Chess diagram change on OzProblems
2 Nov. 2023 | by Peter Wong
Of all the chess diagram fonts that are commonly used, my favourite is Linares. It’s a popular one seen in many books, magazines, and websites, such as the British Chess Problem Society site and its publication, The Problemist. A few years ago when OzProblems was given an overhaul, I would’ve picked this font for the diagrams except that I couldn’t find an appropriate software for it, and so used another one, Chess Alpha. It turns out, however, there’s a site named Apronus.com with a Chess Diagram Editor tool that includes Linares as an option. Since the images produced by this online app look great, I decided to take the plunge and convert all of the diagrams on OzProblems to this format.
Given that OzProblems now contains more than a thousand diagrams, this was a laborious process. The Apronus tool accepts FENs as input, hence these codes need to be generated from the existing diagrams. There are programs that read diagram images to obtain their FENs, but unfortunately I couldn’t find one able to process a whole group of them en masse. In the end I used an online app called Chess OCR, which does the job very well, albeit one diagram at a time.
Unsurprisingly, the Diagram Editor on Apronus doesn’t provide the option of displaying rotated figures to represent fairy pieces. So for the few diagrams here that contain such unorthodox units (e.g. Chinese pieces), I rely on my trusty graphics program Paint.NET to rotate the Linares figurines. In any case, I hope the new diagrams improve the site’s appearance, especially in giving a more modern impression.