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This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-11-21
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Game Courier User's Guide. How to play games with the CV Play-by-Mail system.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2014-04-21 UTC
To prevent your opponent from seeing your hand, you can see your cards only when you are signed in with your password. One drawback to this is that you cannot see cards in solitaire mode. To test a game with cards, you will have to play a logged game where you enter your userid and password for each side. I have just fixed some problems with the discard command and with displaying cards, but I'm not sure if my fixes addressed the same problems you were having. $hand1 and $hand2 are global variables for each player's hand. I'll think about your suggestions. Let me know if you come up with a game that requires certain features.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2014-03-17 UTC
The cards feature doesn't seem to work very well. I get a display of the backs of cards, and when I try to discard a card that is in my hand (just guessing, based on what remains in the deck; I tried with both players and ), I get an error message where the name of the card is missing. If it is not in my hand, the error message includes the name of the card. Also, what is the name of the PHP global variable that stores the contents of your hand? (I have already figured out $deck, $cards, and $discardpile) Also, a suggestion, it may be useful to display how many cards in opponent's hand and how many cards remain in the draw pile, and the ability to use setsystem with the $deck and $discardpile variables as well as whatever array stores the cards in each player's hand.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2012-03-03 UTC
I've now added a custom Tweet button for sharing game invitations on Twitter. Also, I now have a Twitter account, and if you care to, you can follow it at @fduniho. I don't know how much I'll use it yet, since I created it mainly to create the custom Tweet button, but maybe I will use it sometimes.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2012-03-01 UTC
I've now added a custom Facebook Share button to Game Courier invitations. You can use this to share Game Courier invitations with your Facebook friends. If you have your game rendered as a graphic image, it can be used for a thumbnail that shows up with your invitation.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2012-01-30 UTC

Here's a new way to send Game Courier invitations to people. You can share them on Facebook. After you have created an invitation, click the Share widget and select Facebook. Game Courier is now programmed to fill in the title and description fields with suitable values, and if you have chosen to render your game board as an image, a smaller version of that image should be available as a thumbnail.

You can probably use the Share widget to share invitations on Twitter or other social networking sites too. But I have only tested it and customized to work with Facebook.


(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2011-02-22 UTC

I do not see description of Maximum Time and Minimum Time fields.

Also, are any of the time controls allowed to be negative? I would suggest the following:

  • Pace time and and pace moves should not be negative.
  • If spare time is negative, then your initial reserve time is negative (which requires you to accumulate more bonus/extra before you actually have any spare time), and the grace time must be set positive (otherwise you will lose immediately).
  • Grace time should not be negative.
  • If extra time is negative, then there is a time penalty after every move.
  • If bonus time is negative, then there is a penalty for moving too quickly.
  • Bonus period should not be negative.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-24 UTC
Game Courier now has a composition mode for creating fairy chess problems. It lets you create a new position without any knowledge of FEN code by updating the FEN code for you when you move pieces around the board with either moves or commands. It also lets you enter a solution, which remains hidden in a form until the person trying to do the problem chooses to view it. Details are provided at the end of this page. Here are some possible uses for this: (1) Publicize your games by creating problems for them. (2) Illustrate how new pieces move by creating problems that use them. This may be useful for enhancing Piececlopedia pages. (3) Increase your skill at a game by creating problems for it, and publish them with solutions to show off.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-11-06 UTC
my son & I tried playing seirawan chess ...... the whole experience was a pain ..... pieces disappeared, suddenly the game would jump forward ...... trying to take moves back was an exercise in futility ........ fix this, it is way way too much hassle

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC
That feature is broken right now, probably due to changes I had to make to the forms for accommodating point-and-click movement. I haven't had the time to fix it yet.

pallab basu wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC

It seems that I can not take back moves in my games.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-10 UTC
Castling should be handled by an individual preset, because different games have different castling rules, and the point-and-click interface has to remain generic enough to handle nearly any game. When a preset is programmed to handle castling as the move of a single piece, it will handle castling appropriately. The point-and-click interface does not know any rules and has to farm out all rule-enforcement to GAME Code. So if you want a preset to handle castling correctly, you need to program that preset.

M Winther wrote on 2008-11-10 UTC
Fergus, thanks for your work on the point-and-click movement. I have
tested it for my Mastodon Chess, and it is splendid.
I discoverd a bug(?), however. I moved the Mastodon like a knight, and
'Illegal move!' was displayed, which is correct. However, then I
moved it correctly (a two square jump), and it still said 'Illegal move!'.
So I had to click on the origin square again (to remove the from-
square) and then click on it again, and then click on the correct
destination square. Then it worked. So, if an erroneous move has been
made you must de-click the origin square. This could cause some
confusion.

Moreover, would it be possible for you to always automatically move
the rook and place it beside the king if the latter is point-and-clicked
more than one square horisontally (regardless on which rank it is
placed)? This would solve the castle problem in almost all variants,
because the rook nearly always ends up beside the king.
/Mats

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-10 UTC
I have now added point-and-click movement for custom boards.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-09 UTC
Point-and-click movement for the PNG, GIF, and JPG rendering methods will now work in Internet Explorer, and between Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux, I have successfully tested it in Firefox 2, Firefox 3, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Konqueror. So it should work in any modern browser that uses Gecko, Trident, WebKit, Presto or KHTML.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-07 UTC
It turns out that point-and-click movement for the PNG, GIF and JPG rendering methods is not yet working for Internet Explorer. It's working fine on Firefox 2 & 3. I'll test it on Opera and Konqueror later. Anyway, it looks like I'm going to have to work out the incompatibilities between Firefox and IE before it is working on all modern W3C-DOM browsers.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-07 UTC
I have completed the point-and-click movement capability for the PNG, GIF and JPG rendering methods for square, hexagonal and other grid boards. It will now place a border around the piece you click on to move. This is done by positioning a transparent gif over the piece and turning on its border.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-06 UTC
I have now added point-and-click movement for the CSS rendering method for square, hexagonal, and other grid boards. JavaScript needs to be enabled for it to work. Click on a piece, and a border will appear around it. Click on another space, and it will submit your move to the next form, where you can review your move and send it. If you change your mind about which piece you want to move, click the same piece again to make the border go away, then click another piece.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-05 UTC
I have partially added point-and-click movement to the PNG, GIF, and JPG rendering methods for square and hexagonal boards. It will let you move a piece by clicking on it and then its destination with your mouse. But when you first click on a piece, it will not give you any visual indication of what piece you clicked on. These rendering methods create a single graphic image and overlay it with an imagemap. The problem is with trying to highlight an AREA. This HTML element does not seem to use the CSS border style properties, and I have found no way with CSS or HTML to highlight the AREA element clicked on. I would like to do this without having to draw a new board image. One idea I have is to blanket the image with transparent images whose borders can be turned on when needed. But it is too late to try this tonight.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-03 UTC
Game Courier's Table rendering method for drawing Square spaces now supports point-and-click movement. I have not added this feature to the other rendering methods or shapes yet. Here is how it works. First of all, make sure JavaScript works with Game Courier. When it is your turn to move, click on a piece. A border will appear around the piece. Then click on any other space, and Game Courier will submit your move as one from the first space you clicked on, marked by the border, to the second space you clicked on. You will then have the opportunity, as usual, to verify your move and send it to your opponent. If you click on a piece but decide to move a different piece instead, click it again to get rid of the border around it, then click another piece. Note that the point-and-click interface is very dumb. It does not know which pieces are yours, and it will let you move one piece on top of another piece. If your preset enforces rules, it will normally intercept any illegal moves, but if it doesn't, you should be careful.

Stephen Stockman wrote on 2006-09-27 UTC
You can not choose whether you are black or white when issuing a challenge. The player accepting the challenge chooses the color. What you could do is make a note when issuing a challenge saying 'I want white in this game, plz accept this challenge only if you will take black' for example

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2006-09-26 UTC
How do you choose whether to be white or black when issuing a challenge?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-04-14 UTC

Enter the drawn command.


Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2006-04-13 UTC
If two players agree upon a draw, how does one indicate that on a gameboard?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-02-14 UTC
Piece labels are case sensitive. If you're playing Chess, the piece that begins at d8 is identified by the letter q, not Q. This is frequently mentioned in the Notation section for individual games, but it wasn't clarified well on this page. I have added a section on piece labels to better clarify this point.

Anonymous wrote on 2006-02-14 UTC
from the instructions above, it sounds like you can write a move such as: Q d8-e7 but when I tried this game courier does not recognize the symbol 'Q'

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