I want to have a setup on my computer to play BugHouse with three engine. One engine would be my partner and the other two would be the opposing team. How can I setup such a scenario? I use Linux but I can also use Windows.

I have seen the support for BugHouse and XBoard as a client, but I have not found a way to connect the two to play BugHouse with two open XBoards.

I found such a program in the android playstore, but the engine in the app was very poor not much fun.

2 Answers 2


I tried it with sjeng and it works:

Three computer player with:

cat <(echo -e "guest\n\n") - | xboard -zp -ics -icshost=freechess.org -fcp=sjeng -zippyVariants "bughouse" -zippyBughouse 2


set bugopen 1

I partnered the first two

For me I started

cat <(echo -e "guest\n\n") - | xboard  -ics -icshost=freechess.org


set bugopen 1

And I partnered me with the third one.

After this I started with

match Guest... 5 0 bughouse  

It is a little bit tricky to get the Guest-Ids but it works.

And I loose every time :-(

I have problems with the rule to set a new figure with check into the board. In my youth we played without this rule. But I cannot find a way to configure the rules.

Another rule in my youth was the possibility to steal a figure from you partners enemy. If you promote a pawn then you can get his queen and he gets the pawn as a figure to set it on the board. Bit I did not find an engine to play in such a way.


The only way I know of playing bughouse using XBoard/Winboard is to play via FICS, see e.g. https://github.com/ianfab/Fairy-Stockfish/wiki/Setting-up-Fairy-Stockfish-on-FICS#bughouse (it works very similar for other bughouse engines), i.e., it does not work offline. You would just use four FICS guest accounts whereof three are your engine instances, and create two bughouse teams from them. I tried this several times already and for me it works fine, although of course it is not very convenient to set up, but once set up it works smoothly.


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