Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Google Chess Gadgets

Anyone who has set up a page/blog/site using google tools knows that they provide an awful number of 'gadgets' that you can add to your page. Unfortunately 'awful' doesn't just apply to the number of gadgets, but in some cases, the quality of them as well.
For example I had a look for some chess gadgets to add to a page I'm setting up as part of an experimental (and I do mean experimental) ANU Chess Club site. Doing a search for 'chess' in the 'add gadget' dialog threw up a number of choices, so I began to experiment with them. The first chess playing gadget seemed OK as I began the game (as White) with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5!! The Traxler!. I was already impressed. However ... 5.Nxf7 Nxe4?? 6.Nxd8 Kxd8 7.O-O left me less than impressed. But I wasn't looking for a strong program, just a fun one. But during the next game the program got out of check by castling, so I scratched that from my list.
The next program was just as weak, but as long as it played legal chess I could live with it. Unfortunately when I checkmated it on move 10 it decided to keep playing, and only recognised it had been mated AFTER I captured the king. Scratch program number 2.
However I had more success with program number 3. Not only did "Chess against the Computer" as it is named, play legally, it also played very well. The only drawback at this point is that it doesn't allow promotions, but I'm hoping that this will soon be fixed.
I've also added a couple of gadgets for viewing historical games and problem solving. Feel free to have a look at the ANU Chess Club gadget page (built with google sites after a tip from The Closet Grandmaster), just don't complain about the layout. I'm still working on it!


Paul said...

Dear Shaun,

there appears to be something wrong with the links on this post. I managed to find the ANU Chess Club page by deleting a spurious "http//" from the link.

Paul Dunn

Shaun Press said...

Thanks. Now fixed!

Partidas comentadas de ajedrez said...

Que bueno el gadget. Gracias por la web. Thanks.