Is there a Mac OSX implementation (or equivalent) of WinBoard / XBoard?

  • 1
    xboard can be compiled under OS X if you install XCode (to get gcc) and an X11 implementation (to get the libraries). I have used it for years. You will need timeseal if playing online on e.g. FICS. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Sep 28 '13 at 9:44
  • Not an answer, but another OSX chess (the only?) which is still supported Kibitz. The version on GitHub is the latest, with the latest commit today. – William Entriken Nov 19 '15 at 15:27

You can technically still use XBoard, but you will need to install X11 from MacPorts, since IIRC Apple no longer ships it.

Julien Marcel has a collection of well-compiled OS X chess engines (which do not require emulation).

As for not having a ChessBase client, HIARCS Chess Explorer does fine.

(FWIW, there is a port of XBoard to Cocoa - currently named OSXBoard - but it seems to have stalled.)


Jin seems like a good option.

Works well on OSX 10.8, and compatible with other platforms as well.


Jin is the best, also on older macs there was another client "Fixation". I would recommend using a virtualization application such as VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox with a Windows guest to run your preferred Windows chess software - as macs also suffer from not having a satisfactory ChessBase client to review games. Performance is not an issue as chess apps do not need be too powerful for these things.

  • "satisfactory ChessBase client" is an interesting phrase. Hiarcs and Shredder come full strength on OS/x, as does Stockfish. All three are quite competent analysis engines. – Arlen Jun 30 '13 at 20:14
  • Arlen - yes, they are not ChessBase clients though, they are analysis engines, which in my view are quite different! – Luke Barker Jul 8 '13 at 14:54
  • True, but as there's never been a satisfactory version of ChessBase on the Mac, I didn't see as how the lack of a client for a non-existent entity was by itself a valid criticism. (And yes, CB once tried to make a Mac version, but it was such a slow, buggy hack job no one in their right mind wanted to use it.) – Arlen Jul 20 '13 at 15:22

There is now a native quartz xboard.app through GTK2. http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=52964


xboard can be installed via macports

sudo port install xboard

if you run into trouble with your fonts see XBoard page on wiki.bitplan.com

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