Why do I need Tomcat?

Chessweb is a J2EE web application. This means it runs within a J2EE application server. Whilst chessweb should work on any J2EE application server, it has only been tested on Tomcat, and this document focuses on installation with Tomcat.

Installing Tomcat

First off, download the latest version from the tomcat download site. If installing under Windows, download the setup.exe version - it's tailor-made to make installation easy. Follow the instructions, and start it up when it's finished installing (make a note of the installation directory and port number it assigns).

Installing Chessweb

Downloading Chessweb

Download chessweb from the sourceforge download page. If you want build chessweb yourself, download one of the source archives. Otherwise, download the .war file.

Installing Chessweb

Copy the chessweb .war file into the webapps directory under your Tomcat installation. If you installed Tomcat 5.5 under Windows and accepted the defaults, this will be c:\program files\apache software foundation\tomcat 5.5\webapps.

Start up Tomcat

Start Tomcat. Under windows, this can by done by running net start "Apache Tomcat".

Using Chessweb

Chessweb in the browser

Browse to <your-tomcat-site>/chessweb. Under the default installation, this would be http://localhost:8080.

Seeing the board state

Click on the Current game link to view the current game. A new frame loads up, split into three. The three frames are: the board, the moves and the move history.

Making a move

In version 1.0 of chessweb, moves are made by typing in the coordinates for the source and destination squares, following the algebraic notation. For example, type in e2 for source and e3 for destination to move the White King's pawn up one square. With version 2.0+ of chessweb, the interface is simplified greatly, and mouse clicks can be substituted for typing in the coordinates. When the submit form button is pressed, the move is executed and added to the move history frame.

Browser choice

Works best in Firefox

Chessweb works best in Firefox as this browser correctly renders transparent PNG files (the images used to represent chess pieces in chessweb). Using Internet Explorer works fine too, but the pieces look a bit weird.