APwin, Virtual Pieces and other updates
4 Aug. 2015| by Peter Wong
In the 15 Aug. 2012 Walkabout column I discussed APwin, a graphical interface for the solving programs Popeye and Alybadix. This nifty piece of software has been updated by its creator, Paul Wiereyn, and you can download it for free on this page: APwin v2015. The new version contains many changes and fixes, including:
- Additional fairy pieces and conditions to reflect the latest Popeye updates.
- Descriptions of all pieces and conditions (some were missing in the earlier version).
- A method to “fast input” multiple positions for solving, with an “add problem to file” button that allows such positions to be saved in a single file.
- Problems are automatically saved when you exit a screen or when a position is solved.
The automatic saving function generates more solution files than I would like (new files are created instead of the old files being overwritten, which was the default behaviour in the previous version). However, at the time of writing, Paul is exploring alternative methods of saving problems, so this feature may change in the near future.
My chess graphics site, Virtual Pieces, doesn’t get updated often these days, but I have recently uploaded new versions of the two Diagramkits. These collections of image files for creating chess diagrams now include rotated figurines to represent unorthodox pieces, useful for displaying fairy problems and chess variants. Some improved board backgrounds are added as well.
If you like my artworks on Virtual Pieces, note that you can purchase merchandise featuring them on the Redbubble site. A range of products, from T-shirts to mugs, are available. You can even customise the image to show, for example, your favourite chess problem! Just drop me a line if you’re interested.
I’ve always been a fan of the X-Men film franchise, and viewers who are into chess would have noticed how frequently the game appears in these movies. After the release of the fifth film in the series, X-Men: Days of Future Past, I decided to create a video compilation of all of these chess-related scenes, just for fun. The result is “Chess Scenes in the X-Men Films” – check it out below or on YouTube!