D A T A C H E S S II
1 Introduction 1
2 Commands 1
2.1 OPTIONS Menu 2
2.1.1 Add Games 2
2.1.2 Set Position 3
2.1.3 Delete Games 3
2.1.4 Edit Games 3
2.1.5 Add To Game 4
2.1.6 Save Games 4
2.1.7 Load Games 4
2.1.8 Quit 4
2.2 GAMES Menu 4
2.2.1 Forwards 5
2.2.2 Backwards 5
2.2.3 Goto End 5
2.2.4 Goto Start 5
2.2.5 Goto Mid 5
2.2.6 Goto Number 5
2.3 SELECT Menu 6
2.3.1 File No 6
2.3.2 Search Name 6
2.3.3 Search Event 6
2.3.4 Search Place 6
2.3.5 Search Date 6
2.3.6 Search Stats 6
2.3.7 Search Moves 7
2.3.8 Search Disk 7
2.3.9 Statistics 7-8
2.4 PRINT Menu 9
2.4.1 Print Moves 9
2.4.2 Print Board 9
2.5 OTHER Menu 9
2.5.1 Disk Space 9
2.5.2 Colours / Hz 9
2.5.3 Change Set 9
2.5.4 Save Configuration 10
2.5.5 Display Symbols 10
2.5.6 Pick Opening Book 10
3.0 General 10
4.0 Problems 11
5.0 Credits 11
DataChess is a database designed for the specific purpose of inputting
and replaying chess games. It cannot 'play' chess and it cannot in itself
teach you how to play the game. However with proper use, it can help you
to analyse your game and determine your strengths and weaknesses.
The main features of DataChess II are:
i) Can store over 2700 games of up to 300 ply in each file
ii) Quick input of games
iii) Optional full legality checks
iv) Set up position facility
v) Print board diagram
vi) Print moves in algebraic notation
vii) Automatic or user driven replay of games
viii) Statistics facility to analyse your results
NB. File size dependent on memory configuration as follows: (no ramdisk)
0.5 Meg over 75, 1 Meg over 450, 2 Meg over 1225, 4 Meg over 2750
To run DataChess II, simply click on 'CHESS2.PRG' for the medium
resolution version, or 'CHESS2_H.PRG' for the high resolution version.
The following files must either be present in the same folder as
CHESS2.PRG/CHESS2_H.PRG or in the root directory of a disk in drive A:
CHESS2.LGO ) - medium resolution version
CHESS2.LGH ) - high resolution version
Most of DataChess II functions are accessed via the drop down menus. A
description of their functions follows.
NB: Whilst executing several of the commands the menu bar is switched
off. If you wish to execute another command you will have to either wait
for the command to finish (eg until the end of the game is reached when
replaying) or exit from the function by clicking on the 'EXIT' box.
If you wish to swap the board from white at the bottom to black at the
bottom then clicking on the white box below the board will toggle between
the two options. The text in the box indicates the currently selected
2.1 OPTIONS Menu
2.1.1 Add Games
This command allows you to enter new games to your current file - each
file can contain a maximum of 2750 games. (4 Meg version)
Having selected this option you will be presented with a screen allowing
you to enter details about the game (Names, Event, Place, Date &
Statistics - see section 2.3.8 for a description of the statistics field
or the special openings code file loaded when inputting 'HELP' as the
Many DataChess users use the date string for information other than the
date, however if you wish to use the date string for dates, and you wish
to be able to search for dates earlier, later or within a range, then the
date must be entered in the following format '00/00/00', two numbers to
represent the day, a back slash, two numbers to represent the month, a
back slash, and two numbers to represent the year.
Once you have entered the above details the starting position will be
shown. To enter moves simply click on the 'from' square with the left
mouse button (the square will be highlighted to show that it has been
selected) and then click on the 'to' square.
If you wish to add a standard symbol to the move score, then before you
play the move on the board, click onto one of the boxes marked 'symbol'.
You will now be shown all the symbols the program will allow together with
their meaning. Click onto the one you want, when you next make a move on
the board, the symbol will be added to the move score. If you select a
symbol and change your mind, or you enter the symbol selection screen, and
you don't want to choose a symbol, simply click the mouse button onto the
top of the symbol screen. If you choose an end of game symbol, (i.e.
draws, checkmate or resignation), then when in replay mode, when the end
of the game is reached the appropriate '1 - O','O - 1' or 'half - half'
will be shown beneath the move score. It is not recommended that you use
the end of game symbols mid-game.
If desired, the computer will check that your move is legal according to
the rules of chess although this may be turned off in order to allow the
input of 'fairy' chess games. The current status of the legality check is
indicated in the box in the lower right hand corner of the screen - click
on the box to toggle the legality check on and off.
If you make a mistake when inputting the moves you may step back through
the game by clicking on the box marked 'BACK' with the left mouse button.
If you have selected an openings file using the command 'Pick Opening
Book' you will be able to click onto the little box called 'OPENINGS'
(next to the legality check box). This will search the selected openings
book, and if any positions are found that match the current position, a
list of all recommended moves from that position, that are contained
within the book will be displayed. New opening books can be generated by
the 'Opening Book Manager' program, this program and manual can be found
in the MANAGER.OPN folder.
When you have finished entering the moves click on the 'EXIT' box.
2.1.2 Set Position
This allows you to enter 'White to play and win' type positions. As in
'Add Games' you will be presented with a screen for the input of the game
details. A blank board will then be displayed with the pieces at the right
hand side. To enter a piece on the board, click on the piece required (it
will be highlighted to show that it has been selected) and then click on
the desired square with the LEFT mouse button. To remove a piece from the
board, click on the piece's square with the RIGHT mouse button.
When you have finished setting up the position, click on the 'EXIT' box
and you will then be asked if it is white or black to move from the
entered position. You will now be able to enter moves from the set up
position as in 'Add Games' above (if you do not wish to add any moves then
simply click on the 'EXIT' box).
NB: the program will not allow the following positions to be set up
i) either side has no king,
ii) either side has more than one king
iii) pawns on either the first or eighth rank
if you should click on the 'EXIT' box when one of the above conditions is
present then a message 'Position is not legal' will be displayed and you
must alter the position to make it legal.
2.1.3 Delete Games
You will be asked if you wish to delete all the games in memory or just
a some games. If you choose to delete just a some of the games then you
will be presented with a record select box, (a little like an overgrown
file select box). The record select box functions are as follows:
Clicking the left mouse button on a white arrow box scrolls the records
in the direction of the arrow one record at a time. Clicking onto a black
arrow box scrolls the records in the direction of the arrow one page at a
time. Clicking onto a 'T' box takes you to the top of the records, 'M'
box to the middle and 'B' box to the bottom of the records. To select a
record you may either A: click onto it, (the selected game will now be
shown in a game selection box at the top of the record selection box) ,
then click onto the game selection box, or B: simply double click onto the
record you want. If you wish to select a block of records for deleting
then, click onto the first game of the block, then, holding down the left
shift button on the keyboard, click onto the last game of the block, the
game selection box will change to show -Range x to y, again clicking onto
the game select box will give you the option to delete the block.
NB: if a single game or a block is deleted, the games after it are
renumbered so that the remaining games are numbered consecutively.
2.1.4 Edit Games
Allows you to edit the game details (eg names, event etc). A record
selection box will be shown as in 'Delete Games' above and once a game has
been selected for editing, the games details will be displayed and may be
altered as desired.
2.1.5 Add To Game
This allows you to add to or delete moves from a game. In order to use
this option, a game must first have been selected (see section 2.3.1).
The end position of the selected game will be displayed and you may then
add more moves to the game or delete moves already entered. This option is
of particular use for correspondence chess players, as it enables them to
keep a record of their games and update them as moves come in.
2.1.6 Save Games
All saved game filenames should end in '.DC2'.
2.1.7 Load Games
Depending on if you have a file currently in memory, or if you have used
the Disk Search option, (see 2.3.8. Disk Search) you will be given any of
three loading options. If you have no file currently in memory and no
disk search file, then you are only given the option to load a file into
memory, If you have a file in memory you are given the option to either
replace the current file, or to merge with the current file. If you
choose to replace the current file, the computer will confirm the load if
any changes have been made to the current file. If you have used the Disk
Search option and have found records that match your criteria you will be
given the option to merge only the matching records with the current file.
In all cases if the file to be loaded exceeds your memory configuration
you will be warned of this, and the computer will only load as much of the
chosen file as possible.
NB: If you have used previous versions of DataChess (ie a low resolution
version) then your files will have been saved with a '.GAM' extension.
These files cannot be loaded directly into DataChess II - you must first
convert them into DataChess II format by using the conversion program
Will return you to the desktop. If you have made any changes to the
current file and have not saved them then you will be asked to confirm the
2.2 GAMES Menu
These menu options are not available unless a game has been selected.
This option allows you to replay a game from the current position either
automatically or via the mouse.
An alert box will be displayed asking if you wish to replay the game
either automatically or by clicking the left mouse button for each move.
Whichever method is selected, the replay can be ended by clicking on the
If automatic mode is selected, a second alert box will be shown asking
for the speed of replay. The options are: 1 second per move, 3 seconds per
move or user defined. If user defined is selected a screen is displayed
allowing you to choose your own time setting, simply click on the'+' or
'-' boxes to change the value shown (left mouse button for single
stepping, right for fast change). Click on the number when it is at the
Takes back moves from the current position. Operation is identical to
2.2.3 Goto End
Takes you from any point in the game to the end.
2.2.4 Goto Start
Takes you from any point in the game to the start.
2.2.5 Goto Mid
Takes you from any point in the game to the middle.
2.2.6 Goto Number
Allows you to go to any position in the game. To select the move number,
click on the '+' or '-' boxes (left mouse button for single stepping,
right for fast). Click on the number to go to it.
2.3 SELECT Menu
2.3.1 File No
Used to select a game for replaying. You will be presented with a record
select box, (please see section 2.1.3. Delete Games for instructions for
using the record select box). After selecting a record using the select
box, you will be presented with the game details and an alert box asking
you to confirm that this is the correct game. At this point you will have
the opportunity to copy the selection to the next available memory slot.
This is useful for entering the same opening variations without the need
to enter the first 10-20 moves again.
2.3.2 Search Name
Used to search the games in memory for a specific name. Simply enter the
name (or part name) and the computer will display all matching game
2.3.3 Search Event
Used to search for the event.
2.3.4 Search Place
Used to search for the place.
2.3.5 Search Date
Used to search for the date - this searches for a string and not a date
as such, ie if you have input a dates as 01/08/91 then searching for
01.08.91 or 1st Aug will never find any matches. If however you have saved
your games with dates in the format '00/00/00' as explained in 2.1.1
Add Games, if you enter the date in the same format you will be given the
option of searching for dates earlier or later than the inputted date, or
even dates between two inputted dates.
2.3.6 Search Stats
Used to search the statistics string. Can be used to search for a
specific opening, all games in which you were black etc.
2.3.7 Search Moves
Used to search for games with a particular move number, or games with
move numbers within a certain range. You will see two numbers on the top
of the screen, the number on the left is used for all options were only
one number is required, (all options except the range option). The plus
and minus boxes at the sides of the numbers increase or decrease the value
of the numbers shown. You will see a black hi-light bar above the number
that will be changed with the '+' and '-' boxes. Clicking onto the other
number will change the hi-light, and the number affected by the '+,-'
boxes. You will also see four boxes containing four options, '=' means
that only games with a move count that exactly matches your selected
number will be chosen, 'R' means only games with move counts within the
two selected numbers will be chosen, '>' only games with a move count
greater than the selected number, and likewise '<' only games with a move
count less then the selected number will be selected. One of the options
will be hi-lighted with a black bar along the top, this can be changed by
clicking onto the option you want.
2.3.8 Search Disk
This command allows you to search for any string within the game details
of DataChess II disk files. The search will be carried out in the Name,
Event, Place and Date fields.
Select the file to be searched and then enter the string you wish to
search for all matching games will be displayed.
The same options regarding the date search that are available to you
under 2.5.5 Search Date, apply equally to the Disk search option.
If you find any games that match your criteria, then using the load
option before using the Search Disk option again, will allow you to merge
the matching records into the current file.
This command can be used to analyse your games and possibly determine
your strengths and weaknesses. However, it does require some effort and is
dependent on your own assessment of openings and the positions you reach
The statistics function works by reading the information stored in the
Statistics string in the game details. The format of this string should
characters 1-4: opening code. This code may be from the Encyclopedia of
Chess Openings (ECO) or New In Chess classifications or could be your own
code. However to be of any use it must be consistent across your games.
Examples could be "C89 " which is the ECO classification of the Marshall
Attack in the Ruy Lopez opening or, say, "KI05" which could be your own
code for the Samisch variation of the King's Indian defence.
character 5: this character defines whether the opening can be
classified as Open ('O'), Semi-open ('S'), or Closed ('C').
character 6: is your appraisal of the position you reach from the
opening. Use 'P' for plus, 'M' for minus or 'E' for even. Obviously this
is a subjective opinion and can only be of use if some care is taken in
assessing the position.
character 7: 'W' if you were white, 'B' if black.
character 8: the game result - 'W' for win, 'L' for loss or 'D' for
Thus if you were played a game using the Marshall Attack as black and
the position out of the opening was even but you went on to win, the code
would be 'C89 ' 'O' 'E' 'B' 'W'.
The author of DataChess has devised his own opening codes and a file is
on the disk called 'DC_CODES.DOC', if you enter the opening code as 'HELP'
the DC2_CODE.LST is read from disk and displayed on screen allowing you to
select the appropriate code. If you wish to use different codes, but would
like to make use of the HELP file, write a new DC2_CODE.LST using a word
processor in the same format as the original, and save it as ASCII code,
the computer will now load your own file.
Using the Statistics command:
If you have a file or files which conform to the above format then the
Statistics command can be of some use. It is of no use without a file to
work on. Having selected the Statistics command you will be presented with
a display allowing you to read in files and specify parameters for which
games are to be used in the analysis. The parameters are:
Name - if you only want to read in games featuring a certain opponent
then click on the name at the top of the screen (initially set to
'DataChess') and the corresponding 'INCLUDE' box. If the 'ANY' box is
highlighted then the Name parameter will not be used when selecting games
for reading in.
Opening - to select a particular opening, click on the opening code in
the centre of the opening section, enter the correct code and then click
on the 'INCLUDE' box. An asterisk may be used as a wildcard when selecting
openings, eg with the ECO classification of games the codes B10 to B19 are
used to represent the differing variations of the Caro Kann opening and so
"B1**" could be used to select only games which started with a Caro Kann.
In both the above cases, when you choose to click on to their respective
include boxes, you will be presented with an ALERT box asking if you want
the name/opening to be included or excluded from the search. Include will
find all games with the name/opening that you have entered. Exclude will
find all games with the name/opening other than the ones you have entered.
If you wish to read in all games then just make sure that all parameters
are set to 'ANY'.
The 'EXIT' box will return you to normal command mode.
The 'READ' box will read in files, selecting games according to the
parameters selected - you may read in as many files as desired.
The 'DISPLAY' box will give a statistical display of the games read in.
From the display screen you may print the information by selecting the
Warning: make sure that you have read in all the files you want before
selecting 'DISPLAY' as when you return to the selector screen all previous
information is lost.
2.4 PRINTER Menu
2.4.1 Print Board
Will print the current board position. This option should work on all
Epson compatible printers connected via the printer port, however it has
only been possible to test it on a Star LC-10 printer and it cannot be
guaranteed that it will work on any other makes.
2.4.2 Print Moves
Will print the moves of the currently selected game on your printer.
Moves will be printed in Algebraic Notation, eg
1 e4 e5
2 Nf3 Nc6
2.5 OTHER Menu
2.5.1 Disk Space
Shows the amount of space available on the current drive.
2.5.2 Colours / Hz (Medium resolution version only)
When selected, you will be presented with a dialogue box allowing you to
choose between Change Colour and Change Hertz. Choosing Hertz will flip
the screen display between 50 and 60 Hz. If you choose colour, you will be
allowed to change any of the four colours used. Click on the colour you
wish to change. Click on the left mouse button on one of the RGB numbers
to decrease its value, right mouse button to increase its value. Click on
the 'EXIT' box to return to the program. If you wish to revert to the same
colours as used upon startup, then click onto the box labeled 'ORIGINAL'.
NB: you may save your preferred colours by using 'Save Configuration'.
2.5.3 Change Set
If you have designed a set of your own or wish to use one of the others
provided then use this option. You may use 'Save Configuration' to
automatically load your favourite set when the program starts.
2.5.4 Save Configuration
This option allows you to save the current configuration to disk. The
parameters saved are:
Colours - (Medium resolution version only)
Path to where games are stored
Path to where sets are stored
Path to where openings are stored
Whether board is to be viewed with white or black at the bottom.
The configuration will be saved to a file called "CHESS2.CFG" for the
medium resolution version, and 'CHESS2.CFH' for the High resolution
version. DataChess II does not require this file to be present when run
but if it is, then it will use the values saved in it.
2.5.5 Display Symbols
This option will display the symbols used within the move score along
with the meanings for each symbol. Press the mouse button to return to
the main program.
This option can also be used during replay forwards or backwards mode
to insert a symbol within the move score. Normally all symbols will be
placed when the game is entered into the computer, however if you wish to
later add a symbol without using the 'Add to game' option then:
During replay forwards or backwards mode, stop at the move before the
one you wish to add the symbol, click onto 'EXIT', select 'Display
Symbols in the 'OTHER' menu, then click the RIGHT mouse button on the
symbol you want, this symbol will now be attached to the following move.
2.5.6 Pick Opening Book
Use this command to select the opening book when adding moves to a
game, see 2.1.1. Add Games
On the right hand side of the menu bar you will see two numbers
separated by a back slash. The first number represents the current file
size, the second number is the maximum file size for your memory
When in either replay forwards or backwards mode, the above numbers
change to show the number of moves in the current selected game.
On the main display screen, between the 'DataChess' name and the move
score box, you will see a box called 'ANALYSE'. When you don't have any
game in the replay memory, or when you are in replay forwards or backwards
mode, the word 'ANALYSE' is shown in light print and is not accessible, at
any other time, if you click onto this box with the RIGHT mouse button,
you will be able to move the pieces around the board. Clicking onto the
'EXIT' box in this mode will take you back to the game, in the position
that you started the analyses.
I keep on getting the message that I must release more memory to the
If you are running the program on a 520 ST you will have very little
room. It is quite likely that you will not have any room for accessories
or disk caches. Disable all accessories and disk caches, make sure you
have no background memory resident programs, and try again.
If you ever get an error message, please send the code number of the
error, and if possible a list of events that lead up to the error, to
K.A. Tait at the address shown below.
DataChess I versions 1, 2, 3, 3.5 & 4 programmed by Kenneth A. Tait.
DataChess II version 1 programmed by K.A. Tait & R. Walker.
DataChess II versions 2, 3 & 4 programmed by Kenneth A. Tait
DataChess II was written in GFA Basic 3.5 and compiled using the GFA
If you have any comments about this implementation of DataChess and,
particularly, if there are any features you would like to see incorporated
in future versions, please contact:
Kenneth A. Tait.
30A, Back Lane,