Welcome to the KnightCap home page

KnightCap is a chess program written for the Fujitsu AP1000+ parallel computer (running AP/Linux). It will also run on most unixes, although you may need to tweak the includes.h file and Makefile.

The principal differences between KnightCap and other chess programs are:

KnightCap is now starting to get reasonably competitive with some of the better known free chess programs. It beats gnuchess a reasonable percentage of the time (although I still think gnuchess is better) and has even been known to beat crafty on occasion.

If you have comments/suggestions etc then send them to tridge@samba.org. I get tons of email about some other bits of software I've written so please be patient of I am very slow in replying.

KnightCap is available under the GNU public license.

KnightCap plays on FICS at fics.freechess.org/5000. It currently has a rating of around 2280.

Building KnightCap

If you want the fancy graphics display then you will need an OpenGL graphics library and the SGI Glut toolkit. The free Mesa library is fine.

Edit the Makefile, following the comments.

Then type "make". When it doesn't work fix the problems or call on a local C programming guru.

The code currently assumes you have a 32 bit machine and that "long long" is a 64 bit quantity. I'll probably fix this sometime.

Running KnightCap

After you start it up use the right button to access the main menu. Its obvious from there.

You can rotate the board by dragging with the left mouse button. Move pieces by dragging on the piece, also with the left mouse button.

If you don't compile with the fancy graphics then your get a simple color ascii display. If you have a mono terminal then you don't get color and it will be tricky to tell who's white!

Playing on ICS

Yes, KnightCap can be used as an interface to ICS. Its a bit rudimentary at the moment, and is not really intended for general consumption but it does work.

To start it up use the -c option like this:

Make sure you use board style 12 (use "set style 12" once logged in).

The ICS interface was designed to let KnightCap play unattended, not as a general ICS interface, so you may find bugs.

Mesa and Glut

To build KnightCap with the 3D display you need a OpenGL complient graphics library and the Glut toolkit from SGI. Both of these are avaiable freely on the net. To help make things a bit easier for some people I have included pre-compiled versions of these libraries on the KnightCap ftp site for Linux-intel and Solaris2-sparc systems. Use these pre-compiled packages only if you are lazy and short on time.

You may also need to set your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to point at the Mesa-2.1/lib directory so that the dynamic loader can find the libraries when KnightCap starts up.

Source code

The source code for KnightCap is available from ftp://samba.org/pub/KnightCap

In general you will want to download the latest CVS version for the latest improvements. See ftp://ftp.samba.org/pub/unpacked/KnightCap/ or http://pserver.samba.org/ for details.

All the code was written by Andrew Tridgell except for the trackball.[ch] modules which come unmodified from the Mesa graphics demos.

Feedback and patches are welcome, although I may not respond very quickly.