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MatPlus.Net Forum Internet and Computing Programming help needed
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(1) Posted by Hannu Harkola [Friday, Feb 12, 2010 10:55]

Programming help needed

In 1994 Timo Kallio from Finland published a chess diagram software Chessmen Laser for Windows. Since then it has been widely used to prepare diagrams for magazines and books. However it does not work under Windows Vista. (I have not yet heard how it behaves under Windows 7.) Timo has not any more developed the program and he wrote to me that he "will be rather busy for the next three years".

If somebody is willing to help and modify the program, please contact me. The program is freeware.
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(2) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Friday, Feb 12, 2010 14:41]; edited by Ian Shanahan [10-02-12]

This excellent programme is nowadays redundant, Hannu - in light of the fact that TrueType fonts exist for making chess diagrams with word-processing software like MSWord. TTFs are scaleable fonts, so there is no worrying about dpi resolution, as there is with Chessmen Laser's generated TIFF diagrams; moreover, they add much less to the size of the files themselves. The Linares font-set matches Chessmen Laser diagrams exactly, but I don't know about its availability at present. The closest font-sent - hence the best solution - is to use the Good Companions font-set; this is freeware downloadable from the "StateGems" website (see the link below).
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(3) Posted by Frank Richter [Friday, Feb 12, 2010 14:56]

Here any question regarding diagram typing should be find an answer:
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(4) Posted by [Friday, Feb 12, 2010 17:05]; edited by [10-02-12]

Ian Shanahan wrote:

> The Linares font-set matches Chessmen Laser diagrams exactly, but I don't know about its availability at present.

Linares, Hastings (my favourite), and Zurich and other games typefaces from Alpine are still available from

They all contain diagram sub-typefaces, normal as well as rotated 90, 180 and 270 degrees.

I think, though, that Chessmen Laser has more support for fairy pieces (or am I confusing it with some other bitmapped font?)

There's only one point where I think the Alpine typefaces fail -- the border pieces include a very generous allotment of whitespace 'outside' the border, which makes it difficult to create diagrams that have to be border aligned with other items on the page. It's fixable with a decent font editor, though.
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(5) Posted by Geoff Foster [Friday, Feb 12, 2010 22:14]; edited by Geoff Foster [10-02-12]

When I run Chessmen Laser for Windows 1.0 under Windows XP, I almost always get the error message "Overflow". However, occasionally this error doesn't occur. Maybe it has something to do with the date? If the source code is written in Visual Basic then I would be very interested in seeing it.

I still need to create TIFF files so I just use a text editor to modify the Chessmen Laser text file, then run CML.EXE using the Run command. For example, if the text file is called noname.txt then I run the following command:


The above command has several backslash characters, but these seem to have been removed automatically!
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(6) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 01:02]

@Anders. Thanks for the link. However, these fonts each cost US$49, and I'm almost certain do not include neutral men (though Stephen Emmerson did design a Linares Neutral font in collaboration with the late Steve Smith, I don't know whether this is publicly available). The Good Companions font-set is freeware, and includes neutrals and fairy men.
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(7) Posted by Dan Meinking [Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 06:02]

@Hannu & Ian,

I wrote the "Conversion Utility" on the SG fonts page. Message me if you have any questions.

dmeinking /A*T/ roadrunner [etc. etc.]

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(8) Posted by Dan Meinking [Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 22:42]

Last night I realized that the Conversion Utility only recognizes s/S for Knight, but not n/N! We may have purposely coded the program this way because s/S became the StrateGems standard, after years of using n/N. No mention in the readme.txt file, however. Anyway, it's certainly useful to be able to convert n/N.

FIX: Copy these 2 lines into the "asciival.ini" file using a text editor (eg. NotePad):

WN0 0169 0170 white Knight
BN0 0171 0172 black Knight

Thanks... Dan
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(9) Posted by Iļja Ketris [Monday, Mar 29, 2010 13:39]

As I am working on the site, diagram preparation is certainly down the line. If you provide specifications, we will have an online tool sooner.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Internet and Computing Programming help needed