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shogi software for Mac OS X?
kmullin (1100) 2016-08-17 07:31
Hi. What are some good programs for Macs?

I was using MacShôgi for game records. ( 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 (Even if MacShôgi is out of date, the download page is still nice because it contains a link to Reijer Grimbergen's big file with hundreds of shogi game records with English commentary: . 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: and]

Is there anything else worth noting?
20: Test_DontPlayMe (1250) 2016-09-06 16:28 (2016-09-06 16:30に編集)
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 (1100) 2016-09-06 04:36 (2016-09-06 06:59に編集)

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:

(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 (1893) ☗1☗3☗32016-09-06 04:16

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/ 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 (1100) 2016-09-06 00:50

Aha! I'll download the new binary.

16: kmullin (1100) 2016-09-06 00:48 (2016-09-06 01:04に編集)

Dragging the '' 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/ 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 (2016-09-05 17:52に編集)
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, ( ), 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:
13: oekaki_coco (1893) ☗1☗3☗32016-09-01 11:15

"libiomp5.dylib" is not in the Mac.
But it is located in conjunction with apery for mac.
In that case, please drop "apery/bin/" 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 (1100) 2016-09-01 04:01 (2016-09-01 04:12に編集)

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/ (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 (1100) 2016-09-01 03:43

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.