Knights

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Knights is a really nice chess game with support for playing against multiple computer chess engine opponents as well as online play against human opponents. It supports board themes, a few are included and numerous others are available as downloadable addons.

Features and usability

Knights is easy to use. Simply click the New Game icon or choose Game, New from the menu and choose if you want a computer opponent or an online opponent. Online play requires an account - however, the default suggested server, freechess.org, has a magical account you can use by logging in with username guest and password guest. That brings you right to a list of opponents you can choose from.

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You can easily find a human opponent for some quick play by using the "guest" account on an online server like freechess.org]]

Knights supports themes. The old version for KDE 3.5 used to come with 15 different boards and 15 different chess-figures. The "modern" version comes with just 5 themes and 4 of them are ugly. That's alright, Settings -> Themes has the option to Get New Themes.. and there are many nice ones available for download.

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Knights version 2.6.0 with the "Tux" theme

Knights supports loading and saving of games in the "Portable Game Notation" format. It's pretty standard.

Configuring Computer Opponents

Knights supports both the XBoard and the UCI protocols used by common chess engines. You do need to make sure you have at least one installed. Installing a package called stockfish, which is available on most distributions, will do fine.

Verdict

Knights is a really nice chess interface and it is overall the best-looking and most easy to use program of it's kind available for modern Linux systems. You'll want to have it installed if you enjoy playing chess regularly or occasionally.

Chess games ordered by recommendation:
Knights | Pychess | XBoard


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