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Home * Protocols * Auto232

Zauberlehrling [1]

an autoplayer protocol based on the serial communication RS-232 standard. It was initially developed by Chrilly Donninger in the mid 90s to communicate with the Chess 232 Board. A MS-DOS TSR driver, available for various chess programs, was able to "hook" into their printer output to parse their moves played, and to redirect input and commands into the keyboard buffer to start new games and enter moves.

With two PCs, or two COM ports even with one computer [2], connected by a modified null-modem cable, it was now possible to play matches between two programs automaticly, a huge relief for testers and engine rating list organizations like SSDF. The Auto232 product with cable and software was purchased by CSS-Shop and Gambit-Soft.


A free Windows Auto232 driver written by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen [3] allowed automatic play also between Windows programs. Auto232 was further incorporated inside various GUIs and engines, but implementations were at times buggy and the protocol not that reliable specially concerning game termination [4]. With the advent and wider distribution of the standardized computer chess protocols such as the Chess Engine Communication Protocol aka WinBoard / XBoard and the Universal Chess Interface, Auto232 became obsolete and outdated.

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