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8 Limitations and known bugs

There is no way for two people running copies of XBoard to play each other without going through an Internet Chess Server.

Under some circumstances, your ICS password may be echoed when you log on.

If you are connecting to the ICS by running telnet on an Internet provider or firewall host, you may find that each line you type is echoed back an extra time after you hit <Enter>. If your Internet provider is a Unix system, you can probably turn its echo off by typing stty -echo after you log in, and/or typing <^E><Enter> (Ctrl+E followed by the Enter key) to the telnet program after you have logged into ICS. It is a good idea to do this if you can, because the extra echo can occasionally confuse XBoard's parsing routines.

The game parser recognizes only algebraic notation.

Many of the following points used to be limitations in XBoard 4.2.7 and earlier, but are now fixed: The internal move legality tester in XBoard 4.3.xx does look at the game history, and is fully aware of castling or en-passant-capture rights. It permits castling with the king on the d file because this is possible in some "wild 1" games on ICS. The piece-drop menu does not check piece drops in bughouse to see if you actually hold the piece you are trying to drop. But this way of dropping pieces should be considered an obsolete feature, now that pieces can be dropped by dragging them from the holdings to the board. Anyway, if you would attempt an illegal move when using a chess engine or the ICS, XBoard will accept the error message that comes back, undo the move, and let you try another. FEN positions saved by XBoard do include correct information about whether castling or en passant are legal, and also handle the 50-move counter. The mate detector does not understand that non-contact mate is not really mate in bughouse. The only problem this causes while playing is minor: a "#" (mate indicator) character will show up after a non-contact mating move in the move list. XBoard will not assume the game is over at that point, not even when the option Detect Mates is on. Edit Game mode always uses the rules of the selected variant, which can be a variant that uses piece drops. You can load and edit games that contain piece drops. The (obsolete) piece menus are not active, but you can perform piece drops by dragging pieces from the holdings. Fischer Random castling is fully understood. You can enter castlings by dragging the King on top of your Rook. You can probably also play Fischer Random successfully on ICS by typing castling moves into the ICS Interaction window.

The menus may not work if your keyboard is in Caps Lock or Num Lock mode. This seems to be a problem with the Athena menu widget, not an XBoard bug.

Also see the ToDo file included with the distribution for many other possible bugs, limitations, and ideas for improvement that have been suggested.