From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to:navigation Jump to:search
This article is a stub. Please help out by expanding it - how to get started.

This article helps players explore their options for the classic board game chess.



Games require the user to be in the games group:

Change ${LOGNAME} to the actual login name of the user intending to play games.
root #gpasswd -a ${LOGNAME} games

Available software


Chess engines
Name Package Description
Stockfish games-board/stockfish Stockfish is one of the strongest chess engines in the world. It is also much stronger than the best human chess grandmasters.
Sjeng games-board/sjeng Sjeng is suitable on easy mode for beginners. Its hard mode plays hard, but induces heavy load on the CPU.
Crafty games-board/crafty Crafty is another very difficult chess engine.
Phalanx games-board/phalanx Phalanx is an engine that is more human like than others. It is extremely difficult. This engine is buggy allowing illegal moves to capture pieces.
Gnuchess games-board/gnuchess Gnuchess is impossibly difficult. Gnuchess has a CLI front-end, or the engine itself can be used for other front-ends.



EBoard is a user-friendly chess client to play against a local chess engine, a remote Internet Chess Server (ICS) or directly against another Eboard user on a remote computer. In relation to ICS, it has a special focus on the Free Internet Chess Server. It comes with graphical themes and a chat window when playing remotely.

It is possible to automate Eboard actions using scripts. This is an example of an auto login script that is placed at ~/.eboard/scripts.

FILE ~/.eboard/scriptsFICS auto login script
#!/usr/bin/env perl

# proof of life to avoid hanging
print "hello\n";

# while there is input in STDIN, read a line
while(<>) {
  print "USERNAME\n" if /login:/;
  if (/password:/) {
     print "PASSWORD\n";
     exit 0;
root #emerge --ask games-board/eboard

Gnome Chess

Gnome Chess is a high quality front-end that supports multiple chess engines, 2D graphics and 3D graphics.

root #emerge --ask games-board/gnome-chess


Shane's Chess Information Database is a powerful Chess Toolkit. It can interface with XBoard engines (such as Crafty and GNU Chess), and UCI engines (eg. Fruit). Using Scid, one may play games against human opponents (on the Free Internet Chess Server), or computer opponents. Database features include a Move Tree with statistics, Player Information and Photos, and General Searches for specific endings (e.g. pawn vs. rook or rook vs. queen), positions or players.

root #emerge --ask games-board/scid


Xboard is a lightweight front-end. Among its many options, it can analyse games and have two engines playing against each other.

root #emerge --ask games-board/xboard

All in one


PyChess is a client that comes with its own engine but can also interface with UCI and XBoard engines.

The built-in PyChess engine works really well with difficulty scaling. However, as it written in Python, it loads the CPU, even on the very easy.

root #emerge --ask games-board/pychess

External resources