Winboard 4.4, Shogi, Xiangqi, and other variants

Oct 20, 2010, 11:13 AM |

Lately I've been interested in playing a few variants.  The ones that interest me the most are Shogi and Xiangqi.  Shogi is in ancient Japanese variant and Xiangqi is an ancient Chinese chess variant.  Both have native Kanji characters on the pieces so its difficult for an English speaking guy like myself to learn.  I find Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) easier to learn and easier to memorize what the Kanji mean.  Also Xiangqi is older than the regular chess that we play on this site and all over the world. 

I have also been interested in playing Correspondence Chess in the USCF.  So I recently joined my very first email tournament so I can get a rating.  To do this you can purchase an expensive ChessBase program.  Or if you have a pgn viewer / editor, then you can make the moves manually and just copy and paste the moves into email. 

I found a great free software program for Windows that allows you to play a bunch of variants and also you can load / save games in pgn format.  You can go into analysis mode also. 

Here is the Winboard Forum where you can download the windows install.  I am sharing this here, because I looked a long time to find this and had a hard time finding a free Chess Engine and pgn viewer.  This one includes a bunch of free engines in the install (Fruit is in there so you can play the computer regular chess). 

I don't know yet how to get Shogi to work in this install.  I do know that Shogi has a free engine where you can play the computer games.  But I don't know yet how to install it.  If I figure it out and any cares I'll post again about this.