A Comparison of Features Between


(For Lyle Engle, Kevin Stevens, Art Reade, and Fred Jarmuz -- my fellow ZIICS buddies.)



Advantages in using WinBoard over ZIICS

  • Because WinBoard is a Windows program, while connected to the chess servers with WinBoard you can download your e-mail, visit web sites, and do other things at the same time, while the program is running it the background. (It does not require a shell account.)
  • You can connect to more than one chess server at the same time. Earlier today I was connected to, and observing a game in four different servers! (FICS, ICC, Chess.net, and DICS.)
  • There are more choices available (13) for the size of the board.
  • The colors of the chess pieces and squares on the board can be picked from a palette of 16 million. (The palette in ZIICS was a paltry 64.)
  • When you DO set/change your colors, you can see your changes immediately. With ZIICS, you have to edit the ziics.cnf file, save it, and then restart the program before your color changes take effect.
  • You can set the font for incoming text to your own liking... color, size, bold, italicized, etc. (ZIICS was limited to just setting the color.)
  • You can configure your own sounds for incoming events. For example, when anyone "tells" me something, I hear a certain sound. When anyone challenges me to a match, I hear another sound. These sounds can be picked from a list of choices or you can create and use your own.
  • WinBoard can display more than one board at the same time, enabling you to watch other games while playing your own. (For this reason, WinBoard is much more suitable for bughouse than ZIICS is.)
  • If you wanted to view or analyze your games while off-line, you first had to run my conversion program to convert the ZIICS oldmoves.log file to a PGN formatted file. WinBoard saves the games that you play or observe directly to a PGN format... no conversion is necessary. (It also has the option to save the games to an oldmoves format, it you still prefer that!)
  • WinBoard serves as a front-end for computer programs such as Crafty, GNUChess, EXchess, Phalanx, Comet, ArasanX, LambChop, Faile, Cilia, Inmichess, Tristram, Zchess, SSEChess, Little Goliath, etc.
  • The WinBoard program also doubles as a PGN reader.
  • Since it's a Windows program, cut & paste, and all the advantages of that, is available. For example if someone posts a message or a comment that you'd like to save, (maybe a URL to a website, for example) you can copy and paste this into another program rather than having to write it down by hand.
  • You can finger someone, do a history on them, check their variables, etc., simply by using your mouse. (Much less typing!)
  • There is no way in ZIICS to retrieve previously sent commands. With WinBoard, you can do so easily simply by using the "up" arrow key. This will recall up to your last 30 or so previously sent commands. You can then edit them, if desired, right there in the post area.
  • After playing a game, if you wish to immediately examine it, with ZIICS you had to use the servers "examine" feature. You can do this with WinBoard too, of course, but it is not necessary... WinBoard has those VCR-like controls that allow one to move back and forth throughout your last game.
  • Setting up WinBoard is easier for most users, especially initially. One can change most of the options while inside the program and is not forced to do so in a text file.
  • The screen-writes are much faster. Log in to ICC and do a "who" with ZIICS and then with WinBoard and you'll see what I mean.
  • ZIICS only allows 255 characters to be entered in the post area at any one time. (Assuming a post area size of "4." See the ZIICS doc file for details.) WinBoard allows a heck of a lot more than that. My FICS finger notes are so large, that I could never have created them with ZIICS!
  • WinBoard allows you to position, anywhere on the screen that you like, both the board window and the text area window.
  • WinBoard is still being actively supported. The DOS version of ZIICS is not.



A few WinBoard features not having lost from ZIICS.

  • Like ZIICS, WinBoard as an interface is also able to connect to FICS, ICC, and Chess.net. (Unlike the BlitzIn interface , which only connects to ICC, or ROboMAN which only connects to Chess.net, etc.)
  • WinBoard also works with Timeseal, (FICS) Timestamp, (ICC) and Accuclock (Chess.net).
  • WinBoard is also "simplistic" in design... there are just two windows, a "board" window and a "chat area" ("text area") window.
  • Both programs offer the option of "click and click" or "click and drag."



Disadvantages in using WinBoard over ZIICS.

I can think of only two.

  • Although it is very convenient to be able to right-mouse-click to bring up a custom designed menu, and then highlighting an item on the menu for often-used commands, I don't think this is quite as convenient as simply being able to click a customized button.

  • There is only one chess font for the program. The ZIICS package offered a dozen or so different chess fonts.