If you use Windows and play chess, you may be aware of a program named LucasChess. If you use Linux and play chess, you are in for a pleasant surprise with LucasChess as it will run in Linux using Wine!
LucasChess is a very nice chess program for those of us that are not out to conquer the chess world. It has an amazing number of engines geared from beginner level, to as high as you want to go. The beginning levels are mostly geared towards children as the program opponents are different animals.
For those of use who have no chess pride, the beginning levels are a perfect companion to learn our way around the chess board and practice moving the pieces. For those a little more comfortable with chess, there are options to play against any of the remaining chess engines.
The first level at least has a second chess engine that acts like a tutor or chess coach. The chess tutor is unique to me at least in three ways. When you make a move, the chess tutor evaluates your move. If your move is not optimal, a screen comes up showing you the best move, your move, and the move the opponent thought you may make.
There is still some fog, for myself at least as to why some moves are so good, but a few of the recommended moves make sense as I compare my move to a more optimal move. This function alone make LucasChess one very good chess program for most casual players.
Using LucasChess with Windows or Linux, it is best, imo,to download and use the portable version and not the install version. The portable version can be ran from a usb stick, maybe cd rom, or the hard drive. When a new version of LucasChess is released, it is a small matter to download and overwrite the old version.
One catch with LucasChess with Linux is you need to install Wine. Wine if you are not familiar with it, is sort of Windows emulator. Many programs that run in Windows may be able to run in wine.
Installing Wine is a simple enough matter. Wine should be in most repositories. I am not familiar with wine other than it exists, and I am able to run both Wine and LucasChess.
I made a directory in my home directory (myhome) named LucasChess. Inside the directory LucasChess I extracted the downloaded files to.
There may be an easier way to run Wine, as I am a Wine neophyte, but I start Wine and LucasChess from the terminal with the command:
If you are not familiar with the command line, I am telling the computer to run Wine and LucasChess from the home/myhome/LucasChess/ directory with the command Lucas.exe in the directory LucasChess.
If you use Windows or Linux, and want to use one of the best chess programs out there for casual player, give LucasChess a try. Lucas Chess hangs and crashes occasionally for me using Linux and Wine, but it is a simple matter to start the program again.
As I am not on the road to Master Chess play, so it doesn’t matter if I lose a game partially played or not when LucasChess locks up. What I receive from LucasChess more than makes up for an occasional crash.
Here is the url for LucasChess: http://www-lucaschess.rhcloud.com