Waxman chess engine with WinBoard

winboard

Many years ago, in the days of Windows 3.1 and just as Windows 95 was coming onto the market, I bought a copy of a computer magazine, I seem to remember that it was PCW (RIP), that had a 1.44” floppy disk on the front and on that disk was a chess program called Waxman by Ivan Bacigal.

The name comes from the fact that ‘Waxman’ looks a bit like the Russian word for chess: WAXMATbI.

I got an email from someone this week asking me if I knew how to get it running on Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit). I had to email back to say that unfortunately Waxman was a 16-bit application and 64-bit versions of Windows can’t run them.

WinBoard

However, this evening I discovered that Waxman is still going albeit in a slightly different way: as a game engine for WinBoard. It’s pretty simple to setup too:

  1. Download WinBoard
    Unzip it into a directory, e.g. c:\winboard
  2. Edit the winboard.ini file in Notepad adding two lines beneath the firstChessProgramNames and secondChessProgramNames lines, i.e. /firstChessProgramNames={“waxman xboard -h32 -r-900” […] /secondChessProgramNames={“waxman xboard -h32 -r-900”
  3. Download Waxman 2010
  4. Unzip the file into the c:\winboard directory
  5. Run the winboard.exe file.
  6. Select the Waxman engine from the drop-down options
  7. Click OK.

What’s nice is that you can setup a position; a feature that is surprisingly absent from a number of versions of chess for Windows; including the built-into-Windows 7 ChessTitans.

Could this be chess for Kindle coming soon to the UK?

kindlechess

I just spotted today that chess is now available on the US Amazon Kindle Store. The product details indicate that it was released on 9 February 2011.

Might this be an indication that Kindle apps and games might be coming the UK Amazon Kindle Store sometime soon? I do hope so.

Update

21 January 2015

I’ve just come across this post about four years later. I never did get a game of chess on my Kindle before I sold it. 🙁