Saturday, February 20, 2016

Go/Weiqi/Baduk on openSUSE LEAP 42.1

Besides chess (or International Chess as the Chinese are prone to call it), I am also enamoured with the ancient mental game of Go (Weiqi in Chinese and Baduk in Korean).

I have both GNUGo and ElyGo Lite on my Android cell and on my openSUSE LEAP notebook I have qgo2 as my frontend powered by GNUGo.

GNUGo is packaged in the standard LEAP repo (# zypper in gnugo) and qgo2 can be easily installed using the 1-Click Install via OBS

I have never used a Go/Weiqi/Baduk application on Linux before and I seem to like what I am seeing. qgo2 also seems to have the ability to connect to Go servers on the Internet. Never tried playing online before - might just give it a shot one of these days. Back to my game now.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Installing ScidvsPC on Fedora 23

I am a huge fan of chess and have been so since I learned the rules at twelve. Growing up in a single parent family money was always tight and chess was way more affordable than football or tennis. I was a pretty good
player in my teenage years and chess was good to me - through it I met two of my exes (ahem!), got to travel to competitions and met some really interesting people and was always known as the chess dude in school - though the jocks would never fail to make fun of me and my team-mates achievements and the lack of our athleticism for "real" games.

Well, of late my passion for chess was once again ignited. As a Linux user, our choices of chess programs are actually quite poor compared to the likes of Fritz, ChessBase, Chess Assistant etc for the Microsoft Windows platform. Shredder Chess has a Linux version but it will not work on the latest distros due to a problem with the display managers and besides its creator seems keener on the mobile platform. Shredder Chess for Android is a good program for a modest fee and I highly recommend it. 

I discovered ScidVsPC after Googling around and found it to be an excellent suite for game manager and analysis. It doesn't come pre-build with any RPMs for Fedora Linux and CentOS/RHEL - installing it therefore will require the venerable 3-step to Nirvana - configure, make and make install. On my Fedora Linux 23 notebook, this is what I did to get it installed:

Install the dependencies and StockFish Engine
# dnf install tk-devel tcl-devel gcc-c++ tkimg zlib-devel stockfish

Download the tarball, extract it and compile:
$ tar -zxvf scid_vs_pc-4.16.tgz 
$ cd scid_vs_pc-4.16
$ ./configure
$ make
# make install
To launch it you will need to execute the following from CLI
$ scid 

Or create a launcher by creating a desktop file (save it into ~/.local/share/applications ):
$ vi ~/.local/share/applications/scid.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Scid vs. PC
Comment=Scid vs. PC Games Management

Adding the Stockfish Chess Engine - from within the ScidvsPC UI -> Tools -> Analysis Engines -> enter /usr/bin/stockfish20.bin in the Command field and the click on the ~/scidvspc button and finally click on OK.

And you are good to go! Enjoy!