picochess.com club

Dear users,

in past 3 years i had alot of fun to develop for picochess. But as i said on google forum already my private situation has changed. For this reason i now decided to stop developing picochess (for free). But there is light on the horizon. Jean Francois Romang (the former leader of this project) told us that he will continue my work. You can see his ideas here.

I will develop picochess in my own way from now on. I already did release 0.9P and 0.9Q. For all of you interested what the difference to 0.9N is: well, here is a short list in history order:

  • update engines
  • bugfix on hint move on “castle move”
  • Menu refactor Update Menu / Logfile out of system menu
  • Bugfix setpieces at “newgame”
  • Speaker names in capital too
  • fix #266 “Speech output calls checkmate twice”
  • bugfix leaving update menu
  • remove remote mode
  • bugfix beeps (esp on analysis modes beeps like hell) – terrible bug ;-(
  • new beep level “error” can be turned on/off on its own
  • display LAN moves (for example: “Ng1xf3” instead of “Nf3”) on (non XL) clock
  • “noscore” in capital too
  • better handling of eBoard errors
  • bugfix “update picochess” not always find the newest version
  • various voice improvements and “update” texts
  • “eMail_log” text improvements
  • new RaspPi3+ files
  • let picochess also run on windows
  • test for iNet in update menu
  • test for ini file problems (dont crush anymore)
  • new parameter “network wait”
  • zurichess using the same level order as the other engines
  • on rotated boards set the origin to prevent problems with middle button
  • prevent problems with missing engines.ini file
  • bugfix on exit “update menu” (time)
  • display “takeback” only on non-menu clocks
  • on shutdown/reboot dont display eBoard-errors
  • exchange some XL chars
  • better combined ponder display
  • update several engines (again)

Also i implement a multi-clock usage. For long y can have more as 1 clock for example a DGT-Pi and a DGT-3000. Both clocks were in sync with each other. So, if y press one button on a DGTPI the DGT-3000 also change its display. The version 0.9P makes each clock independent from the others (incl. the webserver clock). I mainly use this to get inside the menu on one clock and the other clock still available for short info like “position value”, “best move” etc.

License System

Despite this i also implement a license system. The versions >0.9N (from me) are now bound to a DGT e-Board. The file structure is also changed. To get a working picochess y need to be a member of my club and you need to provide some infos like “DGT board ID” & “your license nickname” to me. Right now i have 2 sorts of licenses. One is valid for a special time frame (the member time) and one is valid for a special version (no time limit). They work as follows:

Time license

Available from month/years plan. You need to get your Rasp with a working internet connection during usage. As long the buyed time is not used out, picochess will operate in a full mode. If the time is out or y still not asked me for a license file picochess will allow to play 15moves and “setup position” is deactivated (=try mode). Same if y loose the iNet connection (=limit mode). As long y have a valid subcription plan y can get all updates of picochess, so the newest picochess release will work and every version before.

Version license

Available from years plan only. This version doesnt need a working iNet connection during usage. Your license is for a version available during yr subscription time. As long y are inside this time y can get the newest version you want. As soon the time is out, this newest version will continue to work forever – you just cant get newer versions. Please understand that i cant always change your license file(s) during the year (not speaking for the last one) in case a new version is released. I think 4 versions a year should be enough – but i might update yr license more often if my time allows this (fair use!).

This all i had to implement to protect myself. Sorry, if y not happy – but i hope y can understand me.

Club advantages

To be with me on the newest versions of picochess y need to be a member of picochess.com club. Right now i offer 2 subscription plans. You can decide how long y want to be a member (the longer, the cheaper): for 1 month (5,95€) or for 1 year (50€). Especially if y decide for a years plan you get extra features the month plan dont have – thats mainly cause i want to build a group of people addicted to picochess not to make money. From time to time i will also post articles, y can only see if y such member. Decide yourself if y enjoy the fully working 0.9N version or go ahead with me to new borders. To get such subscription please go to the bottom of any page (“Register” section).

Refund policy

For the month & years plan y can request a refund if y havent downloaded any (non-free) software (no exceptions)! By requesting a refund your account is deactivated and a handling fee (1,20€) plus an usage fee (for each started week your subscription is running 1,80€) is charged. This means at least 3€ so please think first, if y want these subscriptions.

Forfeit/Misuse policy

Im sorry that i need to write such things – i thinked that should be clear – since my idea with these subscriptions was to build friends of picochess. If y make any protected software and/or protected text public available, crack protected software or ask others to do so, your account is forfeited (without refund). Depending on the situation i might even block y for your lifetime and more. Im very serious for this! Please respect my software is not for free. This is all about “fair use” so please by as nice as i am, okay?

I wrote this cause some people dont understand what the new way of picochess is. I hope this text makes it abit clearer for all of you. If y have questions please post here. Thanks.


    • why always(!) so negative? Despite one bug all very small – and since i find them and not the users (strange!) they cant be so big/important.

    • Hi Marco,
      i updated my text to link to the register section. Thanks.
      The description is what y read here. What is not clear enough? Happy to answer all yr questions y might have.

      • Hi Jurgen,

        Well, the cost, first of all! But it’s mentioned in the bottom of the page.
        Anyway, I downloaded the free image and flashed on a SD successfully. Problem is I can’t access it because the standard pi user password does not seem to work: I am stuck at the cli login of the newly flashed image, can you help?

  1. Hi Jurgen,
    Sorry to spoil your post with so many questions that you might put in an article, but I don’t know where to write anyway!

    So, I have seen that jromang will continue your work; but you will do the same independently, and for a price, right? So, that’s a fork (in codeline, not chess-related!!)… Will you post links to jromang branch here? I have read it will be quite different from yours.

    Secondarily, I didn’t like the image that you made available (0.9n, right?), so I installed picochess manually.
    BEWARE! At present, raspbian has pip3 9.something. It’s enough to run picochess and it will work, but if you run the pip3 update listed in install instructions, it will update to pip3 10.something and IT WON’T WORK (it seems it is currently broken, pip 10.x does not support cryptography 1.7).
    Anyway, now that picochess has been installed manually taking it from the github repository:
    1) Which version do I have? How can I check picochess version, in other words?
    2) If I enable the autoupdate feature, will it update to your most recent versions? I guess nothing will happen since I am not a paid user, right? Or will it update to the latest license version – and therefore not work ’cause I haven’t a plan?


    • Jromang’s plan is not 100% the same as mine for example he wants to remove some features, i will keep. I dont think, our codes are running in a way we can merge easily.
      But i will keep an eye on it and also post here about this.

      The images arent from me, i only link to the download places. What y didnt like with Michaels one?
      The current version y can see if y go to the picochess menu > system > information > version.
      From where y cloned y stay. So, y get the updates from yr cloning space. That also means, y wont interfere with my commits or suddently need to pay something (or a not working version). But the newer jromang versions have a problem to find the newest version. But since – at least right now – there arent any updates, y dont need to worry too much.

      • Hi Jurgen, thanks for the info.
        I didn’t like his image is Raspbian Lite, and it was not easy to add a graphical environment on top of it. It should be, I know, but simply installing Xnvc and window manager and desktop environment on top of it didn’t really work for some reason. It was easier to burn a standard Raspbian image and compile Picochess.

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