Fool’s Mate Friday: Ubports (Ubuntu Touch) Chess, with a hint of Cinnamon.

As I dive into the realm of making my Just Chess Engine playable, I was taking a look at some of the other chess interfaces out there, to see what kind of features I should implement.

Recently, I decided to test drive Ubuntu Touch on my Oneplus One, and it was during that trial run that I tried out the chess program that they have in their OpenStore.  The app was called Chess, written by Andima Landaluze. You can check out the source code here: https://github.com/Hankamotz/xake-chess.git

Sometimes, when you open a chess app, you are overwhelmed with 3000+ options. You end up scrolling through dozens of menus, and in the end, you just wanted to play a quick game of chess. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need those extra options for critical thinking and deep play, but if you are playing on your cell phone, you probably just sat down on the bus for 15 minutes and decided to play a short match.

That is one of the things I like about this app. The simplicity of it. While I don’t think my app will look overall like this one, I feel I can draw from this app a little note from the simplicity. The app features the Cinnamon chess engine.

I also took a moment to look at the Chess Clock program by Michele Castellazzi. It has all the standard features of a chess clock, and worked flawlessly when I tested it out. Again, the interface was focused on simplicity, which made for a very appealing and smooth interface.

If there was anything to take specifically from the clock application, it would have to be the pause feature. Setting up my own interface for play, it might be nice to be able to pause the game, but further thought brought me to the idea of pausing the game if you press the home button as well. Perhaps that might be a handy feature, as well.

Linux – keep it simple.

Fool’s Mate Friday!

Occasionally, I do a theme, or idea, on a given day for a period of time. Currently, I have been spending quite a bit of time working on chess engines and their play. So, I am going to create a “Fool’s Mate Friday” post. That’s right, every Friday, I’ll be bringing some small tidbit about programming chess engines, or chess games, or chess play in general. So, stay tuned for Fool’s Mate Friday!

This does bring up two important questions, though:

#1. What is a fool’s mate? Well, a fool’s mate is technically a check mate that happens in 2 moves. However, by extension, it can be used to refer to any set of opening moves that lead you to a checkmate very early in the game. Typically, it is specifically a reference to being checkmated by making poor moves on the fool’s part, rather than tactful moves on the winner’s part.

fools_mate

Technically, this would require 3 moves, and is thus a fool’s mate by extension, rather than by definition. 1. e3 f6 2. Qe2 g5 3. Qh5#.

#2. Why name it “Fool’s Mate Friday”? Two reasons, really. I needed a chess related term that started with F, and this is fairly accurate, as I am an unrated player of low standing (and understanding) in the game of chess, and my programming skills are not that good yet. Both of these lead me to make many mistakes, both in the game and in the programming thereof, which is certainly on par with the fool’s mate.

Linux – keep it simple.