Live Chess Viewer
Tom's Live Chess Viewer is a utility for watching live
computer vs computer chess tourneys being broadcast on the
internet. The utility provides information on who is playing,
time left on clocks, time control, scores, thinking output, nodes
per second, and more, all in real time. The viewer also has a
chat feature that will enable you to talk with other users who
are watching the same match. Games you are watching are recorded
in PGN format in real time so that you have a record of the game.
Users can also get up to date results table information that will
show who is winning the tournament and the results of the last
round of games played. The Viewer can be opened multiple times to
watch different games being broadcast from separate sites.
People who want to broadcast games on the internet will
need to use the Tom's Live Chess Server utility. More information
on the server utility can be found further down this page.
The chat feature enables you
to chat with other users who are also watching the same game. The
chat window shows a list of users who is also watching the game.
Users who wish to remain anonymous can do so by leaving the Alias
field blank. The chat feature has an option that automatically
'pops up' the chat window when a message is received. This can be
turned off from the main window by unchecking the 'Auto chat pop
The results window
displays a table of chess engines participating in a tournament
with their Rank, points, games played and the results of games
they have played so far. The results table is calculated by the
server each time a user requests this option. A second table is
shown at the end containing a list of the most recent round of
games played and the results of those games.
The viewer records the chess
game in PGN format in real time while you are watching. Games
from this window can be copied easily using the copy and paste
method to your favourite chess utility. If you have connected to
the server half way through a game then the PGN output will have
a FEN string to indicate the starting position for the game.
The e-mail feature
allows you to choose completed games that have so far played in
the tournament to be sent to your e-mail account. Games are
listed with the most recent games first. When using the e-mail
feature for the first time you must enter your e-mail address in
the appropriate field, your e-mail address will be remembered the
next time you use the e-mail feature. Place a tick beside each
game you want sent to your e-mail account. When you have finished
choosing all the games you want, you then click on the 'Send
Email' button to send the request to the server. The server will
acknowledge your request and the email will be sent to your
e-mail account shortly afterwards. All games that you have
selected are put into a single e-mail in PGN format.
Live Chess Viewer v2.1c - 1.02MB (Updated 25 February 2006)
- Microsofts Visual BASIC library file, Only download this file
if the viewer does not run at all.
Live Chess Server
Tom's Live Chess Server is a utility that enables you
to broadcast computer chess games from Winboard or Arena on the
Internet. Users with TLCV can connect to your server and watch
the computer chess game in real time. The server works by reading
debug file created by Winboard or Arena, and interpreting the
Winboard protocol from the file. The server does not interfere
with Winboard or Arena in any way, CPU usage is low and memory
usage is low. The server monitors the debug file for new
information and when new information is found the server
interprets the data and transmits the new information to all
connected viewers. The server can be run multiple times on the
same machine with each server process broadcasting a different
game. The server can also broadcast games which are running on a
different machine, this can be achieved by using a local area
network and file sharing.
The server can be
set up by editing the server.ini file. By editing the server.ini
file you can specify which port the server will communicate on,
the location of your winboard.debug file, your site information,
the tournaments PGN file and customise speed and responsiveness
of the server. The server communicates using the User Datagram
Protocol (UDP), this maybe important information for those who
need to configure their firewall, proxy server or router.
The 'path' parameter tells the
server where the winboard.debug file is located. If the
winboard.debug file is located on your local hard drive then you
can specify the path as drive:\directory\winboard.debug.
Alternatively if the winboard.debug file is located on a
different computer you can specify a UNC path instead,
an example of a path setting for a winboard.debug file that is
located on a local
is an example of a path setting for a winboard.debug file which
is located on a separate computer on the local
Specify the port which UDP data
will be sent and received. If you want to run more than one
server on the same machine to broadcast more than one game then
you must specify a different port number for each instance of the
server you want to run. The best way to achieve this is to create
a directory for each server you want to run and copy the server
software in each of the directories you have created, then
configure each server with a different port number. When choosing
a port number please try to make it different to anybody else who
is also broadcasting on the internet. This will enable people
with the viewer to watch both games at the same time. There is a
restriction where you cannot open the same port number on the
same machine at the same time. This includes running the server
and the viewer at the same time if they are using the same port.
If the server and the viewer are using different port numbers
then they can be run at the same time without any conflict.
This parameter provides
information about your site. You can type anything you want here
but typically the location of the server and hardware being used
for the tournament is considered helpful by many users. The site
information is displayed on the main window of the viewer when a
user connects to the server. The site information is also used
for the PGN output of the viewer.
tells the server which PGN file to read to calculate the results
table. The server will read the entire PGN file to calculate the
results table, so you need to make sure that the PGN file does
not contain thousands of games that you have stored. You should
keep a separate file for each tournament that you run and point
the server to the current tournament PGN file. You can change the
TOURNEYPGN parameter at any time without having to stop and
restart the server. The PGN file will be opened and calculations
made each time a person using the viewer accesses the Results
Table option. This maybe an issue if you have lots of users
connected and the PGN file is large, this may impact on the
amount of CPU used for the calculations which in turn may impact
the performance of the chess engines running on the same machine.
Usually this is not a issue but it is a good idea to be aware of
this if you are concerned about chess engine performance. If the
chess engines are not running on the same machine as the server
then this should not be an issue. You can stop users from access
the Results Table by leaving the TOURNEYPGN parameter blank, this
will stop all calculations from taking place.
If you have
enabled the e-mail feature of the server (see below), then games
requested by users will be extracted from this PGN file.
This parameter affects the
responsiveness of the server. The time is measured in
milliseconds and this tells the server how long to wait between
monitoring the winboard.debug file for change. The smaller the
number the faster the server will respond but the more CPU it
parameter tells the server how long to wait after making a move
before making the next move. This affects the update speed people
using the viewer see when moves are being made.
This parameter tells
the server how long to pause after the game has ended. For those
people who are using the Joris Winboard Tourney Manager, this
delay is important because the server will close access to the
winboard.debug file during the delay period which will enable the
Joris WBTM to copy the debug file. If you are using the Joris
WBTM, then I recomend you set the 'DELAYAFTERGAME' parameter to
10000 (10seconds), this will give enough time for the Joris WBTM
to copy the debug file.
is the mail server the Live Chess Server will use to send
e-mails. The "MAILSERVER' parameter is typically your ISP's
e-mail server, the same one you use for your standard e-mail
software (eg. Outlook Express). The Live Chess Server uses an
external program called 'gbmail.exe' to send e-mails. The server
will keep a log of e-mails sent in the 'email.log' file so that
you can track down any problems. E-mails are sent using the
standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). If you do not want
the server to send e-mails, then simply leave this parameter
blank and the server will notify users when they request a game
to be e-mailed to them.
is simply the 'from' e-mail address that will be part of each
e-mail sent by the server. Make sure you use a valid address
otherwise e-mails sent by the server may never reach the intended
recipient because spam filters may block e-mails with an invalid
Live Chess Server v1.72b - 60Kb (Updated 30th November 2008)