Frequently Asked Questions

Installing BabasChess

Which Windows versions are supported?
Is there a Linux version of BabasChess?
I am not able to run the Windows Installer, is there any other way to install BabasChess?

Connecting to a chess server

Can I connect to the Internet Chess Club (ICC) with BabasChess?
How can I use BabasChess through a socks (proxy) firewall?

Playing

Why is the piece movement slow? Why is there a delay when I make a move on the board?
How can I enable/disable automatic queen promotion?
How can I remove highlights from the board? How can I get rid of the arrow indicating where a piece has move?
How can I turn off blinking time light? How can I turn off the time alert sound?
How to turn on/off board coordinates?
What is a "premove"? What is a "smartmove"?

Console

I have set a dark background; why are the web and e-mail links not visible?
Why is ASCII art not displayed properly?
How do I make the console input line bigger?

Window management

I have maximized the board (or the console); how can I stop it from shrinking down, whenever a friend logs on (or I receive a challenge, or I receive a tell)?
Why does my window layout change whenever I start playing (or observing, or examining) a game?
What does BabasChess save in a "window layout", exactly?

PGN files

Is it possible to make BabasChess save my games to a pgn file?
I have a game in a pgn file that I want to examine on the server; how can I do?

Computer engines

How can I analyze a position using an engine?
Is it possible to add new engines to BabasChess?

Info window

How can I change the ratings in the Player list from blitz to standard (or any other type)?
Can I see only games of a given type (e.g. blitz) in the Game list?


Answers

Installing BabasChess

Which Windows versions are supported?

BabasChess runs on all win32 versions: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista.
Is there a Linux version of BabasChess?
There is no Linux version. Some users reported to be able to run BabasChess under Wine, with emoticons disabled (option in Preferences->Console). More information is available at http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?appId=1716.
I am not able to run the Windows Installer, is there any other way to install BabasChess?
If you do not have administrative rights, or you cannot run the installer for any other reason, you may download the "Zip Image of BabasChess" in the download page.

Connecting to a chess server

Can I connect to Internet Chess Club with BabasChess?

At the time this answer is being written, BabasChess works only with FICS (Free Internet Chess Server - http://www.freechess.org) and BCC (Blitz Chess Club - http://www.BlitzChess.com).
Can I use BabasChess through a socks (proxy) firewall?
BabasChess does not have a native proxy support, but you can "socksify" it using an appropriate program such as FreeCap (http://www.freecap.ru/eng).

Playing

Why is the piece movement slow? Why is there a delay when I make a move on the board?

BabasChess uses a double-buffering technique to draw the board without flickering; unfortunately, on a few video cards this technique determines a slow board redraw (delays when moving a piece or between the end of the piece movement and the subsequent board update). This problem can be usually fixed as follows: 1) open the Windows Display Properties (right click on your desktop and select "Properties"), 2) select the "Settings" tab (where you can change the screen resolution, color quality, ...), 3) press the "Advanced" button, 4) select the "Troubleshoot" (or "Performance") tab and 5) decrease the hardware acceleration by one step.
How can I enable/disable automatic queen promotion?
Use the "Show promotion popup" option in File->Preferences->Board (2) to enable or disable the promotion popup. When the promotion popup is disabled, whenever a pawn reaches the back rank, it is automatically promoted to the last piece you have selected using the promotion buttons in the toolbar or the corresponding commands in the menu (the default is queen).
How can I remove highlights from the board? How can I get rid of the arrow indicating where a piece has move?
All the related options are in File->Preferences->Board (2).
How can I turn off blinking clock? How can I turn off the time alert sound?
The clock blinks when you are in a time alert situation; there are three options controlling the time alerts: they can be enable/disabled/customized in File->Preferences->Board window (2). If you want to turn off (or modify) the time alert sound, without disabling the blinking clock, go to File->Preferences->Sounds and modify the "Game->Time alert" sound event (select "No sound" at the top of the list of available sounds to disable it).
How to turn on/off board coordinates?
With the "Show coordinate option" option in File->Preferences->Board window (Board window display options).
What is a "premove"? What is a "smartmove"?
A "premove" is a move played on the board before you have received your opponent's move; premoves are highlighted on the board according to the options in File->Preferences->Board (2). If you enter more premoves, they will be executed sequentially (one at each turn). You can enable/disable premoves in File->Preferences->Board (2).
A "smartmove" is a special way to enter a move: you click directly on the target square and, if only one of your pieces can move there, the move is immediately executed. If more pieces can move to the selected target, the "default" piece is highlighted (following a fixed order: knight, bishop, pawn, queen, king, rook); if the option "Double-click forces default piece smartmove" is enabled, a double click in the target square will force the move of the default piece. You can enable/disable smartmove in File->Preferences->Board (2).
To cancel a premove or a smartmove, click on its small 'x' sign; to remove all the premoves/smartmoves, press the keyboard ESC button.
If both premoves and smartmoves are enabled, you can enter pre-smartmoves by clicking on empty board squares when it is not your turn.

Console

I have set a dark background; why are the web and e-mail links not visible?

You have probably selected the Silver color scheme in Windows. In fact, when such a color scheme is selected and the background is black, the console links are black too, hence they are invisible; this seems to be a bug in the Windows Rich Edit control that BabasChess uses for the console. The only solution seems to be selecting a different color scheme in Windows (right click on your desktop, select Properties and the Appearance tab) or changing the console background.
Why is ASCII art not displayed properly?
BabasChess uses all the available space to write text in the console, then it does not wrap the lines at the 79th character like other interfaces. The only drawback is that ASCII arts (i.e. graphical images composed by text characters) are often not displayed correctly. Possible workarounds are: 1) if the ASCII art you want to see is in the finger notes of a user, right click on his/her handle and select the "Profile" command; 2) resize the console window so that exactly 79 characters fit into each line.
How do I make the console input line bigger?
Go to File->Preferences->Console and uncheck the "Use default system font in the input line". This will make the input line use the same font and size you have selected for the console text.

Window management

I have maximized the board (or the console); how can I stop it from shrinking down, whenever a friend logs on (or I receive a challenge, or I receive a tell)?

Go to File->Preferences->Info window and uncheck the "Show friends information window when an arrival notification is received" option: this will prevent the Friends tab of the Info window from popping up whenever a user in your notify list arrives.
Go to File->Preferences->Info window and uncheck the "Show pending information window when a new offer is made" option: this will prevent the Pending tab of the Info window from popping up whenever you receive an offer.
Go to File->Preferences->Chat and uncheck the "Show chat window when a private tell is received" option: this will prevent the Chat window from popping up whenever a new private tell is received.
Go to File->Preferences->Chat and uncheck the "Show channel window when a channel tell is received" option: this will prevent the Channel window from popping up whenever a new channel tell is received.
Go to File->Preferences->Chat and uncheck the "Show channel window when a shout is received" option: this will prevent the Channel window from popping up whenever a new shout is received.
Why does my window layout change whenever I start playing (or observing, or examining) a game?
Go to File->Preferences->Window layout and associate the appropriate layout to each event (or <Take no action> if you do not want the layout to be changed automatically).
What does BabasChess save in a "window layout", exactly?
A BabasChess window layout contains the following data:
  • Toolbar (whether visible or not)
  • Status bar (whether visible or not)
  • Main console:
    • Position and visibility
    • Word wrap setting (whether enabled or not)
    • Dockable state (normal window, docked window or floating window)
  • Info window:
    • Position and visibility
    • Active tab
    • Current column widths for list-based tabs
  • Chat and channel window: position and visibility
  • For each board window:
    • Position and visibility
    • Game toolbar (whether visible or not)
    • Game console (whether visible or not and current active tab)
    • Move list (whether visible or not)
    • Captured pieces visibility and layout (see Game menu)
    • Clocks and names (see Game menu)
  • Custom buttons:
    • Floating toolbar position and visibility
    • The buttons themselves (the buttons are automatically changed with the layout)

PGN files

Is it possible to make BabasChess save my games to a pgn file?

Yes, the autosave options are in File->Preferences->General. If you want BabasChess to automatically append all your games to a single pgn file, uncheck the three options "By game type", "By date" and "By opponent".
I have a game in a pgn file and I want to examine it on the server; how can I do?
The fastest method is to drag the pgn file into the BabasChess window (the game list will appear), select the game you want to examine from the list, then press the "Open as..." button and select "Examine on the server". BabasChess will send all the moves to the server and then move back to the beginning of the game, so that you can examine the game together with other observers.

Computer engines

How can I analyze a position using an engine?

Show the game console (there is a button in the game toolbar, or you may use the Game->Show game console command), then select the Analysis tab. Press the "Start" button to make the engine analyze the current position.
Is it possible to add new engines to BabasChess?
Yes, BabasChess supports Winboard and UCI protocols. You can add new engines and select the active engine in File->Preferences->Board window (2).

Info window

How can I change the ratings in the Player list from blitz to standard (or any other type)?

Right click on the list, then select the desired option in the "Rating type" submenu.
Can I see only games of a given type (e.g. blitz) in the Game list?
Yes: right click on the list, then select the desired type from the "Game type" submenu.