CHESSBASE USA'S WEEKLY ON-LINE NEWSLETTER
FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 21, 2002
by Steve Lopez
Just When You Think Chess Can't Get Any Weirder Dept.: Two weeks ago in ETN, I made some jokes about fistfights. This week, I see this item appear in the chess news. I suspect that we haven't heard the last of this one. But, c'mon, let's be reasonable here. Toss a little kid out of a major chess tournament over what amounts to a minor schoolyard scuffle? Oh, puh-leese! If you have to devise a punishment, just do what they did in school: take the kid's ball away and give it back at the end of the tournament. And, if you must, order the parents to keep the kids separated. But tossing the kid out was a bit like using a cricket bat to swat a gnat. I'm a parent and, trust me, scuffles and disputes go on all the time; you have to use a little common sense when you're dealing with children and their misbehavior.
PUBLISHING ENGINE TOURNAMENTS ON THE INTERNET
by Steve Lopez
Last week, we looked at setting up chess engine tournaments. This week, we'll describe (briefly) how to "publish" them on the Interrant. This article will assume several prerequisites:
- You have a web page
- You have some basic familiarity with FTP (file transfer protocol), directory structure, and HTML formatting
- Your page's host allows FTP transfer (which leaves out some of the free hosts like Geocities, which recently changed their server to allow data uploads only through their File Manager web page and have disabled FTP uploading to the sites they host. Dang.)
Last week's ETN showed the dialogue in which you set up your engine tournament. By clicking the "Publish" button, you'll get the following dialogue:
The first step is to confirm that you want to put the event on the Interrant by checking the "Publish tournament" box. The next order of business is to tell the program where on the Web you want the games to be sent; this is accomplished through the various fields in the "Connection" section of the dialogue:
- Server address: this denotes the main FTP address of your server. For example, my personal homepage is hosted by Geocities. If they still allowed FTP transfer (dang!), I'd type "geocities.com" (without the quotes) in this field.
- Subdirectory: this denotes the directory on your page in which you'd like to have the tournament's files reside. It's definitely recommended that you create a subdirectory of your page for these files, otherwise they wind up in the root directory. The main page for the tournament will be called "index.html"; if you accidentally send the files to the root directory of your page, your original "index.html" won't be overwritten (the name will be changed to something like "oldindex.html") but visitors to your page will no longer see your original "Welcome" page -- they'll see the main page for the engine tournament instead. It would be better for you to create a subdirectory for the tournament. For example, if your tournament is called "0702" (see last week's ETN for info on naming your event), you might want to create a folder also called "0702". In my example, I'd type "/ludek dudek/0702" in this part of the dialogue (after creating the directory myself -- the Fritz program won't create it for the user).
- Identification: this is your user name on the server, the same one you normally use when uploading files or otherwise accessing your files via FTP.
- Password: the password you use when accessing the server via FTP.
You'll see a "Test" button at the end of this section of the dialoue. After you've filled in the requisite info, click this button to test your connection to the server and make sure that you've set the connection up correctly.
Finally, you can set how often the tournament files will be updated (in the "Update" section of the dialogue, of course). You can update the files every x number of minutes; this allows visitors to your site to view games in progress (this is especially useful for games played at longer time controls). If you'd rather have your tournament updated at the end of every game, you have the option to do this as well.
This is all you have to do in Fritz to have your engine tournament published on the Web. However, there are a few extra steps you'll want to take in order for your visitors to be able to get to the tournament.
Add a link on your main welcoming page that sends your visitors right to the tournament page. In my example, I'd add a description of the tournament with an accompanying button they'll click to go to the event's index page (in my case, the HREF behind the button would send them to "/0702/index.html"). I'd typically add this link before setting up the event; then, when I access my site via FTP to add the new directory for the tournament's files, I'd just upload the revised welcoming index page and the new button graphic at the same time. Do this in advance and add a "start time" to your index page, so that visitors know when to log in to view the games. Your visitors must also have Java scripting enabled in their Web browsers to be able to see the games, so it might be a good idea to provide this info as part of your description as well.
Your link will take the visitor to the tournament's index page. This will provide additional links to the individual games of the event. Clicking on one of these links jumps themn to a page in which they can play out the game on their browser using a Java-based chessboard. When you set up the event and start it, Fritz uploads the requisite chessboard graphics and Javasript plus updates the index and individual game pages automatically without any further intervention by you. And, while this next part comes under the general heading of "Duh", please remember that your computer has to be connected to the Interrant the whole time the tournament is in progress for these pages to be automatically updated.
Until next week, have fun!
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© 2002, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.