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ExaChess Lite

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
ExaChess_Lite_3.sit (1.68 MB)
MD5: 4dc62d1cdec708c618aebeb6045bd793
For Mac OS 8.5 - 8.6 - Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
exachess-lite-21.sit (1.16 MB)
MD5: db7df015afa4d73a2314e6cbeea958d2
For Mac OS 8.5 - 8.6 - Mac OS X
Guides on emulating older games


We are still looking for the Classic (non-Carbon) version of ExaChess Lite 3.1.3. If you happen to have it, please upload it here!


ExaChess is a famous chess application for Macs, perhaps behind in fame only to Sigma Chess. It is split between two versions: ExaChess Lite (freeware) and ExaChess Pro (paid and feature-complete).

ExaChess Lite 4.0.2, the latest Lite version, is still hosted at the official website, alongside version 3.1.3. The former is a Univeral binary, while the latter is a PowerPC binary, and the latest version compatible with Mac OS X versions that predate 10.3.9 Panther (the docs also mention it's a Carbon version that supports Mac OS 8.6 and 9, provided CarbonLib is present and up-to-date).

Although 3.1.3 is supported on Mac OS, it still comes wrapped in a DMG, so a SIT counterpart was created and is hosted here for convenience.

Note: A non-Carbon version of 3.1.3 also exists. In the docs, the author cites it is provided upon request. (It is unknown, however, whether it's a PPC, FAT or 68k binary.) The author, however, no longer has that version, so it has been lost forever, unless someone else still happens to have it.

Download #1 is the aforementioned SIT-formatted Carbon version of ExaChess Lite 3.1.3.

Download #2 is ExaChess Lite 2.1. Playing against the computer by using the "Go" command (by either clicking on the corresponding button, picking it from the menu or using CMD+G) works with this version, whereas it did not with Carbon 3.1.3, at least under Mac OS 9.2.2 (and probably neither under all earlier versions of Mac OS). Note: More up-to-date 2.x versions exist, but were not found.

The Pro versions go beyond version 4.0.2. Currently (Jan 2020), there's mention of a 4.1 version, and version 4.5 has been under beta testing, with the latest update being from January 2016 (version 4.5b6).

Architecture: PPC


Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, January 15 - 1:24am

I got a very polite reply from Mr. Rolf, the developer. And it's official: non-Carbon ExaChess Lite 3.1.3 is GONE:

Hi Dubba,

I/m happy to oblige, but don’t seem to have a Classic version of 3.1.3 around any more. However, I found a SIT archive of ExaChess Lite 2.1 from 1999 which may be of interest. Attached.

Regards, Rolf

I'll put a notice on this page in the hopes someone will still have it, but if not, that particular version will have truly disappeared forever.

[Edit: Done. Also, for anyone curious, the appeal of the non-Carbon "Classic" version is that it is more performant than the Carbon counterpart. It could also be that it will not have the "Go" bug as described in the page description.]

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, January 11 - 7:07pm

I requested the author for the non-Carbon version of 3.1.3. If I get a reply, I'll subsequently ask if I may share it publicly. And if given the OK, I'll gladly upload it here.

In case I don't hear back, or I'm not granted permission to share to the public, anyone can make the request via the following e-mail addresses:

rDOTexnerAT bigpondDOT com
adminATex achessDOT com
(no spaces, replace "AT" with "@" and "DOT" with ".")