There are many (not all are very good) chess games in Linux. There is the one installed by default with the small game packages that come with Ubuntu and most versions of Linux that use Gnome, but I do not like this one very much. It is ok for basic play, but it is really not that good.
Another chess game that is slightly better is Dreamchess. This one looks fine and plays decently, but I do not really care for the pictures that represent those playing. There are also far better chess games in Linux. For an some reason though, I cannot get Dreamchess to load on the system I am currently using. Maybe it is because I am using the ATI Rage 128 Pro and the fact that this card has no driver in Linux. I should still be able to play a game of chess though.
PyChess is another chess game in Linux. I do not like either of the chess engines that PyChess can use (GNUChess and PyChess), but maybe it was just the way that PyChess used them. The computer made decisions to quickly and did not play very well. I also believe that the artists for this program could have made the pieces look nicer and appear more physically attractive.
Brutal Chess is actually pretty good. The board and pieces look nice, the AI is good, it actually take time to make a move. Alas, this game will also not load correctly. I imagine that I am having the same problem that Dreamchess is giving me, which is to bad.
3D Chess is an odd, yet interesting game. You have three boards upon which to play, a few new pieces, and no manual to tell me how the new pieces work!!! But this game looks quite cool though, a bit like chess in Star Trek. All it needs is a manual or a link to a website containing documentation. Also, there is no AI to handle this game, so you must have another person to play with. I also like the board names which are x, y, and z.
My favorite chess game in Linux though is pouet Chess. The computer fights quite effectively in this. Depending on the setting of difficulty, the system can take anywhere from two to ninety seconds to make a decision on a move. Playing against pouet Chess is harder than other game or person that I have ever played. I personally recommend this game for anyone really interested in chess. The board and pieces are also beautifully designed, more so than in any of the other chess games, including the two that refuse to run on my current system. I will probably add more to this review later, but for now I will just add a few pictures. Look here for more screenshots of various chess programs in Linux. Have fun everyone.
Playing Pychess How do I play 3D Chess again? My favorite, pouet Chess(now only if I cold beat it)
Chess in Linux Screenshots