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Version as of October 20th 2001


This little tool, written in Java, converts an ASCII-diagram (respectively the move-list) sent by Richard's PlayByMail-Server, into the common SGF-format for which several viewers already exist (for a list of viewers have a look at the BGA Software Catalogue).

You'll just have to get the whole move-list (e.g. by sending the "go show USER-ID"-command to the server), store the message to a file (in the same directory as pbm2sgf is) and evoke the converter.

You will have to have Java installed or Microsoft Windows running in order to get this to work!
(For downloading Java, please see below.)

Download and running

Having unzipped pbm2sgf.zip you will get the two files

The first one is the converter itself, the second one is a batch-file that will make it quite easy to use the converter.

To use the batch-file simply save the email from the server as "game.txt" in the same directory where you extracted the zip-file to.

Now start the batch-file "convert.bat" by double-clicking it in the Windows-Explorer or calling it from console.


If you want to set handicap and/or change the default boardsize or you'll have to use the console and provide commandline arguments. So open a console-window and change to the directory in which you extracted the zip-file to.

Type convert [h"number of handicap-stones"] [b"size of board"].
E.g. convert h5 b13 will position 5 handicap-stones on a 13x13 board.
You can use just one argument, too:
e.g. convert h5 will position 5 handicap-stones on the default 19x19 board.

If you cannot or don't want to use the batch-file, you will have to enter a little bit more of text:

The arguments/options are handled exactly the same way as using the batch-file. So if you want to process the file "mygame.txt", position 5 handis on a 13x13 board using the JRE shipped with Windows, just enter
jview  /cp:p  pbm2sgf.jar  pbm2sgf  mygame.txt  h5  b13

The parameters [boardsize] and [handicap] are optional. You can use none, one or both. If you don't provide these parameters the converter will assume a board of 19x19 grids and no handicap.

You must spezify h and b to indicate the meaning of the argument!