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?


1 Answer 1


Yes! The OS X Chess app relies on the sjeng engine, which has a command line version. Type /Applications/Chess.app/Contents/Resources/sjeng.ChessEngine 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/Chess.app/Contents/Resources/sjeng.rc). This will probably mess with your settings in the GUI Chess app; make a backup before editing.

  • 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. Dec 9, 2012 at 4:25

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