Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Shogi Tools

Who is Fat Bold Cyclop?

My real-life alter ego works in the software industry, has a beautiful wife, two great kids and a dog.

We both like the same things but when it comes, after hard day of work, he's time to get rest I take over the control and do some fun stuff. These include playing chess or shogi over the net, watching movies, reading books. He is always puzzled why he is so tired :-)

For more information about me, please visit FBC's homepage.

One of the things of our interest is shogi. The other is developing software.

What are Shogi Tools

The whole idea of this appeared when I was browsing shogi-l discussion list.

I was looking for some tsume shogi problems to solve. Finally, I found in their archives a file http://www.shogi.net/arc/shogi-l/tsume_faq.txt. Roger Hare collected there 131 problems (mostly submitted by Reijer).

I wanted to have the tsume collection in some printable format so I could make a handout.

So I started to write a tool which I called Tsume Parser. It is supposed to read a file in the descriptive format (the format used by Roger) and convert it into more "visually attractive" one.

I also wished I had a program to help me to enhance my "board vision" in shogi. There are some similar programs for chess (i.e. http://chesstraining.sourceforge.net/) but none for Japanese chess.

I have other ideas for software that could help organize my shogi.
These led me to the conclusion that I have to take active part in developing some shogi software.

That's how Shogi Tools appeared as a project on code.google.com. There are two main goals of the project:

  • Documenting shogi community standards for storing, representing, transmitting shogi-related data (games, tsume, etc.).
  • Building tools to translate between the formats.
Future plans contain, after building mentioned set of tools, production of turn based on-line game server for shogi players.

On the pages of this blog You will be able to trace the progress of my work on the subject. I'll try to describe the problems I encounter and how (or if) I solved them.

See you!

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