CheckerBoard and Cake++ / Cake 'las Vegas' / Cake Sans Souci / Cake Manchester are freeware. If they don't run at all on your computer, I am sorry, but I probably cannot help you. Get yourself another program - just do a search on the internet. If you have a common question, maybe the answer to it is somewhere below. If you cannot find an answer to your question, you can send an email to nospam1 at fierz dot ch. This page lists whatever seemed relevant to me at the time of writing (July 2008).

Contacting me

I sent you an email to checkers at fierz dot ch, but it bounced! What's wrong?
I've changed the feedback email address to nospam1 at fierz dot ch.

I sent you a question about CheckerBoard but you never answered!
Sometimes I don't reply to questions which are already answered here. And more than once people have asked me questions but my replies bounced. If you can't configure your email properly, I can't answer you! In any case, if your question appears to be sensible to me, I will include it on this page so you can look up the answer somewhere below - if not, it's probably written in the help file.

Ambiguous captures

When I have a position such as this [B:W23,22,15,14:B11,10.] (Copy-paste what is in the parentheses into CB to see the position, paste with Alt+V. Note that this position is probably impossible to reach with legal play, but the basic problem exists), and want to play 10x19x26, CheckerBoard won't let me do this - once I click on the man on 10, it captures 10x17x26 after which red loses instead of draws. How can I play 10x19x26?
You can't play 10x19x26. CheckerBoard doesn't understand ambiguous captures and there is only one way out, which may not work though: Have the engine play your move for you - it will choose the better capture. Then continue to play normally.

Bitmaps in CheckerBoard 1.53 and newer

How can i draw my own graphics for CB version 1.53?
Since version 1.53, CheckerBoard has bitmaps for the pieces and the board squares. They are located in the "bmp" directory inside the CheckerBoard directory. If you want to change the way your pieces and/or your board look like, then edit these images. The graphics must be in the bitmap (.bmp) format, and they must be 128x128 pixels in size, else the board will not display properly. There are 8 .bmp files: two for the light and dark squares of the board, four for red and white men and kings, and two masks, one for men, one for kings. The names of the files should be self-explanatory, if not, just open them with any graphics editor and you will see what they are. If you produce graphics you like better than the standard look of CheckerBoard, please send them to me; I would like to make them available for download for other users too.

What are the mask images?
When you want to display a non-rectangular bitmap on top of another bitmap, you need an image mask for the non-rectangular bitmap. In the case of CheckerBoard, the non-rectangular bitmap is the image of the men/kings; while the background is the bitmap for the squares of the board. This mask bitmap must be black everywhere you want to draw something on the background, and white where you want the background to be visible. Once you have drawn your images for men and kings, you produce the mask by taking the image of the man, and redrawing that image in black. If you don't understand this, try looking at how the masks look now.

The Chinook database

Where can I get the Chinook database?
You don't want to know! Get the Cake endgame database instead - you can get it on the download page. The Cake endgame database is technically superior to the Chinook database (it has a better compression ratio). For the ultimate endgame database experience, buy Ed Gilbert's 10-piece endgame database for use with the KingsRow engine.

The Cake 6-piece database

I ran the database generator in CheckerBoard. How do I know if it worked?
If you restart CheckerBoard after computing the endgame database, then the 'database' menu should have disappeared. When you choose Cake as your primary engine and use 'Engine->About' from the menu, it will tell you what size database it is using.

Those capture moves!

Computer - black on 22 & 14. Myself - white on 26. When I try to jump to 17 & then to 10 using the !-button, the computer won't respond like I command it to
The computer isn't cheating - you just have to click the checker you want to move and the destination square - no intermediate squares!

I hate the must-capture rule!
I'm sorry but that's the way the game is played. I didn't invent the rules!

Playing Strength

How does Cake compare to other programs in playing strength? I heard there are much better programs?!
With the 8-piece database, Cake is better than most other programs, commercial or otherwise. Commercial programmers naturally want to sell their products, so take their claims with a grain of salt!

I have engine set at 16 MB hastable size, what will boosting it to 32 or 64 mb do? Will it make move better?
The optimum size of the hashtable depends on how long you plan to let the engine think, and on how fast your computer is. The longer you let it think, the more it will gain from a larger hashtable. As an example, if you play at 1 minute per move, 64 MB hashtable should be large enough. If you play at 2 or 5 seconds per move, even 16 MB is enough.

Cheating with CheckerBoard

Can u link checker board to an onternet game to make amove for you?
You want to cheat on game sites? Shame on you! I'm glad CB can't make a move for you! Better learn to type a bit better!

-- July 18, 2008