MacChess Belofte

Dedicated to chess on Mac

Information for Chess players, Chess programmers and Apple users

Updated on : 20/02/2021
Version 1.51
En français
  Chess news
  Q & A
For End-users
  mac OS 11
  mac OS
  OS X universal
  OS X aqua
  OS X java
  Special needs
  App Overview
For Developers
  Useful Links
  reviews !!
  OS 7-9
  OS X classic
  OS X X11

Mac OS X (aqua/native)

Following software is designed for and runs on Mac OS X. Please refer to links page for more information about the individual programs. If you have installed the classic environment you can also run the chess programs contained in the Mac OS X classic list.

If you are an owner of Mac Intel, please consult the following list.

This list only contains a selected set of applications. The complete list of applications is contained in the overview section. If you think that an application needs to be mentioned in this list, please inform me.

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

  • Chessmaster 9000. A commercial application. Very well designed and adapted to Mac OS X. Very strong and very rich featureset. If you are addicted to chess, definitely a must have program. (see review)
  • Sigma chess pro. A commercial (15€) chess application. Integrated games collections. Master strength. Very nice application. Supports changing engines. Integrates with the top notch Hiarcs engine, with Fruit, with Gothmog and Glaurung. (see review)
  • Sigma chess lite. Amateur strength. Supports replacable engines. Very nice application.
  • 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.
  • Kasparov Chessmate. A commercial (€ 45) but only 800x600 based application with the Ruffian 2.0 chess engine. Believed to be among the strongest available at the moment. Poor graphics and disturbing music. (see review)
  • Mac Chess version 2.0. Included in Mac OS X. The included Sjeng engine has a GNU License. The OpenGL based front end is covered by the much less restrictive Apple Sample Code License. Source code can be downloaded.
  • Big Bang Chess. Freeware and visually the nicest chess application. Does not play chess very well but is a very good game for people that want to learn and enjoy chess.
  • Vector 3. Commercial (€ 20) chess application.
  • Jose chess database. Has an interface towards MySQL. Also supports XBoard and UCI protocol compatible engines. Packaged with Crafty, other engines can be added manually. (see review)
  • Jin 2.12. Allows to play a game over the internet using a FICS server.
  • FixationC 2.12. Allows to play a game over the internet using a FICS server.
  • Chess Deluxe 2.0.2. Chess game. Allows to play over a dedicated chess server.

  • Remaining Mac OS X chess applications: ...
  • Terminal Mac OS X chess applications, must of them also run under UCI or XBoard: Ruffian, Crafty, GNUChess, Sjeng, ZZZZZZ, ...

PS: Developers might be interested to visit the Mac OS X - X11 section. This section contains additional software that can be installed on Mac OS X but still requires some advanced configuration.