I could not find this in the GNU Chess manual by searching, although I might be overlooking it, under a different name.

What I am seeking to do with GNU Chess is quite simple: Specifying the position of every single piece on the board, for both players, and deciding who starts after that. I'm currently reading a beginner's book on Chess, as I know nearly nothing about it, and would like to follow the tutorials, which suggest to start with particular positions with a chess computer or advanced player, and figure out how to survive.

The optimal feature would be having the possibility to keep those starting positions in text files, so that I can reuse them and modify them.

1 Answer 1


The manual can be found on GNU Chess's website. To set a custom position, use the setboard command followed by the FEN string of the game position.

  • 4
    The manual linked doesn't mention the setboard command. It does mention the epdload command, however. setboard is an x-board command. Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 2:03
  • @L.ScottJohnson Indeed setboard does not seem to be part of the commands list, although epdload is. Thanks for pointing this out. So, if I go something like gnuchess epdload filename in Bash, it just starts a game with the position specified in the extended position description file? Thanks again.
    – GPWR
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 21:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.