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We have experimented with Arena at school. Nice looking GUI. Main drawbacks; 1. complicated, 2. Freezes occasionally and has to be restarted.
Regardins SCID, I haven't worked much with it, but I haven't yet found a way to paste a FEN string and play from there, so that has cooled my interest. I might gravitate toward scid and just fold my FENs into to pgn files, but that's a major pain in the butt, in my opinion. Am I the only chess coach who thinks it great to be able to load a practice game with a simple ctrl-c, ctrl-v and start playing? Mayura fits that bill perfectly(except for the tiny ugly board layout). Then when you mess up, you just hit ctrl-v again to reload the problem.
Use SCID vs. PC instead of SCID if you haven't. This might work in SCID, too, but in scid vs pc to play against the computer from a fen position, just paste the fen with ctrl+shift+v, Play - Computer (UCI Engine) and select play from current position from the dialog.
2. Freezes occasionally and has to be restarted....
did you tried Arena 3.5 ?
Any good programs for Mac?
This is exactly what I did to review games I input from a book. Here are some videos on how to do that:
There might be some problems to use the "play vs PC" because you need to download some extra engine Toga if you are using Stockfish in order to use that feature in Scid. But if you get some problems then post here
Yes I am using Arena 3.5 and have frequently seen the 'not responding' or freeze problem. Thanks to whoever mentioned that scid needs shift-ctrl-v to paste a FEN. I wonder why the designer came up with that idea. ctrl-v has been a standard paste shortcut for over half a century for virtually every computer application (even before the Atari and the Apple 2+ and the PC were invented). Now maybe if I can figure out how to 'play against the scid engine' I will begin to like it.
I downloaded and installed scid-vs-pc. It actually seems to like ctrl-v to paste a fen. But I have no idea now how to get it to play after I paste a fen with white to move as a start point. Can someone give me a step-by-step instruction list to allow me to paste a fen and then get the program to play as black and respond each time I move a piece?
did you even look at the videos I linked or you are just lazy?
Yes I am using Arena 3.5 and have frequently seen the 'not responding' or freeze problem...
I'm not really trying to foist Arena on you, but I use Arena a lot, and I'm finding it hard to remember the last time it froze up on me. A small number of engines will crash and give the "not responding" error message, but I think that's a problem with the engines, not the GUI. I just avoid those problem engines. (Do you remember which engines give you problems?)
SCID is da best, no protest !!!
To bachofchess or anyone else who might be able to help jump-start me.
I would like to be able to:
1. Click on a startup icon that loads Scid (I get this far.)
2. Load a FEN file to memory from my website (Can do).
3. Paste the position into Scid (No problem here).
4. Load an engine so that when I move a White piece from the position, the engine will respond by moving Black (I have no idea how to make this happen. Stockfish 4 analyzes, but I do not know how to configure the engine to think for 3 seconds and move).
5. Shut down Scid so that the next time I open it, the engine will already be pre-loaded and properly configured, ready to respond to my position input and first move. (No experience, since I cannot get through step 4).
Can you help me get started by telling me how to get Scid to know I want the program to move in response to my move?
If I can get this far, I might want to pursue using Scid, even though I hate having to use ctrl-shift-v instead of ctrl-v to paste my FEN.
In response to #145 I am now able to load Scid vs PC and load Stockfish and then use ctrl-shift-v to paste a FEN and then move and have Stockfish respond properly.
Can I configure the program so that I do not have to go through that engine load step each time I re-open the program? I would prefer to be able to open the program and paste the FEN without having to reload the engine (Scid seems to do this, but Scid vs PC does not). Then I want Stockfish to respond to my move without hesitation.
Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.
Scid vs PC remembers my board colors when I close and reopen the program, but I have to start Stockfish each time I open the program, and although it indicates that ctrl-v loads a FEN I actually have to use ctrl-shift-v (most of the time. I have occasionally been able to use ctrl-v, which is bewildering.). After I play a game I can then load another FEN, but then I have to reload the engine. This to me is rather bizarre and rather frustrating behavior. Is this normal, or can I reconfigure something so that the program doesn't turn the engine off after each game?
one Click paste in Arena 3.5
It doesn't seem to me that you can get around the few mouse clicks that are required to start up Stockfish every time you want to play a game against the engine with a new FEN. I'm guessing that's because Scid vs. PC is primarily a database program, and game playing is a supplemental feature. (Myself, I don't see those few mouse clicks as a big negative, but that's just my opinion.)
Concerning the ctrl-v issue, if you read in the Help file under Keyboard shortcuts, you'll see that the keyboard shortcuts ARE case sensitive, and that control-v pastes a game from Clipbase, while control-V pastes a FEN. That's why you're forced to use ctrl-shift-v to paste a FEN.
Thank you for both of the above posts (#154 and #155).
I agree that the few mouse clicks shouldn't be a big deal, but some of these small details can make a lot of difference to pre-teen-agers. Right now I am struggling to get them to remember to sign in, set up a board, set up a clock, fill in their algebraic notation game sheet (including time and date, and circling their name so I know who has written each game record), write the FEN string for their suspended game at 7:45, and put the chesspieces and clocks away in the 15-20 minutes that they can spend in 'chess club' between the time when their bus arrives and when they have to be in their classrooms.
Arena's one-click paste (F6) is a major breakthrough for me, and may make Arena the Mayura contender I have been dreaming of. It looks like Arena does remember engine and play settings between games and even after the program closes. And I'm terribly embarrased that I was so close to the trees that I couldn't see that ctrl-shift-v == ctrl-V for Scid vs PC. It's no wonder that I am such a poor chess player and that I so often give away my queen to eight-year-olds.
I have always been impressed that so many smart people have vountarily been so helpful to me. Please stand by. I will probably be back with more questions after I look a little closer at Arena.
Thank you for this information. I could use a new practice partner. Good day!
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