This page contains answers to common questions you may have, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions. This page will grow over time as new questions and answers are added.
CEBoard and HIARCS will run on any standard ARM based device running Pocket PC 2003, Windows Mobile 2003 or later. These devices are typically known as Pocket PCs.
Non standard screen resolutions like the square 240x240 used on the CDMA Palm Treo Pro are not supported.
The latest released version is:
You can download the latest version of CEBoard HIARCS from our Pocket Chess download page.
You can find out how to purchase HIARCS for Pocket PC from our How to Buy page.
You will find CEBoard HIARCS in the Games folder inside programs. You can access this the first time by opening Programs from the Start menu. You will then see this screen:
Now click on the games folder which will open to show:
Now you can run CEBoard HIARCS but clicking on the icon. Once the application has been run once it will appear in the Start menu.
Once you tap CEBoard 2.3 HIARCS 13, the application will start and you will see the initial CEBoard screen as follows:
The first time you run CEBoard 2.3 HIARCS 13.1, the HIARCS chess engine needs to be activated with the license key you received by email immediately after purchase. To activate tap the microchip icon and select HIARCS Options... from the menu:
HIARCS will present the license dialog asking for your license name and key in order to fully activate the product.
Select Activate later to use the demo version. You can activate the product later once you have purchased and received your license name and code.
When HIARCS is started for the first time it will ask you for the license key. You will see the following screen:
If you want to use the product in demo mode with limited features, 10+ times slower and 600+ Elo weaker click the Activate later button.
An example of entering a license key can be seen below. Please note the license key consists of a name and code, the code is made up of 5 sets of 5 alpha-numeric characters, each set of characters is separated by a hyphen. You will of received this license key by email shortly after your purchase of the HIARCS for Pocket PC product.
You can enter the name or code in either case. You will find it convenient to enter the code from the lower case keyboard since the characters will be converted to upper case for you and the numeric keys are on the same screen.
Once the license is entered exactly as given to you in the email please click the Activate now button.
All being well you will then see the following screen:
HIARCS is now registered and activated and the fully features and strength will be available.
HIARCS can only be activated if you have entered a valid license name and key. You would of seen the Registration Successful message as in the screen shot above. You will also have full access to all the features and chess strength.
You can view the About screen via the CPU chip icon menu which will show the estimated device performance in Elo points.
HIARCS has some very nice features for players of all strengths and some of these can be accessed from the HIARCS menu:
The features of the HIARCS menu are:
1) Stopped - this stops the engine from analysing or playing, you can use this mode to step through an existing game without invoking HIARCS to think until you are ready. This can save battery power on a mobile device.
2) Analysis - in this mode HIARCS will begin analysing infinitely until you stop it or move onto the next move. HIARCS will allow you to enter moves or follow an existing game while analysing the positions and moves it sees on the board. You can see below examples of HIARCS analysing.
3) Play - this mode is the usual playing mode when HIARCS will play against you and respond to your moves.
4) Move now! - if HIARCS is currently thinking about its move on its turn, then HIARCS will move immediately. Were it your turn to play this would make HIARCS exchange sides and play a move for the side which is to move. This is how you can get HIARCS to play white at the beginning of the game.
5) Give me an advise! - This option asks HIARCS to give you advise about the best move available for you in the current position. This advice will be highlighted graphically on the board with coloured arrows to signify the quality of the moves. Light green being best, followed by dark green, amber and finally red bad moves. You can see below HIARCS advising of the move choices and their quality, light green is best, dark green ok, amber is dangerous and red is bad.
6) Show analysis - this when checked will make HIARCS display its analysis in detail on screen for you to see.
7) Show book moves - in this mode instead of the normal move list of the game so far HIARCS will display the book moves of the current position and optionally show the book moves graphically on the chess board using coloured arrows just like the Advise option. Below you can see an example of this, the book moves are shown along with the book move list showing moves in algebraic notation.
8) Show move list - this displays the current move list of the current game.
9) Highlight destination squares - when checked on this option will enable the displaying of coloured destination squares for whatever piece is selected so that the player has a much better idea about what moves are good, bad or indifferent. Below you can see the highlight destination squares in action.
10) Options - this invokes the HIARCS engine tabs which enable detailed configuration of the HIARCS engine parameters.
11) About - details about the product version etc.
The HIARCS options are accessed through the HIARCS menu off the computer chip icon.
Select the Options... menu item to bring up the option tabs for the HIARCS settings. There are 5 tabs available:
The Time Control tab is part of the HIARCS options accessed from the HIARCS menu off the CPU Chip icon.
There are two main options to choose from:
1) A normal time control. Here you can enter a first time control and if necessary a second time control. A time control consists of a set number of moves in a set number of minutes. You can also optionally select an increment in seconds which will be added to the clocks of either player for each move made.
2) The absolute search time is fixed length of time (e.g. 5 seconds) which HIARCS will think for.
The final option on the Time Control tab is to set Ponder ON or OFF. Ponder is a permanent brain - when ON, HIARCS will think while it is your turn to move, hence trying to predict your move and thinking of its response. In this mode Hiarcs may move instantly if it predicts your move correctly.
Please note when switched ON, Ponder will consume much more battery life.
The Style tab is part of the HIARCS options accessed from the HIARCS menu off the CPU Chip icon.
The Style tab allows you to set a number of Style attributes:
1) Playing Style of HIARCS can be set to either Active, Aggressive or Solid.
2) The Hyper-modern play option when checked makes HIARCS play more its pieces and less with pawns occupation of the center.
3) The Hiarcs draw value when positive makes Hiarcs favour the draw, when negative it makes Hiarcs try to avoid draws.
4) Position Learning when enabled allows Hiarcs to learn positions it has seen so that it can potentially play better in future.
The Search tab is part of the HIARCS options accessed from the HIARCS menu off the CPU Chip icon.
The Search tab allows you to control the search in a number of ways:
1) Set the selectivity of the search where 7 is most selective and 0 is brute force no selectivity
2) The Forward Pruning option determines how aggressive Hiarcs is in pruning the search tree to discard unnecessary variations and moves.
3) Optimistic Search allows Hiarcs to take a more optimistic view which typically leads to deeper searching but at some small risks.
4) Combinations allows HIARCS to look deeply at tactical combinations but this can be at the cost of making the overall search less deep.
5) Extend Search allows HIARCS to extend critical variations in order to see more quickly the outcome of some lines of play.
The Book tab is part of the HIARCS options accessed from the HIARCS menu off the CPU Chip icon.
The Book tab allows you to control the book in a number of ways:
1) You can select the mode of book selection:
2) Book learning allows Hiarcs to learn from the openings it plays to improve the book over time and avoid mistakes.
The Other tab is part of the HIARCS options accessed from the HIARCS menu off the CPU Chip icon.
The Other tab covers some other areas but is VERY important:
1) The Hash table size is configurable and a larger table size can help Hiarcs search and evaluate more efficiently
2) MultiPV is an option for analysis where HIARCS will analyse up to 3 lines/variation simultaneously showing the best 3 lines for you
3) Optimise Options - when checked will on tapping ok reset all parameters to their optimum
4) Coach watching - when checked tell HIARCS to examine the moves you play and warn you if a move played is considered bad. You will then have the option to choose to ignore the coach or accept "his" advise and take back the move played.
5) You can Handicap Hiarcs to a Set Elo level between 750 Elo (complete beginner and the maximum device strength). When Handicap is checked Hiarcs tries to play at the Set Elo level and in doing so is very efficient using the CPU much less. Hence this allows these levels to be used to saving battery life as well!
The Set Elo levels also affect how the book is used so that the playing level is as realistic as possible. For example a weak elo player will forget their openings, whereas a strong elo player will know their openings much better.
6) Use max strength in analysis mode when checked means HIARCS will use
maximum strength when in analysis mode. To conserve battery power some people
prefer HIARCS to use weakened Elo levels in analysis too since the power
consumption is much lower.
HIARCS has played in GM tournaments on PDA devices a few times and played matches with GMs. From these tournaments and matches we know that HIARCS is of at least GM strength on PDA devices. Most recently as August 2009, HIARCS 13 competed in a GM tournament in Argentina winning the tournament and achieving a performance rating of almost 2938 Elo. A performance beyond Garry Kasparov's peak Elo rating!!!
HIARCS for Pocket PC is great for beginners and average players because it has realistic Set Elo levels which provide good competition for beginners. It is important to have a chess program that can play down to your level but also grow with you as you improve and HIARCS on the Pocket PC can do just this very well.
In addition the special features of advise giving and highlighting the quality of moves is very important to help the beginner and average players improve.
The following features are operational (some with restrictions or limits)
For clarification of what the difference in chess play between the demo and full engine, we played a match of 100 games between the two and the full engine scored 98 wins and 2 draws. In other words it is much much stronger but of course also has Set Elo levels to match any strength from beginner to Grandmaster.
The purchased activated product provides the following features
"generally I use
HIARCS." - World Chess Champion Vishy Anand,
in a recent interview when asked what chess program he uses to analyse with