Dedicated to chess on Mac

Information for Chess players, Chess programmers and Apple users

Updated on : 04/01/2022
Version 1.58
En français

I would be inclined to tell you that you will have to start with the download section on this site. This would be an overstatement because you can get software from hundreds of sites. There is a very short list included in the links page, but this is far from complete. I hope one day, surfers will flock to this site in order to find anything related to chess on mac, until that day, please refer to the places indicated below first.

Mac OS X native / aqua

  • The source code for the Chess application can be downloaded from the Apple developers web-site.

Other softwares to be added to this list.

Mac OS X java

There are no chess softwares developed in java that are only written for the Mac OS X platform. You will have to refer to the source code contained on the sites for other platforms. The compatibility of the java implementation is not always 100%. If different platform dependent packages are available, please use packages in following order:

  1. Mac OS X packages;
  2. Sun Solaris packages;
  3. Windows packages;
  4. UNIX packages;
  5. Linux packages.

Mac OS X Console

Most softwares in this category are ports from Unix or from DOS command line. Next to this, almost all softwares developed for XBoard or Winboard also support the command line interface. A good starting point for this is the XBoard/Winboard software list.

Unless some softwares supporting the UCI protocol or relying on non-standard Cygwin libraries that have an inproper interface, most applications are possible candidates for compiling for Mac OS X.

Mac OS X X11

As stated above, all XBoard and most Winboard applications will compile on the Mac. If multiple platforms are available, you might be looking to packages in the following order:

  1. Mac OS X packages;
  2. UNIX packages;
  3. Linux packages;
  4. Windows packages.

Other ports

Some very old ports from DOS and Atari are available for the Mac. Other candidates are ports from the Codewarrior console applications towards Mac OS X.

I have little information about successful deployment of these ports on Mac OS X.

Using Fink

A lot of Mac OS X users do seem to use Fink in order to download and install the different packages. I do not use Fink (yet) and it is perfectly possible to get the chess programs to run just by downloading the source code and following the instructions on these pages. Using Fink however seems to make it easier to resolve the dependecies on other packages.

GTK+ comments

For some UNIX based applications, the dependency on GTK+ still gives me some problems. e.g. SCID.