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If I were feeling insufficiently geekish on any particular day, and thus found the GUI Chess App to lack an appropriate amount of tech credibility, is there a way to play chess on my Mac from the command line?

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With or without AI? And are you just gonna keep pieces position memorized? – Gerry Nov 29 '12 at 2:39
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes! The OS X Chess app relies on the sjeng engine, which has a command line version. Type /Applications/ and press enter to play:

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Make moves with the coordinates of the origin and destination you want: e1e4 moves the piece at e1 to e4.

Sjeng doesn't take any command line arguments, but you can edit the config file (stored in /Applications/ This will probably mess with your settings in the GUI Chess app; make a backup before editing.

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It's worth noting that running this app may create files such as "bug_LE.lrn", "losers_LE.lrn", "standard_LE.lrn", and "suicide_LE.lrn" on your system. These files are safe to delete. – Kyle Cronin Dec 9 '12 at 4:25

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