This is the last true “game” post I have, out of this recent run of nine or 10. And since I promised more than a few days ago to show something actually playable as a chess game for the console, I’m quite excited to finish with cboard.
Yes, for all the moaning and complaining I’ve done about chess “games” at the console, there’s a lovely, professional, complete chess client available.
Press “g” to start a game. Selection is via arrow keys, with the space bar selecting a piece to move. Potential destinations are highlighted at that point, and you can select one with the enter key. At that point the computer takes its turn, and voila — a proper console-based chess game.
I have cboard installed with gnuchess, and cboard will trigger gnuchess when it needs a move, so there’s no need for me to wrangle with the engine or send esoteric commands to the backend. gnuchess will eat quite a bit of your processor while the game is running, and of course on a weaker machine that will translate to delays while the computer picks its move.
But this is chess, and so you should be expecting delays like that. If you’re in a hurry, think about different hardware. 😉
cboard has quite a few other admirable features: Color, for one, is perfect. The game layout traps the board in the upper left corner, allowing the history and other information to spill down and to the right, making it fit most any terminal dimensions.
On-screen help is available with F1, and extended help is available too. You can peruse the history, edit the board and undo your moves, pause the clock and even set the computer to play against itself. Quite impressive.
I’m no chess genius, and in fact, I’m a bit of a dunce when it comes to the game. But I know a good interface when I see one, and even on my worst chess day, it would be a pleasure to work though cboard. I daresay it might even make losing delightful. 🙂
An honest, well-deserved gold star for cboard: ⭐ Enjoy! 😉