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Arena runs well under WINE indeed! Just that UI is a bit complex. So I use xboard for a game against an engine. Also tried PyChess, GNOME Chess, CuteChess, Eboard and Dreamchess but all of them are bit too unstable or not able to run UCI engines. Starting out with the ACE engine (~900 ELO) since the usual ones checkmate me within 30-40 moves.
Just to add my 2¢.. PyChess, Gnome, Eboard, and many other GUIs in the repos are very lacking and not at all designed for anyone but the casual chess player. When I first hopped onto Linux I was testing everything in the repo with "chess" in the description one by one and it was perpetual disappointment. I'll have to check out that chessx though, maybe I missed it when I was trying everything because I don't recall the name.
chessx is a fine application, nice looking, very stable, almost fullfeatured. The only thing it's lacking currently is a native database format- it uses exclusively PGN, which being plaintext is not suitable for really large databases (huge text files are quite difficult to manage). Some SQL based database format would be most welcome.
What's the best free database out there? And can it compare to Chesstempo or chessgames? I think you are the man to ask.
Yes I agree. The database oriented programs (Scid, Scid vs PC) are a bit steep with learning curve while those oriented for playing (xboard, eboard, PyChess etc.) will fail to satisfy once the newbie progresses to a level where he starts using databases. Many are apparently dead projects too like eboard, and most of them crash too often.
Something I find a bit disappointing is how many of these projects provide precompiled binaries for Windows and Mac but only sources for Linux users, asking them to compile and install. I can imagine that many non-technical Linux users (thanks to Ubuntu) could give up at this point and run something like Arena on WINE or dual-boot/switch to Windows.
But Scidb and ChessX are looking very promising. All in all we Linux users have it good since we can run many Windows apps too under Linux, as well as native apps.
Yea ChessX is nice. I like it a lot.
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