FICS - Free Internet Chess Server
8708 31ST Ave N
New Hope
Mn 55427


  It is possible to play chess matches on the server by typing your moves and
having board positions displayed in a simple style.  However, using a graphics
interface can make playing on the chess server a lot more fun and enjoyable. 
A graphics interface is a software program designed to decode the information
sent to you by FICS and display board information using stylized graphics. 
The interface also allows you to make moves by moving pieces on its board
using a mouse.

  Many graphics interfaces are available.  However, which interface will work
best for you will depend upon the kind of computer you are using, and the way
you are being connected to the server.  Many graphics interfaces are available
at the main chess ftp site (  Feel free to ask FICS users
about what is working best for them, and feel free to explore the files at

  NOTE: If you use a graphics interface, you will need to select the right
value for the 'style' variable; otherwise, board positions will not be
transmitted in an appropriate format for your interface.

See Also:  ftp_hints  set  style  variables  v_style

Summary of available interfaces

Here's a summary of the interfaces that are available.  Instructions for
getting an interface, more detailed information about each one, and the
author's Web addresses where available, are given below.

Name         Required computer operating         Author     Location
             system and hardware/software **                at ICL
GIICS        DOS/Win3/Win95/NT, modem            LLama      pub/chess/DOS
Monarc       DOS/Win3/Win95/NT, modem            pawnstorm  pub/chess/DOS
JIICS        DOS/Win3/Win95/NT, VGA+mouse, modem Peluri     pub/chess/DOS  
NGIICS       DOS, TCP/IP                         LLama      pub/chess/DOS
Raja         Win3/Win95/NT, TCP/IP and/or modem  Christian  pub/chess/Win3
Gilchess     Win3/Win95/NT, modem                Bloodrake  pub/chess/Win3
bludrake     Win3/Win95/NT, modem                Bloodrake  pub/chess/Win3
SLICS     +  Win3/Win95/NT, TCP/IP and/or modem  dfong      pub/chess/Win3
Toolkit   ++ Win3/Win95/NT, TCP/IP and/or modem  MaDHaTteR  pub/chess/Win3
WinBoard  +  Win95/NT, TCP/IP and/or modem       mann       pub/chess/Win3
CClient   +  Win95/NT, TCP/IP                    Plotinus   pub/chess/uploads/Win3
Freak        Win95/NT, TCP/IP                    Musha
PMICS     +  OS/2, TCP/IP                        MysticUK   pub/chess/OS2
XBoard    +  Unix, X11R4, TCP/IP and/or modem    mann       pub/chess/X
xics         Unix, X11R3, TCP/IP                *observer   pub/chess/X
cics         TCP/IP and C, ASCII terminal       *observer   pub/chess/Unix
NeXTICS      NeXT, TCP/IP and/or modem           red        pub/chess/NeXT
MacICS       Mac                                *douglas    pub/chess/Macintosh
E-ICS        Mac, Modem                         *douglas    pub/chess/Macintosh
Fixation  +  Mac, TCP/IP                         Fixation   pub/chess/Macintosh
PowerICS  +  Mac, TCP/IP                         Kossy      pub/chess/Macintosh
MacICS-TCP   Mac, TCP/IP                         eew        pub/chess/Macintosh
Aics         Amiga, TCP/IP and/or modem          Christian  pub/chess/Amiga
AmyBoard     Amiga, TCP/IP and/or modem          JochenW    pub/chess/Amiga

+   Recommended and popular.
++  Not yet working well on FICS.
*   No account on FICS yet. 
**  When several operating systems are listed (for example, DOS/Win3), it
    means that the interface should work under any of them.  Not all 
    combinations have necessarily been tested.  Interface authors are asked
    to inform the admins of errors.  

Instructions for getting an interface

  Many of the interface authors have Web sites where you can download the
latest versions and get help.  We have tried to list them below, but if
you don't see one, try typing "finger author" (where author is the author's
handle as listed above) to see if the author has listed a Web address or
other useful information in his finger notes.

  The graphical interfaces can also be found at the anonymous ftp site  (URL: or
or just go to the fics homepage (  Most come with 
some instructions.  :-)

  Pick one, use ftp (read the "ftp_hints" help file for assistance), Netscape
or some similar software to access it over the Internet, transfer it to your
local PC system or workstation via your preferred method (zmodem, kermit for
most non tcp/ip dialup connections), unpack it (most use standard archival
software or are self-extracting), and set it up.  :-)

Comments on interfaces

  This listing will explain the interfaces in a little more detail.  Many have
comments from the users/authors of the interfaces.  

 If you have any further questions or trouble please contact an admin.

PC and compatibles (Using DOS and modem, no TCP/IP): pub/chess/DOS 
These interfaces are used with shell accounts, not SLIP/PPP or other TCP/IP
network connections.  They can also be used with Windows in a DOS Prompt box.

  GIICS by LLama:

  JIICS by Peluri:
    You will need VGA and a mouse to use this.

  Monarc by pawnstorm:

PC and compatibles (Using DOS and TCP/IP): pub/chess/DOS

  NGIICS by LLama:
    Requires a specific version of TCP/IP for DOS; does not work with
    Windows (WinSock) TCP/IP.  

PC and compatibles (Using Windows and modem, no TCP/IP): pub/chess/Win3
These interfaces are used with shell accounts, not SLIP/PPP or other TCP/IP
network connections.  The "DOS and modem" interfaces above, and some interfaces
listed under "Windows and TCP/IP" below, can also be used with Windows and a
shell account.

  Gilchess by Bloodrake:

  bludrake by Bloodrake:

PC and compatibles (Using Windows and TCP/IP): pub/chess/Win3
These interfaces also work on Windows 95 and Windows NT.

  SLICS by dfong: 
     SLICS also works on Win95 and WinNT.  dfong is also the author of
     tmseal.  SLICS works with either TCP/IP or a modem and shell account.

  Raja (elephant) by Christian:
    Works well with Win95.  Noticable speed increase (and it's not even 32 bit
    yet!). Tested with 486-DX4-100.  [note from Christian]
    Raja works with either TCP/IP or a modem and shell account.

  Toolkit by MaDHaTteR:
    Does not currently work on FICS.

PC and compatibles (Using Windows 95 or NT, and TCP/IP): pub/chess/Win3
The "Windows and TCP/IP" interfaces listed above also work on Windows 95
and Windows NT.

  WinBoard by mann:	
    Versions 3.6.0 and higher have timeseal built in.
    WinBoard works with either TCP/IP or a modem and shell account.

  CClient (Chess Client) by Plotinus:

PC and compatibles (OS/2 and TCP/IP): pub/chess/OS2

  PMICS by woof and later augmented by MysticUK:

Unix (X-Windows): pub/chess/X

  XBoard by mann:
    Certainly the best of the Unix interfaces and still is being supported to
    work better at FICS.  Owners of Unix machines are well advised to get this
    interface.  It is also suitable for use with GNUchess.   [comment by DAV] 

  xics by observer@icc:
    This is not the "Observer" that has an account at FICS.

Unix (vt100 terminal): pub/chess/Unix

  cics by observer@icc:
    This is not the "Observer" that has an account at FICS.
    cics is written in C and can be compiled for many systems, not just Unix.

NeXT: pub/chess/NeXT

  NeXTICS by red:

MAC: pub/chess/Macintosh

  MacICS by douglas:

MAC (Modem): pub/chess/Macintosh

  E-ICS by douglas:

MAC (TCP\IP): pub/chess/Macintosh

  MacTCP by eew:

  Fixation by Adum:
    Supports bughouse matches; both games will be displayed. 
    Other nice features as well, including Timeseal.

  PowerICS by Kossy:  
    Latest version includes Timseal.

Amiga: pub/chess/Amiga:

  Aics by Christian:
    Will work with 2.04 Kickstart and should be compatible with newer

  AmyBoard by JochenW:
    AmyBoard is based on an old release of xboard.  It is no longer being
    maintained, but may still be useful.  If you use it, mann would appreciate
    hearing about it.  He would also like to know how it compares with Aics.

[Last modified: January 9, 1998 -- mann]

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