There is the one installed by default with the small game packages that come with Ubuntu and most versions of Linux that use Gnome, but I do not like this one very much.
It is ok for basic play, but it is really not that good.
Last week I presented the Linux versions of a few games and pastimes from the pre-computer era. They are the applications that I always end up installing on the computers of all senior citizens who ask me, “How could I use this PC for games?”, but they still are great fun for everybody. I deliberately left chess clients out of that post, because I didn’t want to make it too long and chess deserves (at least) one whole post anyway.
Therefore, this week I’m going to present the four graphical chess clients that I use and recommend in the same scenario of my previous post. Let me shortly summarize what that scenario is, before looking at the software: end users who, in almost all cases, have quite old computers that wouldn’t bear a compiler even if I had the time to use it, without any continuous Internet access.
That’s why I only consider native Linux programs that are available as binary packages for the most common GNU/Linux distributions, that don’t need Internet access to do their job, and use local chess engines with the same characteristics. Over the years this choice has led me to the four applications presented below. Please note that, even if “no need for the Internet” remains a must-have feature for me, all of these programs do let you play online with other users, either directly or through portals like the Free Internet Chess Server. Another common feature is the possibility to suspend a game, save it to a file and resume it later.
This one looks fine and plays decently, but I do not really care for the pictures that represent those playing. There are also far better chess games in Linux.
For an some reason though, I cannot get Dreamchess to load on the system I am currently using. Maybe it is because I am using the ATI Rage 128 Pro and the fact that this card has no driver in Linux.
I should still be able to play a game of chess though.
PyChess is another chess game in Linux. I do not like either of the chess engines that PyChess can use (GNUChess and PyChess), but maybe it was just the way that PyChess used them.
The computer made decisions to quickly and did not play very well.
I also believe that the artists for this program could have made the pieces look nicer and appear more physically attractive.
Brutal Chess is actually pretty good.
The board and pieces look nice, the AI is good, it actually take time to make a move.
Alas, this game will also not load correctly.I imagine that I am having the same problem that Dreamchess is giving me, which is to bad.
3D Chess is an odd, yet interesting game. You have three boards upon which to play, a few new pieces, and no manual to tell me how the new pieces work!!!
But this game looks quite cool though, a bit like chess in Star Trek. All it needs is a manual or a link to a website containing documentation.
Also, there is no AI to handle this game, so you must have another person to play with. I also like the board names which are x, y, and z.
My favorite chess game in Linux though is Pouet Chess.
The computer fights quite effectively in this. Depending on the setting of difficulty, the system can take anywhere from two to ninety seconds to make a decision on a move.
Playing against pouet Chess is harder than other game or person that I have ever played.
I personally recommend this game for anyone really interested in chess. The board and pieces are also beautifully designed, more so than in any of the other chess games, including the two that refuse to run on my current system.
I will probably add more to this review later, but for now I will just add a few pictures. Have fun everyone.
XBoard is a graphical user interface for chess in all its major forms, including international chess, xiangqi (Chinese chess), shogi (Japanese chess) and Makruk, in addition to many minor variants such as Losers Chess, Crazyhouse, Chess960 and Capablanca Chess.
It displays a chessboard on the screen, accepts moves made with the mouse, and loads and saves games in Portable Game Notation (PGN).
It serves as a front-end for many different chess services, including:
Chess engines that will run on your machine and play a game against you or help you analyze, such as GNU Chess, Crafty, or many others.