1. #1
    EARLY CHESS MASTERS MOD
    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.

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    Version 0.02

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

    071217: fixed Judit Polgar image.

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    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).
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  2. #2
    i would be interested
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  3. #3
    [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.
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  4. #4
    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.
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  5. #5
    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.
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  6. #6
    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.
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  7. #7
    <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).
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  8. #8
    <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 </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.
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  9. #9
    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
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  10. #10
    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.
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