It sounds crazy, but I am unable to find a chess program where the computer plays against me.

I have halfheartedly looked for such a program but cannot find, or activate, such a thing.

In the good ole day on Atari there was a program to play chess against the computer in a way that when I made a move, the computer, playing as opponent, did a counter move and then it was my turn again.

Just now I installed chessX, but the program (like those I tried a few years before) will not respond with a counter move.

What am I doing wrong?

I'm not an expert for chess, don't want to do it as a science but just as a pass time.

I work on Linux. Meanwhile, I managed to compile the stockfish engine and attached it tho the chessX GUI (Edit->Preferences-> Engines).

Now it works more the way I was used to: I lose, and quickly so. In fact, so quickly that I don't have a chance to improve.

It looks like the only way to limit the power of a chess engine is to limit the computing time, and with chessX, 1 second is the minimum, but at that level it is still far too strong for my current skills.

  • What platform are you using (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone)?
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Apr 20 at 23:22
  • I am quite confused. How can you be having trouble finding a chess program that plays against you? Are there restrictions that you aren't stating, such as you want it open source or Linux? Commented Apr 23 at 3:27

5 Answers 5


Get a program with a Chess GUI (you could get something without it, but it takes significantly more technological savvy).


  • Thanks, but I want it to work offline. Commented Apr 20 at 23:18
  • @GyroGearloose Changed the answer.
    – Allure
    Commented Apr 20 at 23:26
  • There once were programs free of charge. I have tried your link lichess.org and, benevolently, I have won the game on the default level, even if I haven't played chess for decades :-) . For people how aren't paranoid enough to prefer playing offline, it works great. Commented Apr 20 at 23:40
  • The strongest chess engine is free of charge, but it doesn't come with a GUI, so there's more setting up to do.
    – Allure
    Commented Apr 20 at 23:42
  • 1
    stockfishchess.org/download with the warning that Stockfish is at least 600 elo better than the strongest humans.
    – Allure
    Commented Apr 21 at 0:10

The question doesn't state what platform the OP wants to use. This answer provides an idea for Android as that is what I use. There are lots of options, fairly easy to download and install at the Google Play Store. I use Chess for Android; it's free (in terms of cost) and doesn't need special permissions or send your personal data off to some server somewhere.


If you're on Windows, Lucas Chess includes a whole bunch of different chess engines that have various playing strengths (and you can plug in any other UCI engine you want).

If you want a throwback to the glory days of DOS chess programs, Ed Schroeder's Rebel 13 site includes downloads for all of the old DOS Rebel programs, as well as a bunch of other classic DOS programs, packaged within a DOS emulator that allows them to run on modern Windows systems. Yes, these programs aren't as strong as Stockfish and the like, but they're most likely plenty strong enough to beat you any day of the week. ;-)


You might find it easier to use a program with an internal chess engine rather than an interface, which is more difficult to use. If you use a PC / Windows, you will find here: http://echecs-et-informatique.franceserv.com/programmes-pour-jouer.html ...a selection of programs of this type, all free. There are bound to be two or three that would suit you perfectly.


My question(s) have been answered, to a better than my original question.

For my original question, I have found xboard (on ubuntu), where I don't have to install an engine and fiddle around with where and how to attach an engine. Once installed, I can start playing right away.

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