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More on the Alpha Version

March 14, 2011

So far three people have asked me for a copy of the alpha version. (First in the queue as always, was Yves Catineau, who gets a special mention in the new “Credits” page as the original Tarrasch booster).

I’d just like to clarify a few things. I am quite happy for people to download the program just to have a casual play. Participating does not mean that I am expecting you to do a lot of free testing work for me! Of course it would be nice if you did a lot of free testing work for me but it is entirely up to you !

To this end I just emailed out an invitation to participate to everyone who has commented on the blog, or contacted me by email with comments or requests recently.

I haven’t thought about how to organise bug reports yet. For now emails, or blog comments are fine. If things get messy, I will look at a google docs page, or a wiki, or something.

I might start with a couple of bug reports of my own;

1) I only support ASCII comments. Sorry, this is really poor internationalisation on my part, I need to build unicode support in so that non-English speaking users can comment more freely. Allowing users to specify alternatives to N,B,Q,K,R (eg S,L,D,K,T for German users, I think) would be a nice feature before V2 ships as well.

2) The menu->Games->Session screen shows may extraneous selected games.

3) Undo at the moment is Tarrasch V1 like, basically just takeback. A bug is that you can load a game, go to the end and start undoing the last moves of the game!

4) Often I haven’t properly indicated whether menu items are unavailable by greying them out.

5) Not so much a bug as a missing feature; I need a context (right click) menu to enable editing of !,? etc and +/-, +-, += etc. You can type ‘!’ say as a comment and then promote that comment and it attaches itself to the move, but I recognise that’s not a sufficient solution.

No doubt there are many other bugs. I am not really a believer in the “developers cannot test their own code” school of thought. I can test my code, but on this occasion I chose not to. Why not ? For Tarrasch V1 I remember I stopped coding, and did nothing but testing for a long time before I announced a beta version of the program. I found and fixed a lot of bugs.

On this occasion though, I was frantically coding write up to the last minute, and only lightly testing each feature immediately after finishing it. Hence missing cases where implementing one feature damages another. The reason for that was that I didn’t think my credibility could sustain a lengthy delay while I tested and tested, especially as there is still missing functionality. I decided it was better to release a lightly tested demo now, than a more heavily tested demo later. The justification being that it is only a demo. It will be interesting to see whether my decision making turns out to be well founded.


24 Comments leave one →
  1. Yves permalink
    March 14, 2011 7:06 pm


    at this time download and install are fine on windows xp sp3 32 bits
    i have played against Rybka 2.2 and all work without or without kiblitzer displayed
    About the pgn library management, i have open a database with more 2000 games.
    Load very quick and access tot he game is very quick

    Many thanks for the nice soft 😉 and the credits 😉

  2. LiJun permalink
    March 15, 2011 9:05 am

    I like this GUI and want a try. Please give me a copy.

  3. george permalink
    March 15, 2011 11:20 am

    I liked your gui a lot when I tried it out last year. Really glad that you are still working on it. could you please send a copy to me? Much obliged!

  4. Q-dos permalink
    March 15, 2011 6:50 pm

    As an enthusiast, I would much appreciate a copy and will test it on a few favourite openings. More power to your elbow!

    • March 15, 2011 7:54 pm

      Delivered (WordPress is stopping me saying exactly the same thing each time!)

  5. Kostya permalink
    March 15, 2011 8:55 pm

    It works fine on Windows 7, which I have right now. It also works with Rybka 4 (I got a copy from a friend and I love it!!). But the kibitzer doesn’t work :(. I turned it on and it does not do anything. I even tried it with other engines but still no luck. Also in Tarrasch 1 during “setup positions” it sometimes froze but now it doesn’t! Also I would love shortcut for move-now. For example ctrl+m. It has this option in menu but it takes a while to go there.

    • March 15, 2011 11:06 pm

      I shouldn’t comment on illegal installations of Rybka 4. Are you saying that Kibitzing does not work on Windows 7 with any engine, even Rybka 2 ? I happily use Rybka 2 for kibitzing on my Windows 7 setup.

      • Kostya permalink
        March 19, 2011 9:26 pm

        Yep, for some reason it doesn’t work on my computer. Maybe I did something wrong. And I did not just go to pirate bay or something. My friend owns it. When I press start Kibitzer nothing happens. Maybe it is just my computer.

      • March 20, 2011 1:26 am

        You aren’t actually supposed to get copies of commercial programs from a friend. Nevertheless, please provide extra information about kibitz failure. It seems there is a problem for some users, I need more information to try to reproduce and fix this problem. Perhaps you could answer the following questions;
        Does Tarrasch V1 kibitzing work ?
        For Tarrasch V2 kibitzing, have you tried more than 1 engine ? Do any of them work.
        Is it true that kibitzing doesn’t work, but playing a game does work ?
        What is your operating system type and version ?
        Does kibitzing start, then time out ? Or is there some other failure mode.

  6. Sibasis Ghosh permalink
    March 16, 2011 5:45 pm

    I love the earlier versions simply for its user friendliness. I love to use it in any chess related occasion. I will be oblized if you send me the trial version of v2. Thanks in advance.

    • March 16, 2011 9:54 pm

      Thanks for your interest, download instructions have been dispatched by email.

  7. March 18, 2011 9:13 am

    I’m also a regular user of you GUI wich is by far a very nice one, easy to use and have a good looking. I’m under XP pack 3 as a registered owner of Deep Rybka 4-1. I’ll be please if you can send me a link for this pre-beta version. Thanks in advance.

  8. Piklo permalink
    March 18, 2011 9:36 pm

    I like Tary the gui is so simple and old stylish, and the engine quiet strong , please send me e mail to download link

    • March 19, 2011 12:44 am

      Remember the engine has nothing to do with me. Well, the Tarrasch Toy engine does. But that is only a toy engine. When I get V2 done, maybe I will take a look at my engine and try to elevate it beyond toy status.
      Anyway, delivery email on its way.

  9. Siddharth permalink
    March 19, 2011 5:10 am

    I’ve been using the current release for a while now and I must say it is very good. I find most chess GUIs out there cluttered. Yours has a very clean look about it and I would love to see that maintained. I have some experience in UX design and would love to give you my feedback on the new version.

    • March 19, 2011 6:42 am

      Thanks Delivery email on its way.

      (I think I’ll stop adding these delivery comments, they don’t add much – assume your delivery email is on its way once I notice your post, i.e. once it appears after moderation)

  10. David Beagan permalink
    March 19, 2011 4:23 pm

    I like where you are going with this thing. May I get a copy of V2 Alpha.

    Thank you.

  11. Kevin Moore permalink
    March 19, 2011 9:58 pm


    I would really like to try Tarrasch V2. Could you send me the download instructions? Thanks

  12. March 20, 2011 5:00 pm


    I am interested in testing this out. Can we suggest some features or only need to test the stability of the program?

    Please let me know .

    Regards from India.

  13. Triple Triple happy with Tarrasch permalink
    August 8, 2011 9:53 pm

    cool! I would love to test your alpha version (two weeks before its released, yay!) of Tarrasch. I have been using your v1 program and there is simply no contest when it comes to comparing it to other chess training GUIs. it’s free, its got everything a player needs no train, and, of course, it’s got rybka. keep up the awesome work man!

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