phalanx — Chess playing program


phalanx [options] [<moves> <minutes> [<increment in seconds>]]
phalanx [options] [<seconds per move>]
phalanx bench
phalanx bcreate [options]


This manual page documents briefly the phalanx program. This manual page was written for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution (but may be used by others), because the original program does not have a manual page.

phalanx is a chess playing program. It is partially xboard compatible. Under xboard, it can play games, force & undo moves, and show thinking. In this version, you cannot set positions with xboard.

It is also possible to run phalanx without xboard. Do phalanx -? to get a list of command line options. One important command of phalanx's ASCII interface is help.

phalanx uses (traditional) 10x12 board implementation. There are three often used board implementations: "8x8" (GNU Chess), "bitboard" (Crafty), and "10x12" (Nimzo, Phalanx). In short, "10x12" is easy to implement and the code is small (==fast on PC). Opening book is small, simple, hand-written.


-t <transposition table size in kilobytes>
-f <fixed search time in seconds>
-x <+/->
xboard mode on/off default: on
-p <+/->
permanent brain on/off default: off
-s <+/->
show thinking on/off default: off
-c <+/->
cpu time default: off
-o <+/->
polling input default: on
-b <+/->
opening book default: on
-r <resign value in centipawns>
default: 0 (no resigning)
-e <easy level 0...100>
default: 0 (best play)
-l <+/->
learning on/off default: on
print version and exit
-P <primary book directory>
-S <secondary book directory>
-L <learning file directory>
-g <log file name>


phalanx -c+ -s+ -o - -x- -f 60 -t4000

xboard -fcp "phalanx -l+ -r800"


Phalanx was written by Dusan Dobes <>. This manual page was written by Stephen Stafford <> for the Debian GNU/Linux project, but may be used by others. It was written with the assistance of help2man(1) and then edited slightly to clean it up.