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shogi software for Mac OS X?
kmullin (1111) 2016-08-17 07:31
Hi. What are some good programs for Macs?

I was using MacShôgi for game records. (http://www.macshogi.com/) However, it kept on crashing after an OS update. (Even if MacShôgi is out of date, the download page is still nice because it contains a link to Reijer Grimbergen's big file with hundreds of shogi game records with English commentary: http://www.macshogi.com/download/japan-pros.psn.zip . The file is in the .psn format, which, as the western world knows, isn't compatible with lots of/most? Japanese software.) 

So, I was recommended to use 桜花 (ouka) 'Cherry Blossom' which has Bonanza 6.0. All menus are in Japanese. It seems to use a non-human (non-.txt) format for saving game records (in contrast to MacShôgi). 

[update edit on the 桜花 program: I now see that it can read some other kifu file formats. One copy&pastes the text into the program instead of reading the file directly. It doesn't support PGN format. Supports: CSA, KIF, KI2, GIF, and 'Yahoo!Mobile'. Links: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/ying-hua/id831481931 and http://cherryblossom.mydns.jp/support/ja/news/]

Is there anything else worth noting?
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30: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2017-05-23 00:59 (Edited at 2017-05-23 06:32)
Promotion to Knight seems to occur in Chess in about 1.5% of the cases, mostly to promote with check. I can imagine that in Shogi deferral occurs way more, for two reasons:
1)The promoted version is never wildly stronger than the unpromoted
2) If you defer, you can always promote later. If you promote to a Knight in Chess, you are stuck with it.

I have no Mac, so I cannot test it. On Linux it seems to work. You have to move the mouse pointer away from the promotion zone, though. In the forward direction it would not work. This is what the message "Pull Pawn backwards to underpromote", which appears above the board, means. I guess Shogi would also need a different message there, as it isn't only Pawns that underpromote.

The 'sweep promotion' method was really designed for Chess; for Shogi the popup dialog is probably more convenient. One problem was that in Shogi you do not know yet whether a move will be a promotion when the piece is 'picked up' in a drag-drop move. For Chess you know that Pawns picked up on the 7th rank will promote (only and always). So in Shogi the promotion procedure can only be invoked after the destination square is known, and in a drag-drop move you would already have released the mouse button at that point. So it only works on click-click moves there, where the button press selects the destination square, and the release can then be used to select the piece and complete the move entry.

In the Windows Shogi-variants package that I host I have configured WinBoard to use the popup menu. I guess it is a mistake that the the XBoard OSX App is configured differently.
29: kmullin (1111) 2017-05-22 10:27 (Edited at 2017-05-22 10:29)
Ok, i can get it work with the 'Almost Always Queen (Detour Under-Promote)' box unchecked. Thanks. It didnt occur to me that this option would affect shogi behavior.

However, i cant get the mouse behavior you describe (which i read elsewhere online) on my version of Xboard with a trackpad on my Macbook Pro 2012 when the 'Almost Always Queen (Detour Under-Promote)' box is checked.

I guess that unpromotion is more common in shogi than in western chess particularly in the case with 銀 silvers and also 桂馬 knights. It's common enough in mate sequences and there's the well-known example of an unpromoted silver in the 相掛かり棒銀 Double Wing Climbing Silver joseki.
28: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2017-05-20 19:14
XBoard has two modes for controlling promotion, which are selected by the 'Almost always promote to Queen' checkbox in the General Optiones menu. I agree that for Shogi this is a bit of a confusing name, and in fact for Chess variants that do not feature a Queen too. With this option turned off, a move that can potentially promote will cause a popup dialog to appear with buttons for each possible promotion choice. (In Shogi the choices would be limited to 'Promote' and 'Defer'.)

When the checkbox is ticked, XBoard assumes there is a default choice ('Queen' in Chess, 'Promote' in Shogi), and would assume that is what you want, without asking. Unless you click the destination square of the move in a special way: press the (left) button, then move the mouse vertically, and only then release the button. While you sweep the mouse with the button pressed, the piece displayed in the destination square will cycle through all possible choices (in Shogi only the original and promoted version), and you simply release the button when you see the desired piece. This is on average faster, as under-promotion / deferral occurs much less frequently than promotion to the strongest piece. And even if you want to defer, the tiny extra mouse motion you need is faster than moving the mouse to the desired button of a popup dialog after you made a static click on the destination square.
27: kmullin (1111) 2017-05-19 23:16 (Edited at 2017-05-19 23:58)
I now think that the best general way to use engines on a Mac is to use Shogidokoro 将棋所 with Wine/mono. Compiling the various engines is a hassle. (Most [all?] engine authors create binaries for Windows only.) Plus, it's not guaranteed that you will be able to compile the code anyway since typically the documentation for them is very poor (they just write the code) and only in Japanese. 

And, in fact, getting some engines to work at all can be complicated since you have to get files from different places (different engines can often use the same evaluation function or book [joseki] file) and figure out which binary works with your CPU (e.g. i dont think i cant run Nozomi on my hardware). So, figuring out compiling them is another layer of complication.

Anyway, with a new computer competition completed, you can now run the elmo evaluation function and book with YaneuraOu やねうら王 (early 2017 version) to give you possibly the strongest engine today. Elmo was undefeated in the competition beating even Ponanza multiple times. So, it will handily beat Gikou 技巧 and Apery (mentioned earlier on this topic thread) as well as the even stronger Gikou 2. There's also the modified eloqhappa (elmo-Qhapaq) which is the elmo evaluation function with the Qhapaq learning technique added. However, it's not clear that eloqhappa is actually an improvement on elmo. But, they may give you different best moves for the same positions? It's also possible to use elmo with Silent Majority instead of YaneuraOu, but YaneuraOu seems to be stronger than Silent Majority with the elmo eval. And, i was able to get all of these working with Shogidokoro on a Mac as well as many others (Apery Twig[大樹の枝]/WCSC26/Ukamuse [浮かむ瀬], BlunderXX, YaneuraOu+Qhapaq, YaneuraOu+Ukamuse+YaneuraOu book #3, Silent Majority+Ukamuse+Mabu book [まふ定跡], Tanuki [ナイツ・オブ・タヌキ], Yomita [読み太], Spear2009, Re_Silent_Majority+AperyWCSC26, SeoTsume [脊尾詰; just for mate problem solving, but it's amazing!]).

Nonetheless, i still like Shogi Browser Q 将棋ぶらうざQ and prefer its options over Shogidokoro, which is kind of buggy. I just dont want to compile all the engines. 

For Xboard, i havent been able to figure out how to move a piece within the promotion zone without it promoting. It promotes by default, but that's not always the desired option.

Links:

https://github.com/mk-takizawa/elmo_for_learn
https://github.com/yaneurao/YaneuraOu
https://github.com/gikou-official/Gikou/releases
https://github.com/qhapaq-49/qhapaq-bin/releases
https://github.com/Jangja/silent_majority/tree/1.2
https://github.com/HiraokaTakuya/apery/releases/tag/SDT3
https://github.com/HiraokaTakuya/apery/releases/tag/WCSC26
http://ak110.github.io/
https://github.com/mafu-opening-theory/Shogi_opening_theory
https://github.com/nodchip/hakubishin-/releases
https://github.com/TukamotoRyuzo/Yomita
https://github.com/Kenbin/silent_majority/tree/test/build
http://panashogi.web.fc2.com/seotsume.html


26: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-08 15:28 (Edited at 2016-09-08 15:30)
The XBoard OSX Shogi App has now been upgraded with an improved UCI2WB adapter for running USI engines. (Direct link: 
http://www.mediafire.com/download/6fti4osn18xj24v/XBoardSg_4.9.1_OSX_Intel.dmg ) This allows you to install even the non-compliant USI engines in the standard way (by ticking the UCCI/USI checkbox), and provides two new options in the Engine Settings dialog:

A checkbox 'Floating Byoyomi' must be ticked for engines like GPSfish and Saya Chan, which play only by byoyomi, ignoring the time on their clock. This fools the engines into using the base time by telling them they have more byoyomi (2.5% of the time left on their clock being added to it).

A numerical option 'Byoyomi (sec)', where you can specify a constant byoyomi (used for all moves of the game). This can be used for adjusting time usage of engines with strange time usage under the Floating Byoyomi option. When set to -1 (and Floating Byoyomi not ticked) byoyomi isnot used at all, and the engine would be used with the classical or incremental time control set for XBoard. There are now many engines that do not uderstand these time controls, however, and must use one of the two forms of byoyomi TC. (IIRC Laramie, BlunderUSI, GPS Shogi and TJshogi had no problems running under classical TC.)

Note that these byoyomi options only have effect when XBoard is running in incremental TC (of which sudden-death is a special case). One would expect good time usage when the byoyomi the engine assumes is equal to the increment XBoard uses there. The fact that the GUI adds any left-over time to the clock in incremental mode would just delay entering the byoyomi phase, so that the engine keeps the leeway of being able to think extra long when it is needed for a larger number of moves.
25: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-08 00:52 (Edited at 2016-09-08 00:56)
Either File-> Load Game, and browse to a kif file, or copy the game to the clipboard, and use Edit -> Paste Game (or press Ctrl-V when the XBoard main window has focus).

Both Shift-JIS and UTF8 encoding should work.
24: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-07 23:36
@Test_DontPlayMe, 

For XBoard opening .kif files, should one use 'File' > 'Load Game' from the file menu?
23: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-07 23:12 (Edited at 2016-09-07 23:21)
@oekaki_coco,
Ok, I'll try Shogidokoro.

On the 81Dojo kifu files, I was able to open them with S Browser Q by doing two things: 

(1) change the file's encoding from UTF-8 to Shift JIS encoding [why does Japan still use this anyway?]. S Browser Q requires Shift JIS.
and 
(2) fix the time format within the file. 81Dojo ends the time value for each move with ' /) '. It seems that S Browser Q requires there to be a number following the ' / '. So, one can do a simple replace of '/)' with '/00:00:00)'. Of course, if one has lots of .kif files from 81Dojo, then it's probably better to write a script to do this automatically. And, maybe 81Dojo should modify their kifu saving code to include a 00:00:00 value following the backslash to improve compatibility.
22: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-07 16:56
XBoard 4.9.0 should also accept pasting of kif games. (Please let me know if there are problems with that; it is a novel feature.)

The time-usage problem seems to be mostly with the engines themselves. They seem to be developed only for running at certain time controls, unable to handle all combinations of parameters. The worst example of this is Kuma (Bear Shogi?), which always plays 30-min sudden-death games, no matter how long you order it to think through the USI interface.

Several engines also have the problem that they seem to base their thinking time solely on the byoyomi. So if you play 10 min + 20 sec byoyomi, they will think 20sec, and with 10 min + 10 sec byoyomi they think 10 sec for each move. That might be reasonable if the byoyomi is substantial. But if you set them to play 1 hour + 1 sec byoyomi, they start thinking 1 sec/move, and over entire game use up only 1 or 2 min of the 1 hour they have available, as the game will usually not last more than 120 moves. This under-usage of time of course makes them lose badly against opponents that would use the full hour, and think 1-2 min for the first 30 moves after the opening. If you set the byoyomi to 0 on such engines, as it would be in sudden-death games (like 5 min + 0 sec byoyomi), such engines do not use any time at all, and just search 1 or 2 ply deep, playing like an idiot.

So it depends not so much on the UI you use as on the combination of (and sometimes absolute value of) time-control parameters.

This problem seems so common that I will probably equip XBoard (or actually the UCI2WB adapter through which it runs USI engines) with a work-around option for engines that ignore the base time. Activating this option would cause the UI to ly to the engine about the byoyomi it has, by adding a reasonable fraction of the timeleft on its clock to the byoyomi. E.g. the true byoyomi setting of the UI (which could be 0 for sudden-death games), plus the clocktime divided by 30. That would converge to the true byoyomi as the clock time runs out, so that the engine would not forfeit on time if the game lasts unexpectedly long. A checkbox 'Floating Byoyomi' in the Engine Settings dialog couldactivate this.
21: oekaki_coco (1899) ☗1☗3☗32016-09-06 20:09 (Edited at 2016-09-06 20:10)
@kmullin,

If it is easy for you to handle gikou, it may be simple on shogidokoro.
As for the analysis of your games, that one is briefer.
Unfortunately you cannot paste  81dojo's kif on Shogibrowser-Q.
You must convert it by other software.
However, you can paste  on Shogidokoro.
And it is usable in English.
Please try it.


@Test_DontPlayMe,

In the computer shogi, control of the time sometimes becomes the problem.
And it is a problem of UI or is the problem of the shogi engine and is both.
Because it is matched with the environment of the developer.
Those shogi engines are not for everybody to play, and this is because it is made as a competition of the computers.
And the rule of the time is sometimes replaced.
So the developer thinks that it works normally in one's environment to be the most important. Other cases are not so important.
Probably XBOARD is not made to control in the time for new shogi engine.
It may become the problem and may not become.
It is different by the version of  the shogi engine.
It is different by the version of  the UI.
Most developers adjust it on the basis of "Shogidokoro"
If you want to solve the problem, you should try various combinations.
20: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-06 16:28 (Edited at 2016-09-06 16:30)
I was not aware of these new USI engines until someone mailed me a bunch of links yesterday. I tried those for which I could download Windows binaries that could run on my computer (many could not, complaining about a missing MSVCP140.dll file). Gikou worked reasonably well: I could install it under WinBoard (and that would work the same under XBoard) by simply ticking the UCCI/USI checkbox when loading the engine for the first time. It was indeed massively strong, and crushed Bonanza in the test games I played.

Only problem I had with it is that it pretty much seemed to ignore the time control. If I played time controls that provide extra time now and then (like 40 moves per minute, or 1 min + 1sec/move incremental) it only uses about half as much time as the opponent. (But even with that handicap it was strong enough to win.) If I play a sudden-death TC, (1 min + 0 sec/move) it still seems to think just as long as when it did have the 1 sec/move increment, which makes it forfeit on time (or at least flag) if the game lasts more than 70 moves (which I could only make happen when it was playing itself, as other opponents did not last that long). I even tried byoyomi TC through the same work-around as used for SPEAR, but this did not seem to cause any alteration of the time usage. It could be that the problem is that it is set to use some minimum time per move, or depth, and that the problem goes away at longer TC. I did not have the time to check that yet.

So my conclusion was: Gikou is easy to use under XBoard, and plays extremely strong. But its time management is rather flaky, and under match conditions it might forfeit most of his games by being flagged.
19: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-06 04:36 (Edited at 2016-09-06 06:59)
@oekaki_coco,

Thanks for the information.

I agree it would be easier to use if it was in English. However, in this particular case, I think it's a design issue. I simply do not expect a pull-down menu to also be a textbox without some label or blinking cursor (or even a colon ':'). So, my problem was independent of language. But, I did eventually guess the solution. So, it's ok. But, yeah, non-English + design = headache for lots of people.

Also, my friend who recommended the 桜花 software (with Bonanza) also suggested that the programmer consider an English version. But, the programmer is overseas on business and pretty busy these days.

In case anyone's interested, I did find a page on installing 技巧:gikou here:

http://qiita.com/ligerbolt/items/6e27c882838fdcc1a490

(The page's in Japanese, of course, but maybe the brave can try to figure it out?)

But, more importantly, I think this thread does give readers a list of what's available for Mac OS X/Linux, which was the goal here. I learned about new software!

[edit update: I was able to compile Gikou by following the instructions on that page above. I needed to install gcc 4.9, which I didn't have. However, instead of making symbolic links (that is, using the 'ln -s' command) which I don't know if that is generally a wise thing to do, I just edited the 'Makefile' file and replaced 'CXX = g++' with 'CXX = g++-4.9' (line 4). Once compiled and with the .zip file downloaded and unzipped, it is easy enough to add the engine to Browser Q. Cool. So, I now have a good number of engines including a couple cutting edge ones. Now I just need to improve my playing, which I guess will take years...]
18: oekaki_coco (1899) ☗1☗3☗32016-09-06 04:16
@kmullin,

The strongest software is "技巧:gikou".
However, you must compile it to use it on Mac.
I can't explain that well in English.

In the site for computer shogi, gikou's rating is 3500.
Apery is 3300.
GPSfish is 3000.
Bonanza is 2500.

Even a professional shogi player cannot win for GPSfish.
However, it sometimes make a strange move.
If you want to study the best move, you need gikou or apery.
But,GPSfish is enough performance for normal level's player.
If only game , even  bonanza is enough.

[send to 後手-USI:[usi]
receive (stdErr) From 後手-USI:[/Applications/SbrowserQ_V3.2_mac/apery/bin/apery.sh: line 4:  2985 Illegal instruction: 4  `dirname $0`/apery]
quit process to 後手-USI]

I'm sorry ,I don't know anything about it.

I understand that it is hard to use "shogi browser Q" other than a Japanese.
You do not mind a design of the software if you understand Japanese.
Shogidokoro is copes with English, but engine setting is difficult.
Shogi-browser-Q does not support English, but  engine setting is simple.
I ask a programmer about it.
Everybody should be able to use it in English.
17: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-06 00:50
@Test_DontPlayMe, 

Aha! I'll download the new binary.

Thanks.
16: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-06 00:48 (Edited at 2016-09-06 01:04)
@oekaki_coco,

Dragging the 'apery.sh' shell script into the 'エンジン' box and using either '30' or '60' as the 'タイムアウト' parameter does not work. Doing these things gives the same pop-up error message, but the text file does change to this new message:

send to 後手-USI:[usi]
receive (stdErr) From 後手-USI:[/Applications/SbrowserQ_V3.2_mac/apery/bin/apery.sh: line 4:  2985 Illegal instruction: 4  `dirname $0`/apery]
quit process to 後手-USI

But, I was finally able to start a computer vs. human game with the GPSfish engine. The problem I was having (if anyone is interested) is that you have to enter a name parameter for the human player (using the '人間' radial button in the '対局開始' pop-up box). It was not obvious where one should enter the name text. (And, you must enter in a name text as otherwise the program gives you an error message and will never start the game.) Next to the 'エンジン' radial button in the same '対局開始' pop-up box is a white box that used as a pull-down menu for selecting different shogi engines that you have installed in the Browser Q. I finally found that when you select the '人間' button, the white box actually turns into a a text box where you can enter the name. So, if the programmer happens to read this, they should improve the design of their program by adding something like '名前:’ next the text box when the  '人間'  button is selected so that it will be apparent that the white box is now for text entry. (Maybe I have different expectations for software design?)

Thanks for you help.

[edit, to add: 
Is it worth it installing Apery? Is Apery stronger than Bonanza? I had read that GPS Shogi (=GPSfish) is the strongest free engine -- even better than Bonanza. So, how does Apery compare to these two engines? And, more relevant to a human, is Apery any more insightful/useful to improve a human's playing if you use Apery as a study tool? Is Apery faster?]
15: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-05 17:30 (Edited at 2016-09-05 17:52)
OK, I contacted Joshua Pettus, who made the OSX App, and we figured out what happened:

The download page of the XBoard Shogi App contained a warning that XBoard 4.8.0 was outdated, and superseded by 4.9.1, pointing to a download page for that. But the XBoard Shogi App was not yet upgraded to contain XBoard 4.9.1, so you dowloaded the regular App tailored to Chess users. The latter indeed only contains Shokidoki and GNU Shogi as small extras. Only the dedicated Shogi App contains Bonanza, however (as it multiplies the size of the entire package by a factor 100 or so, which would a bit wasteful for Chess users that would never touch it).

Joshua now upgraded the dedicated Shogi App to XBoard 4.9.1 as well. It can now be downloaded from the 4.9.1 download page, ( http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=53680 ), just below the Chess version. The dedicated Shogi App does contain Bonanza, Shokidoki and GNU Shogi all pre-installed.
14: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-02 04:36
Strange. The text here says the XBoard OSX Shogi App contains Bonanza: http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=53274
13: oekaki_coco (1899) ☗1☗3☗32016-09-01 11:15
@kmullin,

"libiomp5.dylib" is not in the Mac.
But it is located in conjunction with apery for mac.
In that case, please drop "apery/bin/apery.sh" instead of "apery/bin/apery".


There is another note to the page.
If apery does not start within 30 seconds, you must change the time-out value.
Please change the number of 30 to 60.
It is the "タイムアウト値:time-out value", which is displayed in shogi setting dialogue.
Please try again after you restart "BrowserQ".

Please choose the "新規対局開始:NEW GAME" in the "対局(A):GAME" to start the game.
12: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-01 04:01 (Edited at 2016-09-01 04:12)
@oekaki_coco, 

I understand your English.

Since I can run Shogidokoro with Wine, I presumably have some version of Mono installed. Thanks.

I figured out what you wrote already. And, I was able to add GPSfish into Browser Q. However, I get an error with Apery. If you're interested, the error message popup says: 'エンジンとして確認できません。組込みに矢敗しました。' And, Browser Q also appears to open up a text file named 'battlelog.txt' has contains things like:

receive (stdErr) From 後手-USI:[dyld: Library not loaded: /usr/local/opt/libiomp/lib/libiomp5.dylib] 
send to 後手-USI:[usi]

The web page also has some note about this: "これはaperyが動作する為に必要なライブラリー(libiomp5.dylib)がMac内に存在しない事により発生する。このライブラリーはapery_for_mac.zipファイルで一緒に配布しているので、[手順](3)で、そのライブラリーを使用し起動するようにした apery/bin/apery.sh (シェル)をapery/bin/apery (実行ファイル)の代わりにドラッグ&ドロップすると解決する。"

I guess this means that Browser Q can't find the .dylib file?
11: kmullin (1111) 2016-09-01 03:43
@Test_DontPlayMe,

Although I do get some error messages, generally, Spear does seem to run according to your description from the command line via Wine. So, I least I know that.

The version of XBoard that I downloaded, which is v 4.9.1, only comes with Shokidoki and gnushogi preloaded. Bonanza has to be added. (There are also a few western chess and xiangqi engines and one engine each for chu shogi and shatranj.)

Thanks for the note that Shokidoki's play is unconventional. That's interesting.
10: oekaki_coco (1899) ☗1☗3☗32016-08-31 23:52
@kmullin
I am not good at English, but please forgive me.

"mono" is software substituting for ".NET Framework" on Linux and Mac.
It is necessary to use "Shogidokoro" on Mac.

http://park.geocities.jp/sbrowser_q/apery_for_mac.zip
This has been already compiled for Mac.
Please unzip the file if you use it on "browser Q"
and choose[将棋エンジン設定:shogi engine setting] of [設定(C):setting menu].
And  drag "apery/bin/apery (execute file)" , and drop it on shogi engine setting dialogue.
Like this ↓
http://park.geocities.jp/sbrowser_q/drag_and_drop.jpg
That's all.
"GPSfish" is the same way, too.

Please ask a Japanese proud person if you do not understand even this.
9: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-08-31 15:55 (Edited at 2016-08-31 15:56)
A test for whether SPEAR runs properly would be to issue the command

wine SpearShogidogoro.exe

from a terminal after changing to the directory where SPEAR was installed. Once started, when you then type

usi

SPEAR should respond with a list of 'id' and 'option' commands, and finally with 'usiok'. Then you could type

isready

and SPEAR should respond with 'readyok'. Getting those responses already makes it almost certain that SPEAR functions properly under wine. To really set it thinking you could continue typing

usinewgame
position startpos moves
go btime 300000 wtime 300000 byoyomi 1000

It should then start spitting out variations.

Just for my information: the two engines that come with XBoard are Shokidoki and Bonanza, right? Bonanza should be very strong, far stronger than SPEAR. Shokidoki is not that much weaker than SPEAR at normal Shogi, although it plays rather uconventional; in my tests it wins about 35% of the games against SPEAR at 20-min sudden-death time control. The main reason for adding Shokidoki to the package is that it also plays Shogi variants (mini-Shogi, Judkins Shogi, Tori Shogi and Euro-Shogi).
8: kmullin (1111) 2016-08-31 09:09
@oekaki_coco, I don't know what 'mono' is. What is it?

I installed the Q browser. However, I don't know what I need to do with Apery. Do I need to compile or something? The pages (as you know) are in Japanese. I got the GPS Fish engine into Q, but I'm not sure how to start a game with it.
7: kmullin (1111) 2016-08-31 09:06
@Test_DontPlayMe, I wasn't sure whether Spear needed the executable to run it under XBoard. Your reply was very informative. However, I'm still not able to run Spear under XBoard. It'd be nice to know whether Spear actually runs under Wine to make sure I'm not doing something wrong via typing the command incorrectly. But, I'm probably giving up now. I'm able to use the two engines that come with XBoard. And, I'm able to run Shogidokoro under Wine. (But, not BCM Shogi under Wine) So, maybe that's enough for now...
6: oekaki_coco (1899) ☗1☗3☗32016-08-22 23:10
GUI

Shogidokoro 
http://www.geocities.jp/shogidokoro/download.html
↑It's need mono
Shogi browser Q
http://park.geocities.jp/sbrowser_q/
↑It's need Java


Engine

apery_for_mac_zip
http://park.geocities.jp/sbrowser_q/apery.html
bonanza_feliz_mac
http://park.geocities.jp/sbrowser_q/
gpsfish-20130831.1.0.dmg (installer)
http://gps.tanaka.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/gpsshogi/pukiwiki.php?%A5%C0%A5%A6%A5%F3%A5%ED%A1%BC%A5%C9  



5: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-08-22 18:02 (Edited at 2016-08-22 18:11)
Well, XBoard natively understands WB engines, and through UCI2WB you can use UCI, UCCI and USI engines with it. So basically you can use whatever engine you want. It is just that SPEAR happens to be a USI engine. USI and UCCI are dialects of UCI, and an option -s or -x to UCI2WB makes it use the USI or UCCI dialect instead of UCI. I don't know any Shogi engines that are UCI, although in theory this would be possible. (There are for instance both UCCI and UCI Xiangqi engines.)

With 'their website' you mean http://www2.teu.ac.jp/gamelab/SHOGI/SPEAR/spearmain.html ? I only see a download link there for a Windows version of SPEAR there. In general Windows software does not run on a Mac. You need a Windows emulator for that, and I think 'wine' is included in OS X for that purpose. But that would mean that the engine command for starting SPEAR is not just 'SpearShogidogoro.exe',but 'wine SpearShogidogoro.exe'.

I have been running SPEAR on Windows using UCI2WB and WinBoard (the Windows version of XBoard), as it is the major test opponent for Shokidoki, and I did check out how I istalled it. It turns out SPEAR is not fully USI compliant, and needs special pampering by UCI2WB to run, which has to be enabled by some extra options. As engine command you should use

UCI2WB -s "wine SpearShogidogoro.exe" " byoyomi 1000"

(and then leave the USI/UCCI checkbox unticked, as you already explicitly invoked UCI2WB. Note the space before 'byoyomi'! This option is needed to fool SPEAR into thinking every incremental time control is byoyomi.) I see the XBoard 'Load Engine' dalog has no text entry for giving additional XBoard options, so after installing SPEAR this way you should use the 'Edit Engine List' menu to add to the SPEAR line (at the end)

-firstFeatures "ping=0"

to work around the problem that SPEAR does not respond to the USI 'isready' command. Note that SPEAR does not support classical time controls; you will always have to select an incremental TC in XBoard to prevent weird time usage by SPEAR.

Note that the latest version of XBoard (4.9.x) should be able to load .kif files (both from file, and on pasting them). I am not sure if that version is already included in the Shogi App. I don't have a Mac myself.
4: kmullin (1111) 2016-08-22 06:48
@Test_DontPlayMe: I see that misread the acronym. So, it's the UCI2WB adapter that I need to use *USI* engines (and not UCI engines!), according to HG Muller's website. Thanks for setting me straight.

I was assuming that all I needed was the SPEAR .ini file and the adapter to use SPEAR with XBoard. I just downloaded the .zip file from their website, and the .ini file was included in that. Am I wrong about that?

Also, update on the 桜花 program, I now see that one can read some other kifu file formats. However, one has to copy&paste the text into the program rather than just reading the file directly. Kinda clunky. It doesn't support PGN format. Supports: CSA, KIF, KI2, GIF, and 'Yahoo!Mobile' (?whatever this is?).

The OS X shogi world is very sad....
3: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-08-22 06:19
Polyglot is an adapter for UCI Chess engines. SPEAR is a USI engine. To mediate for USI you need the variant-agnostic UCI2WB, used with a -s option.

But in the Shogi App this should be pre-configured, and you just have to tick the USI/UCCI checkbox when loading the engine.

I am surprised you have a SPEAR for the Mac. Or are you running it under wine?
2: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-08-22 06:06 (Edited at 2016-08-26 15:54)
There is an OS X App of XBoard, specifically configured for Shogi: http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=53274 I believe it contains Bonanza 6.0 (the version adapted for interactive analysis) and Shokidoki,and loading other engines should be easy.

<img src="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/3hjihngbxru8kk2/XboardSgOSX1.png?dl=0 ">

XBoard saves all games in PGN format.
1: kmullin (1111) 2016-08-18 06:05 (Edited at 2016-08-18 06:06)
I'll add one more:

You can use XBoard which includes the Shokidoki engine and a GNU Shogi engine.

However, it is a Unix program that isn't terribly user friendly.

(Incidentally, I tried to get XBoard to load the Spear engine using the bundled Polyglot UCI translator, but I wasn't able to get it to work. I'm not understanding something obviously, which means poor documentation.)

This is 81Dojo's web system for account and data management. The entrance to the shogi app can be found in the main site at http://81dojo.com.