Dedicated to chess on Mac

Information for Chess players, Chess programmers and Apple users

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

mac OS (intel)

Note that Apple renamed Mac OS X into macOS. Since macOS 10.6, only intel 64 bit is supported (but 32 bit programs still run). PowerPC, universal and the classic environment are no longer supported. Users of older Apple computers can use the Universal page. Users of M1 machines or with macOS 11 or 12, please refer to M1 or macOS 11.

  • Apple chess: A chess program installed by default on macOS. Includes the sjeng engine.

  • Scid: A chess database program. Allows to plug in engines. See also ChessX, Scid vs PC and Scid vs Mac

  • BanksiaGUI: A free chess program. Allows to play chess, organise chess engine tournaments, play online chess and plenty of other features. A must have. See also the open source Banksia.

  • HIARCS Chess Explorer: A commercial chess database, analysis and playing program. Interfaces with command line chess programs. See also Deep HIARCS Chess Explorer

  • Shredder 13 Series: A commerial chess playing program. See also Shredder Classic 5 and Deep Shredder 13

  • ExaChess Lite. A free chess application with demo database functions. Allows support for external chess engines. Amateur strength but upgradable through the use of additional free engines.

  • ExaChess Pro. A commercial (€ 100) application with integrated database functions. Same as the lite version but with bigger database and opening books.

Some of the applications above allow you to install command line based chess engines. They have to support the UCI or Xboard (winboard/CECP) protocol.

  • Stockfish: World champion of chess programs. Elo 3700 with NNUE. Elo 3500 without. Can be configured to play at less strength. Open source and available on all platforms.

  • Dragon: A very strong contender for the first place. Elo 3500. Can be configured to play at less strength. Human like play. Commercial engine. Successor to Komodo.

  • Komodo: Free older version (up to version 12) preceeding dragon. Elo 2750. Can be configured to play at less strength. Human like play. See also Dragon.

  • Crafty: The refernce in open source chess programs. Elo 2600.

  • Sjeng: Engine included in apple chess. Based on Faile. Elo 2450. See also deep sjeng.

  • HIARCS: A strong commercial engine with human like play.

  • Belofte: Self written chess program. Elo 1200.

Please refer to the downloads page for more information on where to find them.