Thursday, October 18, 2007

The best free game viewer out there?

Thanks to Samurai Knight for pointing out that has a great chess viewer. Here is an annotated game (game 2 from yesterday's set), now showing all the information I wanted to show. It includes a comment from Blunderprone on one of the moves as well as my kooky annotations. To post them, you just have to go start a blog, and it lets you insert games into the blog. It rocks! It is very very easy to use. Thanks

Those of you who just throw pgn files into your blog posts have no more excuses. My bet is that you'd get 80% more people actually looking at your games if you post them rather than just dump some text in our faces. I know I never look at 'em. Sometimes I'll say "nice game" in the comments just for kicks though. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you can get them analysed by the good people at if you dump your game in the analyse section of the forum.

Is it just me, or is this starting to sound like an infomercial.

10/18/2007 03:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, this smells like an advertisement ;-)'s viewer is nice but if you're into displaying games on other places then your weblog i've got myself a much better viewer. Be sure to check out my next post that contains a game.

10/18/2007 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

Nice game. :)

10/18/2007 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

i agree, but dont agree.

you are right, we all need to find a beter way. i strongly suspect, that when anyone says they have a great way to do it ...

(and i DON'T mean my esteemed friend ookwelbekendalsemc but every blogger, with the twenty something varieties who all claim that they have found it, only to change it in a month)

...but for someone LIKE me, for whom showing ANY games is a big step, just to show them is a big accomplishment. for others, i know that it is no a big deal.

for me, making jpeg diagrams in chessBase9 is a lot of fun, and i take GREAT care in selecting the positions, and trying to make the set up clear.

no excuse to post text of pgn's. again, i dont agree. i dont want to use any tom dick and harry tool until i have investigated it and proven it. i looked at tons of them, and havent satisfied myself.

i investigate deeply, but i need to learn more, and get more comfortable. it is a series of steps. you played zero chess and not games with friends as you say, just, what was it, two or three years ago?

16 months ago, i had never done ten words of html code, and now come look at my blog. is ths so bad? 2,100 hits to my about me page in 16 months, so maybe i am not too bad?


but i do take your challenge, know you werent trying to tag me, but from where i started have come very far.

warmest my friend, dk

10/18/2007 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

I now see, after my comment two above, your comment, best viewer out there is in the subsequent post! Woops! My apologies.

In any event, lets all get this right about what is best, or how we can build a better on line community of users, knowledge, skill, and shared resources and understanding!

10/18/2007 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Loomis said...

I second DK's sentiment about the time it takes to really know something before making a decision on it. I like to keep my blog pretty simple. Lately I've been happy presenting diagrams of key positions.

One thing that hangs over my head about is that they are planning to have premium features. It's not completely clear that the features there will always be free. I'm fairly confident that free is a premise of

I like how annotations pop up below the board so you know when they're there and you don't have to look away to see them.

I don't like the way they handle the move list. I think it should be shown as default. More importantly, they put it in a scrollbox that doesn't scroll as you go through the moves. You have to manually scroll it. It would also be nice if it did something like highlight what move you're on.

Perhaps I should send suggestions to, but I just wanted to let you know that chesslog is still in the running with a pretty good viewer (IMHO).

10/19/2007 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Dutch Defense: Touche! No, no ad here, just happy to find a chess viewer without a bunch of obvious flaws.

Loomis: interesting points. chesslog has a poor design, seems to be not under active development, and is buggy (it deleted games as I tried to add more than two). The latter was the frustrating deal killer for me. doesn't have enough features. seems to have everything you could want as far as display goes (I don't know if they do colored lines and such). I prefer their decision with showing moves (showing the move below the board, and allowing you to click a button if you want to show the entire move list). At any rate, that they give you this option is cool.

While it is good, if starts charging for their viewer, I'll stop using it, and I'll change this post title and content and turn it into a rant against If they start charging for other services then I'll have to think about it (if they charge for expert analysis of your games, that's one thing: if they charge to read the forum or something, that's another).

The least lazy among us should just ask them. They seem pretty open there.

10/19/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Loomis: showing diagrams is better than nothing, for sure.

Another weakness of the interface is that I don't think you can display the games directly on your blog. I'm fine with this, as I don't like having a bunch of stuff on my blog to slow down loading for readers. But I know a lot of people like to have their game viewers in their posts.

10/19/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

To be less dogmatic, I changed the title of this post, adding a question mark.

DK: your most recent post was one of the most cogent and well crafted that I have seen at your blog: it was good to see more concrete chess discussion. As I admitted with loomis, showing diagrams is a lot better than a PGN dump! I will probably read a move or two given a position only, zero moves given only the pgn, and almost always work through the whole game when given a board.

One nice thing about the interface is that you don't have to enter the entire game: you can enter a small sequence of moves on a position you set up, to just show readers a small window of a game or study. Very cool.

10/19/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Loomis: what makes you think they may be adding 'premium content'?

10/19/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Loomis said...

There is this announcement and this discussion thread.

According to what they say, there won't be much change. But it's a philosophy that means you never know when your favorite feature will start costing you money.

10/19/2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Loomis: It sounds like they are being quite reasonable. I am impressed with the overall quality of the site: very professional. I would understand the need for some ads or special content. It sounds like they won't be killing the blogs, so the diagram and game generators are safe.

They also said they are working on a version of the viewer that can be exported to blogs, but they are having trouble picking a general framework (not all blogs will accept open java, they said, whatever that is).

10/19/2007 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

BDK and DK, I finnaly got caught up and looked at this exchange about game dumps and diagrams brought up on my blog comments.

First, thanks for bringing much needed controversary to my blog... i can't wait for the readership to spike!

Hey, I've done it all. I've tried the embedded route and had a hard time with it because it always required tweaking ( Now you say there is a good one out there with the bugs worked out? Hmmm, I will try that... when i have time) I then attempted several versions of diagrammed annotated games. First by creating my own diagrams with fritz and making "pictures" to put in then I found the Chess Image viewer- FEN based utility from Steve Learn's Chess and like that approach.

My Lazy ass data dump in my recent post was just that. I was lazy. It didn't hurt my readership at all.. nor did it improve it. I worked with what works for me given my current situation. Sometimes i just don't have time to do an elaborate dump. I had other PGNs with annotations but got complaints that it didn't translate well in teh PGN viewer.
As for my post, I was sitting on these two games for a while and wanted to get them posted as an example of the fun of correspondence chess. The main topic was how I was more frustrated on the adjustment to the time table for this kind of chess and how it turned into pseudo a "blitz".

On my blog, I mix it up... thanks again. Maybe my next post will have a mix of all three styles! Regardless, my readership will still be flat. But that is not why I post these things... Remember this is MY Improvement blog. The process of getting out of my head the thoughts and challenges i face through this novel medium. I value the feedback as it is a nice collaboration of ideas. I am grateful for the consistent reader base I do have for sounding my inner voice to.

Thanks ... Blunderprone

10/22/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

Oh... and BTW... my inner rebel tells me I don't like to be dictated or censored on what or how I should do anything on my personal improvement Blog.

'nuff said... Is that controversial enough?

Freedom Brother... Freedom!

10/22/2007 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

one last thing... BDK... You are missing a good Smith Morra in my "Just PGN Dump" ... I did it (sniff) for you man!

10/22/2007 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

BP, yer getting in on this action late, as my post was up well before you took that pgn dump on your blog. Rabble rouser! ;-P

I'll take a look at your S&M game.

On a different topic, you inspired on of my 'top 15 things to remember before playing'.

10/22/2007 06:38:00 PM  

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