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GUI Protocol List

This is a list of Chess GUIs that support at least one major chess communication protocol (Winboard, UCI or Chessbase). The former very common Millenium Chess System (MCS) is only used by a few graphical user interfaces because Millenium 2000 GmbH - Hegener & Weiner, a private limited company in Germany, sells nowadays chess computers, game consoles - but no pc software (information by Djordje Bucan, department service). Free available frontends are available on GitHub and SourceForge

Name Winboard/Xboard
Auto232 ICS (FICS,
ICC, etc.)
Aquarium & (Deep) Rybka - Aquarium & Houdini - Aquarium 2017 - Houdini Chess Engine (UCI) - Aquarium GUI demo version - Rybka Classics Yes Yes No Yes ChessOK ChessOK product, standalone application or bundle with Chess Assistant Professional / Mega Package; Supports ctg book files; Aquarium can use databases without converting them; Edition 2015 contains the freeware engines Crafty, Delfi, Rybka and Stockfish; in addition it has support for EPD databases, AHB (hypertext books) and DSN (SQL based database)- the only limitation is that CBF is readonly; for general informations see Rybka Forum and Rybka Aquarium Tutorials FAQ´s - ChessOK Forum - Aquarium Book Adapter - ChessOK Aquarium 2011 - ChessOK Aquarium 2012 - Deep Rybka Aquarium 4 - Database Update - Free Downloads (.ctg-.pgn etc) - Help & Support - Manuals - Play Chess Online for Free - ChessOK Playing Zone - Updates & Patches
Arena Yes Yes No Yes Yes Freeware. Beta releases are often buggy!, use last stable release only - current edition requires at least Windows XP or Linux / Mac OS X with Wine - Arena Book to PGN for Dummies ~ ChessBase or Polyglot - Chess2U - MediaFire - Tools by Graham O´Neill (Arena Swiss - Chessmaster in Arena - Novag UCB Drivers - Opening Book Converter .abk/.bin/.opk etc.)
BabasChess Yes Yes No No Yes Free GUI for online play; Engines can be used for analysis only and not for playing
Bookup - Chess Openings Wizard 2016 - Edition 2000 - Legacy Software - MasterChess 8000 Yes Yes No No No This GUI is primarily for opening moves databases; Trial version (Freeware, but with registration) and the commercial editions Express / Professional of Chess Openings Wizard - for details compare the survey which version is best for me?; it can be made to “watch” PGN files where one´s chess server logs the game; MasterChess is an optimized format finding more games by transpose move orders than other software - Forum - YouTube (MasterChess Engines) -embedded engines (MasterChess 8000): Fruit, Houdini, Naum, Rybka, Spark, Stockfish, Strelka
C-Board - File Release Page - Freecode Yes No No No No Free GUI by Ben Kibbey; uses ncurses library for graphics; supports human-human, human-engine, engine-engine play, FEN-pasting - Edition 0.6.1 Windows by Jim Ablett
Checkmate Yes No No No Yes Free GUI for online play; Engines can be used for analysis only and not for playing
Chess 2020 for Windows No Yes No No No shareware, but demo version with limited features, user-defined settings (playing style: human vs. human, human vs. engine, program executes moves for both sides); several difficulty levels from novice / random mover to grandmaster; chess coach function; edit mode, FEN, online help etc., successor of Chess 2013 for Windows
Chess Assistant - Houdini Chess Engine (UCI) Yes Yes No Yes ICC Commercial; Combination of database and playing program; ChessOK product, standalone application or bundle with Aquarium (Professional / Mega Package) - the website contains informations (tutorials, downloads) - additional options for ChessGenius v4-5 for Windows / MChess v5-7 / Rebel v7-10 - such “legacy” programs have restricted abilities with Chess Assistant e.g. Microsoft Knowledge Base - software has a copy protection mechanism (Alexander Zhuravlev, Convekta support: “You cannot move already installed CA 14 respectively Houdini 4 UCI from one folder to another , but installation on any hard disk is possible (only outside of “program files” folder and including admin rights.”) - Chess Assistant 10 Professional Package - Chess Assistant 11 Professional Package - Chess Assistant 12 Professional Package - Chess Assistant 13 Professional Package - Chess Assistant 14 Professional Package - ChessOK Forum - Thematic Engine Matches
ChessBase - ChessBase Reader - ChessBase Team Viewer - ChessBase Wiki - Deep HIARCS - HIARCS - Programs - User´s Manual Yes with adapter
see remark
Yes, but Deep Fritz-GUI does not support the input of external command-line parameters and batch-files Yes Yes Playchess Commercial; Winboard engines are generally converted to UCI engines using Malin's WBtoUCI adapter because of problems with the old WinBoard adapter - with old GUI´s like Fritz 5.32 / 6, Nimzo 8 and Young Talents the WinBoard adapter has problems - since Shredder 6 bundled with UCI1 - applications with the file extension “engine” are generally supported, but very old program versions (“eng”-files) cannot be loaded under current 64-bit graphical interface ChessBase support - Fritz for Fun (German edition) has not the option to embed external UCI-compatibles engines and uses its native GUI - - review of former chess programs by Peter Schreiner
ChessCat Yes No No No No PGN viewer and PGN writer - free for personal use
Chess for Android - Google Website - UCI and XBoard for Android Yes Yes No No Yes application which consists of a chess engine (Java edition derived from BikJump) and an interface; PGN/FEN is supported for importing and exporting games; engine-matches are possible, too - see survey UCI and XBoard Engines for Android - Package - Jim Ablett´s project Android Chess Engine Bundle
ChessGenius Classic Yes with WinBoard-converter (Stefan Meyer-Kahlen) Yes with Polyglot UCI2WB-converter Fabien Letouzey - Fonzy Bluemers - Michael Van den Bergh No No (Millenium WM-Paket 2000: Yes) No Commercial; tested with Shredder7.04 and Rybka 3 (both UCI); Trial version is free, but has limited features; Supports Millenium Chess System - the executable ChessGenius 5 on CD implies not only the engine, but also the entire program and does not run on “Classic” interface - Eduard Nemeth´s page - Dreamy´s website - Quick Tutorial concerning external WinBoard and UCI programs - Richard Lang´s interview - Genius DOS
ChessGUI (BigLion) Yes Yes No No No Freeware for Windows 2000 Pro and XP (pre-beta stage of conception) with an additional feature for Java-programs (.jar-files); maximum of 5000 engines is supported; portable version since ChessGUI v0.155, too - project is discontinued
Chess Hero Yes Yes No No No Freeware - training program with Stockfish default chess engine; PGN files for random or customized positions; player has to decide what is the best computed move by the engine - evaluations with positive or negative results; special settings (thinking time / depth of searching / size of the board etc.) are changeable; Microsoft Visual C++ 9.0 Runtime is necessary - Chess Front for online play ~ website is no longer abvailable
Chessmaster Collector´s Edition - Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition (out of stock by Ubisoft Germany) - note different kinds of program adjustments with parameters (a.k.a. “settings”) from the forum CCRL Discussion Board on the websites: CM 9000 Edition ~ engine The King 3.23 - CM 10th Edition ~ engine The King 3.33 - CM 11th Edition ~ engine The King 3.50 - Jason Kent´s chess pages - Surak´s Computer-Chess Trophy Yes Yes with Polyglot UCI2WB-converter No No Yes, create an account Commercial; Chessmaster 8000 and up is a Winboard engine - see the contributions "CM 8000 in Fritz" by Odd Gunnar Malin and "How to use Chessmaster in Fritz- / Arena-GUI" by Kurt Utzinger (German text, too) - CM-OPK for Windows by Graham O´Neill - Freewebs patch to disable the OPK check for use The King with foreign GUIs ~ works not with current CM XI (message:"unknown version"; hint to Polyglot UCI2WB-converter) - network play is supported (see manual.pdf page 48) - Chessmaster 10th Edition (trial-version for download on the page of Softonic International S.L.) - if GUI of CM 9000 will not start, just add e.g. with Notepad [debug] NoAudio=1 into cm.ini-file and install Windows Media Player (information by John Merlino) - Microsoft DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer - Forum 10th Edition (including statements about compatibility mode of previous versions to Windows XP) - Forum CM Grandmaster Edition - Patches 1.03/1.04 CM 8000 - Patches 1.01/1.02/1.02a CM 9000 - Patches 1.01/1.02/1.03 CM 10th Edition) - Ubisoft - “Unfortunately, Chessmaster isn't a game we carry anymore because we sold the production rights to Ubisoft several years ago and according to their website they must not produce the game anymore because it was nowhere to be found.”
Chess Partner 6 - ChessPartner 8 - Windows App Store - ChessPartner PGN Viewer for Windows 8.1 (Phone) Yes with adapter (CP6) Yes (CP6) No Yes (CP6) Yes (CP6) shareware (CP6), but evaluation version for 30 days can be downloaded; native engine: LCHESS - Chess Tiger / Gandalf are in contrast to CP5 no longer available; ChessPartner 8 + LCHESS (for Windows 8.1 and RT) is created only as a Windows store app and does not support any of the engine protocols. CP8 was erspecially designed for tablet use and the casual player, but this freeware contains promotions; for a price of 2,49 Euro an ad-free version can be acquired. Boards - Books - Layouts
Chess Position Trainer - Download - ECO and Openings - Features Yes Yes No No No Commercial (CPT Pro, trial period of 30 days) and Free Edition (with limited functions) - software which was especially focused on training courses (e.g.chess openings and and repertoire management); supports EPD/PGN; XBoard/UCI-mode for analysis, but tournaments engine vs. engine are not possible at the moment
Chess Wizard - File Release Page - Mirror No Yes No No No freeware with Stockfish (~ default engine); GUI includes huge database, suited to FRC Livington Chess960 Computer World Championship (example), collection of chess puzzles (mate solver for 2-5 moves) , functions: FEN / PGN, allows editing and publishing of games easily etc. - inappropriate to effect engine matches; note Mobile Chess & Flash Chess - Tutoriel pour Chess Wizard (French description)
Crafty Chess Interface - Nightmare Online Yes Yes with adapter No No Yes free interface with actual Crafty engine and source code, requires VB6-runtime-library , experimental version (alpha stage) - Crafty Chess Interface and Nightmare Online (for playing-mode human versus human) are two different / separate applications by the same author
CSBoard - File Release Page - Freecode Yes No No No Yes Freeware; Debian package - XBoard-GUI actually; uses GNU Chess as playing engine, but tested with Crafty and Phalanx, too - Gtk# - mono - project is abandoned since many years (Nickolay V. Shmyrev)
Cute Chess-CLI (formerly SloppyGUI) - Author´s Index - GitHub Website - Twitchy Synapse Yes Yes No No No GNU / Linux, OS X and Windows for 32-bit application including a command line interface which is created for engine-matches - open project with Source Code -cutechess.cli does not have an interactive graphical interface like Arena, it should be run with command prompt (cmd.exe) for example cd C:\chess\cutechess-cli (> version number and license of their authors are visible) or via creating .bat-files - CuGen creates batch files for running Cute Chess tournaments - Cuteswiss automates the process of running a continuous pseudo-swiss tournament between any number of engines
DreamChess - File Release Page - GitHub - Ubuntu Builds Yes No No No No Open Source Project (Windows / Linux / MacOS X) with several features: Dreamer engine, 3D Open GL graphics / provides various chessboard sets / Music Pack for Windows and Linux
eboard - File Release Page - FreeBSD Yes, see
No No No Yes eboard is a linux interface for playing online with xboard (version 2) compatibility; reads and writes chess games in PGN format; section of mobile chess Eboard for Nokia N810 / 800 / 770 by Tom Vijlbrief
ECTool - EC Tool Lite - Softpedia Yes - WB 2 No No No No Email manager tool for correspondence chess; problems with Google Chrome: sometimes appears “forbidden” on the author´s main page - please copy and paste the url into the search bar of webbrowser Internet Explorer
Emacs-Chess - File Release Page Yes No No No Yes Free Linux package to play chess inside Emacs editor
ExaChess No Yes No No No database (CBF -no CBH- / NIC / own format);chessboard and -publisher; it is possible to play against it; commercial product, but ExaChess Lite is freeware with restricted functions; notifies if an updated release is available; requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later - “The information on the ExaChess FAQ page is out of date with respect to chess engines for release 4.5. ExaChess originated before the development of UCI engines, and a method based on Applescript was created that required specially modified versions of chess playing programs to be used. Support for UCI engines was added for ExaChess 4.0, and support for the older Applescript method was dropped for 4.5. The only recommended method of interacting with a chess engine now is UCI. To install a UCI engine into ExaChess requires no modification to ExaChess or the engine (of course you need a version of the engine compiled for OS X). Basically, run ExaChess and select Play > Open Engines Folder (or manually navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/ExaChess/Engines). Place the engine, or an alias to the engine, in the folder, and return to ExaChess -in 4.1, relaunch the application. ExaChess doesn’t support XBoard engines, but supports UCI engines generally. Crafty and GnuChess are no longer supported, I can’t remember about ZZZZZZ but it was only ever a toy engine.” (Rolf Exner)
glChess - FreeBSD Yes Yes No No Yes for Linux and Unix systems Gnome, uses Gaming Zone Project (chess), has problems with the not well documented ICS-protocol - no relationship to Gnome Chess in any way (Robert Ancell)
Gnome Chess - FreeBSD - GitHub Website Yes No No No Yes Free GUI chess client for the GNOME system under Linux or other unix like systems
HIARCS Chess Explorer (Mac OS X) - HIARCS Chess Explorer (Windows) - User´s Manual Yes with WB2UCI adapter (e.g.: Rebel, The Baron) Yes No No Yes, see remark commercial program for Windows / Mac OS X including (Deep) HIARCS 14 engine; annotated / updated database; extensive game notation; polylingual platform and many other features; author sells his former products by ChessBase GmbH, too - see details for Deep HIARCS 13 and HIARCS 13 respectively Professional Openings Book - PC Chess Explorer (help videos) - HIARCS forum - no firm plans to support WinBoard directly this year (Mark Uniacke) - GUI access to online content of 1,000 GB of chess endgame tablebases and GM+ opening books (Deep Edition) - DVD-ROM
H.O.R.S.T.~ Heuristic Opening Repertoire Specialist & Trainer - Download No Yes No No No Commercial, but demo-version for 30 days; implementation of UCI mode for analysis and evaluation of positions, not suited to engines-matches or playing human versus machine; contains PGN support, database-functions, print of diagrams
ICC Dasher - Release Notes Yes Yes No No ICC Free; Dasher is a Windows program for connecting and playing on Internet Chess Club - it was tested with the engines Crafty 20.14, GNU Chess 5.07, Ruffian 1.0.1, Spike 1.2 and Zappa 1.1; default engine is Stockfish; main interface before was BlitzIn
José - File Release Page Yes Yes No No No Free graphical database; Windows, Mac OS X and Linux - built-in engines: Spike and Toga; annotation: José Chess 2 (including a GNU tarball for download) is based on this project
Kvetka - Original Website No Yes No No No Free GUI with Stockfish 2.2.2 engine; intended for game viewing and analysis; in the near future Kvetka will not support two or more engines simultaneously - so engines matches are impossible (answer from Dimitry Bodyagin)
Lantern Chess - GitHub website Yes Yes No No ICC open source (Java) for Windows / Linux / Macintosh; features: opening in examine mode, multiple boards and consoles; client for Internet Chess Server - Android - App iOS
LiliaChess Yes Yes, adapter included No No LAN (remote player) free graphical interface for engine matches or human against machine; set-up of chess problems is supported; restart the play of any stage from a game; four engines now are supplied: Baron, Crafty, Critter, Stockfish (previous edition contains optionally four or nine chess programs)
Lucas Chess - File Release Page - GitHub No Yes No No No free training program that contains tactical combinations and several degrees of difficulty - the loaded engine acts as “tutor” with hints for the player; PGN Viewer included, description is available in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, too; engines: Acqua, Alaric, Amyan, Andscacs, Arminius, BikJump, Cheng, Chispa, Cinnamon, Clarabit, Critter, Cyrano, Daydreamer, DeepFish, Delfi, Demolito, DiscoCheck, Fruit, Gaïa, Gambit Fruit, GarboChess, Gaviota, Glaurung, Gödel, GreKo, Gull, Hamsters, Irina, Komodo, Lime, Monarch, Pawny, Rhethoric, ROCE, Rocinante, Rodent (II), Rybka, Simplex, SmarThink, Stockfish, Tarrasch, Texel, Toga, Ufim, Umko, WildCat
Mayura Chess Board Yes with adapter Yes No No No Free - but the “Pro” version is commercial; Uses .NET; included engines are Toga II 1.3.1 and Easy Peasy (= program with bad playing style); WB2UCI-converter seems to have problems with the execution of moves after leaving opening´s theory
Monochess - GNU tarball Yes - WB 2 No No No No interface for Gnome / Linux; online play on ICS servers is a future project - contains ChessboardWidget
My Amateur Chess Engine (Interface) - mACE No Yes No No No no option for adjustments which were sent by the programs (at the moment); only tested with iCE/mACE; engine versus engine - matches are not possible
Net Blitz II Yes No No No Yes shareware (delay-ware); including Beowulf 2.3 beta 4 program; supports Bughouse variant with piece-drops; has IM; connects players over a local network or the Internet; especially for details about WinBoard protocol see Developer Zone - team stopped working on this project at least 5 years ago (information by Sébastien Lachance)
NetChess (Freeware) Yes Yes No No ICS, LAN front-end which allows playing chess between two humans / human versus engine / program-matches; PGN / FEN / EPD converter respectively viewer; IM and observe games; email-chess
Net Chess (Shareware) Yes No No No Yes trial period of 10 days; including Mustang 2.69 program; suitable to offline play on the same computer / online matches via local network or Internet; connection to game server; IP address detection; copy and paste of games by clipboard-function; supports PGN / FEN format; highlighting last move; selection of several chessboards; different sound and colour schemes; customizable cursos
ngboard - chess application for GTK - File Release Page Yes No No No Yes graphical interface for Linux / BSD; playing against a computer is possible; includes browsing / analysis of stored games; with implementation of timeseal; Python prototype - download, compile and install the development code
pChess - Download - Softpedia No Yes No No No Mac OS X application (Freeware) with peaBrain engine; FEN-Viewer; copy and paste of positions; supports FRC; see the author´s website for more informations
PGN Mentor - PGN Files Crafty engine to play games, evaluation position, direct interface and other functions Yes No No No commercial; download-link is only generated during purchase PGN Mentor [this information is given by Thomas Wendel from 64 Squares-sales (support)]; automatic downloads with a click on the button “File > Utilities > Download PGN Files”; Latest Edition (Update); demo version for non-registered users contains several built-in limitations; database with position search / study program for playing and publishing chess games; analysis function; tree organization modes for PGN-files and ECO code openings; supports GIF, JPEG, Bitmap and HTML formats to provide chess diagrams - procedure to re-install the full version: 1. Go to the PGN Mentor order webpage, either by clicking the 'Purchase PGN Mentor' link at or by going directly to - 2. In the 'Contact Information' block, enter your email address in both the 'Email' and 'Re-type Email' fields - 3. In the 'Payment Information' block, enter the following fields: Credit Card Type: Visa Card Number: 4747 0000 0000 0000 (you must enter all the zeros!) Expiration Date: any valid date Name on Card: your name - 4. Type in “download again” in the comments box - 5. Click on 'Submit Order' to submit the order - 6. You will now see the 'Thank You for Your Order' screen. Click on 'pgnsetup.exe' to download pgnsetup.exe - 7. After downloading pgnsetup.exe, run pgnsetup.exe to install the registered version of PGN Mentor
PyChess - Freshports-FreeBSD - GitHub website - Google website - SourceForge website Yes Yes No No Yes open source graphical interface, especially for Windows and Linux operation systems e.g. Debian / Fedora / Gentoo / Ubuntu with tarball to download; including own built-in chess engine which was described by Tamás Bajusz how it works with XBoard, supported variants like FRC, Shuffle, Corner etc. - Thomas Dybdahl Ahle´s statement : “I haven't tried to run PyChess engine under XBoard, but I see no reason it shouldn't be simple. You might want to create a one line bash script to start the interpretator and set up the correct environment” - Chess Puter, an not yet fully UCI-compatible program can be compiled on Linux with its Makefile. It can be installed and played with best on PyChess; Windows MSI Installer - Sjaak and Stockfish included
Raptor Chess Interface - GitHub website Yes Yes No No BICS, FICS chess interface and pgn viewer; created for Windows / Linux / Mac OS X / Solaris; successor of Decaf with MDI and console toolbar with many functions; supports game statistics, ECO classification , PGN export to format, Jin chess set; contains an internal web browser; possibilities for chatting; bundled with Stockfish Chess
Scid~Shane´s Chess Information Database - File Release Page - FreeBSD - GitHub website Yes Yes No No Yes Free, open source chess database; built-in engines: Toga and Phalanx (patched); Stockfish included (only current version) - Summary - User Discussion Board - ChessDB ~ download of 100000 or 3,5 Mio games - File Release Page project by Dr. David Kirkby is based on code from Scid, too - ChessDB for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch by Owen Lin - another possibility is the play against a computer or on the Internet: Scid vs. PC ~ Introduction / Features - File Release Page by Steven Atkinson (confer description by Ted Summers about installation on Ubuntu Linux) - Index - MillBase - newest work (beta application) is Scidb - File Release Page by Gregor Cramer for Linux / Unix systems only - but Windows support is planned, another front-end will be Jessy - Scid on the go ~ browser for Scid chess database with feature "analysis UCI engines", WinBoard-engines and matches between chess programs are not supported - Google - after installation of Scid occurs for Windows XP a failure indication like “cannot create index file” during a double-click on the icon: in that case just replace the folder bin/data of Scid by bin/data of ScidvsPC - Scidlet engine builds are available from Jim Ablett and Julien Marcel - Snack Sound Toolkit - Tcl / Tk - Website Active Tcl (for different operation systems)
Shredder UCI [SMP] and Classic (Windows) Shredder UCI [SMP] and Classic (Linux) Shredder UCI [SMP] and Classic (Mac) - Demo Download - User´s Manual Yes with WB2UCI converter, longly finished project (proprietary development) - not identical to Gunnar Odd Malin´s tool Yes No Yes No Commercial for Windows / Linux / Mac; the author sells his products by ChessBase GmbH, too (for example runs v5.32 ~ Fritz 6-GUI); see details for Deep Shredder 12 (not available) and Shredder 12 (not available)- former versions Shredder 3 / 4 / 5 support MCS (~WM-Paket 2000: just type “code” in the command line and contact the author with the obtained result (for PC / WinBoard) to use it like a wb-cpmpatible engine); - UCI Chess Engine - Protocol (an explanation is given how the interface communicates with embedded engines)
Slibo - File Release Page Yes No No No Yes Free, open source; KDE environment - comes with own chess program Edition 0.4.4 - 0.5.1 by Jim Ablett
Tarrasch Chess GUI - GitHub website No Yes No No No Freeware that is easy to handle; contains with -built in- programs of its interface [= symbol: three squares in red-violet-yellow colours] Rybka 2.3.2a-mp win32 and the Tarrasch Toy Engine (both UCI); kibitzer´s function; variety of opening books; setup of training positions ; full or partial blindfold modes
ThinkerBoard - SieberNET Yes No No No No Free, with Thinker engine included
Visor - InterAjedrez No Yes No No Yes application for study of games; contains curses; ebooks; database; Monte Carlo analysis; online play via IP-address; electronic magazines and many more features (website in Spanish and English language)
Wildcat main site - GUI Yes No No No No It never was officially released to the public due to bugs in code - and not developed anymore (Igor Korshunov)
WinBoard and XBoard (GNU Operating System) - Capabilities - Download 4.5 TM (including chess engines for variants) - Edition 4.8.0 - Forum - H.G. Muller - Git website (source code only) - Portable Edition - XBoard (index ftp) - XBoard (parent directory http) - Zeta (Hispanic Chess Engines) - Arun Persaud (Linux) - Debian Website - Ubuntu Website - Johan van Selst (FreeBSD) - Joshua Pettus (Mac OS X) - French translation by Benoît St-Pierre - WinBoard AA beta Yes Yes, adapter included No Yes, with adapter Yes Free, open source; H.G. Muller's improvement of Alessandro Scotti's Winboard “X”. Latest 'bleeding-edge' version from HG Muller's secret location; also supports variants; high-res boards; many more features; included engines: ElephantEye, FairyMax, Fruit, HaQiKi D, Pulsar and Shokidoki; support from HG is outstanding; for details see his website News - WinBoardforum - Lightning Rulez by Chris Gilmore / gatorade - a modified version of WinBoard, especially with the function “premoving” - CECP by Tim Mann & H.G. Muller - Chess Engine Communication Protocol Version 2 - implementation in C - WB protocol driver - Chinese and Japanese Chess: see “Variants Engine List” - tools to evaluate GUI performance for engine-engine matches on your system including FairyMax (WinBoard-protocol) and Fruit (UCI-protocol) - WinBoard Alien Edition - Edax Reversi for WB Alien WinBoard 4.8 does not have built-in Reversi support. There is a WinBoard fork, known as 'The Alien Edition', which does have built-in support for non-chesslike games like Checkers, Go, Amazons and Reversi. In practice this means that variants of these names have been added, and that in those variants the appropriate 'captures' will be made as automatic side effect to the played moves. (I.e. in variant checkers everything you jump over disappears, in variant reversi rows of pieces flip color, etc.) I suppose the Edax engine uses this Alien Edition.- AmyBoard - Amiga port (XBoard) by Jochen Wiedmann; graphical chessboard and user interface for GNU Chess - ICS - PGN file editor; Hippopotamus, browser-based version of XBoard - Sahistii Mascati Chess Project - Twilight Chess Interface with Punica UCI
WinChloe No Yes No No No commercial (WinChloe and WinChloe Light) - software that allows to browse the main database and has a bilingual (English / French) interface; system for analysis and solving of chess problems, but not suitable to play with engines; contains copy to a clipboard (RTF-format) and paste in a text editor; supports MS Word / Open Office or Writer

Developable / Discontinued / Faulty / Incomplete Chess GUIs (with download-links, if possible)

  • aChessBoard - GUI Chess Game by MadCoder42 ; features: play offline or versus UCI IA engines, save/load games, export a game to pictures files (Only For Windows)
  • Airedale Chess - simple C# Chess GUI, compatible with UCI Chess Engines (e.g. Stockfish) by Jumar Macato
  • AlienBoard - GUI for Android systems which can be used for many variants or other board games (Checkers, Go, Reversi etc.) respectively online play on chess servers; for further details see Daniel Shawul´s page Scorpio Chess and Nebiyu Alien
  • AllPawnsMustDie - Chess Engine GUI for UCI using C# and WinForms by Matthew Baker - author´s statement.”This is not a completed GUI, it is still very much a work in progress and just a pet project. There is no way currently for a user to play the engine via the GUI. That is something I am working on. I can add screenshots later if it's still needed, but this should be all you need to do step wise to run it: a) Install VS 2017 Community edition (free one) b) Clone this repository e.g. into c:\apmd c) Open the solution at c:\apmd\AllPawnsMustDie\AllPawnsMustDie.sln d) Press F5 to run it. e) In the current state you must first load an engine. Do this with “File→Load Engine” f) If you select “File→New Game” not much will happen at this point, I think the board will just draw. g) If you select “File→Self Play” the engine will play itself in a loop to exercise the portions I have hooked up so far. h) The only UCI engine I have used so far for testing is Stockfish 8.” - MediaFire
  • Analyze Chess - This (Free) and Analyze Chess - This (Pro) by Asim Pereira; features: Load and analyze your games from PGN file, Save moves and variations, Paste PGN or FEN, Share PGN/FEN with other Chess apps like Droidfish or send via Email/Twitter, Manage and install new UCI engines, One click analysis from iChess & Chess Book Study apps, New innovative feature to move back and forth by simply tilting your device. Now give your fingers some rest! - NOTE: Free vs Paid ~ Free version cannot install new UCI engine and has some other minor UI limitations while browsing games, This is not an app to play a chess game against the mobile or online or with friends, This app may occasionally show Ads and hence needs Internet permission, Online chess not supported, Importing external engines like Houdini 3, Rybka, Fritz, Hiarcs is currently not supported
  • BabyChess - created by Jérôme Kunegis (Technische Universität Berlin) with WinBoard support - for Linux (mainly SUSE), but port for Solaris is not compatible; requires LibPNG / GTK +2.0 / Gnome; contains a chess program, XBoard-evaluator (for other engines) and a command line interface ~ “Baby Chess Book”; GitHub - Wayback Archive
  • BCMGames - application by Bernhard C. März for WB/XB, UCI, USI (Japanese Chess) and UCCI (Chinese Chess) compatible programs; included are: Spear (Shogi), Shokidoki (Minishogi), HaQiKiD (Xiangqi) and HaChu (Chu Shogi); no configuration-dialog is possible and all must be done manually by hand in the config file; Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package is required - final bundle was released in 2014
  • Bughouse PGN Viewer - BPGNViewer (including source code) by Zon Juan Jan and Sergiy Vasylkevych is compatible with WinBoard bughouse engines (Sjeng - Sunsetter built-in); the program allows bughouse players to view games that are either recorded online (FICS) or fabricated using BPGNView - it incorporates both boards into the analysis, show clocks on both boards, and pieces in hand. The application also has many of the functionality features of PGN: It can store comments, multiple variations, player names, player ratings, time controls, and event location.
  • Capa Chess - application written by Enrico Benedetti in Java (Linux / Windows); current features are: 3d and 2d chessboards - fixed depth and “on time” engine with openings archive - local network play - XBoard and UCI engine interfaces - import/export of games (pgn) and positions (fen) files - graphic board customization - position editing game navigation - auto update
  • cchess by Jaap Joris - console chess frontend for UCI-compliant chess engines
  • cesso - a lightweight UCI chessboard program by Riccardo Antonelli optimized for very small resolutions (320×240) - it is designed to be used with a Raspberry Pi in analog video alongside a chess engine - project is still in early development and not even remotely playable yet
  • Chathurangam - GUI by Kannan Ramanathan for WB compatible engines; will have normal PGN viewer, analysis of any functions and optionally support for creating/maintaining a repertoire & SCID like database-support; only source code - no activity since 2004
  • CheekyChess - this project by bingojamigo aims to provide a fast chess bot able to recognize moves and respond to them via use of an external UCI-engine, such as - preferrably - Rybka 2.3.2a
  • Chess - a graphical interface for UCI compatible engines by Conor Griffin; engines Critter / Komodo / Saruman / Spike / Stockfish are included
  • Chess - an UCI-compatible application / GUI by Jeroen Carolus for Android including 2000 practice positions and 500 puzzles; online play (FICS); set up a position on the board; save and edit games; Chess 960; uses opening database; import and export via e-mail or clipboard etc. - GitHub - Google
  • Chess Academy 7 Office - commercial product by Witali Braslawski (Starter / Exclusive / Professional Package); version 7 comes with WinBoard / UCI for external programs; supports Millennium Chess System with options for Shredder 3-4 / WChess / Zarkov 5 as well; a database system, tutorial, training & playing program (contains own chess engine) - Autoplayer 232 - link for internet play cannot be found - it seems that requests of customers (especially via e-mail) to the support remain unacknowledged now - version 2000 5.5 SE (recommended installation into directory C:\CHACSE} was sold including Goliath Blitz 1.0 (chess engine by Michael Borgstädt), please confer therefore the website of Goliath Chess - scrolling of folders to another place causes often problems with the “ProfiBase” / “SelectBase” (error ~ partially installed or damaged - consequence: object cannot be opened); see also Seagaard Chess Reviews (concerning edition 6)
  • ChessBoard - is a standalone UCI-compatible chess board by Alexander Hörtenhuber; it provides a chess board interface to Internet Chess Servers like FICS and it is compatible to UCI chess engines - you can play against an engine or with other people over the Internet - it is also possible to save your games in a MySQL-Database - you can always ask an engine to tell you what the best moves in your position are - it is also possible to watch chess tournaments over the FICS-relay service
  • ChessBot - Chess-Bot GUI for Windows (commercial product) has not any built-in engine; UCI support; Crazyhouse variant (Sjeng engine); suitable to the following chess websites:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, (Windows app only)
  • Chess Buddy - default UCI; commercial product (trial version for 7 days) for Yahoo Chess and Pogo Chess including Tao engine by Play Buddy LLC; for further informations about membership / prices etc. see the menu Frequently Asked Question Topics or click there on “Buddy Instructions” - support-team´s review: “The trial and purchased version of Chess Buddy are exactly the same and can be used just as it is only. Chess Buddy can play against any opponent on Club Pogo be it human or player, although the win rate may change depending on the difficulty of the opponent. It is supposed to allow you to insert your own engine but that feature has been buggy for some time so only Tao is functional. This Buddy is one we have on our 'to redo' list at which time it will be completely updated and modernized (watch our 'Updated Buddies' page for news of that). Once the subscription expires it will open to the 'Trial Expired' window so accessing the GUI is not possible at that point.” - Help Topics
  • Chess Commander (Lite) - WB protocol only (limited shareware with a validity for 20 days); uses Chess Planet for ICS; contains GnuChess v5; native engines are Delfi and Simontacchi; computer opponents; network-/email chess; chat built-in Instant Messaging; possibility to create own databases; former main page- Will McGugan can be contacted directly via author´s blog - posting from April 2009 ”(recently retired) software has not been updated in more than 2 years”
  • Chess Components by Nikolay Chebotaryov; intended are a customizable chess board, data model (not only 8×8 board, but any others as well),Fischer Random Chess (Chess960), chess board view / controller implementations using AWT/Swing (and other GUI libraries in the future) with support of customizable renderers and controllers respectively chess rules - UCI (Unified Chess Interface) providing a bridge to console based chess engines like Rybka or Fruit
  • Chess Engine Interface by Jordan Bray - Talk (as either a client or server) with a chess engine or chess UI using either the XBoard or UCI protocol
  • Chess for Glass by Aart Bik; applikation runs directly on Glass . You can enter moves by simply saying the moves, or by using the touch pad. Other features include a choice in board color, spoken move announcements, and the ability to import any third party chess engine to replace the friendly built-in Java engine. Chess for Glass recognizes all Chessbase compatible engines that are installed in other applications on the same Glass device, and supports both the popular UCI and XBoard/WinBoard protocols - cf. CCC forum - Google for details
  • Chess Game Analyzer - commandline application by Ferdinand Mosca; takes pgn file and analyze the games in it - if you only want to analyze 1 game, make sure the file only contains 1 game. By default all games in the pgn file will be analyzed; the output will be in analyzedGame.pgn - mainly tested with Stockfish 6, but any UCI compatible engines that supports multipv mode and depth, multipv, score cp/mate and time values output in its analysis line can be used by this tool - the executable file is from Python source code and is using Python-chess library to parse moves and positions of the pgn file
  • Chess Giants by Pierre-Marie Baty (shareware), but free download of the evaluation version (included are Crafty / Fruit / GNU Chess /Stockfish); compatibility to the WinBoard / UCI - protocol; FEN / PGN-format; supports FICS and is suitable for Windows editions which are published after the year 2000 - review (completely in French) - author´s statement about current release “Il y a une nouvelle version de Chess Giants à télécharger sur mon site. Elle supporte plusieurs moteurs, CECP et UCI.”
  • Chess Informant Expert (Lite) by Sahovski Informator with UCI-compatibility respectively Crafty and Ruffian (built-in engines)), Commercial (with activation key and user-id), available are many products with the same notion Chess Informant main page, too; clipboard function; text editor; supports CIE, CIR, PGN, HTML, RTF; creation of own ECO tables; pressing the button “Internet / play chess online” (even tested with the activated CIE-version) leads to an error message including a content like “navigation to this website was broken up” as consequence in reality at each try; system of activation depends on sending the registration schedule with user-related data as email-attachment to - broken download link
  • Chess King; commercial product for Mac OS X / Windows by ChessOK; Houdini 2, 3 or 4 (Pro) engine included; software for training and improvement with database / chess puzzles; UCI engines may be used in Chess King (default here set Houdini UCI) and one may change this engine to other UCI engine. No way to use simultaneously several UCI engines in Chess King. But changing engine is operation for very advanced users. One need to edit some files (in interface no dialogue for adding other UCI engine) and we indeed don't describe this ability in help and manual. The same and with using WinBoard engines in Chess King (Convekta support).
  • ChessPad by WML Software / Mark van der Leek; ChessPad ~ free WinBoard and UCI (version 2 only) application & PGN viewer + editor; current version has advanced database features and WYSIWYG notation view; printing of games with diagrams / board marks - not to confuse with Jean-François Romang´s edition ChessPad for Android > UCI modules Toga II 1.4.1 SE - French desription - PosBase is s commercial product with a registration code for customers
  • ChessPeer - P2P-application by Sezgin Serin including Delfi 4.6wb and Yace Paderborn Edition; contains now a broken link to the author´s website - Download - software seems to have problems with the implementation of several chess engines: Arasan, Bruja, Horizon etc. execute no moves / error-message by the system like “handle invalid” (e.g Scorpio win32 JA) / irregular play during the chess opening “1.Nf3=R” - means that a rook is visible instead of a knight (Crafty win32 JA) - tested under OS Windows XP SP3
  • Chess Rocks - UCI-compatible graphical interface by Kenneth Chamberlain for playing or analyzing; WinBoard/CECP-protocol is not used. The description by its author has the following content: “There are 4 main modes, game play, position setup, move analysis and game analysis. You will need to have at least one UCI engine on you system for engine play or analysis. Two engines may be selected to play against each other. Of the engines I have tried Houdini, Critter, Stockfish and Streika seem to work well, Rybka and Aretar do not. I am interested in feedback on the program, especially about how the movelist RAV's were implemented. I have tried to make this a very simple to use application, other than the selections that are on the main window all other input is done through context menus. For example the Load and Save buttons have context messages for different possible sources and destinations. All options that a particular engine supports are displayed on it's respective tab page once it has been started.” - The author´s statement after extraction and selecting the chessboard symbol chessboard is: “Press the retry button and it will let you browse for the folder where the pieces are. Same would go for the engine and sound resources. There is are subfolders in the resource folders for each of those, of course I provided no engines.”
  • ChessSMS - an application that lets you play Chess over SMS, powered by Twilio. ChesSMS should in theory work with any UCI compatible chess engine. It is known to work with Stockfish. If using stockfish, compile it according to your machine and copy the binary to priv/bin/stockfish. If using another Chess Engine, you can put the binary where ever you want but you'll have to modify src/ and change the engine_path configuration parameter. To connect ChesSMS to an SMS enabled Twilio number, sign up for Twilio and buy a number (if you haven't already). Configure the SMS URL of the phone number to point where your ChesSMS server is running.
  • ChessSpeak - a voice interface created by Fred Mellender; it allows you to speak moves to any UCI chess engine and receive the engine's move in audio. This lets you set up a real board and pieces across the room from the computer and play a game against the engine without having to use the mouse, keyboard, or monitor. Some find this a more natural way to play chess and their “board vision” benefits from using actual pieces. You can use the program to practice blindfold chess; it has a graphical interface too. Additionally, ChessSpeak will calculate your rating and ratings for chess engines - User´s Guide
  • Chesster - alfa state project by Basti Tee; Python-frontend for any UCI-compatible chess engine with Stockfish being included and PGN (command-line tool to analyse respectively annotate chess games); console client to play against Stockfish; standalone-server to send UCI commands over the web to a chesster instance
  • Chess Tournament - with this Javiolo app for Android you can only play chess tournaments between engines/modules; Gurcan Uckardes says: Indeed, CfA is simple, stable, handles XB engines and has low memory usage but that doesn't mean it's complete. The app can use UCI engines as well as tablebases. But for the moment, full reliability isn't yet achieved. So, Chess Tournament, available for free download from GOOGLE PLAY has the opportunity to become the king vey soon.
  • ChessVision by Microvision Vennootschap Onder Firma (V.O.F. ~ partnership under common firm), a Dutch companny; former commercial database system (CBF / PGN support) for Win 95 / 98 / NT which comes with Crafty, a WinBoard-compatible interface and allows online play on ICC / FICS etc. - SC Leinzell´s page is only in German
  • ChessVU - Filewatcher - shareware product by SmartSoftware Italia, UCI-compatible, has database functions (common formats are PGN / CBF), tool for game analysis and many other features
  • ChessX - File Release Page - project written in C++ for Windows / Linux / Mac OS X by the active developer Michal Rudolf - Heinz Hopfgartner maintained Mac port - main tester is Bruno Rizzuti; FreeBSD - supports WB and UCI protocol; Qt Library (at least version 4.4.0) is required; FEN (copy / paste) ; load / save PGN files; browse and navigate through games - you cannot play against chess engines, but use them for analysis; Dann Corbit reported about an earlier edition that this database cannot handle a large PGN-structure
  • Chester Chess Client - written in Java by J. Knight; connection to UCI engines; save and load of PGN format games; contains screenshot, source code - no activity since 2006
  • CLIM - made by Stas Boukarev and only tested with GNU Chess ~ WB 2, but very simplistic; should run on any OSes with Clozure CL - interface is not ready for prime time
  • CoffeeHouse - Mac OS X application by Wolf Stephan Kappesser, available as free/standard/pro edition (both will be commercial) - features: recognition of openings, choice of chessboard (2D or 3D)/pieces, PGN (standard/pro version), online play via internet and engine-matches (only pro version); tested with Protector, Glaurung and GNU Chess - but a final decision about its function volume/feature (e.g XBoard-UCI-support) is not made because for a continued development the striking security deficiencies of Mac OS X are cumberstone - webbsite is still under construction (especially the English description)
  • CompoChess - Softpedia - freeware project by Uwe Auerswald; WinBoard-compatible (analysis function), but games only against the program MiniMax are possible; PGN-editor; supports FRC - no further under development because its author passed away in the year 2008
  • ComradesGUI - a prefiguration model that was tested with the chess engines ComStock, Firenzina, IvanHoe and Stockfish by Dmitri Gusev, Nathan Kuhl, Derek Pike and Mariano “Tony” Roberts Sr
  • Console Chess - simple frontend written in Haskell by Jaap Joris/RTTS for UCI-compliant chess engines; to play a game of chess you need a console/terminal application that can display Unicode chess symbols and a chess engine
  • Decaf Chess Interface - Open Hub - made by Carson Day, Sergei Kozyrenko, Ludens and John Nahlen; Java chess client for Windows / Linux / Mac OS X; WinBoard set is implemented into chess gui, but analysis with Crafty during observing games is on the wishing list; FICS and Bughouse are supported
  • DETROID - A chess engine framework by Viktor Csomor that handles the UCI protocol, provides a chess GUI, and serves as an engine parameter optimization framework. An engine only needs to implement the interface TunableEngine to be usable as a UCI chess engine, the search engine of the GUI, and to be tunable. As the framework includes the Detroid chess engine , which is by default used as the controller engine for the GUI and for tuning, other engines using the framework do not have to implement the ControllerEngine interface. The ApplicationFramework itself is a Runnable class whith a single two-parameter constructor. The first parameter is an EngineFactory instance which is responsible for creating instances of a TunableEngine and a ControllerEngine. This is where Detroid is used as the ControllerEngine by default to avoid having to implement the interface to tune the engine, use it in the GUI, or use it as a UCI engine. The second parameter is an array of strings for program arguments which define the behaviour of the framework. To launch the framework, an instance of ApplicationFramework needs to be constructed and run in the main method of the application. The following sections describe the features of the framework and present the usage of the program arguments. The complete Javadoc of the framework can be found here: current version
  • DoubleChessBoard - an application (including Defeo / Sjeng / Sunsetter) by Dušan Škaloud that plays bughouse, but has no button / menu for standard chess; in analyzing mode it is possible to type “variant” (bughouse, standard are supported and maybe even coin). The programmer´s resume was: In version 1.55 theoretically you can run any WinBoard engine, but I am not sure with standard chess variant outside analyze window (Net / StartNewGame / Setup board and then analyze by engine) works, because of this shortened engine running and output processing functionality which I made fast for bughouse Sjeng; for Sunsetter type “engine especially (playing)” and Sjeng type “engine analyzing” - bughouse chess engines
  • Ethereal Chess - 3D chess program by Jordan Sparks capable of communicating with any UCI compatible AI engine; does not have its own engine; free edition of Houdini is used; works with Critter too - but with Stockfish occur problems at the moment; has no relationship with Andy Grant´s Ethereal chess engine - he said: “My engine is UCI compatible, and contains no graphical interface of it's own. As of now the project is not fully UCI compatible, and only has enough code to do the testing I am currently doing. I am aware of EtherealChess which is just a GUI with an engine hooked into it. My project is a completely separate project.” - CCC Thread
  • ExpressChess - simple chess UI (targeting UCI engine support) in Java by Michael G. a.k.a. DoubleEspresso
  • Freeware Schach - by Rolf Radke, Screenshot, UCI for implementation of external programs, configuration file, adjustable playing strength, PGN & FEN support
  • Galjoen - GUI including XBoard/UCI-compatible chess engine by Werner Taelemans for Linux. The interface can already play matches between different engines. It can use PGN opening books, where each opening is played twice, once with engine 1 as white and engine 2 as black respectively once with reversed colors; planned features are: full support for the XBoard protocol, connection to chess-servers, support for other variants etc.
  • Gandalf Chess GUI - an open source project (Linux / Mac OS X / Windows) with UCI-support and Saruman chess engine by Terry Bolt / Conor Griffin / Darragh Griffin ; required applications are: Doxygen - GTK# for .NET including Mono - Xamarin Studio and several other components (for Windows) e.g. - Microsoft .NET Framework - Microsoft Build Tools - Microsoft C++ Redistributable Package x64 - Microsoft C++ Redistributable Package x86 ; to execute the graphical interface click on chess-master\chess-master\GUI.sln from 26th September 2016 (2 KB) - select “Release” (top left) instead of “Debug” and then on the symbol “triangle” (in the form of an arrow - to the left) , consequence: Gandalf Chess GUI is opened - cf. the Xamarin Studio, this application contains now a “red framed square” ; playing modes: human vs. human, player vs. engine and engine vs. engine are possible, this built has no relationship to the commercial ChessPartner GUI, formerly distributed by Lokasoft (a Durch company)- important: Microsoft Build Tools is installed because the used Xamarin Studio version has obviously problems with newer Microsoft .NET Framework releases than v4.5.2
  • GekoBoard - front end (including sources) for WinBoard by Giuseppe Cannella; freeware - closed project
  • GreenChess for Mac OS X - iTunes - currently a Mac OS X compatible interface by George Merchant for UCI engines and reading games in PGN format, mainly tested with Stockfish; author´s comment referring to the pendant BlueChess for iOS - iTunes “But BlueChess is just a simple App that only can place against the built-in chess engine and can't read in game files. BlueChess is an ongoing project and I will be slowly adding more features to it. I developed my own chess engine for BlueChess. It is the same engine GreenChess runs”
  • Haundrix Chess - a WinBoard-compatible open source project by Alex Ignácio da Silva that comes with the engines Crafty / GNU Chess / Sjeng; author´s answer in the help forum: There is a way, but only if the engine speaks the Winboard protocol (UCI is not supported). The procedure is not user-friendly, but isn't complex either: it involves creating a Haundrix plug-in, which is basically editing a simple XML file. If you're ready to the challenge let me know, and I'll be glad to provide you with instructions on how to accomplish it
  • Hawk Chess - a commercial product/ user interface (full version) for Android by Digitalhawk, but the free edition is ad-supported; contains the following features: play against a variety of compatible UCI chess engines, including the built-in Hawk engine - variable skill levels for supported engines - switch engines and adjust their skill in-game - variable time controls - undo moves - create human-only games, with a chess engine on-hand to provide hints - respectively engine-only games, useful for learning and your general interest - play multiple off-line games concurrently - ask for hints from any installed engine - Hawk Chess Server & FICS - PGN support - review and play back completed games move-by-move - set up positions by board editor - 2D/3D graphical layout for different screen sizes etc.
  • HFT-Stuttgart GDV 2013 Schach - project by Stefan Buettner (Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart, Germany); an interface for chess engines supporting UCI (included are Fire and Stockfish)
  • HOXchess - a cross-platform, open source Xiangqi client, capable of working with multiple online Xiangqi sites: it is a traditional desktop application, developed mainly in C++ using wxWidgets - two servers are supported far: PlayXiangqi and Chesscape - included Xiangqi engines are: Folium, HaQiKiD, MaxQi, Tsito, XQWLight; available in Chinese, English, French and Vietnamese language - Github
  • icsDrone - acts as interface between internet chess server and a WinBoard / XBoard - program; this project was originally made for FICS by Henrik Gram, but runs with ICC, too; included enines:
  • iNemesis - based on CC Client by James D. Barnett; connection to FICS (default) and ICC (advanced mode); analysis function for WinBoard engines (Crafty v19.3 included); humans or computers as opponents; supports standard play and many chess variants like Bughouse, Crazyhouse, Suicide, Atomic etc.; timeseal / timestamp; voice chat; sought options for filtering seeks; PGN / chess puzzles; disconnection detector system - semi-closed project at the moment (implementation of UCI and 3D are planned ~ information by Tin Pin)
  • Infinity CHess - incorporates ease of use with rich and modified features, Windows interface for analyzing games in offline and online Module, Support is available for all Universal Chess Interface (UCI) chess engines, Assorted rooms for all kind of activities, you can match-up in different play modes, i.e., human, engine and centaur. Start playing chess straight away as a guest or create your own account today and experience the best of chess.
  • JavaChessGUI - application by javachessgui for UCI-compatible engines, Chess GUI written in Java, using the JavaFX platform / are executable jar-file is included that works with Java Runtime SE Environment
  • Java XBoard - application by Asher Stern (chess board, written purely in Java); can be used as a GUI for chess-engines - SourceForge
  • JCchess - an open source Chess GUI to play against UCI chess engines by John Cheetham; has several features: load / save games in PGN format including support for reading multi-game files; undo / redo moves; resizable board; play human vs engine, engine vs engine or human vs human; windows to display UCI engine output, debugging info, move list and comments; edit board position; copy/paste board position/game to/from clipboard - GitHub - instruction for Windows systems: install Python 3.4.4 from the website (depending from your Windows operation system with 32/64 bit) into destination folder e.g. C:\Python34 - then install latest PyGI from SourceForge - during the procedure select the option “no” for adding a portable Python version; when installing it you have to check packages: Base packages - GDK-Pixbuf - GTK+ 3.x - Pango; download from GitHub and extract the folder - from jcchess directory you can run it now like: python - click on Python file “run” and not on jcchess\gui > graphical interface is opened [important: the application Python Chess (cf. section acknoledgements) is not required (information by Tamás Bajusz - author of PyChess)]
  • Jerry - Download - GUI for UCI-compatible chess engines (Linux/Mac OS X/Windows) including Stockfish by Dominik Klein; play against the computer; adjust strength levels to match your skill; enter, edit and analyse games; features PGN and FEN etc.
  • Kaya - Download - KDE board game suite by Paolo Capriotti - supported games: Chess, Minichess, Shogi, Minishogi, Crazyhouse; game history sidebar; customizable interface, FICS support: play, examine and observe games, interact using a text console; load, edit and save chess and shogi games; XBoard-compatible chess / GNU Shogi engine support - GitHub - project is no longer maintained by its author; he said: ” I'm afraid I don't have any executables. You need to install both Ruby and (at least) QtRuby to run Kaya. You don't actually need the KDE binding (which is probably a pain to install on Windows). It used to work fine with older versions of QtRuby, but you'd probably need to make some minor modifications to be able to run it with current versions. Ruby v1.9, Qt or KDE bindings certainly < v5.0”
  • kivy-chess - application with Stockfish by Shivkumar Shivaji, Chess Database/Analysis and playing program; contains the following features: Ability to analyze positions remotely on powerful computers (more information coming soon). Instant Database position searches. Play vs the computer with levels that can work for strong and weak players (from club players to GMs). Opening book support. Ability to find holes in your repertoire (more information coming).DGT board support - Alvin Charles
  • libchessinterface - Windows / Linux library written in C / C++ by Jonas Thiem for engines supporting UCI and WinBoard; only starting of a process and logging are implemented yet, no chess knowledge exists
  • MChess Professional - supports Chess(Board) 232 and Autoplayer 232; is started with DOS-prompt e.g. “cd\MCP7”; copy protected with “recharge” (CD-query of the original all 14 days and then confirmation of this procedure with “enter”); no further developed by Marty Hirsch; Chess Assistant has special interfaces for MChess Pro Edition 5-7
  • MinkiChess - chess coaching and playing program by Balachandran Subramaniam; he wrote the following message: “Minkichess currently uses the stockfish engine. However, the engine is used to analyse on behalf of the ai object. The ai part then selects the moves on its own criteria. Example: 1.e4 d5. Here the engine is asked to give evaluation for all possible replies, for, say depth 4. Then the ai decides with some probablity what to do. It can choose a random move (low levels) - moves within a margin of 50centi-pawns - a capturing move - decide to go for a deeper analysis and use the returned result. The trick is to make the ai make errors similar to humans. So basically any engine will do as long as the performance is calibrated. The calibration is done against Chessmaster 8000 personalities and Houdini_2.0 reduced strength settings. As for other engines. It is easy to replace the engine as long as the new engine works similarly to stockfish (majority do). Just copy into /data/engines and rename. Problem is, the ai is calibrated to the stockfish engine. So, performance will not tally with what is shown on screen. If you want the underlying concepts: I started the program because I wanted to teach chess to my niece and nephew and chessmaster was not up the task.”
  • Omaha board game GUI (Gna! project) - a (wannabe) graphical interface by Yann Dirson to play arbitrary board games, aiming to be completely extensible by plugins; created for checkers, (mini-)shogi, chess, go etc. PGN-format, AI: XBoard protocol (GNU Chess, Fairy-Max) - Bundles - Readme
  • Penguin - PGN Editor by Dariusz Stachowski, freeware for Windows; allows the analysis of positions with the help of UCI engines (tested with Fruit / Houdini / Shredder Classic / Toga) - but WinBoard is not supported yet, store respectively replay games and a quick launch of a chessboard on the desktop
  • Pirat - WinBoard (via converter) / UCI by Softwareentwicklung Wolf & Wolf; (commercial product with built-in Pirat engine and Autoplayer 232); trial version for 90 days ~ setup of unregistered edition, after this period you have to acquire a personal licence key including an update of engine respectively interface
  • Proteus Chess - WinBoard-compatible GUI for engines like Crafty, Faile or LarsenVB (Italian language); a click on the link “Scacchi E Informatica” under the shreenshot of this interface leads to a yahoo-group with identical URL - an old Visual Basic 6 project , probably stored on a dismissed PC (Alessandro Morales)
  • PyChess - CLI-based chess game using UCI-compatible chess engines by Dan Peretz; program is currently under development
  • Pyfish - simple CLI interface for UCI engines by Tom Leaman which plays with the default settings apart from the opening book
  • Python Chess - pure Python chess library by Niklas Fiekas with move generation and validation, PGN parsing and writing, Polyglot opening book reading, Gaviota tablebase probing, Syzygy tablebase probing and UCI engine communication; experimental XBoard engine support
  • Qianhong - application for Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) by Jeremy Craner; Plug-Ins are separate AI engines that can be played with Qianhong > “Plugins” subdirectory under the Qianhong installation directory - when you play against the computer, you can select which plugin to play against using the “Choose AI” option in the “Game Setup” box - ElephantEye - K11egg - VSCCP
  • Quasimodo - interface by Eugen Covaci for playing and analyzing chess games, managing databases; UCI [(Basic)Engine Handler - Engine Plug-In (Java)}] and FICS support; contains several internet features (Java) like client-command-session-user, has SQL-file, too
  • Ruby UCI - Universal Chess Interface for Ruby by Matthew Nielsen; supported engines ~ In theory it can support any UCI-compatible engine (except for conditions outlined in the 'caveats' section). It has been tested with: Stockfish (Jan 11 2013 Github source) - Fruit 2.3.1 (Mac); caveats ~ no move checking; this gem assumes the engine knows what it's doing; if the gem wishes to place a illegal move it will be accepted. Unix-style Line endings are assumed. Current version assumes unix-style (“\n”) line endings. That means running this under MS-DOS or Windows may barf. Very limited command set. Very few commands of the total UCI command set are currently supported - they are: starting a new game / setting options and positions / getting best move. It does not yet support: 'uci' command ponder mode / infinite mode / ponderhit / registrations
  • SA Chess XiangQi Software - Chinese Chess graphical interface for engines with UCCI-protocol by Kyle Wu; commercial product, but edition for Dual Core PC´s is freeware
  • scalachessgui - chess graphical user interface for XBoard/UCI compatible engines that supports Chess960 and several other chess variants it is written in Scala, however it is packaged in a so called fat jar file that contains all its dependencies, therefore you can run it under Java 8+ without having to download the Scala language; to run the progam: make sure that the latest version of Java is installed on your computer - download the zip file and unzip the repository, then in the root directory of the repository double click on 'scalachessgui.jar' or open a console window, cd to the root directory of the repository, and issue the command 'java -jar scalachessgui.jar'
  • Schach3D - Chess3D - shareware by Thomas Schwab Softwareentwicklung in Germany; built-in physics engine; UCI support, demoversion (limitation of games ~ 20 moves) comes with the programs Fruit 2.3.1, Glaurung 1.2.1, Rybka 2.2n2 MP win32 and TwistedLogic 20080620 / 0.065e35 / 0.065e37; 3D graphics; 2-player mode via LAN or Internet; numerous chessboards / pieces / materials / environments
  • Shaker - Blogspot - GUI by Thomas Petzke (including Stockfish) for UCI-compatible engines
  • ShogiBoard - a Shogi (Japanese chess) frontend for USI-compatible engines like Blunder by Akira Shimoyama
  • Shogidokoro - Shogi-Office, a graphical interface for Japanese Chess engines working with USI-protocol by ishik ( ; Download - the forum website EZBBS rejects obviously email-messages outside of Japan; available in English language too
  • ShogiGUI - Shogi (Japanese Chess) Interface for USI-compatible engines like GPSfish (built-in program) by; Download Support - available in English and German language too
  • SigmaChess - previous commercial Mac OS X - application by Ole K. Christensen; (with built-in engine) is freeware now and has a lot of features like UCI-support / databases / PGN / library etc.; no compatibility to the current edition 10.7 (Lion) from Apple - see author´s website for further informations
  • Simple Chess - a graphical user interface for Winboard engines by Marcin Gardyjan. It comes with its own engine MiniChessAI. The level of the engine can be adjusted in a number of different ways, and there is a choice of playing styles from calm to aggressive
  • Sirius - an announced front-end by Stefan Zipproth which comes with the Cerebellum Library, (innovative chess analysis tool and opening book) and BrainFish Chess; release date ~ probably at the end of 2016; another project is JetChess, an implementation of a fast move generator
  • Sjef by Evert Glebbeek is a tool (command line program) for playing matches between chess engines; WinBoard/XBoard protocol is supported - for UCI use Polyglot UCI2WB
  • sPYderchess by Dirk Baechle for analysis of chess games in Python using UCI and WinBoard/XBoard engines
  • Strong Java Chess Engines Game by Roman Koldaev a.k.a harp07 - SJCE a.k.a. Strong Java Chess Engines, is a cross-platform graphical chess game including the following java xboard/winboard and uci chess engines: Alf, Animats Chess, ArabianKnight, Bagatur, BremboCE, CalculonX, Carballo, Cave Chess, Chess 22k, ChessbotX, Cuckoo Chess, Cupcake, DeepBrutePos, Eden, Fischerle, Flux, Frank Walter, Frittle, Gladiator, GNU Chess (Chessbox), Javalin, JChecs, JChess, KingsOut, Krudo (removed) , Magnum, Mediocre, OliThink, Phoenix, Presbyter, Pulse, Rival, Rumney, Talvmenni, Tiffanys, Tri-language Open Source Chess, Unidexter, Ziggy
  • Tagua (formerly KBoard)- generic boardgame application for chess, shogi, xiangqi etc. by Paolo Capriotti, Maurizio Monge and Yann Dirson; supports the XBoard protocol and is suitable to online play like FICS / ICC; requires KDE 4.x / Qt4 / boost 1.33; see Debian - Freecode - KDE - Launchpad - project seems to be finished
  • UCI by Raminder Singh is a console-based application which has the functionality of a UCI Chess GUI, but without a graphical interface - currently Stockfish is bundled with UCI and though in principle other UCI engines can be used neither any other engine has been tested nor does UCI automatically recognize new engines placed under the engines folder
  • UCI Chess Trainer - NET chess GUI written in C# written by Stefan a.k.a. shoedkte - application for playing games against the computer or generating hints for your own books - project is praised to communicate with engines like Stockfish, but a precompiled edition for Windows 32-bit indicates some error messages like “untreated exception with this use - object cannot be started” etc.
  • UCI-GUI by Stoyan Revov - This project is created as part of the Software Technologies course at Plovdiv University. The idea is to provide a web based platform for chess game analysis with UCI engines, a back-end is Stockfish Chess.
  • Ultra Fast Tournament Environment - command line tool for WinBoard / UCI chess engines by Onno Garms with the features : reads list of engines from a file, reads list of openings from a file (not PGN for simplicity of implementation, format is “e2e4 e7e5 g1f3”, one opening per line), plays the first engine against all other engines with all openings and both colors fixed nodes per move - so results are independent of system load, individual number of nodes for each engine - so you can let weaker opponents think longer and/or adapt for different NPS, writes results in a CSV file, one result per line, writes games in a file, one game per line in the same format like the openings when restarted after an interrupt, reads above files to start with the game that was interrupted checks moves for legality, is based on Fruit for this feature no parallelization
  • UniChess - written by whily in Scala is a platform-independent project, which requires Java / Scala Standard Library / Standard Widget Toolkit; supports UCI (internal respectively external programs) and the following features: online-play / training tool (e.g repertoire of openings) / data management - SBT - GitHub
  • vcboard - GPL-edition, XBoard-like graphical “virtual” chessboard, written in Tcl/Tk, GNUchess interface (rudimentary system - partially working) by Jan Hildebrandt; development stopped in March 2002
  • WoodPusher - a chess application written in C# by Jamin Gray for Mono framework, see Review (Linux) - intended is playing games against other programs or online using internet chess servers
  • xChess- multiplatform GUI by MD Z. Hossain; front end for many chess engines (XBoard and UCI protocol); works as client for ICS; written in Java that requires Java Runtime Environment 5.0 or higher including GnuChess 5.07; operating systems are all BSD versions (Free / Net / Open / Apple MacOS X), Windows NT / 2000 / XP (32-bit) and Linux - SourceForge
  • XECTool - Softpedia - a client program by Andres Valverde for XfccBasic Web Services, Xfcc is a Web Service protocol developed by Martin Bennedik and allows Chess Servers users to manage their chess games without using a web browser - WB-2 / UCI protocol is supported for analysis engines; Crafty is included; cf. remark > ECTool (by the same author)
  • Xiangqi Wizard - powerful XiangQi (Chinese chess) program by XQBase which supports UCCI engines; ElephantEye built-in; XQWizard Light is the Mobile version for Windows CE and Java ME
  • YaYxp by matematiko is called “Yet another YtoICS for Xiangqi at Playxiangqi”, an ICS (Internet Chess Server) emulator for connecting WinBoard/Xboard to Playxiangqi
  • YChess - WB (with adapter) and UCI protocol; interface for own chess engine, shareware (no longer available at Kagi supplier store); trial version for 30 days; supports the features Autoplayer 232, commenting / annotation of moves, Endgame Generator (egtbgen); no direct support by its author Roman Antonczyk, this website was last modified in the year 2004 - Edition from 1995 - YChess (DOS)
  • Zhouse/Crazyhouse Challenger by Zon Juan Jan, a graphical interface for Winboard compatible Crazyhouse engines; included are Crackwhore (no executable file), Crazybot, Deepbug, Sjeng, and Sunsetter
  • Zpionka by Padawan Breslau - web application for viewing and commenting chess games; future project is the implementation of UCI
  • Zugzwang- GUI for Crafty or other XBoard-compatible chess engines by Ralf Smikalla; chess client - suitable for browse PGN files; written in C++; for installing the components Qt toolkit 3.x (3.1.2) / GNU flex 2.x (2.5.4) / C++ compiler GNU g++ 3.3.2 are required; optional are Zugzwang BIN PATH / LIB PATH / ROOT PATH / DOC PATH; operating systems are POSIX (Linux / BSD / Unix like OSes) - SourceForge


The following adapters will make many of the Chess GUIs above compatible with Winboard or UCI engines, but there is the possibility of introducing weird bugs, ie: well-behaved engines inexplicably may lose on time. It is recommended that you test thoroughly before using these adapters in 'official tournaments'.

Primary tools:

Secondary tools:

  • a232eng - wbengine - Two tools by Rémi Coulom. Connect an auto232 engine to WinBoard respectively a WinBooard engine to an auto232 opponent.
  • dgtdrv - A tool by Alexander Wagner for non Windows-users with the DGT Electronic Chess Board ([Linux] dgtdrv version 1, based on Crafty > serial port - [POSIX] dgtdrv version 2, including a library > USB); requires any interface that offers the function “engine tournament mode”; supports XBoard and UCI protocol; dgtdrv is limited to send moves (“one way-communication”), but no code is necessary on the side of the GUI.
  • dgtnix - A POSIX driver for the Digital Game Timer board and clock by Pierre Boulenguez. It is intended at acting as a layer between chess programs and the devices.
  • ERT-CB - A tool by Christophe Drieu which allows playing engine-matches between Lokasoft Engine Research Tool and ChessBase-Interface
  • Jellyfish - Jellyfishchess project by CESI-RIL-France is a Java UCI middleware for driving chess engines and UI's for playing chess
  • Net Chess - A tool by NetIntellGames; for general information see sections “Net Chess” and “Features”
  • netChess - Utility program by Bernhard Wallner; facilitates the communication between an interface and a chess engine on remote computer systems that are connected over TCP/IP
  • P2P - by H.G.M for connecting two XBoard GUIs over a network , see Linux binary respectively Windows executable
  • SmartBoard-WB - Winboard driver for SmartBoard by Jens Lukas. A detailed description with screenshots is given in French by Patrick Libaert who has left us in 2002.
  • WBAuto232 - WinBoard Autoplayer 232 by Eberhard Boerger. Driver for games on chess server.
  • WinBoard Chronos Adapter by Magnetar Games especially designed for the application Chronos

Adapters by external parties do not make an interface compatible to a given protocol!

Hardware / Software (with connections to chessboards)

Programming Tools

  • JCPI - Java Chess Protocol Interface by Phokham Nonava provides a clean object-oriented interface to the UCI-protocol. It handles all the standard I/O communication and creates well defined Java objects for the engine to consume - GitHub - SourceForge
  • JSUCI - Javascript Universal Chess Interface by Edmund Moshammer is a port of UCI to Javascript. An interface for Javascript chess engines to the UCI (universal chess interface) protocol. This allows javascript chess engines to be launched in most chess graphical interfaces - CCC forum
  • NodeUCI - An implementation by Buğra Fırat of the Universal Chess Interface protocol for node.js. In short, you can talk to engines (like Stockfish, Rybka, etc.) from node.js without any headaches. Abstracts away the pesky communication and parsing of UCI and provides a sane API to communicate with engines. The programmer´s declaration: “This is not a GUI or a program you can “open” to use an engine, this provides a library for communicating with UCI engines with the uci protocol. The programs you sent on that list all communicate through this protocol (this would be opaque to you as a user, the GUI handles it in the implementation). This project on the other hand is neither a GUI or an executable, it is a library to be used in other software programs (namely, javascript via node.js). In a sense, a GUI you can execute might use this project to communicate with the engine from behind the scenes. It seems to me you're looking to use an engine with a GUI, so this project is not a good candidate to do that. If you had some software (for example and automatic game analyzer) that needed to speak to an engine at some point, that would be the use case. This is just the library, so you can't execute anything without actually writing the code to do so.”
  • PyUCI - The Python UCI Chess Engine Interface (PUCEI or PyUCI) by Patrick Poitras allows communication with a UCI-enabled chess engine from Python 2.x on any platform (Linux / Macintosh / Windows systems etc.); project is in very early stages of development.


Thanks to Norbert Raimund Leisner for help in correcting this information and in finding many new GUIs for this page!

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