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Remote chess engines over ssh using Putty and Arena.

Arena is a good GUI for chess engines and chess servers, and it is a popular choice among chess players to connect to chess servers and analyze games and positions. Arena is only available for Windows operating systems. It is not an open source project, however the free to download and use. It supports connection of both UCI and Winboard chess engines.

Sometimes your Windows computer is only a thin client with low memory and a slow processor which is not really strong for analyzing chess. If you're also supposed to do something else with the computer while analyzing, you find that the chess analysis takes all the resources and everything else is really slow. Of course you can lower the priority of the analyzing process, but you really want the best analysis, don't you? This is especially silly if you have a beast of a computer in the same local network. Say your client is a slow 5 year old laptop, and in your local area network you have a shiny new number cruncher with 16 quad core processors and 16GB of memory running Linux. You still like the Arena interface, and the freedom of being at a laptop computer, but if you could have the number cruncher to analyze the chess games that would be just perfect. In this document I will describe how to set up such solution.

The technologies used are quite common and well tested. Secure shell (ssh) is an well known protocol that has been standard in Linux and Unix environments for many years. Putty is a implementation of a ssh client for windows, which has become one of the most popular choices for connecting to a Linux or Unix computer from a Windows computer. I have tested this setup on several systems, so it should be quite flexible. I guess you even can have the chess engine running on any computer you access, anywhere on the internet, but you may have see problems with slow connections. To be honest, I've only tried in local area networks, but there should not be a problem to sit on the café with a wireless connection and then connect the your linux number cruncher at home.

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