Despite the installed (local) chess engines picochess is also able to deal with remote engines. The raspberry pi is limited in computing power compared to a standard pc. For this reason it is possible – for a very long time – to run the chess engines on a different computer. The former implementation wasnt too good and had some problems if you for example change the engine with the clock. I now fixed this. From now on, the remote engine doesnt interfere with the local ones.
Following things are also implemented:
- some flag names are changes to follow the “enable/disable” names like “console” is now “enable-console” and more
- several chess engines are updated like “Sayuri”, “Arasan”, “Rodent” and more
- DGT3000 or DGT-Pi users can now turn off the short notation to see something similar as on a DGT-XL clock (“e2e4”). That was a wish from Rudolf. Ha, in meantime i had some conversation with Rudolf and this is not exactly what he wanted 🙂 So, i update my code abit on next release.
How to use the remote engine
I shortly describe how to make use of remote engines. In my example i use my own ubuntu computer locally connected with the dgt board. If your engine server (the pc you want to use the engines from) is somewhere on your LAN or even at some point at the internet just change the parameters. For this test i copied the engines/x86_64 engines to /tmp/test and change abit this /tmp/test/engines.ini file to see a difference to the copied one. For remote engines to work picochess will need a similar folder structure as on the local ones. At first it will look for the engines.ini file and use this information for the (remote) engines.
If your engine server is a windows pc please take into account that you need a ssh-server (not client like putty) running on this windows. For this you need to do something – its not automatically installed (for security reasons). But im not a windows user and therefore i cant tell you what exactly y need to do – as soon i know it, i update this docu. Sorry.
So, as the system is ready i start with the command line like so “./picochess.py -w 8080 -ers localhost -eru your_login_name -erp dont_want_to_tell -erh /tmp/test -er b-texel”
- i want a webserver at port 8080 running
- the engine server i connect to is “localhost” with my username “your_login_name” and password “dont_want_to_tell”
- on this engine server the engines (and engine.ini) is located at “/tmp/test”
- the start engine i want to begin with is “texel” (without this parameter, picochess using the first available engine in the engine list)
Doing so, picochess will run the same way as any local engine. You can even change the remote engine with the clock buttons. As said above this choice isnt saved to your picochess.ini file. I hope this short docu helps you abit to try this feature yourself. Well, remote engines feature is abit technical. You can enjoy picochess even without using any of this stuff. But if you want to give it a try but have problems please comment here. I will help you.