Is there a software which can create chess positions just by reading a plain text file?

For example, to produce a PDF rich with math text, one can use TeX to compile a plain text file and get the desired output with precision.

Similarly, is there such a software (is TeX a software?) which does something similar with chess?


1 Answer 1


You are looking for Forsythe-Edwards notation + a front-end to compile it into an image. You can use Xboard as a front end.

Check out Xboard. Read the manual and look up the "Load Position" command:

Load Position

Sets up a position from a position file. A pop-up dialog prompts you for the file name. The shifted Ctrl-O key is a keyboard equivalent. If the file contains more than one saved position, and you want to load the Nth one, type the number N after the file name, separated by a space. Position files must be in FEN (Forsythe-Edwards notation), or in the format that the Save Position command writes when oldSaveStyle is turned on.

  • To answer the other part of your question: TeX is a software, yes. More generally, it's a language. It takes input conforming to a grammar, and compiles it into output according to formatting rules. FEN + XBoard can do the same thing. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 23:24

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