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Shogi Variants - Version History

--------------------------------
13 August 2001 - Finally got around to including the Visual Basic runtime
library in the program package.

Version 1.55a (of 14 May '98) - (Probably the last minor release before
Version 1.6)
- Fixed the problem of the program occasionally incorrectly identifying
'Check' as 'Checkmate'.
- Corrected the problem of a player being able to leave their King in
check if giving check themselves.
- Fixed the move of the White Tiger on the Dai-Dai Shogi piece help scre
en.

Version 1.55 (of 30 April '98)


The changes include:
- Added the capacity to replay moves that have been previously taken bac
k.
- The code for taking back moves has been completely rewritten and impro
ved,
and a further user option for taking back moves has been added.
- The player can now toggle the moves of a game forward and backwards us
ing the
TAB and BACKSPACE keys, or jump straight to the first or last move by
pressing
SHIFT+DEL or SHIFT+INS.
- An option has been added to display the influence and threats of all p
ieces
and
keep the influence map on screen until a key or mouse button is
pressed. This option
is activated by the tilde '~' key.
- Fixed some problems with the configuration settings of loaded games.

Improvements planned for Version 1.6 include:


---------------------------------------------
- Further speed improvements for the computer opponent and a third
level of difficulty.
- Improved AI for the computer player at its higher levels (this
will be my main priority).
- The option of a computer opponent for Tenjiku Shogi
- The addition of an alternate An-nan (Korean) rule-set for all
variants. Under these rules a protected piece moves as any of the
pieces protecting it. An-nan rules will make even the smallest
variants very challenging, and will provide unique opportunities
to checkmate your opponent with your own King!
- The option of sound effects and introductory music.
- The capacity to save board positions as graphics rather than text.
- I also very much want to add Tsume (problem) solving capabilities,
and may have this feature ready in time for Version 1.6.
- I may also finally add an alternative 'International' piece set for
some variants.
- I will FULLY implement the special Lion capture rules in Chu Shogi.
- Anything else I can think of between now and then.

Version 1.54 (of 23 April '98)


The changes include:
- Fixed a number of bugs that occurred only when the 'Show Legal Move'
option was set to off. These included the fact that the computer did
not correctly detect check and checkmate, errors in the move of the
Emperor and in application of the Lion protection rules in Chu Shogi.
(Thanks again to Rikard Nordgren for the report)
- Continuing problems with the computer occasionally leaving its King in
check have now been totally cured. (The earlier fix in version 1.53 on
ly
reduced the incidence of the problem).

Version 1.53 (of 19 April '98)


The changes include:
- The bug that allowed a player to move a King next to the
opponent's King has been fixed. (This move is now only possible
if a player has more than one King-type piece)
- The speed of the flashing of the last moved piece is not now
dependent upon CPU speed (ie: the piece will now flash at the
same speed on a 486 as on a Pentium II)
- A bug that caused the computer player to occasionally ignore the
fact that its King was in check has been fixed
- There have been a number of changes to the AI. The most significant
of which are that the computer will generally promote a piece even
if it considers that it will be immediately lost, and it should now
be less likely to make some of the foolhardy attacking moves it made
at the higher playing level in version 1.52
- The kanji (Japanese characters) of the 'Horned Falcon' and 'Soaring
Eagle' on the Tai Help Screen are now the right way around.
(Thanks to Rikard Nordgren for reporting this problem)
- It is now possible to effectively pass a turn with a Lion powered
piece by double-clicking on it. (Thanks to Rikard for reporting this
oversight as well)
- The name of the executable file has been changed to "ShogiVar.exe".
This name will be retained for future versions to assist with
upgrades.

Version 1.52 (of 13 April '98)


The changes include:
- Full implementation of the move of the 'Emperor' in Tai Shogi and
Maka-Dai-Dai Shogi
- The addition of a computer opponent for the Tai and Maka-Dai-Dai
variants (leaving Tenjiku Shogi as the only variant that does not
support a computer opponent)
- Fixed a bug in Dai-Dai Shogi that occasionally caused the computer
player's pieces to promote inappropriately.
- Added an option that makes a moving piece flash for several seconds
after the computer has made a move (to assist the beginner in followin
g
the game) - Thanks to John Bailey for the suggestion.
- Pressing the space bar during a game at any stage will also now highli
ght
the last moved piece.
- Fixed a bug in the AI for Shogi that hindered the development of the
computer's pieces.
- Increased the randomness of the computer's moves (to produce more vari
ation
in the game of the computer opponent).
- Improved the AI when dealing with multiple exchanges in the bigger gam
es.
- Various other small bug fixes and changes.

Version 1.51 (of 27 March '98)


Fixed a significant problem with the AI in the 25 March release that caused
the computer to make unfavourable exchanges of pieces in the higher difficulty
level.

Version 1.5 (of 25 March '98)


The changes include:
- The addition of two new variants
- Christian Freeling's Yari Shogi &
- Judkin's Shogi (also known as Mini-shogi Plus)
- Increases in the speed of the computer opponent at its basic level
by 3 to 8 times (depending on variant)
- The addition of a higher level of computer opponent (this
level is only partially developed and will be enhanced in future
versions)
- The program now stops the game on checkmate (rather than requiring
the capture of the King, or whatever).
- Completed games can now be saved and reviewed.
- The program files are now distributed as a self-extracting archive
with all the data files in a separate directory from the main program
- Pieces in check are now shown in 'red' on the move influence screen
- Fixed some problems in the games with multiple king-type pieces
- Fixed the crashes that occurred in Version 1.45 if certain menu
selections were made during the computer's move
- Fixed the move of the Vermillion Sparrow in Tai (thanks to Dave
Oliphant for the bug report)
- Fixed the move of the White Tiger on the Tai Help Screen (ditto)
- Corrected a minor problem with the implementation of the special
Lion capture rules in Chu and fully automated the validation checks
for Lion moves in this variant (However, the restriction on not being
able to capture a Lion on a second square if the first square is a Paw
n
or Go-Between has not yet been implemented).
- Added a computer opponent for Chu Shogi, Dai Shogi and Dai-Dai Shogi
(only the weakest level of play is currently available for these
variants)
- Various other bug fixes and minor changes

Also new bugs added!


- The computer versus computer option is broken (I will fix this as
soon as possible)
- The Evaluation option no longer works as it should (ditto) :-(

Version 1.45 (of 10 Nov '97)


The changes included:
- Initial support for a computer opponent for the games up to
Wa Shogi (11x11)
- Other improvements and options resulting from the addition of a
computer opponent such as Suggesting moves, Evaluating game
positions, etc
- The program saves game preferences on exiting.
- The program recognises (and prevents) pawn drops that would
result in checkmate.
- Many other minor & cosmetic changes.

Version 1.41 (of 18 Oct '97)


Fixed a few bugs in 1.4 in particular the one that made Wa unplayable except
with drops.

Version 1.4 (of 7 Oct '97)


Contained a number bugfixes/changes from Version 1.3
The changes included:
- Program now recognises 'Check'. (Finally!)
- Added provision to show all pieces threatening or protecting any
given square or piece on the board (This is activated by a right
mouse click on the square or piece).
- Added the capacity to analyse the influence of friendly and
enemy pieces on all squares (Left Mouse Click on any vacant
square to activate).
- Improved graphics for Shogi itself (& the smaller variants using
shogi pieces).
- Changed the scoring notation to be in line with the usual notation
for shogi (ie: the starting square not given unless more than one
piece of the same type can reach the destination square).
- Changed many aspects of the game interface to reduce the number
of intrusive dialog boxes.
- Added an auto-promotion option for shogi and some variants.
- Improved the text diagrams creation routines (diagrams can now be
produced in a format identical to that recommended for use in posts
to the Shogi-L discussion list)
- Added the option to produce smaller format text diagrams.
- Added the option to dump the game score to a text file, and
changed the format of printed scores.
- Fixed some further small bugs associated with the "take back moves"
option.
- Fixed a serious (fatal) bug in the game set-up "move piece"
routines.
- Changed the 'Add Pieces' set-up routines so that ALL pieces are
available to be added.
- Made a number of small cosmetic changes to the graphics.
- Finally dropped the label "Beta". (Not because there are no more
bugs (there are plenty), but because the program has been around
for too long to get away with using that particular excuse
for its shortcomings)

Version 1.3 Introduced the variants Whale Shogi and Micro/Poppy Shogi, and
fixed several minor bugs (such as correcting the move of the Heavenly
Tetrarchs in Tenjiku, and improving the Take Back Move routines).
This Version also included provision for saving board positions as text.
Version 1.2.1a fixed a couple of minor bugs. Most notably problems with
graphics in Wa on certain machines & a fatal promotion bug for one of the
pieces in Maka-Dai-Dai, and an incorrect move in one of the pieces in Wa.
Version 1.2.1 fixed a bug (introduced in version 1.2) that caused graphics
problems on some systems when the program was run in 256 colour mode.

Version 1.2 contained several bugfixes/changes from Version 1.1.


The changes included:
- another variant (Mini-Shogi) was added.
- the capacity to rotate the board was added.
- minor errors in interpretation of the ranging piece moves in
Tenjiku were fixed.
- bugs causing problems with the move of the Lion and Fire Demon in
in Tenjiku were fixed.
- errors with move of the Emperor in Maka-Dai-Dai and Tai Shogi were
addressed.
- alternative moves for the Lion Hawk in Tenjiku and the Teaching
King in Maka-Dai-Dai and Tai Shogi were added.
- several other minor cosmetic changes were made.

Version 1.1 contained a number of amendments from Version 1.0 and was
released in April 1996.
The changes included:
- errors in the initial set-up for Middle Shogi were fixed.
- errors in recognizing the end of the game when Crown Princes and
Kings/Emperors are in play in the larger variants were fixed.
- 2 more variants (Heian Shogi and Little Shogi) were added to the
program.
- a new improved opening screen (with load game options) was
included.
- The game clocks could be turned on and off.
- A number of other small bugs were fixed and cosmetic changes made.

Version 1.0 was released in January 1996.