Chess for Android with UCI support

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Chess for Android with UCI support

Post  Aart J.C. Bik on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:46 pm

I just released version 2.4 of Chess for Android at the Android Market with the following new feature:

* basic UCI engine support (ability to replace built-in Java engine with any third party UCI engine compiled "natively" for Android).

Instructions on how to setup an UCI engine are given at http://www.aartbik.com/MISC/uchess.html. As far as I know currently only BikJump is available as UCI engine for Android. Although stronger than the built-in engine, I hope I will be able to add links to much stronger third party UCI engines on this page soon. Please note that support is still rather basic (only tested on one engine, GUI does not support engine options, time control is restricted to fixed time-per-move, no tournaments, etc.). Nevertheless, I hope it is an interesting start.

Aart J.C. Bik

Number of posts: 30
Location: Mountain View, CA
Registration date: 2008-05-25

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Re: Chess for Android with UCI support

Post  Aart J.C. Bik on Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:34 am

To make sure my approach works for third party UCI engines as well, I downloaded the sources of two other UCI engines and compiled these for the Android platform. Together with my own BikJump versions, I now have the following four UCI engines as native binaries, which all import well into Chess for Android (and I would love to see more UCI engines on Android from other chess programmers!):

  • Crab1.0 Beta by Tord Romstad, Marco Costalba, Joona Kiiski, Adam Kleng
  • ZCT0.3.2500 by Zach Wegner
  • BikJumpv1.8 (mailbox representation)
  • BikJumpv2.1 (bitboard representation)
Also, below are some nodes-per-second ratings for the different versions on a G1 phone and a Nexus One phone. Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) features the Dalvik JIT compiler, which benefits the built-in Java engine, but not the native UCI engines.

Code:

                          G1            Nexus One
                          Android 1.6  Android 2.2
BikJump Java built-in    2 KN/s        23 KN/s                 
BikJump v1.8 native      15 KN/s        85 KN/s
BikJump v2.1 native      28 KN/s        116 KN/s

Aart J.C. Bik

Number of posts: 30
Location: Mountain View, CA
Registration date: 2008-05-25

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Re: Chess for Android with UCI support

Post  Aart J.C. Bik on Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:53 am

The stockfish team kindly agreed to make a natively compiled UCI binary of stockfish1.8 available through their website http://www.stockfishchess.com/download/mobile/. Download this UCI engine and follow the instructions at http://www.aartbik.com/MISC/uchess.html to import the engine in Chess for Android. The setup process is a little elaborate, but I have not found a simpler way to obtain full separation between the graphical chess application on one hand, and the UCI engine binary on the other hand, given the security constraints of the Android platform. If you are just interested in running stockfish on Android, I would recommend downloading Peter Österlund's DroidFish from the Android Market, which has the stockfish engine "embedded" in a GUI.


Aart J.C. Bik

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Re: Chess for Android with UCI support

Post  Aart J.C. Bik on Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:45 am

Thanks to Michel Van den Bergh, we have another native Android UCI engine that can be imported in Chess for Android: gnu chess 5.07.153.2b-32. Download at http://alpha.uhasselt.be/Research/Algebra/Toga/gnuchess-release/gnuchess-5.07.153.2b-android.


Aart J.C. Bik

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Location: Mountain View, CA
Registration date: 2008-05-25

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