Chess Help

To challenge your Mac or another person to a game of chess, choose Game > New.

Open Chess for me

Tip: When you start a new game, you can hold the pointer over the items in the pop-up menus to get more information about the games and the player options.

  • Play a match online: Sign in to Game Center, choose Game > New, click the Players pop-up menu, then choose Game Center Match.

  • Get hints: Choose Moves > Show Hint. An arrow points to where you should move the piece. If the level of difficulty is set to Faster, hints aren’t available.

  • Take back a move: Choose Moves > Take Back Move for each move you want to undo.

  • See moves: Choose Moves > Show Last Move; an arrow points from the piece’s originating square to where it moved. To see all the moves made during a game, choose Moves > Game Log.

  • Change the look of a game: Choose Chess > Preferences, then choose a style for the board and pieces.

  • Set the level of difficulty: Choose Chess > Preferences, then drag the slider toward Faster or Stronger to decrease or increase the difficulty or speed.

  • Hear moves spoken: Choose Chess > Preferences, select the checkboxes for the moves you want to hear, then choose the voices.

  • Change the viewing angle of the board: Click and hold any corner of the board, then adjust the viewing angle using your mouse or trackpad.

  • Use spoken commands: To use spoken commands, you must first turn on Enhanced Dictation, then choose Chess > Preferences, and select Allow Player to Speak Moves. When the Dictation window appears, press the shortcut key (the key you selected when you enabled Enhanced Dictation) and speak a command; try not to hesitate while speaking.

    You can use spoken commands for the following actions:


    Spoken command example

    Move a piece

    “Pawn e2 to e4”

    Capture a piece

    “Pawn e5 takes f6”

    Drop a piece

    “Drop bishop at g4” (only for crazyhouse games)

    Promote a pawn

    “Pawn e7 to e8 promoting to queen”


    “Castle kingside” or “Castle queenside”

    Take back a move

    “Take back move”