This extension adds a lot of functionalities to your lichess web site. It has so many useful and powerful features! I am very proud of it. The extension is always going to be free, ad-free, donation links free, etc. Yet the only way for it to do what YOU want is feedback. Any feedback! Praise, curses, bug reports, feature requests, use stories, anything. The more you tell me, the more I can improve on this!
I have also written a different page that will function as a user manual, with all the details on features, preferences and what they mean.
- all features have been encapsulated in "tools" in the code
- all ideas for the future will be rewritten as issues on GitHub, where you can also put feature requests and bug reports
- A help icon has been added to each of the Preferences to show details on each feature
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming (programming, get it?):
LiChess Tools (ver. 2.1.15) adds the following features to lichess:
- play ALL variations in Interactive lesson study chapters!
- computer is going to play a random move (configurable probability), so you don't need to create a chapter for every small variation
- merge multiple PGNs in analysis import
- I merged 1000 PGNs with 25000 moves and it worked!
- automatically open/hide/convert to menu or button the Friends box at page load
- having the friends box as a menu/button item is really neat
- sound alert when one of your friends starts playing a game
- also reading the type of game, so you know if you even want to look at it
- now there is an option to mute this for individual players in the enhanced friends list
- ability to randomly play one of the next moves (with configurable probability in comments i.e. prc:66) with Ctrl-Right and go back with Ctrl-Left
- play against the Opening Explorer (either masters, lichess players or a specific player) in Analysis
- evaluation of Explorer moves, as well as telling you what move leads to gambits
- Missed Timeline posts or comments to posts you follow notification
- screen lock on mobiles while playing (scroll and zoom)
- find interesting moves and allowing cycling through interesting/good/brilliant moves just like with blunders
- highlights for the last move of variations (special case for the ones that have no comment and do not end in checkmate) in the analysis/study board
- you immediately see not only where a variation starts, but also where it ends
- highlights for the transpositions to the current move in the analysis/study board
- you won't ever have to worry that you are analyzing the exact same variation but in a different order
- also you can now show all transposing positions in the PGN
- new shortcut for playing the next best computer move from Space to Ctrl-Space
- always annoyed me when I accidentally pressed the key
- a minimum chess engine level
- if it is idle in a lower state, it runs until it gets to that level
- this is also used as the required engine level by the study context menu option of commenting all last moves with a computer evaluation
- sticky Interactive lesson Preview mode
- you can now play chapter after chapter without hassle
- use keyboard shortcuts (i, m, b, Alt-i, Alt-m, Alt-b) for inaccuracies, mistakes and blunders in all variations
- note that this is a native feature of lichess, but only in your game analyses and only the mainline moves
- added g and Alt-g to cycle between "positive" moves (good, brilliant and interesting)
- show player country flags next to their names
- if they have their country specified in the profile
- now you will see flags everywhere. It might break some stuff, so let me know.
- show the order of circles and arrows in a study/analysis.
- this is great when you want to understand the order of moves/hints
- option is off by default
- a new menu item to open the last viewed TV game
- show opening names in TV and mini games
- show history section in player TV (just like for category TV - the two latest games of the player)
- quick button to switch to your player and back in personal opening explorer
- ability to remove players from the list in personal opening explorer
- this was requested on the lichess forum and was implemented in the same day
- copy to clipboard branch and continuations from a certain position in analysis/study
- you can now just pick a variation, copy it in its own chapter, with just a few clicks
- available languages: English and Romanian
- ask for more! I will provide you with the English sentences and the context and you can tell me how it is in your language
- I am working on a way to democratize translations, stay put!
- the options for the extension are in the lichess Preferences section
- complete integration. The extension popup has no functional role anymore
- this also means that I will be able to port this to other browsers with minimal effort. Ask if you want this!
- move options from transpositions to the current position
- soon the Extended Interactive Lessons and the Ctrl-Arrow functionalities will also be able to choose moves following from this list
- automatically evaluate last moves in every variation and store it as a comment
- the engine level for the evaluation is the same as the custom chess engine level in Preferences
- buttons in the study chapter edit form to quickly set the title to the content of the Event or of the White/Black PGN tags
- set colors/styles to study comments
- note that these will only be visible to people having the extension installed
- study chapter navigation controls, including random chapter button
- auto save and button to reload PGNs in Analysis mode (recover from accidental reloads)
- now it automatically copies the last PGN in the PGN box, but you have to manually import it by pressing the button
- show all transpositions in the analysis/study move list
- hide the score tally while playing
- live friends page will update automatically and allow TV view, mute playing alerts and much more
- global switch to enable/disable extension
- ability to selectively remove artifacts (comments, shapes, glyphs and PGN tags) from the current study chapter
- custom chat buttons at beginning and end of play
- one button delete PGN tags
- draw arrows and circles on mobile devices (analysis and in-game)
- extra lines on the game analysis chart
- friends section in the Current Games tab
- menu entry to go to last opened Study
I couldn't wait to share it with you guys. I will be happy for any feedback, suggestions or help.
I've started a series of use case blog posts, they might show you how to use the extension in real life:
Here are some screenshots, but they don't really tell you the story. You just have to try it.
Good luck using my extension. I am sure I am going to be tinkering with it a bit. Let me know of any problems you have with it.
For readability sake, I've removed all the old ideas from here and moved all of the new ones as GitHub issues. You can go there and add your own!
- Ctrl-Space replaces Space as the shortcut for "play best computer move", as Shift-Space is used by lichess to play the first explorer move
- practice voice assist was funny, but not terribly useful. It is removed in V2, unless popular outcry calls for it back
- the functionality of the "jump to glyph" was changed by lichess, so I had to reimplement it for the analysis keyboard shortcuts
- just be aware that the i,m,b keys used by lichess for game analysis only only go on the mainline, while with LiChess Tools they cycle to moves in all variations
- showing the order of circles/arrows is now off by default
- saving TV games in the browser's history was ugly and prone to errors. Quite invasive, too. I've removed it. You can still use the Last viewed game menu item to cycle through games.
- now a game is considered viewed at any time when it is opened, not only when you are there to see it end
- the mechanism to automatically show the Event tag value instead of "Chapter X" as study chapter titles has been removed
- instead, when editing a chapter, you now have options to quickly change the title to the Event tag content or from the White/Black tags
- analysis PGN is saved automatically and copied automatically in the PGN box on reload. You will have to press the button import the PGN, though.
- the preferences have changed a bit. I've made what I could to import the old ones, but please review them
- the icon for changing styles of comments has changed a bit
Q: Can you publish your extension code on GitHub?
A: Yes, I did. I could. Probably I will be starting with version 2, which will be a rewrite of a version 1 that has been in use for a while and that people have given me feedback for. As much as I like sharing my code, I really don't want to have to deal with all the GitHub complications right now.
Q: If your code is not on GitHub, it doesn't exist! Also, I looked at your code and it sucks balls!
A: That's not a question. And I agree. But right now I am focusing on features, not quality control. Wait for V2.
Q: How do we contact you with new ideas, bug reports and general roasting of your coding skills?
A: Use this post. This is my personal blog and my preferred method of communication. On top-right you can see a lot of links to various methods of direct communication with me, although I would prefer thoughtful feedback to remain documented here, as comments. You can now also use the GitHub project.
Q: I am addicted to LiChess Tools and I am afraid later on you will fill it with ads, premium features and EULAs that allow you to remove my kidneys. Can you address my fear?
A: Like everything on this blog, it will always remain free. And not free as in "until someone else buys it" or free as in "watch videos and it's free" or free as in "I will fill your screen with junk", but completely utterly free. Like LiChess, I guess. Also, it doesn't connect to any external services or capture any user data. For now! Muhahahaha! Later on it might need some external services for extra features that you ask for, but I hope it doesn't.
Q: How long did it take you to write this?
A: Mostly a week. Following the 80/20 rule, now I have to work at least one more month to make it good. In the end it probably took two months and I am still tinkering, but I can only work on it when I get the time, which is not often.
Q: You should write a tutorial on how to use it. Could you make a video of it?
A: I am not a video person. I hope that this post can convey the basic ways in which to use the extension and that the extension itself can be used without the need of a tutorial. Let's work together to make this clear and easy to use for everyone instead. Also, there is now the user manual page.
Q: Your Extended Interactive Lesson feature is all I had ever wanted from life! But when I am editing the study, I get the same interface as normal studies. Can you fix it?
A: Some parts of LiChess are easy to change, some not so much. Anything related to rendering is a mess to hook to. Additionally, I wouldn't want to have studies that can only be edited and used with my extension. There is a move context menu that allows setting the "explain why any other move is wrong" now.
Q: So how do I mark the good branches from the bad variations?
A: Any branch that is not in the study will be bad. As for the ones that you want to explore specifically, use the annotations (Mistake, Blunder, Brilliant Move, etc) and comments. You can even explore the bad branches in Preview mode this way and learn why they would be bad.
Q: Can you add features to show me what moves to make while playing?
A: LiChess Tools is not a cheating tool.
Q: But can you add some features that don't involve cheating for the games that I am playing/watching?
A: Most of the features of LiChess Tools are analysis oriented because analysis is much better exposed than the game code. Because there are a lot of private variables that are not made accessible, it's difficult to selectively change parts of the game interface and any features would have to brutally copy paste and replace some legitimate code bits. I am afraid that until that changes on LiChess, I will not touch that part, mostly because that means I would have to keep score on what they change on the web site and update my extension accordingly. Also, there are some guidelines that expect one to not change the playing interface at all.
Q: How about changing the way LiChess looks?
A: I am not a good visual designer, nor do I do a lot of work on web frontend. There are some extensions that are doing that (like Prettier Lichess, which I use myself, and perhaps you should ask those people for help instead. Also, I am avoiding as much as possible changes to the visual elements of the website specifically because it might interfere with some such extension or custom CSS tool. BTW, if you are working on something like that and find LiChess Tools is interfering with your stuff, let me know. We can figure things out. In v2.0.14 a new Themes tool has been added. I can publish CSS themes this way, but I don't intend to maintain them myself. If you want to see your theme there, contact me.
Q: OK, you're my new hero. How can I help?
A: Contact me and let's talk. I despise doing anything UI design related, as evidenced by this blog and the extension popup, so maybe you can help there. Also, not a specialist in browser extensions, so any improvements and/or help with other browsers would be welcome.
Q: Yeah, but I can't code. How can I help?
A: Help me by making this extension well known. I don't want "marketing". Just let people know and if they like it, they will use it. Can't use it if they don't know about it, though, and I am always afraid people think I am spamming them when I try to advertise my work. Make this famous, is it too much to ask?
Q: I use LiChess in my own language and the new features are jarring in English
Q: Chrome sucks! Microsoft sold out! Can you make this work for my favorite browser?
A: Short answer: no. Long answer: if I had assistance with extension code and testing, perhaps. I want to help people, so the more the merrier, but I also don't have a lot of resources to maintain code on a browser I don't use.
A: That's not my bug, it comes from LiChess. They have bugs, too.
Q: How could you possibly have answered before I asked the question?
Q: Did you actually think people were going to read this far down?
Q: I told about this to all my friends, I came with feedback and constructive criticism and it feels like you ignored me. What gives?
A: For sure I want to take everything into consideration and act on requests as fast as possible, but it might be that I am caught up with something else. I thoroughly intend to give the extension as much attention as possible, so maybe make sure I got your message, first.
Hope it helps!