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RMU Entrance Exam Jan, 2011 - PuzzleNode: Chess Validator

Brent Vatne

Notes for the reviewers

Hi there! Thanks for reading. I recommend checking out the Read the code section below for my suggested path through the code, and what to watch out for.

Run the tests

Uses Rspec, to run the suite: bundle install && rake Tested with Ruby 1.9.3p0

Use it

require 'chess'

# Load board (subtitue board.txt for your file)
board_config = Chess::Parsers::BoardParser.parse("board.txt").read)
board        =, "a3", "a6")

# Load moves (substitute moves.txt for you file)
moves = Chess::Parsers::MoveParser.parse("moves.txt").read), moves.first.destination)

Or you can use /bin/validate_moves from the command line:

ruby bin/validate_moves full_path_to_board_file full_path_to_moves_file

Use the shortcuts to load the example data!

ruby bin/validate_moves simple

ruby bin/validate_moves complex

Read the code

First, I'd suggest quickly scanning the Board, and Notations files. I would not bother with the parsers. Next, I suggest reading through Pieces, to get an understanding of what the Pieces know about themselves. Notice that all information about location on the board is within the domain of the Board class, while a Piece simply knows what moves it is capable of doing.

Next, to understand how the rules are applied, check out Validator, followed by Rules. The check_legality method is pretty cool I think - each component method evaluates its own part of the rule equation, independent of what the other parts have determined.

Extensive documentation has been provided inline, roughly according to the TomDoc specification - The code may seem verbose because of the comments, or maybe it just is verbose to begin with. Either way, I hope that if I am accepted into RbMU to be able to improve my ability to write concise code and comments. Lastly, I hope you find my comments useful and thanks again for reading! Any feedback is much appreciated.

Extend it

Add your own Notations that implement the same interface as AlgebraicNotation, and just pass it in with a new instance of a board.

board =, MySpecialNotation)


puzzlenode #13 and my attempt at ruby mendicant university entrance exam for january 2012






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