What is TRACE? Downloads Version Notes Chess Links Thanks Contact Me

What is TRACE?

TRACE is a computer chess engine. It began in Nov 2002 as a Winboard compatible engine based on Tom Kerrigan's TSCP .
Her playing strength is ~2500 Elo.

Competitive highlights...

How do I play against it?

TRACE has a text interface only. She's designed to run under a graphical chess interface like Winboard or Arena.
To simplify things, you can download Winboard and TRACE in one handy installer package.


This is TRACE 1.37a, WinBoard + 4.2.7 and opening book - all in one installer package.

The opening book (for version 1.36 and higher)
TRACE_BOOK.ZIP (After downloading it, unzip it into TRACE's folder)

Previous TRACE engine releases (all include logos and engine only)
Trace137aREL.zip (no opening book included!)
If you seek older versions just email me.

These logos can be used in the Arena graphical interface.
    (Firefox users: right click on the logo and 'Save image as...')
    (Explorer users: right click on the logo and 'Save picture as...')

Logo 1 First attempt. Yep, I'm hopeless at doing logos :)

Logo 2 This was the second attempt

Logo 3 Jim Ablett made this one. It's my favourite.Thanks Jim!!

Version Notes:

TRACE 1.37a - Nov 17 2006 RELEASE
- Just a minor patch realease to avoid an infinite loop in the evaluation code.
Thanks to Leo for reporting this _before_ WBEC started!
- Slight change to qsearch hashing to make it search slightly faster (3%)
- Connected passers bonus increased slightly

Click here for a complete version history

Chess Links:

Well, for a very long time I've wanted to own a BEAUTIFUL wooden board and pieces. But not just any board...

I wanted one that would work directly with Arena or Fritz so I can play against TRACE and other chess engines.
Well, DGT have a 'bluetooth' version of their famous DGT Electronic board with full piece recognition.
These boards are a work of art. I just had to have one...

So, I looked around for potential suppliers and made enquiries. By far I was most impressed by Baron Turner who runs the
ChessBaron sites and settled on obtaining the board through him. He made absolutely sure that all went smoothly.
The board was shipped promptly from the UK to Australia and arrived in perfect condition a few days later.

Now, I despise advertising.... but in this case I really want give the ChessBaron site the highest recommendation. Thanks Baron!
And here's the board below... it actually looks even better in real life.

DGT Bluetooth board with Royal pieces

The following people have helped directly or indirectly with TRACE.
Tracey Boyd for her encouragement, understanding and patience
Interbit Computing

generously supplied hardware for the NC3 Australian Championships. And later employed me as a PC technician :-)

Tom Kerrigan portions of TSCP used with permission
Eugene Nalimov for his EGTB probe code, used with permission
Andrew Kadatch DATACOMP 1.0 Compression routines
Alessandro Scotti author of Kiwi, for his free threaded input code
Bruce Moreland an excellent communicator of ideas
Leo Dijksman for freely hosting TRACE on his site for almost 2 years and tireless devotion to the WBEC tournaments
George Lyapko for running his ladder tournament and great tips
Lars Hallerstrom tons of exhaustive testing, good humour and encouragement
Normand Blais author of Alex, many thanks for his Euphoria port of TSCP
Gian-Carlo Pascutto for good ideas in Sjeng source code
Prof. Robert Hyatt always helpful to beginners like me
Sammy Mitchell author of TSEPro... an AWESOME programmer's editor
Geoff Westwood author of Waster, for kindly compiling TRACE under MSVC++ 6
Gunther Simon runs the very enjoyable RWBC tournament
Heinz van Kempen his Nunn/AEGT tournaments are excellent
Olivier Deville hosts ChessWar and helps with AEGT
Igor Gorelikov long running Infinite Loop tournaments
Gabor Szots SzG Swiss tournament
Uwe Jacoby created a very cool looking tournament page (currently inactive, c'mon Uwe!)
Graham Banks runs the CCRL tournaments.

Aussie Authors:
Thomas McBurney Aussie author of Kanguruh and Tom's Live Chess Viewer!
Andrew Tridgell Aussie author of KnightCap, host of NC3 Australian championships and creator of Samba (!!!)
Shaun Press Aussie author of Fencer (and others) and organiser of NC3 Australian championships
Joel Veness Aussie author of Bodo
Alejandro Dubrovsky Aussie author of Small Potato
Helpful folk:
Peter McKenzie Author of Lambchop and Warp (frequent NZ winner of the Aussie championship)
Tony Werten Author of Xinix
John Stanback Author of GnuChess and others...
Dann Corbit A long-time Winboard/CC stalwart
Dan Homan Author of Exchess
Tord Romstad Author of Gothmog, Glaurung and the collaborative StockFish
Fabien Letouzey Author of the phenomenal Fruit
Forums and Information:
Chess Programming Wiki
Chess Programming Wiki
Computer Chess Club
Computer Chess Club

Contact Me:

A little background... we are from Wollongong, Australia.

TRACE is an acronym for Trace & Ross' Australian Chess Engine....
Trace is my fun-loving friend and wife. Her encouragement made TRACE (the chess engine) possible.

I've been hooked on computer chess since 1983. The desire to write a chess program drove me to learn the art of computer programming and led
to a 25 year IT career. My first engines barely played chess at all. In fact, the first (written in GFABasic on an Atari ST) chose moves randomly
from a list of legal moves. TRACE is my first publicly available engine.

Email: jhrboyd AT gmail.com

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