle. Either the letter O or the digit 0 (Zero) will work.
This clears the current game from memory and sets the board up
for a new game.
This directs the computer to take the next move. If you want
to play Black then use this command to have the computer take
the first move. After it has taken the move use the Move
command to move the Black piece. The computer will then
automatically continue to play the White pieces. This can also
be used to see what the computer would have played from a
particular board position.
This allows the current game, and all of the moves made in the
game, to be saved to a disk file. This file can be listed or
sent to the printer. A game must be saved using this option
before it can be reloaded. A game may be saved at any time
during game play.
This allows two human players to play the game. The computer
acts as the board, game clock and referee, only verifying that
the moves made are legal chess moves.
Quit, from the Main Menu allows you to exit the game and
return to DOS. It does not automatically save the game
currently in progress, but it does prompt you to insure that
you don't quit accidentally.
The following items appear on the Configuration menu:
This allows the user to set the amount of time that the
computer has to determine (or to think about) its next move.
The computer will never take more than twice this amount of
time before making a move. Over a period of forty moves the
time used by the computer for each move will average out to
this amount of time. The time may be set in seconds, or in
hours minutes and seconds.
This command restores the default configuration by reading the
file "edchess.cfg". This file is created by a Save Config
This option saves the current configuration information into a
default configuration file. This file is then read and
automatically sets your configuration settings each time
EdChess is started. The file created is "edchess.cfg".
When this feature is on, the computer will attempt to use the
time while it waiting for its opponent to move to calculate
its next move.
This allows you to observe the computers "thought process"
while the computer is figuring its next move. If the window is
on then the computer will display the moves that it is
considering in a window to the right of the board (where the
menus normally appear). Turning the window off slightly
improves the computers performance. (But its much more
interesting with the window on.)
Quit or hitting the Escape key will return the program to the
previous menu. In this case it will return you to the Main
NOTES ON PLAYING
There are several things which may be helpful to point out.
First, the key will always back you out of whatever
you are doing. If you hi-light the wrong piece while moving,
or editing the board, then will allow you to start
over. Escape at a menu will move you to the next higher menu
level (just like Quit). Games may be saved at any time by
using to return to the Main Menu and selecting Files
and Save Game. If you want to stop the machine from thinking
while it is making its move just hit any key ( will do
fine). This should bring a menu which will allow you to
continue or to perform other actions.
Difficulty and Time
The amount of time the computer spends determining its move is
set from the Config Menu. The computer may find that it needs
more time to solve for the current board position than it has
allotted. In this case it will allow itself to go over its
time limit by twice the time allocated. That is, if it had 15
seconds to make the move then it will occasionally allow up to
30 seconds. However it will average out to 15 seconds per move
(or to whatever the Difficulty is set) over a period of 40
moves. So with EdChess unlike other chess games you always
know the longest amount that you will have to wait for the
computer to make its move.
The computer understands the rule of EnPassant. This move
which is rarely used, is sometimes mistaken for a bug. The
rule as stated by the United States Chess Federation is:
"EnPassant: This French phrase is used for a special
pawn capture. It means 'in passing,' and it occurs when
one player moves a pawn two squares forward to try to
avoid capture by the opponent's pawn. The capture is made
exactly as if the player had moved the pawn only one
At the top right of the screen you should see something like
White 00:00:22 Black 00:00:01
Black to Move within 00:00:30
Ply 4 Rook A1 to B1
Score: -0.75 pts
N: 8086 N/Sec 539
The first line is the game clock and shows how much time each
side has used to make its moves. The second line shows how
much time remains for the computer to make its move. The time
on this line will start blinking if the computer is using time
beyond the difficulty amount (see notes above). The third line
shows how many moves ahead the computer looked to make its
move and the move that the computer just made. The Score on
the fourth line is a measure of how well the computer thinks
it is doing. The larger and more positive the number for the
computer side the better the computer is doing. (I usually
give up if it gets more than four or five points ahead.)
Finally the last line shows the number of nodes or board
positions that the computer has evaluated to make its move and
the rate of evaluation in nodes per second. The information on
this line can be used to adjust the Difficulty setting to
achieve the same levels of play on machines which operate at
Ed's Chess was really Dave's idea, and mostly Dave's work. A few years
ago (in 1986), after Dave and I had finished work on EdFile (a data base
program for the C-64) Dave asked if he could work on a chess program. I
said, "Sure, just keep in touch, and let me know how it goes.". A few
month's later he showed me a demo of his chess program. The program
wasn't fancy (it still isn't, but this was much less so) but it played
better than anything I had from the public domain libraries. I gave him
some pointers on C programming, helped him with the menu system, and
designed a chessboard using the IBM special character set. As Dave
worked on the project he started to play it against some of the
commercial products available on the market. As he started to see flaws
in his algorithms he would improve his code until he was satisfied that
it was superior to the previous version of the program. To test and make
certain that his new code was superior to his old code, he would play
the two programs against each other until it was very clear that an
improvement had been made. The winner of these "chess wars" would then
become the next version of the game, so that this game has really
developed through survival of the fittest.
We feel that EdChess plays a better game of chess than most commercial
games, some which may cost you 50 dollars or more. However we thought
that we would give you a chance to find out for yourself. Our testing
method is easy. We take two similar computers, (same CPU, same speed)
and run one chess program on one and EdChess on the other. Both programs
are set to take approximately the same amount of time per move. Then we
let the computers play chess. Usually we play at least 16 games at each
level of difficulty. The computer with the most wins we then declare the
winner. If you try this, we would enjoy hearing the details and results.
Also if you save the games which EdChess loses and send them to us, it
will help us improve future versions of EdChess. Many of the
improvements made to this version are a direct result of games which
people have sent us to show how we have lost. At this time the games we
are most interested in are games which are played against a human player
at a difficulty level of 60 seconds or greater.
EdChess has been developed entirely with Aztec C Version 4.1d. The
documentation was written using WordStar 5.5. We have used several
different brands of IBM Clones, and a Commodore Amiga.
CHANGES IN THIS RELEASE
Version 1.99 of EdChess is a shareware update of our original program.
We have added a larger opening library, and a better game playing algo-
rithm. The game saving format has changed so that times are recorded
with each move, and are remembered for stepping back and forth. Saved
game files can be sent directly to the printer. Several items from the
Main Menu were moved to a new Configuration Menu, and game configura-
tions can be saved and are automatically recalled when starting EdChess
REGISTERED VERSION 2.0 FEATURES
Besides the features added in version 1.99, release 2.0 adds the follow-
ing new features to EdChess:
- Board and Game Editing
- Chess Problem Solving
- Ability to Save Game Configuration
- Ability to Print Game Reports
- Ability to Invert the Chess Board
- Improved Playing Algorithms
- Much Larger Opening Library.
Everything on the above list was requested by people using the EdChess
program. EdChess Version 2.0 and 1.99 both play a much better game than
the first release. We now have over 1300 openings in the opening li-
brary. We have also fixed several bugs in the old program. The old
program did not correctly identify games which were drawn because of the
three move rule ,the 50 move rule, or perpetual check. This (we hope)
has been corrected in this release.
THE FUTURE OF EDCHESS
EdChess is an on going project for Dave and myself. We are constantly
trying to improve the game both in terms of its game playing ability and
its ease of use.
The following are some of the plans that we have for EdChess in the
- Graphic chess board for CGA, EGA, and Hercules adapters
- Telephone chess
- Improved endgame algorithm
- Beginners chess tutorial
- Standard chess notation (ie; P-K4 instead of E2E4)
- Terminate and stay resident (POP-UP) mode
- Opening library editor.
We also have a version for the Amiga in the works, and as we can afford
to we will to support other machines. If you have any suggestions for
improvements or features, we will be glad to listen to them. Thanks for
trying us out and enjoy.
John T. Bell
NOTES ON REGISTRATION
If you register your copy of EdChess, with a fifteen dollar ($15.00)
donation, then you will receive a copy of EdChess version 2.0. Please
allow 4 to 8 weeks for delivery.
We encourage people who are using EdChess to register their product. We
will provide registered users with upgrades and improvements as they
become available. We are also trying to notify each person when we
receive their registration.
The registration may be mailed to:
EdTech Associates Inc.
PO Box 1665
College Park, MD 20740
Please include all of the following information when you register.
City:______________________ State:_____ Zip: ___________
Please tell us how you acquired your copy of EdChess:
Comments and Suggestions: