I've been using ARENA for quite a while(5 years to be specific) and I have a collection of Winboard engines that I love. I recently parted with $140 to buy Fritz 14. But to my dismay it doesn't support Winboard engines. This is a big disappointment considering the cost of the product. How can I get my favorite WB engines to play in the FRITZ GUI? Why doesn't ChessBASE include native WB support with their products?
Chessbase products only support two protocols:
1) Their own propietary (used by the .eng engines)
2) The UCI (used by by many commercial / open source engines)
You must see a "Create UCI Engine" option in either Fritz or Chessbase (I used it all the time to make tournaments between engines).
I also use Arena for engine tournaments and supports both UCI / Winboard. You should be able to use UCI engines in both Arena / Chessbase.
There are adapters for Winboard to UCI like Good UCI to WinBoard adapter (but I dont have seen the opposite).
I have learned that whenever I have to buy a commercial engine (like Houdini or Komodo) I prefer to not buy it thru chessbase (because they only provide the .eng and only works in their own interface).
Chessbase products Fritz 5.32 and 6 and Junior 6 and 7 had support for Winboard engines, but not UCI. In February 2002, Chessbase announced that they were switching and would only support UCI and not Winboard. Stefan Meyer-Kahlan released the UCI protocols in 2000, and Chessbase decided to add Shredder to their roster of engines, so that's probably why they went with UCI.
Odd Gunnar Malin made a WB2UCI adapter that probably still works. You can download it here:
You change the name of the wb2uci.exe to whatever the winboard engine is, open the wb2uci.eng file and point to the actual winboard engine, and add any parameters you want. Then install the renamed wb2uci.exe file in Fritz or Chessbase as if it were a UCI engine.