cmail



CMAIL(6)                                                              CMAIL(6)




NAME

       cmail - an email chess helper


SYNOPSIS

       cmail [options]


DESCRIPTION

       The  cmail  program will help you play chess by email with opponents of
       your choice using an X interface.  To use it, you will need to be  able
       to  run  xboard with which cmail is distributed, available by anonymous
       FTP from numerous sites around the  world.  It  has  been  tested  with
       xboard 3.2; it may require modification for other versions.


OPTIONS

       You  will  usually  run cmail without giving any options.  See the next
       section for instructions.

       -h      Displays cmail usage information.

       -c      Shows the conditions of the GNU General Public License.

       -w      Shows the warranty notice of the GNU General Public License.

       -[x]v   Provides or inhibits verbose output from cmail and xboard, use-
               ful  for debugging. The -xv form also inhibits the cmail intro-
               duction message.

       -[x]mail
               Invokes or inhibits the sending of a  mail  message  containing
               the move.

       -[x]xboard
               Invokes or inhibits the running of xboard on the game file.

       -[x]reuse
               Invokes  or inhibits the reuse of an existing xboard to display
               the current game.

       -remail Resends the last mail message for that game. This inhibits run-
               ning xboard.

       -game name
               The name of the game to be processed.

       -(w|b|)games number
               Number  of  games  to  start  as  White,  as Black or in total.
               Default is 1 as white and none as black. If only one colour  is
               specified  then  none  of  the  other  colour is assumed. If no
               colour is specified then equal numbers of White and Black games
               are  started, with the extra game being as White if an odd num-
               ber of total games is specified.

       -(me|opp) short name
               A one-word alias for yourself or your opponent.

       -(w|b|my|opp)name full name
               The full name of White, Black, yourself or your opponent.

       -(w|b|my|opp)na net address
               The email address of White, Black, yourself or your opponent.

       -dir directory
               The directory in which cmail keeps its files. This defaults  to
               the environment variable $CMAIL_DIR or failing that, $CHESSDIR,
               $HOME/Chess or ~/Chess. It will  be  created  if  it  does  not
               exist.

       -arcdir directory
               The directory in which cmail archives completed games. Defaults
               to the environment variable $CMAIL_ARCDIR or, in  its  absence,
               the same directory as cmail keeps its working files (above).

       -mailprog mail program
               The program used by cmail to send email messages. This defaults
               to the environment variable  $CMAIL_MAILPROG  or  failing  that
               "/usr/ucb/Mail",  "/usr/ucb/mail"  or  "Mail". You will need to
               set this variable if none of the above paths fit your system.

       -gamesFile file
               A file containing a list of games with  email  addresses.  This
               defaults  to  the  environment variable $CMAIL_GAMES or failing
               that .cmailgames.

       -aliasesFile file
               A file containing one or  more  aliases  for  a  set  of  email
               addresses.   This   defaults   to   the   environment  variable
               $CMAIL_ALIASES or failing that .cmailaliases.

       -logFile file
               A file in which to dump verbose  debugging  messages  that  are
               invoked with the -v option.

       -event event
               The PGN Event tag (default "Email correspondence game").

       -site site
               The PGN Site tag (default "NET").

       -round round
               The PGN Round tag (default "-", not applicable).

       -mode mode
               The PGN Mode tag (default "EM", Electronic Mail).



OTHER OPTIONS

       Any  unrecognised  flags  will be passed to xboard. Those most relevant
       for use with cmail are:

       -timeDelay (or -td) delay
               This sets the speed at which the moves are displayed on  start-
               up.  It  defaults to the environment variable $CMAIL_TIME_DELAY
               if set, and 0 otherwise.

       -noChessProgram (True | False), or -[x]ncp
               If this option is False, xboard starts a  chess  program  which
               can be used with cmail to suggest moves.  Default: True.

       -searchTime (or -st) minutes[:seconds]
               Tells  GNU  Chess  to  spend  at  most the given amount of time
               searching for each of its  moves.   Without  this  option,  GNU
               Chess  chooses its search time based on the number of moves and
               amount of time remaining until the next time control.

       -searchDepth (or -sd) number
               Tells GNU Chess to look ahead at most the given number of moves
               when  searching  for  a move to make.  Without this option, GNU
               Chess chooses its search depth based on the number of moves and
               amount of time remaining until the next time control.

       -saveGameFile (or -sgf) file
               If  this  option  is  set,  xboard appends a record of the game
               played to the specified file on exit.

       -autosave or -autoSaveGames
               If this option is True, at the end of every game xboard prompts
               you for a filename and appends a record of the game to the file
               you specify.

       -savePositionFile (or -spf) file
               If this option  is  set,  xboard  appends  the  final  position
               reached to the specified file on exit.

       -boardSize (or -size) (Large | Medium | Small)
               Determines  how large the board will be and what built-in piece
               bitmaps will be used.  On a large board (the  default),  pieces
               are  80x80  pixels,  on  a  medium board 64x64 pixels, and on a
               small board 40x40 pixels.


STARTING A GAME

       Type cmail from a shell to start a game as  white.   After  an  opening
       message,  you will be prompted for a game name, which is optional -- if
       you simply press return, the game name will take the form  you-VS-oppo-
       nent.   You  will next be prompted for the short name of your opponent.
       If you haven't played this person before, you will also be prompted for
       his/her  email  address.   cmail  will  then invoke xboard in the back-
       ground.  Make your first move and select Mail Move from the File  menu.
       If all is well, cmail will mail a copy of the move to your opponent. If
       you select Exit without having selected Mail Move then no move will  be
       made.


ANSWERING A MOVE

       When you receive a message from an opponent containing a move in one of
       your games, simply pipe the message through  cmail.   In  some  mailers
       this  is  as simple as typing "| cmail" when viewing the message, while
       in others you may have to save the message to a file and  do  "cmail  <
       file"  at the command line.  In either case cmail will display the game
       using xboard. If you didn't exit xboard when you made your  first  move
       then  cmail  will  do  its  best  to use the existing xboard instead of
       starting a new one. As before, simply make a move and select Mail  Move
       from  the  File  menu.  cmail  will try to use the xboard that was most
       recently used to display the current game. This means that  many  games
       can be in progress simultaneously, each with its own active xboard.

       If  you  want  to look at the history or explore a variation, go ahead,
       but you must return to the current position before  xboard  will  allow
       you  to  mail  a  move.  If you edit the game's history you must select
       Reload Same Game from the File menu to get back to the  original  posi-
       tion,  then make the move you want and select Mail Move.  As before, if
       you decide you aren't ready to make a move  just  yet  you  can  either
       select  Exit  without sending a move or just leave xboard running until
       you are ready.


COMPLETING A GAME

       Because xboard can now detect checkmate and stalemate, cmail  now  han-
       dles game termination sensibly. As well as resignation, the Action menu
       now allows draws to be offered and accepted for cmail games.

       For multi-game messages, only unfinished and just-finished  games  will
       be  included  in  email messages. When all the games are finished, they
       are archived in the user's archive  directory,  and  similarly  in  the
       opponent's  when  he  or she pipes the final message through cmail. The
       archive file name includes the date the game was started.


MULTI-GAME MESSAGES

       It's possible to have a cmail message carry more than  one  game.  This
       feature  was  implemented  to  handle  IECG  (International Email Chess
       Group) matches, where a match consists of 1 game  as  white  and  1  as
       black,  with  moves  transmitted simultaneously. In case there are more
       general uses, cmail itself places no limit on the number of black/white
       games contained in a message; however, xboard does.


TROUBLE SHOOTING

       It's possible that a strange conjunction of conditions may occasionally
       mean that cmail has trouble reactivating an existing  xboard.  If  this
       should  happen,  simply trying it again should work. If not, remove the
       file that stores the xboard's  PID  (<game>.pid)  or  use  the  -xreuse
       option to force cmail to start a new xboard.

       Versions  of  cmail after 2.16 no longer understand the old file format
       that xboard used to use and so cannot be used to correspond with anyone
       using an older version.

       Versions of cmail older than 2.11 do not handle multi-game messages, so
       multi-game correspondence is not possible with opponents using an older
       version.


FILES

       ".cmailgames"  contains a list of games with the email addresses of the
       opponents.

       ".cmailaliases" contains one  or  more  aliases  for  a  set  of  email
       addresses.


BUGS

       No known bugs.


BUG REPORTS

       I  make  no  promises  but  if  you  send  bug  reports/suggestions  to
       Evan.Welsh@msdw.com I'll do my best to fix/implement them.


AUTHOR

       Copyright (C) 1993  Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       cmail is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it  under
       the  terms  of  the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
       Software Foundation; either version 2  of  the  License,  or  (at  your
       option) any later version.

       cmail  is  distributed  in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
       ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of  MERCHANTABILITY  or
       FITNESS  FOR  A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License
       for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with  cmail;  if  not,  write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59
       Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111 USA.

       Author:   Evan Welsh <Evan.Welsh@msdw.com>


CONTRIBUTORS

       Patrick Surry helped with design, testing and documentation.

       Tim Mann helped integrate cmail with xboard.


SEE ALSO

       Mail(1), perl(1), xboard(1)



                                                                      CMAIL(6)

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