What are good chess clients for Mac, that allow playing on FICS. Nice-to-haves are an opening book, plug-and-play engines, and scoring of chess positions.

EDIT: For completeness, note that Jin does not allow you to save games. FICS can email them to you if you turn on a setting, but no way to recover guest games with Jin. I think this is a complete deal breaker.

  • Have you tried any clients already? Would you consider installing Windows on your Mac using bootcamp?
    – user2001
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 20:24
  • @FMRauanSagit No. I tried Jin and Raptor. Kibitz also, but it's buggy as all hell. Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 3:10

5 Answers 5


You have choices:

i. Kibitz, implemented features are

  • Playing and observing chess games on FICS
  • Observing multiple games
  • Chat with other users on FICS
  • Support for chess variants including "Bughouse" and "Crazyhouse"

ii. Raptor, FICS desktop client for Mac

iii. Jin, which is Java based and can be executed on a Mac also.

iv. XBoard, a multi platform solution!


and such a pity that you can't try BabasChess (maybe you can use a emulator to execute it on your Mac)

  • Hello, I have found the lost source code from Kibitz on Berlios from the developer and am working to modernize the code. Shameless plug for project: github.com/fulldecent/kibitz Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 4:36
  • Just following up, this project is still moving and we have gotten it to compile on the latest Mac version now (10.11 El Capitan) Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 15:19

When I switched to OSX I noticed that Babaschess would not run. Since I am a developer I started creating my own client.. Please, have a look and let me know what you think. It doesn't support chess engines to analyze positions, but saves your games as pgn.



If you want something very simple to start with, try LightFICS: http://lightfics.brrm.ru/

It's a native Mac OS X FICS client. It has no dependencies, is extremely easy to install and use. It doesn't have any nice-to-haves, but you can save games as PGN and use other tools to analyse openings with engines.


I don't have a mac, and i'm not a FICS user, here's what i found by googliing





  • FYI, the kibitz link here is just the archived version when BerliOS unfortunately went dark. The other answer has the updated link for the currently maintained version of this project. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 15:20
  • @FullDecent good to know for mac users, but as of right now, as im posting this comment, the other link gives server not found, sourceforge always works
    – Lynob
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 16:40
  • Sorry, not the berlios one (that project is RIP), talking about the GitHub one Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 20:43

ChessX is phenomenal. I can confirm it works under Mac OS Ventura:


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