Techie bits

The main thing to notice is that several of the games and positions are available as Portable Game Notation (PGN) files, which can be downloaded from the The games and most of the annotations can be found in the PGN block provided on every page and played through offline using a chess database or PGN viewer. In the PGN block there is also a link for you to view the games in a web page, no downloads required.

For those who care about other things: This website grew up, rather haphazardly, between 1995-2001 on a site hosted by Exeter University.  When the University kicked us off their servers, Tryfon Gavriel stepped in to help and we are now hosted by Technocool.

It's now running on Drupal (PHP/mySQL) which I hope makes things easier. The theme is scaccarium and we're using a bunch of add-on modules which I can tell you about if you're curious.

Over the years, I've tried various methods of displaying chessboards on the website, and you'll find most of them still here in some form or other. The big breakthrough was Andy Duplain's CBASCII which enabled me to generate little 8x8 grids of computer-generated symbols, which I could then push through bits of sed and awk and perl to replace the symbols with pictures.

Later I found PalView which is a JavaScript-based way of showing diagrams and also live games. It's yet to be bettered, in my view, but it's a real hop skip and jump to get games showing on this site. Elsewhere, you will find experiments with PGN4web, which the ECF calls "a truly great plugin", and it really is a treat, but it doesn't show more than one instance at once, doesn't do variations yet and I can't get it to play very nicely with Drupal. There are more comments on making chessy web pages.

Chess Quotes

"I don't know what I am going to play, so how can she know what I am going to play!"
— GM Arthur Bisguier, commenting on the virtues of opening preparation. (via Rachel Landry)