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This thread is for you to contribute with your opinion or knowledge about the subject in order to learn more about it or get into a constructive outcome together. Thanks in advance for your active participation!
Subject: FEN, X-FEN or Shredder-FEN, which one do you think adapts better to the chess960 notation needs, and consequently should prevail on top of the other. How to find a solution for the current incompatibility between the different interfaces and online sites?
As you know, the position description is essential for Chess960, it must be included on the PGN notation in order to provide the required Starting Position information, besides it is always helpful, as for classic chess, to provide records for a particular position re-start.
Although Sharnagl introduced this solution by 2003, not many GUIs, applications nor sites are currently really using it. ARENA claims compatibility to use it, however in my personal ARENA interface I see it still uses classic FEN... I hope someone can bring some light on this.
As far as I know, there are only a few GUIs claiming compatibility to read anything:
COMMERCIAL: Rybka Aquarium - I have run a test today and definitely it doesn't support X-FEN. When it comes to paste a given FEN position it doesn't support Shredder-FEN either. However, when pasting PGNs, it doesn't support X-FEN but still can read correctly Shredder-FEN as Chess960. When it comes to generate PGN from Rybka Aquarium, it uses Shredder-FEN for specific Chess960 games.
With this panorama, at the end it comes to the final users (ourselves) suffering of incompatibility when importing-exporting games from one support to another forcing continuous hand-made modifications. I am not sure if the best solution would come from making full-compatible products or go for just one of the options together. What do you think?
PS. There is a few threads discussing the same subject:
I have run a test with the example provided at the Wikipedia:
X-FEN = rn2k1r1/ppp1pp1p/3p2p1/5bn1/P7/2N2B2/1PPPPP2/2BNK1RR w Gkq - 4 11
[Event "SmirfGUI Computerchess Game"][Site "CHESSBOX"][Date "2005.06.19"][Time "10:22:29"][Round "Test"][White "White"][Black "Black"][Result "*"][Annotator "R. Scharnagl"][SetUp "1"][FEN "rnbnkqrb/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBNKQRB w KQkq - 0 1"]1. h4 g6 2. g3 Bf6 3. a4 Qh6 4. Ra3 Bxh4 5. gxh4 Qxh4 6. Qh3 Qxh3 7. Rxh3 Ne68. Bf3 d6 9. Nbc3 Ng5 10. Rhh1 Bf5 11. O-O *