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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Updated Tarrasch V3 GUI

     Reader Alastair suggested checking out the updated Alpha version of Tarrasch V3. The author, Bill Forster of New Zealand, says, “T3 is not quite as easy to install as T2.” I'm not sure why he said that though. I downloaded the zip file, unzipped it and installed all with a few mouse clicks. One note though...at install I received the following Windows 8 message: “Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from installing. Running this app might put you PC at risk.” This is because it is from an “unknown” publisher. I installed it anyway with no problems though the process took 10 minutes. 
    The author also advises: “This is the first alpha release of the Tarrasch Chess GUI V3. It is intended for early adopters and testers. It hasn't been exhaustively tested, but it is usable and useful." I guess he means there may be some minor bugs, but I didn't find any. 
     Tarrasch has a clean, easy to use interface and it allows you to do all the standard stuff: play against an engine; you can also adjust the times for yourself and the engine. Other features are the standard engine analysis, create and edit pgn files, enter variations and comments, switch the order of variations, etc. 
     It comes with a small pgn game database consisting of mostly modern players. Sort of a “starter” database, if you will. The author says his personal database has over 4 million games, so apparently Tarrasch has no problems handling large ones. 
    One handy new feature is the game preview. You can load several games in the clipboard and play over them the same as if they were in the database. This feature makes playing over your selected games faster. If your an opening geek, another new feature is the ability to sort games according to line popularity. 
     The program comes with the free versions of Houdini, Komodo, Rybka, Stockfish 6 and the Tarrasch Toy engine.  Stockfish 6 (the latest version) is the “go to” engine for serious analysis. Of course, it's also advisable to double check the analysis with a second engine. The Tarrasch Toy engine is currently rated 1474 (ranked number 436 out of 506) on the CCLR 40/4 rating list, so it is suitable for playing against if you are a lower rated player. 
     Tarrasch does not have a lot of the more sophisticated features of SCID for PC or Arena, but it does have all the basic features you need for playing and analyzing games in a “clean” and easy to use GUI. You can download the program HERE.

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