View Full Version : Early Chess Masters mod

Pr0metheus 1962
12-16-2007, 03:22 AM
EARLY CHESS MASTERS MOD (http://www.mediafire.com/download/n6910z77ohxhn7s/ECM1.023.zip)
Current version: 1.023

I managed to add a bunch of historical players to the game: Ruy Lopez, Leonardo di Bona, Paolo Boi, Philidor, Louis de laBourdonnais, Pierre de Saint-Amant and Howard Staunton. They have proper biographies and images but their personalities and openings are not finished - probably need someone more knowledgeable than me to get that done - but even though they're probably more fictitious than historical I think they add a bit of atmosphere to the game.

Anyway, if anyone's interested the download link is above.

Here's a screenshot of the classic games section showing Henry Staunton and St.Amant playing a game.


Here's the relevant part of the readme file:

Early Chess Masters mod (ECM - historical mod for Chessmaster 11):

This mod adds historical personalities to Chessmaster 11. Please note that this mod is in no way supported or endorsed by Ubisoft. It is an unofficial patch intended purely to enhance everyone's enjoyment of the game.


Version 0.01:

071215: added 48 chess champion images for the game's standard Grandmaster personalities:

Alekhine, Anderssen, Bird, Blackburne, Botvinnik, Capablanca, Euwe, Fine, Flohr, Geller, Ivanchuk, Kashdan, Keres, Korchnoi, Kramnik, Larsen, Lasker, Marshall, Morphy, Najdorf, Nimzowitsch, Paulsen, Petrosian, Pillsbury, Reshevsky, Reti, Rubinstein, Seirawan, Shirov, Short, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Tarkatower, Timman, Waitzkin, Zukertort by Ebutaljib from his Grandmasters mod (Data\Personalities\various *.bmp files).

Anand, Bogoljubow, Chigorin, Evans, Fischer, Kamsky, Karpov, Leko, Polgar, Smyslov, Spassky and Tal by Beery (Data\Personalities\various *.bmp files).

071215: added Kasparov to the game. Original mod by Ebutaljib with new bitmaps by Beery (Data\Personalities\Kasparov.bmp, Kasparov.CMP; Data\Opening Books\KasparovG.OBK).

071215: added Topalov to the game. Original mods by Petkov83 with new bitmaps by Beery (Data\Personalities\Topalov.bmp, Topalov.CMP; Data\Opening Books\TopalovV.OBK).

071215: added 10 new Grandmasters to the game: Boi, Di Bona, Kasimdzhanov, Khalifman, La Bourdonnais, Lopez, Philidor, Ponomariov, Saint-Amant and Staunton. Mod by Beery (Data\Personalities\Boi.bmp, Boi.CMP, di Bona.bmp, di Bona.CMP, Kasimdzhanov.bmp, Kasimdzhanov.CMP, Khalifman.bmp, Khalifman.CMP, La Bourdonnais.bmp, La Bourdonnais.CMP, Lopez.bmp, Lopez.CMP, Philidor.bmp, Philidor.CMP, Ponomariov.bmp, Ponomariov.CMP, Saint-Amant.bmp, Saint-Amant.CMP, Staunton.bmp, Staunton.CMP). These personalities need further tweaking in order to make them historically accurate - openings are needed and their playing styles may need adjusting.


Version 0.02

071217: added reduced intro video. Mod by Beery (cmgm.bik).

071217: fixed Judit Polgar image.


Version 0.03

071217: added pre-1850 opening book and applied it to pre-1850 personalities. Mod by Ebutaljib (pre1850.OBK).

071217: fixed Topalov so he appears in the GM group. Changed 'di Bona' to 'Leonardo' and fixed him so he appears in his proper place in the GM group.


Version 1.021

071220: fixed GMs in the stock game so their images appear (as much as possible) when watching games from the classic games database. Mod by Beery (Data\Personalities\all *.bmp and *.CMP files renamed, bitmap data in *.CMP files adjusted to suit new names; also old *.CMP files had to be overwritten by blank *.CMP files so that they don't appear twice in the personalities lists).


Version 1.022

071220: continued fixing GM images for classic games: adjusted all GM names in classic games database. Mod by Beery (Data\TData\ClassicGames.pgn).

071220: added an early game (di Castellvi vs. Vinyoles, 1475) to the classic games database. Mod by Beery (Data\TData\ClassicGames.idx, ClassicGames.pgn).


Version 1.023

071220: added the following games to the classic games database: Albert Einstein vs. Robert Oppenheimer, 1933; E. MacDonald vs. Amos Burn, 1910; Karl Marx vs. Meyer, 1867; Mir Sultan Khan vs. Vera Menchik, 1931. Mod by Beery (Data\TData\ClassicGames.idx, ClassicGames.pgn).

071220: added opening books for Kasimdzhanov, Khalifman and Ponomariov. Mod by Ebutaljib (Data\Opening Books\KasimdzhanovR.OBK, KhalifmanA.OBK, PonomariovR.OBK).

071221: added images for players in the classic games database up to 1920. Mod by Beery (Data\Personalities\various *.bmp files).

071222: added 16 new GMs as playable opponents with full playing style and opening books: Andersson, Averbakh, Boleslavsky, Bronstein, Chiburdanidze, Gligoric, Hort, Janowski, Ljubojevic, Nezhmetdinov, Polugaevsky, Portisch, Spielmann, Teichmann, Vidmar, Xie. Mod by Ebutaljib (all the above named *.bmp, *.CMP and *.OBK files).

12-16-2007, 03:47 AM
i would be interested

Pr0metheus 1962
12-16-2007, 10:39 AM
[Note to all: I'm editing out some non-essential data in my posts here, as they refer to information and posts that are no longer available, so they often don't make any sense.]

In response to those who are asking why I made the mod, I really just made the mod for my own use because I liked the idea of playing the older personalities. I'm hoping that someone else (perhaps petkov83, the modder who made the other personalities? - is that you ebutaljib?) might be able to refine it and take it to the next level.

By the way, I also have incorporated recent world champions Khalifman, Ponomariov and Kasimdzhanov. Again, I have no idea of opening books or their personalities so I've just guessed and based them largely on players already in the game. Hopefully someone can refine these too.

As it stands (because it's intended for my use only) the mod includes the players Kasparov and Topolov and some of the GM images by petkov83. I can split these out but, if the other modders don't mind, it might be more effective to leave them in and release the whole package as a sort of supermod for Chessmaster (like the ones I've done for Silent Hunter 3, Silent Hunter 4, B-17 II and Red Baron 2). That way players can just download one mod and get all the historic personalities in one place. If we can get a mod team together I think we might be able to add a lot of useful things and carry on the development of the game.

Let me know what you think.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-16-2007, 03:08 PM
As all the modders agreed to package everything together, I did so and it's available in the first post in this thread. I kept all the mods I'm using in it - I hope that's okay with everyone.

If anyone wants me to change anything just let me know. I've credited all contributors in the readme file and I've detailed the workings of the mod in there as much as possible so that people can adjust it as they see fit.

If anyone wants to tweak the personalities please do so and I'll release an updated version as soon as I get the modified version. Like I said, the new personalities in the mod are very preliminary and probably need a lot of work, but they do show up in the game and they seem to work well.

In terms of the personality images, what I've tried to do is find images that show the player clearly and with a good headshot. I've tried to proportion all the player images similarly so they look right in the game.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-16-2007, 03:31 PM
How do we make an opening book file anyway? I've opened the *.obk files in a hex editor and they look like complete gobblede****. Is there some sort of utility we can use to make a *.obk file - I'd love to have a go at it.

[2010 edit] I know know that the opening book files can be adjusted using Chessmaster 9000's editing tools.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-17-2007, 08:25 AM
Regarding questions on how I altered the GM ratings:

I copied other GM *.CMP files and just changed the filename and the text in it, so if I did alter ratings it was purely by accident. It could be that all the GM personalities have the exact same chess rating (2864) so they're listed alphabetically. The chess rating is controlled by the data in the CMP file at offset 38. To make a personality show up as a GM you just change that data block to read 8c0a (2700) which gives them the GM rating of 2864 (not sure why it's off by a bit). Maybe I'll do that with Topalov so he gets his proper place.

I guess this means we could list the GMs in order of the era in which they played. I'll have to have a go at that.

New fixed version available.

As well as fixing the Polgar image, this version has a new intro movie - I've cut down the video so that it just shows the last few seconds of that long animated sequence. Some folks may prefer the original so they may want to delete the mod's cmgm.bik file before installing the mod.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-17-2007, 08:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ebutaljib:
Ok, you copied the cmp and changed the name of the files, but how did you change the playing style settings. Certanly not inside Chessmaster GUI. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't really change the playing style. All I do is copy one of the game's GMs and create a new one with all his data, so for example Khalifman is just a clone of Geller. Only the text is changed, so Khalifman plays just like Geller. Later, when I figure out which GM Khalifman actually plays like, I'll change his personality to match and hopefully I'll also add a proper opening book for him.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">With what program do you open and modify the cmp files? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I use a hex editor called Hex Workshop - I think it's available for a free 30 day trial at the Hex Workshop site. There are other freeware hex editing programs on the web, but they're not quite as useful as Hex Workshop. It allows me to add text and change certain settings in the CMP file (as long as I know what the values do - so far I've only found the chess rating value).

Pr0metheus 1962
12-17-2007, 10:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ebutaljib:
Then modify the prosonalities inside chessmaster GUI and then change their ratings http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Can we do that? I never looked 'cos I usually find that I have to hex edit stuff, so I don't even look to see if it's possible to do stuff within games' UIs anymore - I just go straight to my trusty hex editor.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-17-2007, 10:44 AM
Hehe I found out where the UI allows me to adjust personalities - now I should be able to track down that data that controls the GM/custom issue

Pr0metheus 1962
12-17-2007, 12:46 PM
I found a few details of the *.CMP files:

Offset 28 determines if the personality's rating is shown or not - B3 shows the rating, 81 makes it invisible.

Offset 3C and 3D seem to control whether the personality shows up as a GM or as a custom character - 4006 makes them appear in the GM group while 0000 makes them appear in the custom group.

Offset B8's value is 01 for all the GMs except for Polgar which is 00. Not sure what this is for - perhaps it was originally meant to indicate the personality's sex.

Offset BC is unknown. There are three values used by the GM personalities - most use 04, a few use 02 and Waitzkin and Polgar use 01.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-17-2007, 04:43 PM
I wonder if we can get information about the playing styles of the pre-1850 GMs? Does anyone have info at all? Although I love the game I'm a complete duffer at chess so even if I pore over game records I still haven't a clue whether a certain historical GM was an attacking player, a defensive player, positional, aggressive or anything. If anyone knows this stuff it would help me to fine tune the personalities of the new additions.

12-18-2007, 09:16 AM
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?yearcomp=le&yea...pening=&eco=&result= (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?yearcomp=le&year=1850&playercomp=either&pid=&player=&pid2=&player2=&movescomp=exactly&moves=&opening=&eco=&result=)

Not sure if you've seen this, but this is a list of games that were played before 1850, at chessgames.com. If someone was able to analyze them, it may be a great help. Unfortunately, I'm pretty new at chess so i cant analyze them well. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

There are about a thousand games listed, but i did a general search of all games pre 1850, so if you want less general terms, it can be easily filtered.

Also, it looks like some of the games are incomplete.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-19-2007, 04:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jkalltheway:
Not sure if you've seen this, but this is a list of games that were played before 1850, at chessgames.com. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've been looking through this today - great stuff! I'm trying to find out if there's any way to add historical games to the classic games database but so far no luck. It's a pity really, because the game could be a great way to store lots of games, if only the developers had given us more scope for adding our own info, databases, players etc. It seems to me that there's a great opportunity being missed here.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-20-2007, 01:10 AM
New version now available. I managed to get most of the personalities to show up in the classic games database, so when watching classic games you see an image of who is playing (as long as he/she is in CM11 as a personality).

Unfortunately though, the bitmap name has to exactly match the name in the classic games database, so when the developers use different names for the same personality (i.e.: Kasparov; Garry Kasparov; G. Kasparov; Kasparov, G.; or Kasparov, Garry) - which they do a lot, or if they misspell a name (e.g. Bogoljubov is spelled four completely different ways for his four different games in the classic games database), then it screws up the image and won't show it (the game only allows one image with one specific name - any variation causes it not to show up). Anyway, I tried to go with the most common spelling so that they show up as much as possible. If I ever figure out how to adjust the names in the classic games database that will make it easy to make every personality show up in every game they play.

Here are Judit Polgar and Viswanathan Anand playing a game in the classic games section:


Pr0metheus 1962
12-20-2007, 02:29 PM
I'm tidying all the names up now. I also figured out how to add games to the classic games database, so if there are any requests for games I can add any game.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-21-2007, 09:16 AM
With all the additional personalities, it brings up a playability issue: when choosing an opponent at random, does the game choose opponents completely randomly, or are they chosen from around your own ability level? If they're chosen completely randomly then adding a lot of GMs will tend to overbalance the system, giving players more chance of getting a GM as an opponent. I've just done a bit of testing on this and it seems to indicate that the opponents are chosen from within a hundred or so points of the player, so this may be a non-issue, but can someone confirm this? I looked in the game booklet but I can't seem to find any mention of it.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-21-2007, 02:39 PM
I'm renaming all the players right now - it's very time consuming because the ClassicGames.pgn file has to retain the same number of bytes as the original version, so if you take away characters from the file you have to add them back within the same game entry. It would be much easier if we had some method of creating the ClassicGames.idx file from the pgn file but I know of no way to do that.

Right now I'm generally using the format "Lastname, First initial", so Boris Spassky is listed as "Spassky, B.". This is the format most often used by the game and it works out well because it's a lot easier to cut the name down than to add characters to it.

So far I've added a game (Einstein vs. Oppenheimer) and I've adjusted all the game's GMs and I'm adding images for all the opponents in the classic games database. I've found that this can be done without the need for a CMP file - you just have to add a bitmap with the correct name.

I'm finding lots of things that can be done with these files so the next update might be a couple of days away. There are a couple of games I'd like to add (MacDonald vs. Burn and Karl Marx vs. Meyer) and adding the pictures is going to take a good bit of time. Also, I have a stinking cold, so work proceeds slowly.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-22-2007, 07:31 AM
Okay, there's a new version of the mod available with all the latest improvements including all Ebutaljib's GMs and opening books. I put a version (1.023) out last night that didn't include the Christiansen opening book, so I put a version 1.023a out this morning with the Christiansen opening book.

The latest version of the mod also includes files that should overwrite and deal with any extraneous *.cmp files that could cause GMs to show up twice in the GM opponent window when installing later mod versions over earlier ones. Still, it's good practice to completely uninstall a mod before installing a later version. The JoneSoft Generic Mod Enabler (yes it's a mouthful but it's a great program for anyone who uses mods) is great for installing and uninstalling mods at the touch of a button. It's available here (http://www.users.on.net/%7Ejscones/software/products-jsgme.html).

12-22-2007, 08:15 PM
very nice job! im gonna install the new mod, keep up the good work guys!

Pr0metheus 1962
12-23-2007, 10:18 AM
Just a quick update - I'm working on adding more photos to the classic games section. So far I'm up to 1964. I've also added a few more games, including the Bagirov-Gufeld 'Mona Lisa' game.

[2010 edit] Unfortunately, the last 1.02 version is lost, so I'm rebuilding it from earlier versions. The Mona Lisa game will be in the next (1.21) version.

01-04-2008, 08:50 AM
Superb piece of work guys !! .. keep it up ...

Pr0metheus 1962
01-08-2008, 11:34 PM
Thanks. I've had a cold over Christmas and a nasty bout of the flu since New Year's Day so I haven't been able to concentrate enough to work on it. I should have a new version out soon though, as I'm starting to feel better.

Again, if anyone has ideas for interesting historical games to be added to the Famous Games section let me know. I can add any game, any personalities - you name it, I can add it. I like unusual games myself with more celebrity value than chess value, but I'll add anything you guys like.

09-24-2008, 12:33 PM
Is this still available? The link doesn't work..

09-24-2008, 12:57 PM
No, I'm afraid not.

Sorry... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Pr0metheus 1962
09-24-2008, 02:50 PM
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

The domain got automatically suspended due to a glitch at Yahoo somewhere - probably because I recently changed my web hosting service. I've been assured by the folks at Yahoo that the domain (and the mods) will be back up in a few hours.

09-24-2008, 03:17 PM

12-24-2010, 02:44 PM
This is now available from the Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition Downloads (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/4221052685/m/4011095046).

I'd like to thank Beeryus for his work on this! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Pr0metheus 1962
12-24-2010, 03:11 PM
Just a quick note - I forgot to update the mod's readme file. It currently says that it works with version 1.02. It should read 1.2. I'll fix it when I add more classic games.

I'm considering adding the game between Lord Dunsany (famous pre-Tolkien fantasy author and Irish chess champion) and Capablanca.

I have to do some work figuring out the file structure (after two years I've forgotten how it works), but with a bit of luck I'll have something ready within a week or two.

Pr0metheus 1962
12-25-2010, 08:38 PM
Just a quick note for future mod-makers (or for me if I take another two years off and find myself back here needing to rediscover the stuff I've forgotten):

I've managed to recalculate the structure of the ClassicGames.idx file. This file is a list of coordinates in the ClassicGames.pgn file. This file's values have to match up exactly with the data in the pgn file, or the classic games will not show up properly in the game.

When hex editing the file, each of the classic games is represented in the ClassicGames.idx file as a string of 8 bytes. Each of these strings is broken up into two sets of three bytes separated by a byte with value 00.

The first three bytes represent the start of each listing as counted in bytes from the beginning of the ClassicGames.pgn file. The second three bytes represent the start of each listing as counted in text lines from the beginning of the text file.

Thus, the first listings are:

00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 - listing starts at 0 bytes and on the 1st text line.

16 07 00 00 17 00 00 00 - listing starts at (1607 hex or 1814 decimal) bytes and on line (17 hex or 23 decimal).

Hope someone finds this of value.

Pr0metheus 1962
10-07-2012, 04:28 PM
So apparently I did take (almost) two years off, LOL. Does anyone use this mod anymore?

10-13-2012, 07:35 PM
Sure - as a matter of fact today I fiddled around with CM10 in my brand new stationary with W7.
Works very well! Also put some new players in specially some old players. Thanks for all your work
and effort! Found lots of nice files on this ubi-site.

01-01-2013, 10:37 PM
Is there anybody out there - still interested in creating old GM-personalities for Chessmaster?

I have great fun with those already present via users add!!

Looking over the players, ther are a few I really miss (most interested in historic GM:s) like:


But how to do it?

Pr0metheus 1962
01-01-2013, 10:59 PM
I've never tried to figure out how to modify GM personalities, as I'm a very low-level player and I really wouldn't know what values to change even if I could modify them. However, from the files I've seen, the thing to do is to create an opening book for them. I believe that this is the key. Once the opening book is generated, all of the GMs use one of their personalized openings and then they play at the highest level the program allows.

Once the opening book is done for a GM personality, I think it's a pretty simple matter to get the GM to show up in the game as a playable personality. I would just have to have some time to get back into it and figure out how the file structure works. That's just a matter of whether I can get motivated to do it or not. If I can find the time and the motivation, I'll take a look at it next week.

01-03-2013, 11:03 AM
Oh thanks - I really hope you'll find some time and motivation to continue some work with these old GM-personalities!
As for searching and collecting the games of the players (for the individual books) in .pgn and making some .bmps in
the correct size - these are things I could help you with. Harder for me is to construct the special file needed - (can't
remember right now the file ending - but .cm* something) and also adjust the settings some to reflect the playing style.
Also I've been digging up some short characteristica of the players mentioned above (like "positional" "endgame specialist" etc)
If needed I could mail you these things!

As for old players - also interesting are the three Swedish musketeers GM Stahlberg, GM Stoltz and IM Lundin. The last player was also
awarded the GM-title, but said no thanks - due to him not being able to play as much as expected from a grandmaster (in his own eyes...)

Pr0metheus 1962
03-31-2015, 07:22 PM
Just fixed the link to the mod (in the first post), which looks like it hasn't been working in a while. Here it is again:

EARLY CHESS MASTERS MOD (http://www.mediafire.com/download/n6910z77ohxhn7s/ECM1.023.zip)
Version 1.023

Any chance this thread could be stickied? Any chance this latest version of the mod (1.023) could be added to the list of downloads for the game? I see 1.021 up there, but there have been a couple of updates since then.