Previous: Adjudication Options, Up: Options

4.8 Other options

-ncp/-xncp or -noChessProgram true/false
If this option is true, XBoard acts as a passive chessboard; it does not start a chess engine at all. Turning on this option also turns off clockMode. Default: false.
-viewerOptions string
Presence of the volatile option viewer on the command line will cause the value of the persistent option viewerOptions as stored in the settings file to be appended to the command line. The view option will be used by desktop associations with game or position file types, so that viewerOptions can be used to configure the exact mode XBoard will start in when it should act on such a file (e.g. in -ncp mode, or analyzing with your favorite engine). The options are also automatically appended when Board is invoked with a single argument not being an option name, which is then assumed to be the name of a loadGameFile or (when the name ends in .fen) a loadPositionFile. Default: "-ncp -engineOutputUp false -saveSettingsOnExit false".
-tourneyOptions string
When XBoard is invoked with a single argument that is a file with .trn extension, it will assume this argument to be the value of a tourneyFile option, and apped the value of the persistent option tourneyOptions as stored in the settings file to the command line. Thus the value of tourneyOptions can be used to configure XBoard to automatically start running a tournament when it should act on such a file. Default: "-ncp -mm -saveSettingsOnExit false".
-mode or -initialMode modename
If this option is given, XBoard selects the given modename from the Mode menu after starting and (if applicable) processing the loadGameFile or loadPositionFile option. Default: "" (no selection). Other supported values are MachineWhite, MachineBlack, TwoMachines, Analysis, AnalyzeFile, EditGame, EditPosition, and Training.
-variant varname
Activates preliminary, partial support for playing chess variants against a local engine or editing variant games. This flag is not needed in ICS mode. Recognized variant names are:
          normal        Normal chess
          wildcastle    Shuffle chess, king can castle from d file
          nocastle      Shuffle chess, no castling allowed
          fischerandom  Fischer Random shuffle chess
          bughouse      Bughouse, ICC/FICS rules
          crazyhouse    Crazyhouse, ICC/FICS rules
          losers        Lose all pieces or get mated (ICC wild 17)
          suicide       Lose all pieces including king (FICS)
          giveaway      Try to have no legal moves (ICC wild 26)
          twokings      Weird ICC wild 9
          kriegspiel    Opponent's pieces are invisible
          atomic        Capturing piece explodes (ICC wild 27)
          3check        Win by giving check 3 times (ICC wild 25)
          shatranj      An ancient precursor of chess (ICC wild 28)
          xiangqi       Chinese Chess (on a 9x10 board)
          shogi         Japanese Chess (on a 9x9 board & piece drops)
          capablanca    Capablanca Chess (10x8 board, with Archbishop
                        and Chancellor pieces)
          gothic        similar, with a better initial position
          caparandom    An FRC-like version of Capablanca Chess (10x8)
          janus         A game with two Archbishops (10x8 board)
          courier       Medieval intermediate between shatranj and
                        modern Chess (on 12x8 board)
          falcon        Patented 10x8 variant with two Falcon pieces
          berolina      Pawns capture straight ahead, and move diagonal
          cylinder      Pieces wrap around the board edge
          knightmate    King moves as Knight, and vice versa
          super         Superchess (shuffle variant with 4 exo-pieces)
          makruk        Thai Chess (shatranj-like, P promotes on 6th rank)
          spartan       Spartan Chess (black has unorthodox pieces)
          fairy         A catchall variant in which all piece types
                        known to XBoard can participate (8x8)
          unknown       Catchall for other unknown variants

NOT ALL BOARDSIZES PROVIDE A COMPLETE SET OF BUILT-IN BITMAPS FOR ALL UN-ORTHODOX PIECES, though. Only in boardSize middling and bulky all 22 piece types are provided, while -boardSize petite has most of them. Archbishop, Chancellor and Amazon are supported in every size from petite to bulky. Kings or Amazons are substituted for missing bitmaps. You can still play variants needing un-orthodox pieces in other board sizes providing your own bitmaps through the bitmapDirectory or pixmapDirectory options.

In the shuffle variants, XBoard now does shuffle the pieces, although you can still do it by hand using Edit Position. Some variants are supported only in ICS mode, including bughouse, and kriegspiel. The winning/drawing conditions in crazyhouse (off-board interposition on mate) are not fully understood, but losers, suicide, giveaway, atomic, and 3check should be OK. Berolina and cylinder chess can only be played with legality testing off. In crazyhouse, XBoard now does keep track of off-board pieces. In shatranj it does implement the baring rule when mate detection is switched on.

-boardHeight N
Allows you to set a non-standard number of board ranks in any variant. If the height is given as -1, the default height for the variant is used. Default: -1
-boardWidth N
Allows you to set a non-standard number of board files in any variant. If the width is given as -1, the default width for the variant is used. With a non-standard width, the initial position will always be an empty board, as the usual opening array will not fit. Default: -1
-holdingsSize N
Allows you to set a non-standard size for the holdings in any variant. If the size is given as -1, the default holdings size for the variant is used. The first N piece types will go into the holdings on capture, and you will be able to drop them on the board in stead of making a normal move. If size equals 0, there will be no holdings. Default: -1
-defaultFrcPosition N
Specifies the number of the opening position in shuffle games like Chess960. A value of -1 means the position is randomly generated by XBoard at the beginning of every game. Default: -1
-pieceToCharTable string
The characters that are used to represent the piece types XBoard knows in FEN diagrams and SAN moves. The string argument has to have an even length (or it will be ignored), as white and black pieces have to be given separately (in that order). The last letter for each color will be the King. The letters before that will be PNBRQ and then a whole host of fairy pieces in an order that has not fully crystallized yet (currently FEACWMOHIJGDVSLU, F=Ferz, Elephant, A=Archbishop, C=Chancellor, W=Wazir, M=Commoner, O=Cannon, H=Nightrider). You should list at least all pieces that occur in the variant you are playing. If you have less than 44 characters in the string, the pieces not mentioned will get assigned a period, and you will not be able to distinguish them in FENs. You can also explicitly assign pieces a period, in which case they will not be counted in deciding which captured pieces can go into the holdings. A tilde '~' as a piece name does mean this piece is used to represent a promoted Pawn in crazyhouse-like games, i.e. on capture it turns back onto a Pawn. A '+' similarly indicates the piece is a shogi-style promoted piece, that should revert to its non-promoted version on capture (rather than to a Pawn). Note that promoted pieces are represented by pieces 11 further in the list. You should not have to use this option often: each variant has its own default setting for the piece representation in FEN, which should be sufficient in normal use. Default: ""
-pieceNickNames string
The characters in the string are interpreted the same way as in the pieceToCharTable option. But on input, piece-ID letters are first looked up in the nicknames, and only if not defined there, in the normal pieceToCharTable. This allows you to have two letters designate the same piece, (e.g. N as an alternative to H for Horse in Xiangqi), to make reading of non-compliant notations easier. Default: ""
-colorNickNames string
The side-to-move field in a FEN will be first matched against the letters in the string (first character for white, second for black), before it is matched to the regular 'w' and 'b'. This makes it easier to read non-compliant FENs, which, say, use 'r' for white. Default: ""
-debug/-xdebug or -debugMode true/false
Turns on debugging printout.
-debugFile filename or -nameOfDebugFile filename
Sets the name of the file to which XBoard saves debug information (including all communication to and from the engines). A %d in the given file name (e.g. game%d.debug) will be replaced by the unique sequence number of a tournament game, so that the debug output of each game will be written on a separate file.
-engineDebugOutput number
Specifies how XBoard should handle unsolicited output from the engine, with respect to saving it in the debug file. The output is further (hopefully) ignored. If number=0, XBoard refrains from writing such spurious output to the debug file. If number=1, all engine output is written faithfully to the debug file. If number=2, any protocol-violating line is prefixed with a '#' character, as the engine itself should have done if it wanted to submit info for inclusion in the debug file. This option is provided for the benefit of applications that use the debug file as a source of information, such as the broadcaster of live games TLCV / TLCS. Such applications can be protected from spurious engine output that might otherwise confuse them.
-rsh or -remoteShell shell-name
Name of the command used to run programs remotely. The default is rsh or remsh, determined when XBoard is configured and compiled.
-ruser or -remoteUser user-name
User name on the remote system when running programs with the remoteShell. The default is your local user name.
-userName username
Name under which the Human player will be listed in the PGN file. Default is the login name on your local computer.
-delayBeforeQuit number
-delayAfterQuit number
These options specify how long XBoard has to wait before sending a termination signal to rogue engine processes, that do not want to react to the 'quit' command. The second one determines the pause after killing the engine, to make sure it dies.
-searchMode n
The integer n encodes the mode for the ‘find position’ function. Default: 1 (= Exact position match)
-eloThresholdBoth elo
-eloThresholdAny elo
Defines a lower limit for the Elo rating, which has to be surpassed before a game will be considered when searching for a board position. Default: 0
-dateThreshold year
Only games not played before the given year will be considered when searching for a board position