ExaChess FAQ

If you have any questions about ExaChess, please contact Exant Software. Rolf Exner, the creator of and programmer behind ExaChess and the principal of Exant Software, will be pleased to answer all your questions.

Before you do, you might like to read through the Frequently Asked Questions and answers below, just in case the question you have has already been asked and answered.

How do I buy ExaChess?

See Ordering.

Is ExaChess still supported by the developer?

Yes. After a period during which there were few updates, ExaChess is once again under active development, with a new major release expected in the second half of 2012.

Is a version of ExaChess available for the iPad?

Not yet but it's under consideration. The first priority is to complete the next major release, but this will hopefully set the groundwork for an iPad version.

Is there a PC/Windows version of ExaChess?

Sorry, there are no current plans.

What is the best format for my databases: ExaChess format, Chessbase (CBF) or PGN?

ExaChess and Chessbase are binary formats and are much more compact and efficient to process than PGN. A database in PGN format is about 5 times as big as the same database in ExaChess format, and is still twice as big even after compression. However, PGN is useful for interchange of games with other users (especially small collections of games) as many programs can import PGN games, and as an archival format that doesn't depend on a computer program remaining available to interpret a binary format many years later.

Of the binary formats, ExaChess databases are around 20% smaller and 30% faster to process (to reindex or convert to/from) than CB databases due to a different internal representation.

Our recommendation is therefore to use ExaChess binary format for large databases of historical games, and PGN for personal game collections and for interchange of games with others.

Note that if you are frequently shuffling or copying files between databases, it is advantageous to use a single format as copying files without a format change is faster than copying them with a format change.

Can ExaChess read the new ChessBase format (CBH)

Until recently this format was known only to the publishers of ChessBase. However, details are now in the public domain and the next major release of ExaChess will most likely include support for it. Meanwhile, consider using the older CBF format for game interchange as it can be read by many Mac and PC programs, including ChessBase.

Why won't ExaChess work with my copy of Sigma Chess / Crafty etc.?

You need to use a suitably modified version of Sigma Chess or Crafty that supports the necessary Apple Events or is configured as a UCI engine. These days strong chess programs are all being made available as UCI engines, which can be readily used with ExaChess. See Downloads for links to chess engines that work with ExaChess.

Why won't ExaChess open my database?

See under Recovery in the ExaChess User's Guide. Briefly, try reindexing the database without opening it (choose it in the All Databases window, then select Reindex from the Databases menu). If this fails, strip the resource fork and try again.