On-line blitz tourney March

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hgm
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On-line blitz tourney March

Post by hgm » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:44 am

The on-line engine blitz tourney for March will take place at:

Saturday March 16, 3pm EST (21:00 CET)

winboard -zp -ics -icshost 83.163.204.254 -icshelper timeseal -fcp ENGINE.exe -fd ENGINEFOLDER -autoKibitz

(for UCI engines, add -fUCI)

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Evert
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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by Evert » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:26 pm

I'm sure this has been asked/answered before, but what exactly does one need to join one of these? Any special software/engine requirements? Would I need to sit at my computer during the match or can I let things run in the background and check back sporadically?

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by hgm » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:16 pm

Besides mishaps like disconnect (of you or your opponent) the tourney should be fully automatic. It is important, though, to keep an eye on it, because if a game would be interrupted, one of the players would have to restart it. and if both would be away...

All you need is WinBoard (or XBoard), and issue the command specified in the posting above. (Your firewall could ask permission for WB to access the internet.) At the announced time the tourney will be 'openend', and you would have to type the command "mam join 1" to join it. If everyone has joined, the tourney will be 'closed', and the first round will start automatically.

That is all. Whether you can do other things on your computer depends on how heavily your engine will load it. WinBoard/XBoard can associate sounds with specific events (through the Options->Sounds dialog), drawing your attention to it when it runs in the background.

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by AlvaroBegue » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:40 pm

I have another nooby question: I tried the command right now and I got a "Connection closed by ICS" error. Is there a way to test this before the tournament?

I assume xboard will open some sort of terminal where I can type that "mam join 1" command? [EDIT: Oh, I see. I think I'll type that in the terminal from which I launched xboard.]

Thanks.

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by hgm » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:05 pm

Indeed, for XBoard the xterm from which you launch it will act as ICS interaction window. It also has an 'ICS Input Box' as a separate window, though, where you can type text to send to the ICS. It can be requested from the View menu, but it pops up automatically if you start typing when the board window has focus. By typing there you can type without being constantly disturbed by ICS output, and it allows better line editing, and recalling of old input lines with arrow keys.

'Connection closed by ICS' is what XBoard says whenever the TCP/IP connection is terminated. As the ICS is up and running now, you might have a firewall problem, or your provider might block port 5000. XBoard cannot really see why a connection breaks or is refused, so 'closed by ICS' is not much more than a guess, and in reality the ICS might never have been reached. You could try to add the arguments -port 23 to the command line, to see if that works. (I also map that port to 5000 on my LAN.)

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by Evert » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:59 pm

Well, I tried from both my desktop and my laptop. It's slightly complicated, because the standard xboard on my desktop returns immediately with "xboard: Unrecognized argument -zp", presumably some compile-time option that isn't enabled by default (EDIT: re-emerging xboard corrects that problem, but not the second problem below).

Using XBoard from my laptop, or the manually-compiled xboard-alien on my desktop I get (in the log file produced by -debug) "<ICS: timeseal: No such file or directory\012"; I have no idea what "timeseal" is and there are no hits in the package manager either...

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by hgm » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:49 pm

Ah yes that is true. I forgot about timeseal, because it is included in the WinBoard install package. But alas not with XBoard. :oops:

Timeseal is a program supplied by FICS that acts as a liason between XBoard and the ICS, and measures the time you have been thinking (i.e. between sending a move and receiving the previous move) on your local system's clock. So that the measurement is not affected by network lag. To prevent cheating it encrypts both move and time stamp with a secret key, which the ICS will then decode.

If you leave out the options -icshelper timeseal, you can connect directly to the ICS, but any network lag will then be deducted from your clock, as the time will be measured on the ICS.

It should be downloadable from the freechess.org website, also in Linux version. You can also compile it from source, where it is known as OpenSeal. (The secret key is not as secret as the inventors of this system had in mind...) To play on ICC there exists a similar program 'timestamp'. This uses a key that is really secret, so it can only be obtained from chessclub.com.

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by jshriver » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:46 am

Woot saw the post before it was over :) planning to spectate.

I have a couple accounts on there, want me to migrate a couple cores for the event? matmoi for example?

-Josh

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by jshriver » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:48 am

hgm wrote:The on-line engine blitz tourney for March will take place at:

Saturday March 16, 3pm EST (21:00 CET)

winboard -zp -ics -icshost 83.163.204.254 -icshelper timeseal -fcp ENGINE.exe -fd ENGINEFOLDER -autoKibitz

(for UCI engines, add -fUCI)
Mr. Muller, would you mind if I use this months tourney as a test of my live game front end? Finally have a Javascript (non meta refresh) version available. Still 1 issue I'm working out, but I do have a work around at least for 1 event.

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Re: On-line blitz tourney March

Post by jshriver » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:51 am

Evert wrote: "xboard: Unrecognized argument -zp",
Right click the icon, click Properties and chance -zp to /zp believe "-zp" is strickly Unix/Linux, and /zp is Windows.

Hope that helps.

BTW the server is up, was able to connect to it. If you need to do a "raw connection test".

Click Start->for "Search programs" type "cmd" when that pops up try
telnet mullersIP 5000

That should work.

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