Download a graphical interface

Arena version 1.1 by Martin Blume available at:
User rating:
4.96 (4648 votes)

View a screenshot ofArena
Latest News: The author is working on further modifications.Please be aware that the new 1.99 beta version does not support Internet Chess Servers.
Pluses: implementation of chess engines possible
Minuses: The Internet part is a bit tricky. Some users try it as first interface and cannot figure out, how to connect.
BabasChess version 4.0 by RRaf available at:
User rating:
6.40 (4853 votes)

View a screenshot ofBabasChess
Latest News: BabasChess v4.0 has been released (January 2007)
Please refer to for a complete list of the new features.
Pluses: BabasChess is one of the most popular interfaces. It combines ease of use with powerful features for advanced users; integrates a customizable playing environment with a powerful PGN viewer/editor, chess engines support for analyzing positions and nice chat features.
The user can choose out of different languages, like for example english, german, spanish, portugeese etc
CClient version 2.0 by Plotinus available at:
User rating:
5.29 (2078 votes)

View a screenshot ofCClient
Latest News: It is very likely that no more updates will be available.
Pluses: Has Games Sought graph. Drag and drop move style. Displays pieces held for both players. Shows move list. Can observe up to 4 games simultaneously. Customizable board with 3D option. Customizable lists for things such as players, messages, znotify, users in a certain channel etc. Customizable right click mouse actions.
Minuses: CClient older version 1.41 is still around. This version has a huge bandwidth overhead and it is responsible for the majority of the band used by FICS. CClient users are strongly reccomended to use version 2.0.
Checkmate version 1.1.97 by John Watson available at:
User rating:
5.31 (2011 votes)

View a screenshot ofCheckmate
Pluses: Checkmate is a relatively new interface with many interesting features including: multiple time warning, multi-move premove and the possibility to implement chess engines in analysis mode. It highly customizable and allows multiple boards.
Chess Machine version 0.93 for beerdrinkers by Stormbringer available at:
User rating:
5.22 (1870 votes)

View a screenshot ofChess Machine
Latest News: It is very likely that no more updates will be available for Chess Machine.
Minuses: Chess Machine asks for registration at a site that does not exists. In order to fix this problem users have to install a patch available at
ChessPartner version 5.2 by available at:
User rating:
5.27 (1729 votes)

View a screenshot ofChessPartner
Pluses: Chesspartner allows the implementation of chess engines.
Minuses: Chesspartner is a commercial software you need to pay for.
Freak version no version number by Tommy Staffans available at:
User rating:
5.20 (1195 votes)

View a screenshot ofFreak
Pluses: Freak is one of the oledst interfaces available. It is easy to use and it has a seek graph.
Minuses: The simplicity of the interface is obtained at the expenses of customization, thus there is no choice of chess pieces, and only 2 board sizes are available.
The interface will most likely not be updated anymore.
iNemesis version iNemesis Version 5.0 by TinPin available at:
User rating:
5.75 (1347 votes)

View a screenshot ofiNemesis
Latest News: Version 5.0 is the latest version, with a redesigned interface, new chat and board layouts, docking and skinning capabilities.
Pluses: Several fine options are available in iNemesis making it a popular interface: 1) Start Here Assistant for new players; 2) Built-in offline lectures at your own pace! ; 3) User-defined buttons; 4) Position analysis using a chess engine; 5) Text to Speech to speak up moves and tells; 6) PGN file view/upload; 7) User Lists Editor for the censor, notify, noplay, idlenotify, gnotify, and channels lists; 8)Chat features; 9) Multiple commands on command line; 10) Auto-execute commands at login; 11)customizable fonts for users and channels; 12) Visual editor for formulas; 13) Full BugHouse support.
InterChess version 3.13 by Toby Landes available at:
User rating:
5.52 (1336 votes)

View a screenshot ofInterChess
Latest News: Version 3.13 is latest.
Pluses: * Seek Graph (With new right click menu)
* FICS Help Screen
* FICS Specific Tools
* Multiple Boards
* User Command Buttons
* Automatic Logon
* Pre-Move
* Chat Box
* Anti-MouseSlip
* Save / Retrieve PGN Files
* History Window
* Crazyhouse / Bughouse Support (New)
* Greatly Improved Graphics (New)
Minuses: Still in Development…
JavaBoard version 1.0.4 by Dannie Kjeldgaard & Henrik Gram available at:
User rating:
5.68 (1958 votes)

View a screenshot ofJavaBoard
Pluses: Doesn’t require downloads or installation, runs as a Java applet in the web browser. Supports all FICS chess variants, has seek graph, drag-and-drop move style, and all features needed to start a game of chess quickly and easily.
Minuses: Javaboard is mostly meant for newbies to be quickly introduced to FICS.
It does not connect directly to FICS but it it is routed through the website. This may result is slow a connection or in a lack of connection altogether. Furthermore users sitting behind a firewall will find it impossible to connect using javaboard.
The drag-and-drop move style tends to be a bit slow, making this interface problematic for playing lightning games.
Jin version 2.14 by Alexander Maryanovsky available at:
User rating:
6.03 (1991 votes)

View a screenshot ofJin
Latest News: Jin 2.14.1 knocks it up a notch, especially for Mac OS X users.The author is working on further modifications
Pluses: Features include all the basics of chatting and playing chess, seek graph, full screen board mode, a powerful scripter, unlimited amount of boards and many others.
Minuses: Might require installation of Java ( certain configurations of Windows XPNo Bughouse support.
LightningRulez version 5.2.2 by gilly available at:
User rating:
5.36 (1035 votes)

View a screenshot ofLightningRulez
Latest News: Lightning Rulez is a modified version of Winboard. To use Lightning Rulez, you must first download and install Tim Mann’s Winboard Interface.
Minuses: It is likely there will be no more updates.
SLICS version SLICS2.6v 32-bit by Don Fong available at:
User rating:
5.24 (1045 votes)

View a screenshot ofSLICS
Minuses: No more updates to come.
Thief version 1.24 by WhoAmI & Ludens available at:
User rating:
6.13 (1370 votes)

View a screenshot ofThief
Latest News: Thief 1.24 (released on February 21, 2011) is a bugfix release. Check for details, all releases and the source code.
Pluses: Thief is a highly configurable and very fast interface. It is completely open source and freeware. Fans of lightning will appreciate the possibility to use premove. The possibility of having multiple windows to observe your partner’s game, or to observe both games of a match at the same time, makes it particularly attractive to the enthusiasts of bughouse, a very popular teamchess variant played on FICS.
Thief is the interface you want to use if you do not like defaults and want to customize it your own way.
Varese version 0.3 Electra by circa available at:
User rating:
5.89 (995 votes)

View a screenshot ofVarese
Latest News: 0.3 version comes with a database function.
Pluses: Varese has been created specifically for FICS.
Minuses: url ( is not working anymore
Visir version by Dirk Varnholt available at:
User rating:
5.54 (252 votes)

View a screenshot ofVisir
Pluses: Native interface for Mac OS X, multiple boards, graphical interface for game lists, seek lists and several command outputs.
Minuses: Lack of chat capabilities, terminal highlighting and graphical customization.
WinBoard version 4.5.3a by Tim Mann available at:
User rating:
6.77 (2847 votes)

View a screenshot ofWinBoard
Latest News: A seek graph has been recently added.
Further information on on this and upcoming release can be found at :
Pluses: Winboard is one of the oldest and more reliable interfaces.
Amongst its advantages are premove, which is now an indispensable tool for lightning players, and the possibility to implement chess engines.
The developers are very active and bug are fixed very soon. The Bugtracker can be found at
New feature requests are welcome.
Minuses: WinBoard only allows one board to be displayed, which makes Bughouse more difficult unless you run two copies of WinBoard and log one in as a guest to follow your partner.

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