The page is the online manual for HIARCS Palm Chess Pro 12.1. The manual is
under development and will evolve over the next few weeks.
The manual has the following sections:
Palm Menu System
The following menus are available in Palm HIARCS. Click the menu icon, button
or key to access the menu.
This menu is used for Game based operations as follows:
- New Game This enables you to
start a new game, you will be prompted to save the current game first if
- Offer Draw... This enable you to offer a draw to
Hiarcs. Hiarcs will either accept or decline the draw.
- Resign Game... This enables you to offer your resignation of
the game. Hiarcs will also resign for itself in hopeless positions. Hiarcs
does not resign on instant levels (except Challenger) or at Set Elo levels
below 1400 Elo because players at these weaker levels should practice
delivering checkmate. On the stronger abilities Hiarcs will resign if it
considers the position hopeless. When Hiarcs resigns the game result is set,
however, if you wish to play on you may and Hiarcs will not offer its
resignation again in that game enabling you to practice finishing the opponent
off to checkmate.
- Adjudicate... This enables you to adjudicate the
game result as a White win, Black win or Draw.
- Load Database This enables you to select a
database to load games from. Click for details on Load
- Load Next Game This command will load the next game in the
currently selected database. A very useful feature for stepping through the
- Load Game... This allows you to select a game to
load from the current selected database. Click for details
on Load Game.
- Save Game... This command will save the game in
the current selected database. You will first be offered the game details to
set, these details will be saved with the game helping you identify the game
in future. Click for details of Save Game.
- Import PGN... This command will open the memo pad and
identify any games and list them. You can then select a PGN game to load.
- Export PGN... This allows you to save the current
game in the memo pad database. You will first be offered the game details to
set, these details will be saved with the game helping you identify the game
in future. Games exported to the memo pad can be retrieved from the Palm
Desktop memo application and used on your desktop computer chess software.
- Edit Position... This command allows you to edit
the current position to set up your own position. Click for
details on Edit Position.
This menu is used for Move based operation and navigation as follows:
- Give Hint Asks Hiarcs to show
you what move it thinks you should make. This is shown graphically on the
- Takeback All Goes to the beginning of the game by
taking back all the moves. This can also be accessed by the VCR button.
- Takeback Takes back a single
move. This can also be accessed via the VCR button and the hardware up button.
- Forward Makes the
next move in the game. This can also be accessed via the VCR button and the
hardware down button.
- Forward All Goes to the last move played
in the current game. This can also be accessed by the VCR button.
- Prev Branch This commands Hiarcs to try to locate a
previously saved game branch in the current game. If it finds a corresponding
game branch, Hiarcs will save the current game as a game branch if it is
unsaved and then load the previous game branch.
- Next Branch This commands Hiarcs to try to locate the
next saved game branch for the current game and then load it.
- Prev Mistake Hiarcs checks back in the game for
any mistakes it can spot instantly. This only works if you have played a game
against Hiarcs on a non instant level. Mistakes are categorised as mistakes,
blunders and gross blunders.
- Next Mistake Hiarcs check forward in the game for any
mistakes it can spot instantly. This only works if you have played a game
against Hiarcs on a non instant level. Mistakes are categorised as mistakes,
blunders and gross blunders.
This menu is used for View based information as follows:
- Flip Board This will rotate the board 180 degrees
so you can play White or Black up the board.
- Game Details... This enables you to see the details of the
current game. Click for explanation of Game Details
- Board Styles... This brings up a dialog form
where you can configure the board colours, board size and piece set.
Click for details on Board Styles.
- Preferences... This brings up a dialog screen
form where you can set many of the general options. Click for
details of Preferences.
This menu is used for Hiarcs based information as follows:
- Move Now With Hiarcs thinking this command makes
Hiarcs move immediately. If Hiarcs is not thinking (its the players move),
this command will make Hiarcs change sides and start thinking. For example,
this command can be used to make Hiarcs play White at the beginning of a game
so you can play with the black pieces.
- Next Best This command used after Hiarcs has just
moved instructs Hiarcs to takeback its last move and compute the next best
move in the position.
- Level... This enables you
to open the Level dialog screen where you can configure the playing levels.
Click for details on the Level Screen.
- Time Controls... This enables you to open the Time
Control dialog screen where you can configure time controls.
Click for details on the Time Control screen.
- Play Role... This enables you to select the role
Hiarcs will take: Analysis, Watch or Play. Click for
details on the Play Role options.
- Auto Self Play... This command instructs Hiarcs
to beginning playing against itself from the current position.
- EngineRoom... This enables you to open the Engine
Room dialog screen where you can configure the Hiarcs engine settings.
Click for details of the Engine Room.
- About HIARCS... This opens a screen to give some
information about Hiarcs.
Load Database screen
This dialog lists the available databases and allows you to select a database
to open using the Load button. A database can be deleted from this screen using
the Delete button. The cancel button cancels the selection. The default
HiarcsGamesDB cannot be deleted.
Load Game screen
This dialog screen lists the games in the database. It displays each game in
the format Round, White, Black, Result, Event. The game can loaded by
selecting it from the list and tapping the Load button. In the case of the
HiarcsGamesDB there is also the option to Delete a game using the delete button.
Save Game screen
The Save Game option leads you to the Game Details dialog so you can update
the fields you wish before saving.
Edit Position screen
This screen allows you to edit the position. The Clear button can be used to
clear the board of pieces. The Abort button cancels the edit of the position and
returns to the position held before the edit session.
To edit the position, select/tap a piece of the required colour from the
palette on the right. Tap the square on which you wish to place the piece. If
the square already contains the piece selected it will be removed, otherwise the
selected piece will be placed on the square.
You can also set the position rights for the new position. You can select if
castling kingside or queenside is possible for white and black. You can select
the side to move/play and the file of any en-passant capture were it possible.
Finally the move number of the new position can be set. Hiarcs will not allow
you to set impossible rights, for example if the king is not on its origin
square castling is impossible.
The OK button should be used to accept the new edited position.
Game Details screen
The game details screen presents information about the game. You can set any
of the fields of the game details except the opening name and number of moves.
Board Styles screen
The Board Styles screen allows you to configure many aspects of the User
Interface. You can adjust colours of the Light and Dark Squares, together with
the highlights for squares and the background colour. You can adjust the board
size using the selector to set Medium, Large and Full screen board sizes. The
piece set to use can be selected from the Classic, Challenger and new Elite
pieces. Tap the OK button to accept the new settings. Tap the default button to
revert to the factory defaults. Tap the cancel button to cancel your changes.
The Preferences screen allows you to configure the more general preferences
and various other options.
The rating is maintained from the games you play against Hiarcs. It is an
estimate but its accuracy improves the more games you play.
You can select the players in the game and this effects the role played by
Hiarcs. You can set:
|You vs HIARCS - this is normal play mode where you play the
|Two Player - this is watch mode where you can enter moves and
Hiarcs just watches for legal moves but does NOT analyse|
|Two Player Analysis - this is analysis mode where Hiarcs will
analyse while you enter the moves|
|HIARCS vs HIARCS - this is auto play mode where Hiarcs will play
against itself from the current position|
You can also select the auto off period as default (that set by Palm
preferences - normally 2 mins), 5, 10, 15 mins and Always ON. The always ON
setting is never saved in case you forget it is set and accidentally drain your
battery. If a low battery warning occurs Palm Hiarcs will automatically switch
The various checkbox preferences are as follows:
|VCR controls - this option when on presents VCR like controls for
game navigation in medium and large board sizes.|
|Extended PGN - this option instructions Hiarcs to save move time
and evaluation information in exported games. This information can be used by
desktop software such as Chessbase to present extra information about the
|Shuffle - this option sets Hiarcs to set up a random chess960/fischer
random chess position each time you start a new game. Only normal castling
rules are observed.|
|Coaching - this option when on tells Hiarcs to using its coach to
spot bad moves played and warn you, giving you the chance to takeback the move
or ignore the coach!|
|Flip Board - this when ON option flips/rotates the board.|
|Sound - this option can be used to which sound on or off.|
|5 Way Move Entry - this option when on allows you to enter moves
using the 5 way keys on some palms. Not recommended unless you have a Palm
with these keys and prefer this mode of move entry|
|Smart Move Entry - this option when ON sets Hiarcs to allow one
single tap on the destination square for only moves.|
|Show Legal Moves - this option when ON instructs Hiarcs to show you
the legal moves of any piece you select so you can see which moves are legal.|
|Show Book Moves - this option when ON instructs Hiarcs to show book
moves available in the current position. These are displayed on medium and
large board sizes.|
|Short Notation - this option when ON tells Hiarcs to show shortened
Playing Levels screen
The Playing Levels screen allows you to set many aspects of the playing
level. Click any of the following to read more.
There are many levels to select from as follows:
- Instant Sparring - these are beginner sparring levels which are
instant, they are in Elo steps of 50 Elo from 750 Elo to 1200 Elo
- Casual Move Time Presets - this is a settable time for which Hiarcs
will aim to think, sometimes more, sometimes less
- Game In Preset - this is a set time for which each side must play
all their moves
- Move Bonus Preset - this is a set of time controls including time
bonuses for each move (ie. fischer increments)
- Time Control Preset - these are predefined traditional time
- User Time Controls - this allows you to fine tune any time control
within a framework of three time controls and increments
- Infinite - this setting tells Hiarcs to think forever or until it
exhausts it's search
You can view the presets in their categories below.
Beginner Instant Sparring
Casual Move Time Presets
Game In Preset
Time Control Preset
Move Entry Bonus
For any level you can set the Move Entry Bonus - this is a bonus time between
1 and 5 seconds which is allowed for you to enter a move. Your clock cannot gain
time if you use less than the bonus time for a move, but when using time to
enter you move your clock will gain up to the bonus time. This gives you a
little extra time to enter your moves and avoid losing on time.
Handicap Limit HIARCS chess strength
Class of Elo
To handicap/limit HIARCS to a specific Elo strength you should check the
Handicap/Limit checkbox. Once selected, you can then either select the exact Elo
you entering it into the numeric Actual Set Elo field or use the arrow buttons
to decrement/increment the Elo count. The alternative is to use the Class
selector to choose an Elo range. If you select a range at or above the maximum
strength on your device Hiarcs will automatically switch off the handicap.
The minimum Elo is set to 750 Elo for all Palm devices. The maximum Elo is
computed based on the performance of your device and hence this figure varies
widely between devices depending on the performance of the underlying hardware,
especially the CPU.
Time Control screen
The time control screen enables you to set the number of moves to play in a
time period and an increment for each of up to 3 time controls. Additionally you
can define the number of times each time control is used. A zero for the moves
indicates that ALL moves should be played. A star will appear in the "x times"
field where the time control should repeat, the last time control
Play Role options
The Hiarcs Role message box gives you the choice to set what Hiarcs' role in
the current game should be. Choose Analyse to get Hiarcs to begin analysing the
current position while it awaits you moves which it will continuously analyse.
To have Hiarcs just watch as you enter move select/tap the Watch button. To
simply play a game against Hiarcs select/tap Play Game.
Engine Room screen
The Engine Room screen allows you to configure the HIARCS chess engine in
detail. Select/tap the OK button to apply any changes to the Engine Room
settings. Select/tap the Optimise button to set the parameters to their optimum
settings. To cancel any changes tap the Cancel button.
The following options can be checked on or off:
|Learn Positions - when on, Hiarcs will try to learn from the positions it
plays or analyses to improve its future performance. Default is ON.|
|Smart Search - when on, Hiarcs will use a smart search approach which is
normally more effective. Default is ON.|
|Perm. Brain - when on, Hiarcs will use the time when it is your move to
continue thinking about its future moves in response to the move it expects
you to make next. Please be aware permanent brain can drain the battery more
because Hiarcs spends more time thinking and therefore you will be warned
about this if Perm Brain is ON when you click OK. For tournament games or for
optimum performance this setting should be ON.|
|Avoid Draws - when on, Hiarcs will try to avoid draws where it can without
risky defeat too much. Default is OFF.|
|Combinations - when on, Hiarcs explores tactical combinations in more
depth which should improve tactical strength but at the cost of some
positional strength. Default is OFF.|
|Deep Search - when on, Hiarcs performs a deeper search analysis which
normally proves to be very effective. Default is ON.|
The following options can be selected from the pop up selectors:
You can set Hiarcs to Show its Thinking in the following ways:
|Off - no thinking shown|
|First Move - shows just the next move Hiarcs is considering|
|Full Variation - shows the full variation Hiarcs is currently intending|
|Full Analysis - show the full variation but also during thinking on the
You can also set the Hash Table size for the engine. The available hash
tables depend on the available dynamic ram on your device.
Three playing styles are available, Normal, Aggressive and Solid with Normal
being the default.
You can configure the depth to which threats are computed ahead with the
Threat Depth setting. The default of 5 is the best since it spots impeding
threats better for both sides.
The search can be configured for its degree of selectivity. The most
effective setting is the Extremely Selective option which allows Hiarcs to reach
greater search depths at little risk.
You can download many opening books from
www.hiarcs.com including the small, medium, large and full books. The book
choice can be selected between a number of settings:
|Off - Book is not consulted.|
|Wild - Hiarcs will try to play a very wide variety of book moves often
leading to wild risky lines of play|
|Surprise - Hiarcs will play surprising lines which are generally a
stronger choice than the Wild book moves|
|Playable - Hiarcs will select from a set of generally playable lines|
|Tournament - Hiarcs will select from the best moves available. This is the
book setting that should be used for all important games or tournaments since
the level of play achieved is higher.|
When analysing or trying out different game continuations you can use the
unique game branch feature of Hiarcs Chess Pro.
Let us look at an example to see how this new feature works.
Here we are analysing game variations. We reach this position at the start of
the modern Sicilian defence. Here we start analysing the Najdorf continutation
5...a6 and follow a line reaching this position:
Now I decide to go back to the first position diagram and try a Sicilian
Dragon with 5...g6.
At this point Hiarcs detects a possible game branch and asks if how you wish
to treat the current game. Your can choose one of the following options:
|Overwrite - this means the existing game continuation (Sicilian Najdorf)
will be overwritten with the new move and subsequent moves|
|Branch - this means Hiarcs will save the current game continuation to the
Hiarcs Game Database and will start a new continuation with the move 5...g6|
|Cancel - this means Hiarcs will cancel the move 5...g6 and return to the
I choose to the Branch option and I then continue to enter moves in this new
game variation reaching the following position:
Now I wish to go back to the previous game branch to re-look at it so I
select the Prev Branch menu option:
Hiarcs now saves the current branch (which was the Sicilian Dragon) and
returns to the previous game branch which was the Sicilian Najdorf variation.
You can press the forward button to move through the Sicilian Najdorf line.
At anytime you can go back to the Sicilian Dragon line by selecting the Next
Branch menu item.
In the event no more branches are found in the direction requested you will
see the following error:
Hiarcs will store how the game branches are related in the event header using
a special symbol. As a result if you later load a game with game branches you
can navigate forward and/or backwards through the game branches using the Next
Branch and Prev Branch menu items.
In addition when deleting a game from the Hiarcs Game Database, if Hiarcs
notices it is part of a set of related game branches you will be offer the
option of deleting all the game branches at the same time. In this way to can
manage the Hiarcs Games Database better.