Tuesday, September 28, 2021 12:53

Making a Chess Screen Saver dream come true…

The last couple of days I’ve been playing around with an idea and making it real.

What I wanted to do was have a screen saver that would present games where the moves would be animated on a board. (Historically significant games, games with openings /tactics / endgames I’m working on, my own games, whatever.)

ChessBase has the capability to take a game and create an HTML/javascript replay, and an option to animate the board in replay. (For an example: http://laughingvulcan.org/chess/games/testss/base.htm )

Then a bit of careful Googling led me to Web Screen Saver 2010. A quick install later, using ChessBase to create 50 games from 1700-1863 to start with for display, pointing the screensaver to them, a little more configuration, and voila! I now have my chess screen saver.

When running, you don’t see the browswer frame – it’s all full screen. It’s also interactive – I can click on the moves and replay them from that point. (And I’m not sure if it’s bug or feature, but clicking correctly stops the replay until the next game in the screen saver loads or one manually refreshes the page – I can actually manually step through the game. I’ve configured the program that mousing and mouseclicks don’t wake it up, but pressing any keyboard key.)

The screen saver program is good enough that I’ll be coughing up the $19.99 for it. ;)

Having historic games replay on my computers when they’re idle is another way I’ve found to enjoy my chess. Creatively adapting existing solutions is yet another way to

Enjoy your Chess!

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2 Responses to “Making a Chess Screen Saver dream come true…”

  1. Dave Felton says:

    That screensaver is a really great idea.

    Not sure I would pay twenty bucks for it personally though, just because I use screen savers so rarely.

  2. I won’t say it isn’t a tough call… After all, it’s only when your computer is idle that it matters. :D It can display other things as well (like CNN or My Yahoo, etc.) I may eventually interleave the chess games with other content.

    Right now I’ve got it on a 30 day trial evaluation. It displays a splash screen at the beginning and again at the end of the loop, and after 30 days it puts a banner across every page that it’s still unregistered. I’d recommend anyone who’d want to try it to do the same – install it on trial. One could even insert my test link above just to see what it would be like. (Though I’ve customized the gif pieceset, have to do a manual edit on each base file since my gif icons on the board are larger than the stock ChessBase ones, and I’ve reset the colors on the background, etc. I’d eventually like to put together an even bigger board for screensaver use. Easy to do, but have to find the time.)

    Then again, I bought both After Dark and especially loved the Star Trek version of After Dark. ;)

    One limitation: In animate mode, the moves occur at the rate of one per second. If I get time I’ll email ChessBase and suggest a future improvement could be a selective time delay on the moves in animation mode.

    Anyway, thanks for reading!