The Tarrasch Chess GUI


Tarrasch V3.03 released (21May2017) Another bug fix release. Upgrading to this version is strongly recommended. My apologies, there have really been too many bugs discovered in months since version 3 has been released. My sincere hope is that not too many users have been affected, and that the teething issues are over and that Tarrasch is now in its most robust and useful state ever. Change log;

  • The edit improvements of the previous release came at the cost of a new bug - deleting a comment would often lead to transient display glitches - eg if the screen showed 1.e4 Comment 1...e5 deleting the Comment would leave 1.e4 1...e5 instead of 1.e4 e5. Fortunately saved .pgn data was not affected. Bug fixed.
  • File Save As did not close the handle of the new file immediately, which could cause problems if the new file was manipulated again before exiting Tarrasch. Bug fixed.
  • File handling corner cases involving games stored in the clipboard fixed.
  • Pierre Havard has resumed publication of Kingbase and I have reverted to Kingbase Lite as my default database and retired my temporary solution Tarraschbase (Tarraschbase was kind of my own 'fork' of Kingbase).
  • The default database name is now 'kingbase-lite.tdb', i.e. there is no date information in the name itself, so the name won't change as future versions are released. This should make it easier for users to upgrade the database in future - just download the latest version, no need to point Tarrasch at a new file name.
  • Some message box dialogs with longer titles than message text have have had title and message text swapped around avoiding truncation of the title.
  • Upper limit on Engine Hash in UI increased from 4GB to 32GB.

Tarrasch V3.02 released (1Apr2017) This version is a bug fix release, correcting all problems discovered in the first quarter of 2017. Sadly this includes some significant problems, and upgrading to this version is strongly recommended. Change log;

  • Annoying problems with editing games with many variations and comments (so that the edit window needs to scroll) fixed. The edit cursor no longer jumps to bottom line, and scroll position is preserved if you switch tabs.
  • A side effect of the fix above is that text editing (for comments) is faster than ever, faster than previous V3 versions and much faster than V2.
  • Introduce Tarraschbase - Kingbase lite 2016-03 plus more recent games from Twic. This is hopefully a temporary measure until Kingbase is updated again.
  • Screen adjustment for improved games dialog behaviour on commodity 720p laptops.
  • Kibitz box is dynamically scaled to show all four lines - not always 99 pixels high.
  • Deleting games in games dialogs behaves better.
  • Stalemate and Checkmate positions no longer sent to engine for analysis.
  • Bug fixed: (Bug was; Cannot save recalculated ECOs to file.)
  • Bug fixed: (Bug was; Modify game -> make new tab -> go back to game -> undo changes game still shows as modified even though undo stack correctly shown as empty).
  • Inappropriate sharing of pgn games dialog help screen with clipboard and session games dialogs corrected.
  • Long overdue update from Komodo V3 to Komodo V8 (apologies for not noticing that the Komodo free version has changed dramatically).

Tarrasch V3.01 released (28Dec2016) This version is a bug fix release, correcting all problems discovered in Tarrasch V3's first month. Keen Tarrasch users should definitely update, casual users will probably not benefit much. Change log;

  • Add progress gauge when writing duplicate games, previously this slow operation appeared as stuck progress
  • Title of progress bar during duplicate games write allows discoverability
  • Write duplicate pgn file after database written - so it is optional and can be cancelled
  • Engine dialog box works on smaller screens
  • Arrows allow tab navigation when number of tabs fills main screen
  • Heading in frame is the default option
  • Pattern search - "Don't allow extra material" no longer the default!
  • Avoid slowly leaking memory on meta-data as databases loaded or created
  • Problems with pattern and material balance searches using clipboard as temporary database - fixed
  • Ctrl-A = select all finally works in game dialogs
  • Error handling in append database was broken - sometimes (eg unrecognised file format) leaving user unsure what happened
  • Slightly more informative "can't load database" message
  • Never show asterisk = file modified if no current file!
  • Order files after database append as intended - so most recent games appear first

Tarrasch V3 finally released! (25Nov2016)

Final Tarrasch V3 Beta released, with many enhancements (20Nov2016) This version will replace Tarrasch V2 in the next few days. You can read about the latest enhancements to the Tarrasch V3 Beta on my development blog

Tarrasch V3 Beta Updated to new look (11Oct2016) See the Home, Downloads and Faq pages.

A fresh new look for Tarrasch! (19Sep2016) Only in the nightly build (for now), the fresh new look for Tarrasch includes a coloured resizable board.

Tarrasch V3 Nightly Released! (13Aug2016) See the Home and Downloads pages.

Tarrasch V3 Beta Released! (11Jul2016) See the Home, Downloads and Faq pages.

Youtube Tutorial Available (3Jun2016) Nayel Farag has made a very nice Tarrasch V2 tutorial that covers a lot of ground efficiently in a short time. Thank you Nayel!

Tarrasch V3 Preview Released! (12Mar2016) See the Home, Downloads and Faq pages.

Maintenance version V2.03c release (28Jan2016) I hope this is the last update to Tarrasch V2 (Tarrasch V3 is coming soon). This update includes the latest version of Stockfish. There are a couple of other significant enhancements. For the first time Tarrasch can show the "Event" (as well as the "Site") in game lists. Tarrasch now only writes "brace" comments to .pgn, never "semicolon" comments (which are poorly supported by other chess software). This should eliminate the main cause of interoperability problems with other chess software.

Tarrasch V3 Alpha Released! (12Dec2015) This is an important milestone for the Tarrasch Chess GUI. See my blog for more information and download instructions.

Maintenance version V2.03b release (24Jun2015) This is a small update to correct a long standing issue - Until now Tarrasch only supported the English character set (Ascii in computer-speak) in .pgn file header fields and comments. This version adds support for extra characters defined in ISO 8859, for example accented characters used by many European languages. No other changes are made, so if you don't need special characters, you can treat it as an optional update. Thanks to Jacques Bouthier for helping me sort this out.

Maintenance version V2.03a release (31May2015) This is update to V2 is an attempt to keep it relevant in 2015. I now include the latest Stockfish engine and the free version of the Houdini engine. The default engine is now Stockfish, 64 bit version on 64 bit Windows. A few other small changes: Improve colour of dark squares. On 32 bit Windows, don't allow user to try to run 64 bit engine. Change text of commands from 'promote comments to variation' to 'promote comments to moves'. Fix bug that stopped DELETE key working in pgn dialog. Add more menu keyboard shortcuts.

28Dec2014 Youtube video demonstrating the planned Tarrasch V3 See the blog.

Maintenance version V2.02br release (29Apr2014) This small update is courtesy of programmer Ralph Moritz, who contacted me via GitHub (see below) where he made some improvements to Tarrasch. The changes are (A) a bugfix that addresses the embarrassing problem that the "Command" -> "Play Black" menu item actually played white instead (presumably the big "Play Black" button, which has always worked okay masked this for most users). Ralph has also added (B) a copy game to system clipboard (PGN) feature, and (C) fixed a long standing problem that Max CPU cores engine option only enabled multiple cores on engines that follow the Rybka UCI convention for this (which basically means not many engines, maybe only Rybka :-).

Tarrasch V2 (T2) on GitHub (29Apr2014) I now think of T2 as the old version of Tarrasch, even though it is still the most recent real product, T3 being vapourware for the most part. When I finished T2 I put the source code on a public repository at After a recent discussion with Ralph Moritz, I have moved it to the new GitHub T2 repository, and I have accepted changes (improvements) from Ralph which today I am publishing as a maintenance release.

Tarrasch on GitHub (29Apr2014) For some time now I have been developing Tarrasch V3 (T3), and recently I started developing in public using the GitHub T3 repository. More details on T3 and GitHub on my development blog

Maintenance version V2.02ar release (17Jun2013) After a long (too long) period of complete inactivity (at least publically), I've dipped my toe back into the water by fixing some small but significant problems. I will blog about the changes soon, but basically the main bug fixed is a nasty one that could corrupt .pgn files in some cases if there are multiple games edited between file saves. The next most significant fix is that if you are just entering moves (rather than playing against the engine) the game won't terminate prematurely with a draw due to the 50 move rule, insufficient material or three fold repetition. Smaller fixes are kibitzing now works with single PV engines (eg Strelka), slight truncation of the graphic images on the right edge of the h file is fixed, playing against the engine after a null move now works, and finally repetition is now spelled properly! Note that I've been doing a lot of other private Tarrasch work, but for now none of that is ready for prime time. As I say I will start blogging again soon to shed further light.

Butterfly chess engine (20Apr2012) Giuseppe Cannella offers a minimally altered version of the portable (no install) Tarrasch package to demonstrate his Butterfly open source engine. Thanks Giuseppe! (Update 10Jan2014 - Giuseppe reports that he has been working on his engine, now renamed to Cinnamon, the link above has been updated accordingly)

No install version (14Mar2012) I've packaged the Tarrasch executable and support files into a no-install .zip file for users who prefer this option. Available on the download page.

Whoops (6Mar2012) For a little less than 24 hours, on March 5th, I had mistakenly reverted my download links to V2.00a, i.e. the old version before the maintenance release. Sorry about that. If you downloaded on or around that date, check your Help -> About menu to make sure you are running V2.01.

Tarrasch V2.01a Maintenance Release (18Feb2012) This is fully documented on my blog. The main bugs fixed allow Houdini to work more smoothly, ensure that the custom UCI parameter feature works as intended, and that the 4th line of Kibitz text works properly.

Tarrasch V2 open sourced (finally) (8Jan2012) Go to this public repository. to download the source and start collaborating on the project.

Komodo edition released (1Nov2011) A slightly modified version of Tarrasch that includes the Komodo engine is now hosted on Komodo's website. Komodo is the second major engine (after Rybka) that provides Tarrasch in this way as a particularly easy way to use the engine.

Tarrasch V2 released (13Sep2011) Finally! Compared to the last beta, next and previous file game buttons have been added. Also a larger font option, and some small bug fixes and enhancements.

Updated Tarrasch V2 beta with new features (7Sep2011) Tarrasch V2 beta has been re-released with some useful new features, including resizable move and kibitz windows, an optional smaller chess board, and custom UCI engine parameters.

Tarrasch V2 Beta version released (19Aug2011) Tarrasch V2 is now feature complete, and much more stable than the previous alpha version. It's now available to the public to download and try. Please remember what 'beta' status means; The program is not yet fully tested. If you are willing to try the program, please let me know what you think of it. Obviously any problems or bugs found are of particular interest to me.

Tarrasch V2 Alpha version released (13Mar2011) If you'd like to play with a nearly complete, but not fully tested version of Tarrasch V2, go over to the Tarrasch Chess GUI blog and ask for download instructions. The reason you have to ask for a copy is that I don't want uncontrolled access to a piece of software that hasn't yet been tested, polished and tuned. But I do want people who are interested in Tarrasch V2 (and have been patiently waiting a long time) to have a chance to see what it will offer.

Bill Forster
Triple Happy Ltd.