Lazy Chess

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Lazy Chess
Lazy Chess-gameplay.jpg
Original author(s)Christopher C Jarvis
Developer(s)Cinq-Mars Media
Initial releaseMarch 12, 2021; 9 months ago (2021-03-12)
Written inTypeScript
Operating systemLinux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android
Available inEnglish
LicenseGPLv3 / Commercial

Lazy Chess is a simplistic multi-platform chess game for novices who want to learn the game and people with some skill who want to learn some new moves. It uses the stockfish engine to propose the two deemed best chess moves each turn. You get to choose one of those two moves each round, and that is all you can do. It is not a regular computer chess game, but it is a nice chess game for those who want to learn chess or learn a trick or two from a computer chess engine.


"Chess’ (often deserved) reputation of being highly intellectual can intimidate casual gamers or beginners. With a tremendously high learning curve, and such deference given to memorized openings and learned patterns - I hoped I could reshape the game to place players on more equal footing. Like tennis, it’s thought that chess players must be of equal skill for a game to be rewarding, but by distilling the game down to two moves, we make it so even the worst player can only do as poorly as the second best move in any given situation. In fact, even if a player chooses the worst move every single time, (which is tremendously unlikely) they still have an ELO comparable to that of the average chess player in Lazy Chess. By deconstructing the game and streamlining choice, I've found a way to connect to a game I’ve always admired but was too intimidated to directly participate in. I hope this is the experience of our players."

Lazy Chess developer Christopher C Jarvis

Lazy Chess chess is a really simple game from a players perspective.

You can choose between two proposed moves with the and keys and confirm the move you want with ↵ Enter and that's it.

It is also possible to press m to get a menu where you can choose between different chess board pieces (Alpha, Kosal, Merida, Oslo and California), change difficulty and play against either a friend or random people.

The multi-player mode lets you "play" against either a friend or random people. Challenge friend lets you create a new game, in which case you get a code, or join a game, in which case you have to enter a code that you would have to get from someone who created a game using other channels. The Play Random Opponent mode will start a game immediately if someone else is waiting or sit there and wait until someone else decides to Play Random Opponent. The multi-player mode works the same Lazy Chess way the single-player mode does: You get to choose between to proposed chess moves and that's it.

Verdict And Conclusion

Lazy Chess-gameplay-2.jpg
Lazy Chess.

Lazy Chess can be fun if you want to learn chess openings and see what a chess computer would do with the possibility to slightly adjust the chess computers moves each turn.

You can not do anything beyond the two moves that are proposed each round. Lazy Chess is therefore not what you ware looking for if you want a regular chess game and it is not what you need if you want to use a Internet chess server like Freechess to play against random people with the freedom to do whatever you want as long as it is within the chess games rules. Knights, XBoard and PyChess, in that order, are the chess games you want if you want a typical chess program.

Lazy Chess can be a bit frustrating if you are an experienced chess player, being restricted to just two proposed moves is annoying if you see something different that appears to be a much better choice.

Lazy Chess seems good chess game for anyone who doesn't know chess or just started playing. The proposed moves are mostly solid and there is something that can be learned from them - though the game does not offer any explanation as to why the moves it proposes are proposed or hint as to what future moves based on it may be.


GNU/Linux users can checkout Lazy Chess from git and compile it by running npm ci:

git clone
cd Lazy-Chess-An-Indie-Chess-Puzzle-Game
npm ci

Running Lazy Chess requires that the ionic framework is installed. It can be installed system-wide by running:

sudo npm install -g ionic@latest

You can then start Lazy Chess from the Lazy-Chess-An-Indie-Chess-Puzzle-Game folder with:

ionic serve

The ionic serve will start Lazy Chess and try to point the system-set default web browser at it. Your default web browser will probably open a window pointing at a local port (probably localhost:8100) and present the application. You will have to point a web browser at localhost:8100 (there will be a message similar Local: http://localhost:8100 showing the port, it may vary by distribution) if there is no correctly configured defautl web browser.

Lazy Chess compiled from git in March 2021 running in the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

There is no binary packages for any platform available on the Lazy Chess GitHub page, there's no AppImage and there is no Flatpak package at FlatHub. This is why you will have to checkout the code from git - unless.. you want to pay a small tip to the developer and get a ready-to-go binary version from the Steam store. It is available there, but it is not free as in free beer, you will have to fork over €2.39 (or equivalent in currency depending on your location). €2.39 isn't all that unreasonable if you try it by compiling the source from git and you really enjoy playing it.

Lazy Chess developer Christopher C Jarvis was kind enough to give us three Steam codes. We used one, these two will work until you or someone like you uses them:

  • F2NIQ-XVF58-PJ5Y5
  • B0GT6-F53G3-JIHKD

Please leave a comment below if you (ab)use one of these codes so others won't waste time trying them once they are all used up.

There are mobile versions available in the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. Lazy Chess is not available in the F-Droid free software appstore for Android.

Future Plans And The Company Behind Lazy Chess

What are the future plans for Lazy Chess?

"We already have four different game modes currently live and are hard at work adding more —> many of these riff on the premise of the game and others that transform it entirely. “Both Sides” mode for example has you play as both white and black, so you’ll need to choose the best moves for white, and the worst moves for black if you’re to overcome black’s strength advantage. We’ll continue adding to our set of challenges at least bi-weekly, hopefully with contributions from grandmasters who discuss pivotal board states in their own games. Challenges is a feature of lazy chess where you begin a game from a famous or noteworthy point in a historically relevant game, like Kasparov vs. Deep Blue. Finally, we’re considering a way for anyone to upload their own challenges, to add even more content and enrich the community."

Lazy Chess developer Christopher C Jarvis
in an e-mail, March 13th 2021

What kind of company is Cinqmarsmedia?

"Cinq-Mars Media is a 501(c)3 non-profit composed of volunteers who are passionate about learning and technology. We make open source software with a focus on social advocacy and education, and have had our projects awarded at the White House and featured at gaming expos around the world including E3 and PAX. We believe video games are the future of education and hold the key to inspiring the will to self-teach."

Lazy Chess developer Christopher C Jarvis
in an e-mail, March 13th 2021
The Devils Calculator.jpg
The Devils Calculator, a game made by Cinq-Mars Media.

What are some other games has CMM made?

"Our indie math game, The Devil’s Calculator, was named one of the 10 best Indies of 2019 by PAX and continues to have a robust community of players. Our newest game, Copy Editor, is a regular expression puzzle and releases in early access in two weeks and has a playable demo now available on steam. Our new word game, Anagraphs, releases in April and has a playable demo available now. "

Lazy Chess developer Christopher C Jarvis
in an e-mail, March 13th 2021

What is CMM working on that isn’t game related?

"Many of our volunteers love animals so we’ve started a twitch channel that showcases dogs and cats from around the country playing puzzle games:

We’re doing eye tracking research to help diagnose learning disabilities earlier on, sign-up to volunteer here:

We’re hard at work building Speech to Text technologies for a variety of educational applications. "

Lazy Chess developer Christopher C Jarvis


The Lazy Chess homepage is at



9 months ago
Score 0++
got code one, thanks!
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