picochess v0.9s – (S)et pieces version

This version focus on three features:

  • set pieces now gives y a hint what is wrong. Before y only see “set pieces” but now, y get a small comment, what y have to change like “move piece from e4 to e2”. Details below
  • inside the time menu y can now change the startup time with a blinking menu system. This allows y to change start time as y wish (including >90m times!). Y no longer bound to the prepared times like 5/0. Right now its abit limited, cause it sets the time for both and not for move time. But the beginning is made. Its basically HH:MM:SS and if y setup the seconds other then 0, it means “fischer” time. So y can setup say “2h game”, “4m blitz”, “6m 3s fischer” and so on. On a XL clock the time display is similar to the standard XL display (cause of this, i was limited to 90m before – but its gone now).
  • Loading the last game is implemented (actually its implemented for long – incl. before Dirk, grin) but im still blocked to release (see below). This works very well together with the new “save game” feature. Give it a try.

Despite this i also did some small improvements:

  • new engine versions for arasan, laser & vajolet
  • changing the long/short notation updates the webserver view instantly instead of “after pico move”
  • webserver can be forced to simulate a XL clock (i know: its not important for you, but for me – cause: who wants to use old hardware, ha?)

You need to install the prepared limited picochess again, if y update to make all these work. For this please follow: https://picochess.com/download/picoweb-for-v0-9s/

Example of the set pieces messages

wrong position

correct position

This will produce the following messages on your clock (one by one):

  • -c4b4+ means: Move the piece from c4 to b4 (the black pawn in this case)
  • =wBg4- means: Remove the Bg4 from board (“=” means to the side)
  • -c7d3= means: move the piece from c7 to d3 and put the d3 piece to the side (therefore this “=”)
  • -e6c7+ means: move the piece from e6 to c7
  • =wQe6+means: put a new piece wQ to e6 (y see this “=”?)
  • +wNg6= means: put a new piece wN to g6 and put the former piece to the side (=)

This is abit complex to understand – i know. Basically “+” is for “add piece to square”, “-“ for remove piece from square and “=” means the basket. But i think, its better as before where y simply have no idea what to do! Im limited by the clock (6chars), so thats the best i can get – but maybe y have other ideas?!?

Now to the MAIN problem with 0.9s. Since there are people out there who wants all but gives nothing, you cant get it as freely as it was before. If y want to get it, please write me….I decide on the person who gets it and how and who has to wait. Mainly [but thats not all !!] y need to have an OLD registered years subscription (see here why: https://picochess.com/picochess-com-club/ ) which y cant get anymore. Im very sorry!


  1. Thank you for sending me the s-version. I also use the newest engines from Al. I suppose I can use those without problems. Waiting for the new key-file, can I use this version already?

  2. engines should work…so, feel free to try Al’s versions.
    Without the key, it only runs in TRY mode (15moves, etc).

  3. Regretfully, the new version doesn’t work. Picochess doesn’t start, it keeps hanging with only “DGT” on the screen. It even doesn’t make up a log file. I did exactly what you wrote to do, included the new cp-command, but with no success. I understand it is very difficult to tell what went wrong but do you have any clue?

  4. Hi Jan Willem,
    can y try to start it by hand (like “python3 ./picochess.py”)? It seems to me, its a linux problem, like “file(s) missing, wrong rights, etc”, not a pico problem at first glance. The startup scripts expect a /opt/picochess folder. Y have this (with S inside)?

  5. Well, I think picochess is started because it shows the line “DGT” on the screen.“python3 ./picochess.py” doesn’t work either. I get the follwing error message:

    Traceback (most recent call last)
    File “picochess.py, line 27, in import mcp
    File “mcp.py”, line 56, in init mcp (mcp.c:40829)
    File “dgt/sh.py”, line 28, in init dgt.sh (dgt/sh.c:12474)
    File “dgt/lcd.py”, line 13, in init dgt.lcd (dgt/lcd.c:9499)
    FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory

    I am pretty sure I did the conversion the way you described, except for step 6, as I wrote yesterday already. There I used the “cp” command

    • No, picochess is not started (just the dgtpi part resulting in displays “DGT”)

      It crushes asap (like with hand). MY ERROR (shit)!
      Please remove the following files from dgt folder:
      – epd.so
      – lcd.so
      – sh.so

      Then start it again by hand => should work, and if yes, y can try with automatic startup.


  6. Hallo Jürgen,
    meine Jahreslizenz läuft bald aus.
    Wo, mit welchem Link, kann ich die S-Version erhalten?

    Vielen Dank im Voraus für eine kleine Nachricht.


  7. Jürgen, I noticed that when I use the Arasan engine, for example, set it to 2120 Elo, or any other value, it shows an error message but seems to have accepted the Arasan configuration. The issue doesn’t happen with other engines and despite the error message that starts with “Err” (I don’t remember the whole message) it seems to be working fine, meaning, it seems the engine and Elo rating is set.

    However, if I turn DGT off and on again, it starts with a different engine.

    Have you seen this before?


  8. Hi Roberto,

    no..i havent seen this before. Which version of arasan y use?
    If y get an “err” picochess will try to reload the last engine => so, in this case pico will still work which explains yr “restart & dif engine”.

    You can also try to start the engine by hand. I would *wild guess* it will not work (explaining this error message y get).

  9. Hmmm… yes, I had to update it over an older version. Anyway, that’s OK, I can live with that 🙂


  10. Hallo Jürgen,
    versuche gerade die v0.9s – (S)et pieces version einzuspielen.
    Grundlage ist die Picochess Version N (DGT)
    Anleitung für a >=0.9P Version before bis Punkt 14. klappt (Punkt 10. beim entpacken mit “tar -xvf ….” statt “tar -xzvf”, da kommt Fehler)
    Bei Punkt 15 komme ich aber nicht weiter, was mache ich falsch?
    root@raspberrypi:/opt/picochess# pip3 install -U -r requirements.txt
    Collecting ConfigArgParse==0.13.0 (from -r requirements.txt (line 1))
    From cffi callback :
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/local/lib/python3.5/dist-packages/OpenSSL/SSL.py”, line 313, in wrapper
    AttributeError: module ‘lib’ has no attribute ‘X509_up_ref’
    Could not find a version that satisfies the requirement ConfigArgParse==0.13.0 (from -r requirements.txt (line 1)) (from versions: )
    No matching distribution found for ConfigArgParse==0.13.0 (from -r requirements.txt (line 1))

    Vielen Dank und liebe Grüße

  11. Hallo Mike,
    ok, bei Schritt 10, ist es in deinem Fall ohne “z” (anderes File geschickt).

    Für Schritt 15, kannst du mal versuchen, es ganz ohne zu machen (also ohne dieses pip3). Könnte funktionieren…leider bin ich aktuell ziemlich ausgebucht 🙁
    sonst vielleicht noch “pip3 install pycrypto” & “pip3 install numpy” anstatt 15

    Aber versuchs erstmal ohne 15.

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