DokChess itself has no graphical user interface. It interacts via the XBoard protocol with the outside world (→ Decision 9.1 “How does the engine communicate with the outside world?”).
The XBoard protocol is text-based. If you have mastered the main commands (see Figure …) starting DokChess in a command line (Unix shell, Windows command prompt, …) enables you to interact with the engine. The table below shows a sample dialog, all commands are terminated with a new line). By default the engine plays black. You can change this with the “white” command of XBoard.
|Client → DokChess||DokChess → Client||Comments|
|xboard||client wants to use the XBoard-Protocol (required since engines partly understand other, sometimes even multiple protocols)|
|protover 2||protocol version 2|
|feature done=1||line by line notification of additional features of the engine (here: none)|
|e2e4||white plays pawn e2-e42|
|move b8c6||black (DokChess) plays knight b8-c6|
|quit||client ends the game (DokChess terminates)|
Table: Example communication bewtween a client and DokChess (XBoard)
A more typical use of DokChess is a graphical chess frontend like Arena (see image below). It accepts the moves of the opponent in a comfortable interface, passes them to DokChess in the form of XBoard commands like in the table above (column “Client → DokChess”) and translates the answers (column “DokChess → Client”) graphically.
Fig.: DokChess combined with the Arena chess frontend under Windows