Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Follow Chess - From floating board to China mode

New update to Follow Chess Android and iOS apps is now available.

WHATS NEW

Floating Board (Android 8.0+ only)

Imagine you are following an interesting game and wish to keep an eye on it while you use other apps [well you just don't know when the players are going to make a move! ;-) ]
Now with the Floating Board feature, just press the Home button in the Analysis Board screen!



So whichever LIVE game you have in front of you in the Analysis Board screen, will be displayed in a small board window! How magical!

  • This feature is only on Android OS running 8.0 or above
  • The board will appear on top of any apps that you use
  • The live moves will automatically update inside the floating board!
  • To quickly dismiss the board, just swipe/flick down the bottom edge of your screen

Team Results (Android & iOS)

For quite some time, we had received your feedback, on how difficult it is to understand the Team composition during a Team event. Especially for events like the Bundesliga or Turkish Super League, where it is not easy to know which player is part of which team. If Vishy is playing in Bundesliga, which team is he part of? Who are his team-mates?
Not anymore!


Now, you will be able to view the Team Results for the current round from the Multi-board screen, see their head to head score for the current round, and tap on any of the game to analyze it! (At the moment, this only works for the current active round which you have in the Multi-board screen. In the future, we can extend this feature for previous rounds too. But hey, please drop us an email (App - Menu - About - Feedback) to let us know if you think its useful, so we can prioritize it!)

China Mode (Android & iOS)

No doubt, China is one of the world's Chess super-power! But when it comes to Apps, social networks etc, they have their own ecosystem and restrictions. Because of the Great Chinese Firewall, the Follow Chess app doesnt work if you were based out of China.
Several Follow Chess users told us how difficult it is, to use essential Apps and resorting to a VPN can be a headache.

What should I do if I am accessing Follow Chess from China?
1. By default, no change is required. The App has a bit of smartness and it should just work. However, if you are in China, and the app is unable to show you the list of recent events, or does not show you the round schedule or multi-board games, then just enable the China mode option from the App settings!

NOTE:

  • Some features like the WatchList and Live moves in Analysis Board screen may not work.
  • Please let us know your feedback and if there is demand for it, we will surely work on it.


Other improvements (Android & iOS)

There are also some other improvements under the hood.


  

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Analyze games or play vs Leela Chess Engine in Analyze This app


Computer Chess has made a tremendous amount of progress in recent months. And especially, Leela Chess! Earlier, Leela Chess ala lc0 only worked on special hardware.

But recently, its been made to work on Android too! This is fantastic news for so many Android users, which means the Engine can run natively on the phone (without connecting to any cloud service to run the engine)

NOTE

  • This only works for Analyze This on Android. Not in the Analyze This iOS app.
  • Its still a work in progress and these are not official builds. Means there could be some problems that you may encounter
  • Thought lc0 did beat Stockfish earlier, but we cannot currently expect that kind of performance on our smartphones, since lc0 really is powerful when running on a GPU. For the most powerful analysis need, Stockfish would still be a better option for your phone. If you need variety or more human like moves, then go ahead and try lc0.
  • So lc0 will still be quite weak, but it can very well perform at a GM level, depending on your device.
  • The below download links have a built-in "weights file". In the near future, via an app update, we will provide an option such that you can specify a different weights file for varied strength.
STEPS
To run lc0 engine in Analyze This app (both Free and Pro version):

DOWNLOAD OPTION A (Download on PC. Unzip. Copy to phone)
  1. Download the engine with built-in weights. Either this one (if 32bit armv7 device) or this one (64bit architecture). If not sure, you can very well download both the zips
  2. Unzip the file. Copy the content which is inside (lc0) onto your phone's sdcard
DOWNLOAD OPTION B (Directly on phone)
  1. You can download the file directly on your phone. Link 1 (32bit armv7) or Link 2 (64bit)
STEPS IN ANALYZE THIS APP
  1. Now fire up your Analyze This app
  2. Tap Board Actions Menu  -> Manage Engines
  3. Tap INSTALL ENGINE option at the top
  4. Locate the lc0 engine file which you unzipped and copied in Option A OR the one that you downloaded in Option B.
Thats it! If the engine file is supported on your device, you now have Leela Chess working on your Analyze This app. You can analyze your games with a more human touch.
Or you can also play a few games using the Play This Side option!

HOW TO PLAY
Tap the name of the Engine and choose Play This Side. Engine will play the currently selected side, while you can make moves for the other side!