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Arasan Chess is a freeware chess program, it is informally rated strong enough for players at, or around, Master level to find challenging.

Arasan, the name means 'king' in Tamil, has been around for a long time. Version 1.0 was released in 1994 for Windows 3.1, and it seems to have been in continuous development ever since. It has all the usual features such as being able to change the style of the chess pieces, customise the colour of the board, set a difficulty level, give hints, save/load games, take back moves and suchlike. It is a 'serious' chess program and does not have the flashy eye-candy of some commercial programs like 3D views, animated pieces, photo-realistic marble tables, mood music and the like. At the time of writing (2014) the latest version is v17.2 and has the following features:
  • It runs on Linux, MAC and 64 bit versions of Windows
  • It supports both Nalimov and Gaviota tablebases
  • Arasan has it's own user interface as well as being compatible with WinBoard, XBoard, Arena and other chess interfaces that promote on-line play.
  • The current game has an opening "book" with over 400,000 moves.


Arasan Chess Windows Arasan Chess version 17.2
This screen display is using customised colours and an alternate set of chessmen
Arasan Chess Windows 3.x Arasan Chess version 1.0 showing the configurable game preferences. More options and information is available via drop down boxes in the menu bar
Arasan Chess Windows Arasan Chess version 5.4.
The game configuration options have evolved considerably since the initial release

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Contributed to by piltdown_man (150041)