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Crafty Read Me

OK, so you've retrieved the latest version of Crafty from the ftp site. You can play with Crafty and it will work just fine. (Type "help" for a list of Crafty's commands.) However, there are some optional pieces that will make Crafty even stronger. The other pieces are stored elsewhere on the net.

Opening Books

You can build small (1 MB), medium (25 MB), or large (58 MB) opening books for Crafty. However, you'll need even more disk space to create the opening books (6 MB for small, 115 MB for medium, and 270 MB for large), as temporary stuff is written to disk along the way, and then deleted later. You'll also need something like StuffIt Expander and DropStuff With Expander Enhancer to decompress ".zip" files.

First, get the appropriate files from Bob Hyatt's ftp site:

Decompress the files, if this wasn't already done automatically. For the large book, concatenate the four files to make one huge file. (If you don't have anything that can join files this big, you can use Unity, which still works with both System 6 and System 7.) Put the files in the same folder as Crafty. To build the medium book, use Get Info to temporarily increase Crafty's memory requirements to 3900K for 680x0 Macs or 4300K for PowerPC Macs. To build the large book, temporarily increase Crafty's memory requirements to 5800K for 680x0 Macs or 6200K for PowerPC Macs.

Next, start up Crafty and type:

verbose 0
book create filename 60

where filename is the name of the small, medium, or large file. Crafty will create an opening database named "book.bin". (Don't worry if it complains about some illegal moves.) This step will take a while. On my PowerBook Duo 2300c, it takes 2 minutes to build the small book, 34 minutes to build the medium, and 75 minutes to build the large.

Finally, do this:

books create start.pgn 60

Crafty will create a file named "books.bin" containing suggested openings that fit Crafty's "open" style of play better. This step is much quicker. If you want to modify Crafty's book, you can edit "start.pgn" and rebuild "books.bin" without waiting too long.

Endgame Tablebases

Crafty can also use Steven J. Edwards' endgame tablebases. The tablebase for an endgame class consists of three files:

You can install one side (".tbw" file only) or both sides (".tbw" and ".tbb" files) of a tablebase. Crafty is faster with both sides, but you don't need as much disk space for one side. The ".tbs" files are for humans who are curious; chess programs don't use them. Some files also have an additional ".gz" suffix, which means that you'll again need something like StuffIt Expander and DropStuff With Expander Enhancer to decompress them.

Endgame tablebases are available for all three-piece and almost all four-piece endgames. Because of the way chess programs work, you should install all of the tablebases with the same number of pieces. Therefore, you can either:

To install the tablebases, retrieve the appropriate files and decompress them if necessary. In the folder where you have Crafty, make a folder named "TB". Place the tablebase files in the TB folder and you're done.


Crafty is continually being written by Bob Hyatt. Here is the copyright notice for Crafty:

"Crafty, copyrighted 1996 by Robert M. Hyatt, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

All rights reserved. No part of this program may be reproduced in any form or by any means, for any commercial (for profit/sale) reasons. This program may be freely distributed, used, and modified, so long as such use does not in any way result in the sale of all or any part of the source, the executables, or other distributed materials that are a part of this package."

The Macintosh port of Crafty is by Lloyd Lee-Lim <>. The Macintosh versions may not be redistributed without this Read Me file.

The endgame tablebases and Crafty's EPD support are by Steven J. Edwards. All the tablebase data may be freely redistributed as long as any such redistribution does not infringe on any other redistribution.

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Lim Unlimited / 30 Oct 1996