I was reviewing an atomic game that was saved in PGN format, and the pieces did not "explode" at all. I looked in the PGN file, and the tag [Variant "atomic"] was present.
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eboard's knowledge about chess doesn't know how to apply a
move in an atomic game, I'll fix it in the next bug
fixed on CVS, eboard 0.8.1 will be released in a few days
with this bug fixed.