On The Future Of Chessmonk

While I’m mostly doing polishing work (preparing for a first release), I’m getting a better idea about what I ultimately want to accomplish with the Chessmonk GUI. I intend to support the following tasks:

  • Viewing Chessgames – The most simple use-case, which is very straight forward. Opening and viewing PGN files already works. I also intend to add database queries in the future, so you can view a subset of your large reference database.
  • Analysing – Features I intend to add for this task are a free analysis mode, chess engine evaluation and positional database queries (like scid’s tree view).
  • Editing – The ability to enter new moves, variations, comments, etc. Also to save a modified PGN file or to import games into a database.
  • Book and Repertoire – Although I never used it, I very much like the simple philosophy of Bookup. It should be possible to manually evaluate a position in the database and use these evaluations in the positional database reference view. Especially when using back-solving (basically figuring out what’s the best evaluation when both sides play the best moves), this can be a lot more helpful than simple result statistics. Additionally I want to allow the user to flag every position as belonging to his opening repertoire, so the program can mark all games which involve any of these positions and novelties played in lines from the opening repertoire.

So as you can tell, I plan to add complete database support, but in a manner that does not take away from the current simplicity of the interface. I will most likely go for a relational database like PostgreSQL, which would make it easy to add online databases.

All this might sound a little over-ambitious for now, but the good thing is that I can approach one step after another, without being forced to ever complete them all. I still would like to invite additional comments from other chess players who use chess database software (not chess clients).


5 responses to “On The Future Of Chessmonk

  1. How to change progress bar direction in Clearlooks from LTR to RTL?
    I download source code from CVS.

  2. Howard Goldowsky


    I’m very interested in your ChessMonk project. I refuse to plop down over a hundred dollars to ChessBase or Chess Assistant for databases that hog processing power and memory; they’re also very cumbersome. I’ve got a graveyard of old PGN viewers lying around my desktop — programs like SCID, ChessPad, and a few others. Nothing seems attractive and functional. At the moment, my games database consists of a PGN text file.

    ChessMonk looks promosing, but needing to install Python in order to use it seems prohibitive. Do you have an easy way to install Python, or is there an exe file that Python can create?

    Feature that I would like to see:

    Nice graphics (whih already exists)
    A quick and easy way to sort games (by date, opening, black/white, etc.)
    A very accurate ECO coding algorithm — so far, nobody seems to be able to get transpositions correct. I need an ECO algorithm that understands transpositions. If it doesn’t understand transpositions, it’s pretty useless.

    Thanks for your time. Please respond to my email, as I won’t be checking this site often. Thanks.

    I’m a writer for ChessCafe.com. You can find some of my articles in their archives.


    Howard Goldowsky

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  4. This looks great 😉

    I was tinkering around with pygtk myself, and considered writing a simple pgn viewer. I’m glad I found your application.

    Good luck.

  5. i do not like your purpose :
    1° english might not to be the only langage on this site when we are speaking about chess;
    2° we do not need another ‘widget,gadget’ but a tool
    3° your project is not (for the future) done for chessplayer but only for you
    4° why not in java ? quick, without problem,clear,light … lua is heavy …
    5° a suggestion ?

    well , if you are agree, i would like a button which allow us to increase and decrease the color of the board, and even choose the color.
    a downloader might be helpful in the way that, stopping the game and looking for the same ‘opening’ on the net per example.
    be open to the suggestions and comments should be useful coming from another player when we are viewing a game , but is it possible to join another player on a “lan” or “connection” only coming from your viewer by anonymous registered player?
    is it possible to make your program viewer as a plugin ? i think it should be better …

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