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README

Games::Chess::Referee
Version 0.003
Gregor N. Purdy
gregor@focusresearch.com
http://www.focusresearch.com/gregor/
2006-03-26

Copyright (C) 1999-2006 Gregor N. Purdy. All rights reserved.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


This is an early conversion of my first chess-related Perl
program, chess.pl, which provided just enough functionality to
permit tracking the movements of pieces throughout a game. One
notable feature is the ability to provide incomplete ply notation,
allowing the program to figure out, for example, the type of the
piece being moved, or whether the ply represents a capture (x) or
occupation (-). This functionality will be broadened in the futuer
to permit partial space specification (e.g. `cxd4'), and other
cases of standard chess move notation.


PREREQUISITES

This module uses a patched version of the module Games::Chess,
version 0.002. The patches are included in the gc-0.002.diff file.
The diffs were created by the command:

    diff -Naur Games-Chess-0.002 Games-Chess-0.002.patch

They are intended to be used with the patch program (see below).

The patches are to Chess.pm and Chess.pod, and fix a small bug and
address some discrepancies between the documentation and the code:

 1. Changed `Games::Piece->new' to `Games::Chess::Piece->new' in
    one place.

 2. can_castle() is changed to accept a color and a piece, per the
    documentation. Its previous implementation accepted a single
    character code from the set {'K', 'Q', 'k', 'q'} instead.

 3. A corresponding change later in the code to use can_castle() in
    this modified way.

 4. Changed the POD documentation to use the name halfmove_clock()
    instead of halfmove() for the accessor function for the halfmove
    clock.


INSTALLING

 1. Download Games::Chess and this package from your favorite CPAN
    mirror to your favorite staging area ($STAGE below):

    cd $STAGE
    ftp ...
    bin
    cd ...
    get Games-Chess-0.002.tar.gz
    cd ...
    get Games-Chess-Referee-0.002.tar.gz
	bye

 2. Unpack your distributions:

    tar xvzf Games-Chess-0.002.tar.gz
    tar xvzf Games-Chess-Referee-0.002.tar.gz

 3. Apply the patches to Games::Chess:

    cp -a Games-Chess-0.002 Games-Chess-0.002.patch
	cd Games-Chess-0.002.patch
    patch -p1 < $STAGE/Games-Chess-Referee-0.002/gc-0.002.diff

 4. Make, test and install Games::Chess:

    cd $STAGE/Games-Chess-0.002.patch
    perl Makefile.PL
    make
    make test
    make install

 5. Make, test and install Games::Chess::Referee:

    cd $STAGE/Games-Chess-Referee-0.002
    perl Makefile.PL
    make
    make test
    make install

 6. Take a look at tryme and the documentation and write some scripts
    that use the code.

 7. Send your comments and suggestions to the author of this module
    and of Games::Chess.


FUTURE DIRECTIONS

Eventually, there will be a Games::Chess::Move module/class,
that will interact with the Position and Piece classes to provide an
integrated environment for working with chess games. The Referee
module will be converted into a class.

Very abbreviated notation (such as xb4, c5, dxe7, QxR, etc. would be
great, with ambiguity detection).

Also, much more work needs to be done to create a fully functional
referee. Subsequent to that, however, Perl-built chess bots could
be possible, and the referee could be enhanced to the point that
it could be used for on-line chess matches.

Interesting future work would be to wrap the GNU chess engine in
a Perl blanket. This would be most interesting if it was done
in such a way that we weren't just putting a layer over the
terminal interface, but rather, turning the core of the C code
into a Perl-wrapped engine that interfaces with the board via
the Referee.


CHANGES FROM VERSION 0.001

Modified to use Games::Chess by Gareth Rees for the underlying
board management and operations. Uses a privately modified version
of Gareth's Games::Chess code, version 0.002. Patches have been
submitted to Gareth.

Included a small script, tryme, that has the same test game in it
as the test t/referee.t. Run the tryme script thusly (if running
before installing the package):

    perl -Iblib/lib tryme

so you can see its output.

Removed the exit() statement that prevented the t/referee.t test from
doing anything very interesting (:-).