What is SCID vs. PC?

SCID vs. PC is a chess GUI.  GUI is short for Graphical User Interface.  With SCID vs. PC, you can...

... play chess online at FICS, the Free Internet Chess Server
... step through and play over chess games, downloaded in the PGN format
... watch two different chess computers, (known as chess engines) play each other
... conduct engine vs. engine tournaments, with your choice of time controls
... play against a chess engine yourself, again, with your own desired time controls
... analyze your own chess games, or chess games of others, with a chess engine of your choice
... search a database of chess games for a position, or a pattern, or specific material, etc.  (SCID vs. PC can load several millions of chess games at one time.)

SCID vs. PC can do all of these things and much, much more. 

It's a free and open source program, and available for several different platforms.  It's a bug-fix fork of a program called SCID, written by Shane Hudson and then later updated by Pascal Georges.  SCID is short for Shane's Chess Information Database.

Steven Atkinson is the author of SCID vs. PC.  He began working on in mid 2009.  His work on the program  began as a result of his dislike for Scid's poor user interface and bloated design.  Steven began his forked project from Scid-3.6.26. 

During the past three years he has come out with several versions.  As of this writing, he continues to add new features regularly.

The following is from the SCID vs. PC page at SourceForge.net:

Scid is a huge project, with an interesting history. Originally authored by Shane Hudson from New Zealand, it combined the power of Tk's GUI and the speed of C, to produce a free Chess Database application with Opening Reports, Tree Analysis, and Tablebase support. It gained quite some attention, as it was arguably the first project of its kind; but after writing over a hundred thousand lines of code, in 2004 development stopped. Shane never contributed to Scid again. He was generally reported to be seriously ill, and today has little if no contact with the current Scid community.

Two new versions of Scid appeared around 2006. The first was ChessDB authored by Dr. David Kirby. With some good documentation and the ability to automatically download games from several web portals, it became popular. But at the same time Pascal Georges from France was making strong technical improvements to Scid. Frustrated with Scid's dormancy, and because of disagreements with ChessDB's author, Pascal released his own tree, Scid-pg, which included UCI support and numerous Player versus Computer features.

But subtly, and with some controversy, he began to adopt the name Scid as his own. Some people objected, especially Dr. Kirby, with whom a flame war began, but Pascal's efforts to gain ownership of the SourceForge Scid project eventually succeeded.

Under Pascal, and with the help of numerous contributors, Scid again strode forward. Pascal wrote a Tree Mask feature, and in 2009 he upgraded the database format to si4, all the time making speed and technical improvements to the neglect of the interface. Very recently, Pascal has contributed less to the project, but it still thrives as a feature rich database application, with a strong community headed by a core group of programmers.

But along the way, there exist other Scid projects. Chessx, by Michal Rudolf from Germany, is a rewrite of Scid using the powerful libQT API, popularized by KDE-4. Originally called Newscid, Chessx still grows, but with a much smaller feature set and lesser popularity than Scid.

Scid vs. PC (by Steven Atkinson from Australia) began around mid 2009. It was started in response to Scid's poor User Interface and bloated design. Forked from Scid-3.6.26, it has several new features and regular updates from Scid, but is mostly an effort to tidy Shane's frenetic code base, improve the user interface , and add polish to Scid's rich feature set.

Finally, another project is reaching public release. Scidb, by Gregor Cramer from Germany, is a total rewrite of Scid. It thoroughly utilizes C++ and a heavily customized Tk interface, and includes Chessbase database support among its features.


How do you pronounce SCID?

Well, I found myself pronouncing it "sid"... with the letter C being silent.  But earlier today while reading an old forum post, I'm told it's pronounced "skid."  Does anyone know for sure?



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