MacChess Belofte

Dedicated to chess on Mac

Information for Chess players, Chess programmers and Apple users

Updated on : 12/07/2017
Version 1.45
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Special desires or other things than just chess games

This lists how to achieve special things. A list of useful chess software is listed here. Please refer to the links page for more information where to find them.

Storing your games:

Storing your games so you can replay them later or throw away your paper copy. In order to validate, saving and loading ascii files is not considered as a good enough solution in order to qualify.

  • Jose chess allows to store your games. (review)
  • Chess browser allows to store and replay your games. Unfortunately, the graphics are very poor.
  • SCID is a chess database. Relies on X11 and Fink in order to install. Graphically not up to the standards of Mac OS X but functionally very rich.

Studying openings:

  • Exachess lite/pro does maintain an opening library and a (replacable) engine so one can validate deviations. Does open various formats.
  • Sigma chess lite does have an opening library and an engine so you can validate deviations. Does display a balance and all available library moves for a position. You will need the pro version in order to study because of the restrictions in the lite version that make the library handling almost impossible. (review)
  • Crafty does allow deviations from its opening book with certain parameters. (This is an advanced setting though).
  • Scid allows you to see the available moves while playing games together with statistics for those moves. It will also make a complete printout of an analysis of an opening.
  • Chessmaster 9000 does allow you to train openings. (review)

Analysing your games:

In order to qualify, the application must be capable of doing an overnight evaluation of your game indicating where you missed a good move. As a secondary solution, displaying possible good moves while playing or storing games is acceptable.

  • Crafty makes annotations in your games. Complex configuration though.
  • Sigma chess makes annotations in your games. (review)
  • Jose outputs the best move in an analysis window. (review)
  • Chessmaster 9000 displays an evaluation for different moves. (review)

Studying chess in general:

  • Chessmaster 9000 has some training mode. You will have to solve puzzles. (review)
  • Belofte will allow you to learn how to win. (owner)

Getting hints while playing:

Almost all applications do not allow you to make illegal moves. A little more is expected.

  • Chessmaster 9000 gives hints when playing a bad move. (review)
  • Big bang chess can show all possible moves.
  • Jose shows the analysis of the engine while playing. (review)

Playing against weak engines:

  • Belofte plays very weak. (1100 elo) (owner)
  • Sigma chess will allow to lower the level of the engine. (review)
  • Big-bang chess plays weak.
  • Chessmaster 9000 has different personalities. Some of them are very weak. (review)
  • Kasparov chess will allow you to play against weaker engines. (review)

Playing against engines of your strength:

Playing against an engine that is somewhat challenging but that you can still beat at times if you play well can be the best trigger to use a program over and over again. The program should adapt to you to keep it interesting. While weak programs can be beaten, good programs can be considered better than 95 to 99% of the chess playing population. For those programs, such a feature is a must.

  • Chessmaster 9000 has a tournament mode where he can match your strength. (review)
  • Kasparov chess will allow you to play a ladder competition so you end up playing against engines of your strength. (review)

Publishing your games:

  • Scid has some extended printing capabilities.
  • Jose has limited export capabilities. (review)

Elo calculation:

Elo calculation is only a rough indication. Beware, most programs want to inflate their rating and thus inflate yours as well. Playing against a computer is not as comfortable as playing in real life. To conclude: do not stress too much the value of elo calculation. It is only an indication.

  • Sigma chess has some player elo calculation and a calculette. (review)
  • Kasparov chess will calculate your elo. (review)
  • Chessmaster 9000 will calculate your elo. (review)
  • SCID will show extended elo statistics.
  • Some web-sites have an online elo calculator. Please refer to the internet section.

Organising tournaments:

No dedicted applications for Mac are known at this moment. I did post some scripts in the tournament section that can be used to organise tournaments.

Let chess engines play against each other:

Chess engines should provide an open interface so that they can play against any other chess engine with the same interface. Playing against itself is not considered a valid option in order to qualify in this criteria.

  • XBoard does allow to play 2 engines against each other.
    Please find in the download section some scripts that will help you to run tournaments with the help of XBoard.

Let chess engines play on the internet:

The program should be able to play against an open server. FICS or ICC are both considered open servers because they are not tied to only one program but to a multitude of interfaces of different platforms.

  • XBoard 4.2.7 allows to use an engine.
  • FixationC 2.1.1 allows to use an engine.
  • Belofte is compatible with XBoard. (owner)