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Gambit is a Mac OS X application for chess play and analysis. It allows games to be played against the chess engine "Crafty," and it allows completed chess games to be recorded, replayed, annotated, and analyzed.

Gambit uses and is 100% compatible with the PGN (Portable Game Notation) format standard. Support for game annotation includes standard punctuation and evaluation glyphs, variations (and sub-variations), and text comments. Not only does Gambit read, display, and save all of the standard PGN tag-value pairs, it retains non-standard pairs when a game with any is modified and re-saved.

Gambit's user interface is more...

What's New

Version 1.0.1:
  • French localization and documentation
  • Improved movement of pieces while Crafty is analyzing


Mac OS X 10.3 or later

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Gambit User Discussion

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Sans Dieu Rien Member IconReview+11
Sans Dieu Rien

Gambit is a great program, and very inexpensive as chess software goes. And it's even more impressive using the Crafty chess engine, which is currently ranked number 42 (http://wbec-ridderkerk.nl/html/BayesianElo_ed15.htm)--not bad!

But I guess the real question is, "What is it exactly do you want to do with chess on your computer?" Do you want to play the best engine out there and see how you fair? Do you want to play casually? Are you serious about analysing your games and see what your strengths and weaknesses are? Do you want to improve your game?

For me, I definitely don't want the "best" program out there. This is a never ending quest, year after year. I prefer a middle-of-the-road engine, with great print out and analysis.

On my quest to find a more practical chess program with the ability to print out my games for further study and improvement, I'm now narrowing my choices between Gambit and Vektor3. Gambit has a better chess engine, whereas Vektor3 has perhaps the best (should I say "beautiful?") interface for graphics and printing: the ability to print a thumbnail picture of the position at key notations of your choice! Vektor3 even includes paragraph or split column form.

Gambit, on the other hand, has a great chess engine, better than Vektor3, which uses Vanessa MAX. So it may be better for analysis, but it lacks the polished feel of Vektor3. If you want to print out thumbnail pictures of your game within the notation, the company using this as a shameless plug for their other software: SnapX.

For what it's worth, Gambit also offers a multi-user license for up to a household of five at an excellent price of $30.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.0.1


I have recently bought Gambit and am having trouble saving any games. I also can't save any sample pgns(the ones that come with the program) that I modify. Do you know if I am doing something wrong? Could you please help, I tried emailing the author but haven't gotten a response at all.


Ron Moskovitz Member IconReview+0
Ron Moskovitz

Caveat: I was a beta-tester for this program. I offered advice to the developer about possible features.

Mac OSX chessplayers, if you've been looking for a program to help your analysis, to serve as a database for your games, or simply to use to play though master games from a book, this is the program for you.

Gambit allows easy manipulation of multiple variations. The integration with the crafty chess-engine is seamless and quick. You can open multiple PGN, adding and removing games easily. There's simple cut-and paste recognition of both PGN files and FEN notation. (Heck, Gambit is the best OSX PGN viewer on the market.)

Oh, yeah - you can also play against Crafty. Craft may not be the strongest engine on the planet, but unless you're a master-strength player, it's all you need.

If you want a game where you can play against multiple computer "personalities," and track your progress, you're probably better off with the latest version of Chessmaster. Gambit isn't, primarily, a program to play against (although it does that just fine.)

Gambit is, instead, a must-have for the serious player who would be using Chessbase products if they were on a PC. Compare the feature sets and price list (Chessbase is a $150 program, making Gambit a veritable bargain).

Gambit is significantly better than either Sigma Chess or ExaChess (both progams I grudgingly used for storage and analysis until I got Gambit.) The moment I got the first beta of Gambit, it became the only chess program I used.

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Version 1.0
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Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 6,494
Version Downloads 4,268
License Shareware
Date 13 Dec 2005
Platform OS X / PPC 32
Price $20.00
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