Download FICS compatible�graphic interface
 and software review/s
The available interfaces for Windows XP are listed in this page. For every interface a link to a site where it can be downloaded is provided. The FICS SR'S have also tried to highlight the pro's and the con's of each interface, and to keep a Latest News section updated. Finally you can see a screenshot of most interfaces. Most of them are large files and they may take a while to load.
Ultimately the best thing you can do is try a few interfaces and decide which one you like best on your own.

The table on the right shows how many connections have been recorded on FICS with each of the 8 most used interfaces for Windows XP. Bear in mind this number is merely indicative, as the newest interfaces will of course have less connections.

FICS registered users can let everyone know what they think of each interface in 2 different ways: first of all they can give each interface a rating between 1 and 10. Secondly they can post a comment on every interface.

WinBoard WinBoard (35.7%)
BabasChess BabasChess (15.2%)
JavaBoard JavaBoard (13.2%)
CClient CClient (11.2%)
Thief Thief (10.3%)
Jin Jin (6.5%)
iNemesis iNemesis (3.7%)

Click here for a short history of FICS the Free Internet Chess Server

  • German FICS - web page - telnet to server

  • Swedish FICS - web page - telnet to server

    MS Win 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XPsoftware link


    Unix software link XBoard 4.2.7.tar


    MS Win Jin-2_13.1-win.exe

    Unix version jin-2.13.1-unix.tar

    Mac jin-2.13.1-osx.dmg

    For more information from the designers:

    Tim Mann website

    Free Chess Server


    Arena version 1.1 by Martin Blume available at:
    User rating:
    4.78 (1238 votes)



    Latest News: The author is working on further modifications
    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 3.0 by RRaf available at:
    User rating:
    5.87 (900 votes)



    Latest News: Version 3.0 is the latest. All users are recommended to upgrade to 3.0 as it is considerably faster and has more features.
    Pluses: BabasChess is a young interface rapidly gaining popularity. Among its main features are:
    1) Tabbed info window containing pending info, seek graph, seek list, players and games list; 2) Unlimited board with bughouse and crazyhouse support; 3) Multiple preomoves and smartmoves; 4) Hightly configurable and flexible windows layout manager; 5) Ability to open PGN games and many more
    CClient version 2.0 by Plotinus available at:
    User rating:
    5.47 (728 votes)



    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:
    5.34 (598 votes)



    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:
    5.17 (601 votes)



    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:
    5.05 (541 votes)



    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:
    5.07 (410 votes)



    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 4.04 Learning Blocks by TinPin available at: no link available
    User rating:
    6.04 (542 votes)



    Latest News: Version 4.04 is the latest.
    Pluses: Several fine options are available in iNemesis making the popularity of this relatively new interface grow. Among them it is worth remembering: 1) Start Here Assistant for new players; 2) Built in offline lectures at you'r own pace! ; 3) User definable buttons; 4) Avaliability of position analysis using a chess engine; 5) Visual pokerbot play; 6) Text to Speech to speak up moves and tells; 7) PGN file view/upload; 8) User Lists Editor for the censor, notify, noplay, idlenotify, gnotify, and channels lists; 9)Chat features; 10) Multiple commands on command line, use ^ to seperate; 11) Auto-execute commands at login; 12)customizable fonts for users and channels; 13) Visual editor for formulas; 14) Full BugHouse support.
    Minuses: The minimum download size is 5Mb, and if you want to use the Text to Speech feature you must have either windows 2000 to use it.
    InterChess version 2.43 by Toby Landes available at:
    User rating:
    5.48 (436 votes)



    JavaBoard version 1.0.4 by Dannie Kjeldgaard & Henrik Gram available at:
    User rating:
    5.55 (715 votes)



    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 2.13 by Alexander Maryanovsky available at:
    User rating:
    5.67 (516 votes)



    Latest News: The author is working on further modifications
    Pluses: Features include all the basics of chatting and playing chess, seek graph, fullscreen board mode, a powerful scripter, unlimited amount of boards and many others.
    Minuses: Might require installation of Java ( certain configurations of Windows XP
    LightningRulez version 5.2.2 by gilly available at:
    User rating:
    5.33 (357 votes)



    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:
    5.05 (386 votes)



    Minuses: No more updates to come.
    Thief version 1.1 by WhoAmI available at:
    User rating:
    6.55 (502 votes)



    Latest News: is a short article about Thief features.
    Pluses: Thief is probably the preferred interface by bughouse players. The possibility of having multiple windows thus observing your partner game, or, more in general, to observe both games of match at the same time, makes it particularly attractive to the enthusiasts of this variant.
    Fans of lightning will appreciate the possibility to use premove.
    Thief is the interface you want to use if you do not like defaults and want to customize it your own way.
    Minuses: The absence of a seek graph makes finding a game slightly cumbersome and you will need to use either sought or getgame.
    Varese version 0.3 Electra by circa available at:
    User rating:
    6.10 (358 votes)



    Latest News: 0.3 version comes with a database function.
    Pluses: Varese has been created specifically for FICS.
    WinBoard version 4.2.7 by Tim Mann available at:
    User rating:
    6.90 (1193 votes)


    Latest News: Version 4.2.7 has been released on 28 novemeber 2003.
    About a dozen small bugs have been fixed and it is now bundled with GNU Chess 5.07 rather than with the 5.02+ version.
    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.
    Minuses: Winboard doesn't have a seek graph, which means you have to manually type sought to find a game. Furthermore it only allows one board to be displayed removing a great deal of the fun for bughouse players.


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