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No, not that old thing. This is a tidbit for you Mac fanatics out there. ChessBase has long since given up on the Mac platform, but there is hope for you. There are various emulators so you can use your Windows programs on your Mac, and they work better than they used to now that Macs have gone to Intel chips, but there are also native programs. (The Commentariat reminds that you can also just dual-boot Windows and Mac OS on the latest Macs, but I meant a more integrated experience. I don't want to have to switch back and forth like that to get full performance, which is why I don't have a Mac. But I'm considering one now.)

This news item mentions one of them, HIARCS. The venerable engine has a new Mac version out, with the ungainly name "Macintosh Sigma Chess 6.1.4 HIARCS 11." The official site is here. If they send me a review copy I'll load it up on my wife's MacBook Pro. Feel free to share your Mac chess software expertise, emulated or otherwise.


The problem on Macs isn't a lack of chess engines - it's the lack of a UI that compares to Fritz, and the lack of instructional materials of the breadth and depth that Chessbase (the company) cranks out for Windows.

Not exactly related to Macs, but i managed to run the Playchess client successfully in linux (Fedora, and Ubuntu).
Chessbase should consider making at least the playchess client work on other platforms, if they did i would gladly buy their products.
Using windows is not an option for some time.

Not exactly related to Macs, but i managed to run the Playchess client successfully in linux (Fedora, and Ubuntu).
Chessbase should consider making at least the playchess client work on other platforms, if they did i would gladly buy their products.
Using windows is not an option for some time.

That weird name combines two things - Sigma Chess GUI and HIARCS engine.

Shredder is also available for the Mac, probably the first engine to be Intel native.

Chessmaster 9000 is another option, not Intel ready yet. There is also beginner level instructional material.

Mac OS actually ships with a chess program, based on open source GNU Chess I believe. Now even Vista has a chess game, so pretty much all computers will come with a basic chess app. Let's see how many will switch from Solitaire... ;)

This is good news indeed.
I use a mac for music recording, and use ICC to play online, since they provide the mac based client for playing chess.
I've often wondered why chessbase holds back on providing a similar mac client.

You can use 'bootcamp' to run any windows based program, so I"m wondering if this would work with fritz?

I remember trying to log on and send e-mail to kasparovchess.com from my mac. back in the day.
I could never pay to join, nor receive e-mail from them, because I was on a mac... no wonder they closed down!

Speaking of chess...

Does anyone know what happened to Ben Finegold's chess blog? I used to enjoy reading it but according to blogger it has been suspended for "terms of use violations".

I can't imagine Ben cursing his way to infamy, so...

Anyone have the skinny?

Some of the Mac's windows emulators require a fairly high spec (e.g. my 2 year old iBook G4 is not enough). I would like to see playchess come up with some sort of Mac interface for their server, but am happy on ICC (using the jin java interface). About chess engines on the Mac, I like shredder classic: It's cheap (you can buy one-time on the internet and receive free upgrades); can analyse multiple lines simultaneously (this is a relatively new feature which I - and maybe others - asked the author to consider adding); has large openings book - and is strong enough to be an aid to almost all players. I used to use Fritz 6 back in the day, and I never thought i'd say it, but i miss the sarcastic voice!

What's the fuzz? A friend of mine recently bought a Mac laptop with a Dual Core Intel processor, which runs both OS X and Windows. In other words: these days you can run Chessbase and Fritz perfectly on the latest Mac's, no emulation like Virtual PC needed, but directly by running Windows!

Right, I should have been more clearer. For example, I need to be able to copy-paste and otherwise integrate my chess software with my design software and other apps in the same session. So dual-boot doesn't help. This is where the emulators come in handy.

OK. And I should have read 'more clearer'. By the way the dude uses http://www.parallels.com/landingpage/dskd10_2/?gclid=CKKU3M-SvYsCFQ3dlAodomIHxA - I guess that's an emulator too - and says the dual core does help to improve processor performance.

The Toga engine is pretty good, and also open source. I downloaded the source code and compiled it on my Mac, and loaded it into the Sigma Chess UI (also free). It works great! If anyone wants the engine, I'd be happy to send it to them. (I have a G4, so I didn't compile it for Intel)

As a chess author, editor and of course player, I have also been a Mac user for over a decade. Running Chessbase by emulation or otherwise is fine, but the real deal for chess on the Mac is ExaChess, a full-featured database system. See http://www.exachess.com/ for the story on this excellent product. (I am not paid by or otherwise affiliated with ExaChess, although I have served as a beta tester for some versions.)

Compared to Chessbase, ExaChess lacks the whole audiovisual arm of that product - no vidoes, no integrated support for training DVDs, etc. However, it's core database functionality is superior to Chessbase's in my opinion, and it does what it does much faster. Several competent analysis engines are available to work within ExaChess, including Crafty. My understanding is that a universal binary version is in the works, but in the meantime I have found that ExaChess runs perfectly under Rosetta on Intel Macs. (PC guys please forgive that last sentence, but Mac users will know what I'm talking about.)

As for running Windows chess apps on Intel Macs, I'm not desperate for that myself since EaChess pretty much satisfies my needs. However, people do send me files in Chessbase's proprietary format from time to time, or other occasional need for Chessbase arises. For that I have had success with the product Crossover (http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/), which performs system level magic allowing me to run Windows software under OS X without actually installing Windows. (This is in constrast with Parallels or Bootcamp, both of which involve making your Mac a true dual OS machine.) The catch with Crossover is that it might not work with all applications, but I can attest that Chessbase 8 and Fritz run successfully on my MacBook via Crossover. There are a few user interface anomolies but nothing that bothers me enough to be worth shelling out for full Windows (to say nothing of cluttering up my machine with it). The annoyance factor would rise were I relying on Chessbase as my main database, but given that I've got ExaChess for that, Chessbase/Crossover does fine for my occasional needs.

I can't vouch for whether newer versions of Chessbase would do equally well. If it's relevent, Crossover's documentation states that it can simulate either Win98, Win2000 and WinXP -type environments. Personally, I've only tried Win2000.

No problems with chess related programs on the Mac. I have ExaChess, indeed very good, Sigma HIARCS 10, also very good, ChessMaster, good, fun and very good for beginners with good tutorials and beginner levels to play. So simply no need to run Chessbase programs. Agree that their should be at least a Playchess clients for MacOs, so meeting with Ninjas in TONC would be easier! :o) So I have accounts on ICC and FICS, playing with Jin.

Those "emulators" are actually virtual machines (no need to emulate Intel CPU on Intel HW). In addition to Parallels, VMware (industry leader in virtualization) is readying their product as well:


It's still in Beta, works fine for me though.

Both Parallels and VMware can now use a BootCamp partition for a VM, so the same Windows installation can be used both natively (BootCamp) or virtually within Mac OS.

Intel Macs are indeed a very flexible platform!

Sigma Chess, among the programs you can get on any platform for nothing (lite version thereof, it should be said), is the best. When some while back I was beating my head against a wall--that is to say, trying to make everyday use of Linux or BSD--I couldn't find any decent program at all that wasn't just a tricked out XBoard (e.g. eBoard, whose extra features consist solely of changing board style and stuff for playing on ICS.) I eventually decided to spring for Fritz 9.

And if I had an Intel Mac, it'd end up being the most overpriced XP machine on the planet...so no Macs for me. OS X is slow, bloated, and ugly as sin. XP is no beauty but at least I can turn some of the frills off and tweak the appearance. Which is more than you can do on OS X without risking a lawsuit: http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/04/17/1628228&mode=thread

I use WINE to run chessbase client and deep fritz on my linux.

Hmmm Ernest, there's only one OS that I've always considered 'slow, bloated, and ugly as sin', and it's not OSX - but each to his own.

There is a very nice little chess widget written by Bob Silverman: http://www.applepi.com/chesspuzzle. It's a lot of fun.

So what ICC client do people use on OS X? I'm pretty dissatisfied with all the options. I've been using Ignatius, which is open source, and seems the most full featured, but seems to not be under active development by anyone, and is pretty buggy. Chessic looks pretty but also seems fairly buggy to me, and Fixation is really old and ugly. I've been thinking of learning Cocoa just to write a decent OS X ICC client.

Emulation works differently foir different programs on different platforms, after reading this thread i managed to install the playchess client, iexplorer and WMP9, and managed to watch Monokrousso's lecture on the playchess server using Ubuntu linux.
I used crossoveroffice (that uses Wine http://www.winehq.com/). I did however have to copy a few dlls from a friends windows folder to get it to run smoothly.
A similar solution seems to exist for macs, also based on Wine:

This duel interface with Mac Users is called boot camp. My sister Shelly Furse came up with the idea while employed with apple computers, but now works for Microsoft. For more information of this just Google bootcamp for interactions on how to set your Mac computer up.

This duel interface with Mac Users is called boot camp. My sister Shelly Furse came up with the idea while employed with apple computers, but now works for Microsoft. For more information of this just Google bootcamp for interactions on how to set your Mac computer up.

Parallel's and a Mac Book Pro is the way to go. Remember that you will also need a Windows install CD. But then all your windows software, including Chessbase, will run blazingly fast on the Intel Duo Core.

Bootcamp is too tedious imo, you have to completely restart the machine to get a windows environment. With Parallel's you can just switch between Mac OS and Windows without loosing performance.

My next PC will be a Mac, the only thing holding me back was Chessbase, until now....

One addition; I just checked out the Hiarcs site and the one interesting feature of the Mac version is that it will run in multiple processor mode on a Mac Book Pro.

To run Chessbase engines in mp mode you would need a Windows 64 bits version which is still quite expensive.

G, I use the jin application for my Mac (installed - not the applet) to play on ICC. It's pretty decent, and updated frequently.

Thanks for the suggestion Ashish. I'd forgotten about Jin. The only thing that I don't like is it doesn't append a console to a board when observing a game, so all the kibitzes are nicely attached to the appropriate game.

Hey WidowTwanky, any chance you could hook me up with your Mac Toga code? I'd like to do a compilation under Linux x64.

Sean, You can download the GNU GPL Package (incl. sources) with Toga II based on Fruit at: http://www.superchessengine.com/

The current version is Toga II 1.3x4.

All I did was download the sources and compile them for my Mac - so I doubt the executable would run properly on your Linux x64.

Don't I need a makefile though? That's pretty much what I'm looking for.. otherwise, is there another way to do it? I'm thinking if you used a makefile, that might just be what I need to compile on mine, though I could be wrong.

sudo make install

That usually does it.

I am Mac user..2 years of G5 iMac, so not an Intel chip version.. I will not use any Windows apps on my computer. I have tried Sigma Chess, and I was going to upgrade to the HiArcs option but something would tell me "Could not start the 'UCI Loader' application. Please check that it is located in the 'UCI Support' folder, and then restart Sigma Chess.." which I could never figure out what in the world they were talking about..Ole Christenson are you out there?, so I have never made the upgrade.. I would consider other pathways such as Exachess, but all the explanations are never clear enough to my understanding of the steps I have to go through to download or install the applications.. same ultimately goes for SigmaChess.. Would someone be willing to give some more details as to what steps are necessary for using either of these supposed good engines or databases..I have wished to use Chessbase programs, and DVDs but will never .. as long as they do not have a OSX friendly policy.. Same goes for World Chess Network..Anyway I also have had experience, complaints with ICC as a Mac user..at first, I had a G3 iMac and used Strategies Mac interface. It was never upgraded, while I had OS 8 and 9... Then for a year and a half using OSX on my G5 iMac I used Chessic or the Jin interface.. You could never play in one of ICC's esteemed tourneys such as Dos Hermanos..online.. because you did not use Blitzin which was windows only.. Of course playing on ICC exposes one to rudeness which after seven years, I finally got tired of it all enough so that I quit ICC.. Yes, I was a 10% of life user.. So I now have probably 10 hours or more a week of my life to live in more healthy pursuits. And while I am at it, I might as well throw out another peeve.. I'd like to use a chess tournament swiss-pairing program that is developed for the Mac OSX .. Don't tell me that WinTD works.. those people at Estima.. told me in Dec, 2006, if not earlier, that they would have such completed by the end of the month.. Never did. Probably never will.. Why is there such a lack of support for a good operating system?.. I do not want anything that requires Windows on on my computer.. Is that really asking for too much. I pay for what I use.

Sean, I didn't need a makefile - in Xcode I just used a template for creating a C++ Unix Tool. Since this is not an application, (no resources, interface, linked libs etc),it's about the simplest project you can compile.

Indeed, I purchased a 2.66Ghz quad-core MacPro last month (before Apple finally released a long-awaited 8-core beast in the most-expensive-only configuration:-(). I have been testing Deep Fritz 10 with intent to write this up earlier, but many circumstances have intervened, including my testing of the Sunday 4/8 NY Times chess column coverage of the World Open 2006 cheating allegations (http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~regan/chess/fidelity/ click World Open 2006). For now:

() Under BootCamp, Deep Fritz 10 works great! All 4 cores going, I even get over 10 million nodes per second in endgames! The main limitation with Boot Camp is that it currently cannot access non-Windows partitions (or even Windows partitions on second internal HDs?), as Parallels can. So it cannot share a big tablebase folder with the Mac side.

() Commenters CatpoWer and Peter, can you get Parallels to recognize both cores in the same VM? I think not---multiprocessor support is still said to be in the future for Parallels. In Deep Fritz 10 "Engine Parameters", the top field for number of processors cannot be changed.

() Commenter NikonMike, I've been unable to get the VMWare beta to install. VMware's emulator currently supports only 2 cores anyway.

Parallels will have 3 eventual advantages, even over Windows machines themselves: (1) If a Windows installation gets corrupted, just trash it and build a new one. (2) I expect it will fix issues of engines hogging processor cycles, which sometimes causes control and screen-redraw delays, simply because Parallels grabs some cycles at top priority. This on pain of only a slight overall slowdown. (3) You can have multiple single-core VMs running ChessBase/Fritz/etc. on different tasks, so long as multiple installations on the same computer are understood to comply with (where-stated?) licensing agreements. (Whereas all but the top-line Vista version expressly disallows installing it on even one VM, so I use a multi-XP license.) And Parallels will allow even more "coherence" with Mac programs and files.

As I said, I haven't tested long enough to make a definitive prognosis, but I will do so when I can. MacOS X can also play the role of Linux for being a flavor of UNIX and thus able to run software I use professionally and integrate with campus UNIX environments.

To HG:

In the installation volume of SigmaChess there is the app "UCI Loader" but no "UCI Support" folder. There should have been, but people make mistakes....

Where you've installed SigmaChess you'll need to create a "UCI Support" folder and drop "UCI Loader" into it.

Like in this pic:


Hope this helps.

9/11/07 update of my comment #32: Rybka multiprocessor versions also run fine using all 4 cores under Boot Camp---plus it's nice to have the engine-parameter option to throttle processors back to 95% or 90%. I've run more DF10 and Rybka 2.3.x mp game (cheating) tests for hours each, with no crashes.

VMWare Fusion allows you to specify 2 processors for a VM, not the full 4. Parallels Desktop 3.0 still is limited to one processor only. A responder to a forum post of mine last month said that neither had immediate plans to support more cores.

You can assign up to 1.5GB RAM to a Parallels VM, and I get about 1,260 MB free for hash tables. Under the "use half of available RAM for hash" rule, this means 512--700MB hash, though 1,024MB has worked fine in my tests for both DF10 and Rybka.

Both Parallels and Fusion enable one to build a VM off the Boot Camp partition---although I still haven't solved the headache that when one alternates between using that VM and booting up Boot Camp proper, Windows XP senses a hardware change and requires re-activation. Building standalone VMs, as I've also done for my testing, has the drawback of requiring separate installs of both Windows and the chess software. I have not received any reply to my open query about how multiple VMs jive with licensing agreements, but so long as one person is using them all at a time on one machine, it strikes me as fine.

The Boot Camp installation itself gives options (only) of using up to 32GB for the Windows partition, or "half the hard drive". The 32GB pertains to the limit for a slightly faster file system. Boot Camp cannot, as of now, read the Mac file system, which has prevented me from installing the 6-man Nalimov tablebases (the Nalimov 3-4-5 set takes a little over 1GB). There are add-on products for about $50 ("MacDrive", another?) that enable this, but at this point I may as well wait to see if next month's release of MacOS 10.5 "Leopard" includes this support in its fully-fledged version of Boot Camp (though web serach seems to hint no). I haven't yet installed a Mac chess product and tested whether both it and a Parallels/Fusion VM can access the same tablebase folder on the Mac file system.

I also tested CrossOver Mac, a $50 program which ideally enables you to run Windows apps on an Intel Mac without installing Windows. Here is the report I entered into their compatibility database (https://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/company/?__utma=85114251.1144091847.1189641262.1189641262.1189647103.2;__utmz=85114251.1189641262.1.1.utmccn%3D%28referral%29%7Cutmcsr%3Dinformationweek.com%7Cutmcct%3D%2Fnews%2FshowArticle.jhtml%7Cutmcmd%3Dreferral;cw=11496895ea70880c7c9b41f91712cd3e;__utmb=85114251;__utmc=85114251;company_id=241), or just go to https://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/name and find Fritz, Chessbase, etc.

Deep Fritz 10 is a premier chess program, with training features and access to the PlayChess Internet Chess Server. It runs solidly using all 4 cores under Boot Camp on my 2.66Ghz quad-core Intel MacPro with 3GB RAM, and runs solidly with 2 cores under the VMWare Fusion and 1 core under Parallels Desktop emulators. Under CrossOver Mac (trial version) it installs fine---including a DirectX component install---except for some sluggishness and stray characters in the registration-key window when DF10 is first run. However, I've had 2 random crashes, once when about to select a menu option to start a new game, and once right when I had clicked to save a blitz game in which I actually beat the beast! (Sore loser?) Audio features of the program did not work. It *did* use all 4 cores, and *did* play an entire 38-move game. But in view of the two random crashes in under 15 minutes' use, this has to be labeled "Does Not Work."

I'll admit that, taking a cue from the New England Patriots, I cheated by spying on DF10's sideline discussions...:-)

I posted several blogs in Chess Forums.org and
I have been using Macs since 1988.
This Year 2008 Chess Base products work fine on a Mac.
If you own an Intel Mac you need Parallels or Fusion with Windows XP or Vista. Note: Parallels requires a 32 bit program.
According to MacWorld bus tests, Windows works better on an Intel Mac than on a Windows computer.
If you own an older Mac G chip series, G3 to G5 you need Microsoft's Virtual Windows for Macintosh. That program is still available.
Windows XP is installed in the product.
For chess all you need do is add Chess Base Lite or Fritz.
I tested and used both products and they work fine.
For Macintosh only Products this is the blog posted in Chessville and Chess Forums. Note that in 2004 I notified Chess Base of the information and they posted what I wrote in their website.
For Widgets:
Knight's Tour:
6000 Chess Puzzles:
This widget appears to have replaced the Reinfeld widget of 1001 Checkmates,
which was an older widget. The above widget has a new chess engine.
Chess Varients:
Chess Programs:
Sigma: 11 w/HIARCS

Internet Chess: ICC

Chess Clock:

Other Chess Products:

Widget: Keeping track of your chess games:

GNU Chess: Original OS X Software prior to Tiger and Leopard had a GNU Chess program.
If your Mac does not have the program go here:

Warning: Several Chess online stores sell HIARCS 7.0 for Macintosh.
Note unless you have OS 7 or older, the product will not work. On OS 9.22 or higher
Tiger, Leopard go directly to Shttp://www.sigmachess.com/and or http://www.hiarcs.com/mac_chess_hiarcs.htm
Note that Sigma Chess has a free version which you can test.
The non-Intel version is reasonably priced and will work on an Intel Machine.
The newer Intel version, and HIARCs Intel version really costs if you are into using the full Intel engine.
Shredder has several Mac versions for Intel and non-Intel Mac Machines:
Note that the full product of Sigma allows large database files.
I have one file close to 1 million games.

This is information is concerned for Mac users and Chess Base.
Previously posted on another Post in Chessville.
A few years ago I posted a message on Chessbase about how to use Chessbase on a Mac.

Today there is additional material.

1. If you have a G series Mac, G3 to G5 you can try Micorosoft Virtual Windows.
Note that Microsoft no longer supports Virtual Windows.
Virtual Winddows comes with XP installed. The download upgrades for Virtual Windows
are still available at Mactopia.
Since you are now using a Mac go to Mactopia.com, a Microsoft website for Mac users for more information.

2. If you own an Intel chip Mac, you need to get Parallels. Parallels is a virtual Windows program for Macintosh. Note that when you install Parallels you need a 32 bit Windows
OS, XP or Vista. XP in the 32 bit mode works fine.
There is a program called Virtual Windows for Macintosh which will work on Macs with G chips. Chessbase worked fine with the product.
With my Intel Macs I have used Parallels and Chess Base works even better.

Note that Virtual Windows for Macintosh by Microsoft will not work on an Intel Mac.
Only Parallels or Fusion.

Printing: Both Virtual Windows and Parallels allow printing.
Browser: Microsoft indicated that it no longer supports Internet Browser for Macintosh.
Do not use it. Instead the Wall Street Journal recommended Fire Fox. Safari the Macintosh Browser has some security problems which will probably be fixed in the near future.
JAVA - If you are using an Intel Mac upgrade the operating system from Apple downloads.
Under the Apple on your Mac there is Mac OS X software. Download the latest upgrades.

Also in the Apple family...

How can I (now or in near future) enter or play thru games in PGN on an iPhone? Shredder Chess for iPhone shows that the interface is trivial.

What version of Toga did you compile? I use sigma chess too and would like to use the new version of toga, but I don't know how to compile. I have intel mac.

I use a macbook pro with boot camp , just because i still need pc for aplications like chessbase and some weird plug ins that i have.
Parallel desktop works very well also , in my personal experience nothing compares to a Mac.
In fact this pc (which is on a mac ) is the best i had and was the easiest to configure.

I am curious whether there are online platforms that rival those that were mentioned in the post and comments, since such would definitely be more popular with players looking for games without the technical hassle. Do let me know if you know of good ones!

I am curious whether there are online platforms that rival those that were mentioned in the post and comments, since such would definitely be more popular with players looking for games without the technical hassle. Do let me know if you know of good ones!

Brandon - http://www.doubledowncasino.com

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