Provided by: fairymax_4.8q-2_amd64 bug


       fairymax - xboard-compatible chess and chess-variant engine 'Fairy-Max'


       fairymax [hashSize] [iniFile]

       shamax [hashSize] [iniFile]

       maxqi [hashSize] [iniFile]


       fairymax is a program that plays chess and chess variants.  It uses the xboard/winboard
       chess-engine protocol to communicate.  Apart from 'regular' chess (also known as the Mad-
       Queen variant), it can play Capablanca chess, gothic chess, knightmate, cylinder chess,
       berolina chess, superchess, makruk (Thai chess), courier chess, Seirawan Chess, Spartan
       chess and chess with Different Armies.  Fairy-Max can be easily configured by the user to
       play other variants as well, by modifying the ini file.  This ini file describes the rules
       of movement of the participating pieces and the initial board setup.

       Fairy-Max can also play shatranj, but in this case is not aware of the shatranj rule that
       a bare king loses.  So it might play sub-optimally in the late end-game.  A version of
       Fairy-Max adapted to implement the baring rule is available under the name shamax.

       Similarly, a version of Fairy-Max adapted to play Xiang Qi (Chinese Chess) is included in
       the fairymax package as well, under the name maxqi.

       fairymax is a derivative of the world's (once) smallest chess program (source-code wise),
       micro-Max.  The latter measures less that 2000 characters, (about 100 code lines), and has
       a computer rating of around 2050 on the CCRL rating list.  Although this is about 1000
       rating points behind the world champion, micro-Max still makes a quite tough opponent even
       for club players, although it is not unbeatable.

       The main difference between micro-Max and Fairy-Max is that the latter loads its move-
       generator tables, which specify how the various pieces move, from an external file, so it
       can be easily adapted to incorporate un-orthodox pieces.  For ease of use of the
       artificial-intelligence, Fairy-Max is equipped with I/O routines that allow it to run with
       the xboard graphical user interface.

       See xboard(6) for instructions about how to use fairymax through xboard. To start up
       quickly, you just need the command: xboard -fcp fairymax.  However, XBoard might not
       support symbols for every unorthodox piece in board sizes different from bulky, middling
       and petite.  It might thus be advisable to specify a board size as well, e.g.  xboard -fcp
       shamax -boardSize middling -variant shatranj to get correct display of the elephant and
       general pieces in shatranj.  Note that to be able to play the chess variants, you will
       need xboard 4.3.14 or later.

       Some of the variants Fairy-Max plays are only partially supported by XBoard, and can only
       be played whith the legality-testing function of the latter switched off.  (This applies
       to cylinder chess, berolina chess, great shatranj, Spartan chess and chess with different
       armies.)  For some variants even the name is unknown to XBoard, and they are all grouped
       under the catchall name 'fairy'.  Which variant is played by Fairy-Max when XBoard is set
       to 'fairy', can be determined by a combobox control in the XBoard 'Engine Settings' menu

       Fairymax supports multi-PV mode: by specifying a non-zero multi-PV margin in the Engine-
       Settings dialog of XBoard, Fairy-Max will not only print the principal variation for the
       best move, but also for every move that approaches the score of this best move to within
       the set margin.  (If it does not find the best move on the first try, this might lead to
       printing of a few extra lines below the threshold.)

       The fmax.ini file from which Fairy-Max by default takes the piece and game definitions is
       a self-documenting text file, which contains instructions for how to define new pieces and
       chess variants.  In addition it contains an extensive list of pre-defined pieces, incuding
       many not occurring in any of the pre-defined variants, which the user can draw on to
       define his own variants.

       Amongst the move types supported by Fairy-Max are normal leaper and slider moves, (e.g.
       knight and rook), divergent moves (i.e. capture and non-capture moves can be different)
       hoppers (which jump over other pieces, such as the Chinese cannon or the grasshopper),
       lame leapers (the move of which can be blocked on squares they cannot move to, such as the
       Chinese horse and elephant), and any combination thereof, in every possible direction.
       The board width is configurable upto a width of 14 squares, and cylindrical boards (where
       left and right edge connect) are supported as well.


               If the first argument to fairymax is numeric, it is taken as an indicator for the
               amount of memory Fairy-Max is allowed to use for its internal hash table.  The
               default value for this argument, 22, would result in a memory usage of 48MB.  Each
               next-higher number doubles the memory usage, each next-lower halves it.  Running
               with less than 6MB (i.e. argument 19) is not recommended.  When fairymax is
               running under xboard 4.3.15 the hash-table size can be set through the xboard
               menus, making this argument superfluous.

       iniFile A second or non-numeric first argument is taken as a filename.  Fairy-max will use
               the mentioned file in stead of its default fmax.ini file to define the movement of
               pieces and initial setup of the variants.  This makes it easier to define your own




       Fairy-Max was written by H.G.Muller <>.

       This manual page was generated with pod2man(1).