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  • This is the manual for pbchess version 1.2.5. You can find manual for the previous version 1.2.4 here
  • This is just a brief guide. I do not have time to write the complete one. If you are looking for something specific then please ask your question on our forum.

Technical support

You can ask for the technical support and report problems at our forum. Please take in mind that you very first post/topic should be approved by me (to prevent spam). Usually my answers don't take a lot of time.

New features

  1. Game with time controls. There are several type of time controls: game time + bonus (for human and engines), move time (for engines), search depth (for engines); You can add your own time controls!
  2. Puzzles statistics. The time and number of fails are collected for each solved puzzle. You can now see your statistics (total, average time, total, average fails, etc); you also can find the worst puzzle in the whole database, reset it and solve it again!
  3. Various operations with moves / variants: delete moves before, delete moves after, promote variation, move variation (top, bottom, up, down), delete variation.
  4. Various chess board display options. E.g. fast update mode for slow eink devices, hide keyboard cursor for touch devices, etc.
  5. Show which turn to move.
  6. A very comfortable layout system which allows to very quickly change visual components proportions (header, board, notation). You also can add your own layouts!
  7. “Engine vs engine” playing mode.
  8. Export database to PGN format.
  9. Pawn promotion dialog.
  10. NAG support (show $1 as !, $2 as ?, … etc).
  11. Chess problems with multiple solutions.
  12. Possibility to suspend/resume engines and to make moves instead of them.
  13. Possibility to enter players' names by means of virtual keyboard for touch and non-touch devices.
  14. Possibility to create a new empty base.

Bonus games

Bonus games (Sokoban, Checkers, Reversi, … in the future I plan to add more games) are included in all the pbchess builds for e-books except PocketBook builds*. They are free for those who registered chess. You need to apply your registration key in order to use these games. To do this, copy your key file from pbchess-1.2.5 directory to each game (sokoban, checkers, reversi directories) after registration of chess.

To install bonus games you should have pbchess installed. See below how to install pbchess and games.

(*) Bonus games are not included into PocketBook build of pbchess. You need to download and install them separately.


General information

  1. Is not necessary to remove the previous version of pbchess to install this version. They can operate without interfering with each other. Save somewhere your cdb and pgn files and your license key if you intent to delete the previous version.
  2. After installation add your license key (if you have one). Key is now inserted in the program: Menu / Settings / Registration. You must enter the first 10 characters of your existing 32-character key.
  3. You can also add you bases from the previous program installation.

Windows and Linux

Does not require installation. Just unzip the archive into your home directory* (where you have write permissions) and run pbchess.exe for Windows version and pbchess for Linux version.

For the Linux version you should know what Linux are you using (32 or 64 bit) and download right archive.

(*) Directory name limitation. Full path to it should contain latin symbols only (e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\Users\MyName).


Firmware requirements

  • When installing on older models - PocketBook 301+ or 360, you firmware must be at least 15.3 (forum). If you have an older firmware and do not want or can not upgrade, please use version 1.2.3.
  • When installing on PocketBook 611, your firmware must be at least 15.5 (forum). The previous (15.4) firmware (15.4) has some screen update bugs.

Installation steps

  1. Unpack the archive.
  2. Copy pbchess-1.2.5 directory into flash root.
  3. Copy from the applications folder into the same folder of your book (note that in some models a folder with applications is called games).
  4. Safely disconnect your PocketBook from PC.
  5. Run from applications.

Pocket Book 622 (Touch)

If the side applications (e.g. pbchess) are not visible in the applications folder after copying, then remove the User Applications file from the applications folder (forum).

Amazon Kindle

All the eink models

You must install either KUAL (for all the Kindles) or launchpad (for K2, K3, KDX only) first.

Common actions

  1. Install KUAL or launchpad if not installed.
  2. Unpack the archive.
  3. Copy the vlasovsoft folder into flash root.


  1. Copy the extensions folder into flash root.
  2. Safely disconnect your kindle from PC.
  3. Start KUAL.
  4. Select the vlasovsoft group.
  5. Run any application (e.g. pbchess, checkers, …).


  1. Copy the launchpad folder into flash root.
  2. Safely disconnect your kindle from PC.
  3. Update launchpad configuration by pressing Shift Shift Space.
  4. Run any application (e.g. pbchess: Shift V C).
  5. You can view or edit launchpad hotkeys in the flash root/launchpad/vlasovsoft.ini file.

Kobo Touch, Glo, Mini, Aura

Firmware version required: 2.6.1 and above. Go to MENU/Settings/Device information/“Software Version” to check it.

  1. Unpack the archive
  2. Connect your Kobo to computer via USB
  3. Copy the KoboRoot.tgz file from the archive to flash root/.kobo
  4. Safely disconnect your kobo reader from the computer
  5. Wait for update and restart finish
  6. Connect your Kobo to computer via USB again
  7. Safely disconnect your kobo reader from the computer

After these steps you'll see the launcher icon on your kobo bookshelf:

KoboLauncher application menu should appear after this icon activation.

Onyx Boox

  1. Unpack the archive.
  2. Copy pbchess-1.2.5 directory to flash root.
  3. Copy bonus games (sokoban, checkers, reversi directories) to flash root if you need them.
  4. Safely disconnect you reader from PC.
  5. Run the program: go to pbchess-1.2.5 folder and exec pbchess.oar.

Onyx Box A60S (and probably A60, M90) users should run pbchess.a60.oar or pbchess.m90.oar.



You can change user interface language: Menu / Settings / View / Language.

But first, please download the latest translations file messages.lng, unpack it and replace original translations/messages.lng in the installed pbchess.

Touch devices

  1. To hide the keyboard cursor (dashed rectangle), turn off “Use joystick” in Menu / Settings / Board.

Non touch devices

  1. To increase the keyboard cursor movement velocity try the following options in the board settings dialog (Menu / Settings / Board): Update=Fast, Grid=On, Cursor=1 (cursor thickness; can be also 2,3,4).
  2. You can change also cursor thickness (Menu / Settings / Board / Cursor)

Kindle 2,3,DX,4

  1. Sometimes after program launch or exit from sleep mode you need to refresh the screen manually by pressing either “Home” or “Space” key. You also can refresh the screen using main menu.
  2. Kindle 2,3 and DX users can switch between pbchess and kindle shell using Alt+Shift keys (not simultaneously, but quickly one by one). It's necessary to refresh the screen after switch from Kindle shell to pbchess (see above).

You can call the main menu using one of the following ways:

  1. For the touch devices - tap on the center of the header area (above the board);
  2. For the non-touch devices - use MENU button (Amazon Kindle, Onyx Boox, PocketBook);
  3. For the non-touch devices - long press of OK button (some PocketBook devices have no MENU button).


pbchess uses the dialog windows for the settings modification, opening files and new game creation, etc. Use the following keys for the dialogs:

  • Cursor UP and DOWN keys for selecting the control you want to modify.
  • Cursor RIGHT key for accept the changes in dialog (dialog Ok button analog).
  • Cursor LEFT key for reject the changes in dialog (dialog Cancel button analog).
  • Cursor OK key for the controls modification.

In the file dialogs (Open base, Import PGN) you should select the file you want to open with cursor and press cursor OK or RIGHT.


To start a new game:

  1. Activate: Menu / New game.
  2. The “New game” dialog should appear;
  3. Select opponents.
  4. You can change players' names here.
  5. You can unset “Add to base” flag. It means that this game will not be saved into the current base an it will be lost after the device turning off or another game selection. It is use
  6. You can set “From current position” flag. It means that the new game will be started directly from position that was on the chess board before the new game creation.
  7. Use the “Swap” button to swap colors with you opponent.
  8. Press “Play” button (or RIGHT cursor button) to start a new game.
  9. Press “Cancel” button (or LEFT cursor button) to cancel.

I guess that you can understand yourself how to move.

For the touch devices you can move either using the “tap-tap” way or using the “drag-and-drop” way.

New game

Solving puzzles

We already have big chess exercises collection in our site. To work with it you should:

  1. Download a puzzles base here.
  2. Unpack it.
  3. Copy CDB or PGN file to your device into the pbchess/chess directory.
  4. For CDB file you should simple open it: Menu/Base/Open.
  5. For PGN file, you should import it: Menu/Base/Import PGN. This file will be converted to CDB file with the same name and opened. Starting from this moment you should work with CDB file and don't need the PGN file any more.
  6. Some bases (e.g. Ivashenko, Kalinichenko) are ordered by exercises types, difficulty and so on. They have contents that you can use for navigation: Menu/Base/Contents.


Tips to beginners

Set game level

It's not very interesting to lose every time. Thus it is necessary to increase the level step by step:

  1. Set up the weakest chess engine - hoichess and controls=1ply when starting a new game.
  2. Go to the next level (2ply → 3ply → …) if you easily can win.
  3. Do not go to the next level if you can't beat the program.
  4. You can set another (more serious) engine such as gnuchess, fruit, stockfish if you reach level of 3-4 ply.

It's not enough only to play to increase your level. You should also work with chess exercises. For the beginners I can recommend “The manual of chess combinations” by S. Ivashenko and for more advanced level: N. M. Kalinichenko “Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations”.

en/pbchess-1.2.5.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/25 16:10 (external edit)