DreamChess is a simple open-source chess game.

Playing is easy, as there's really nothing to think about beyond the game: click Start, choose a difficulty level and you're off.

The visuals are basic. The website talks about "3D OpenGL graphics" and "various chess board sets", but the 3D-ness is kept to a minimum and there are only four sets in the download (although we do quite like the hand-drawn-type "Sketch" theme).

Chess novices should find the standard "dreamer" engine is playable enough, but experts can replace it with any other XBoard-compatible engine.

There are a few other extras - sounds, music, a few move options (retract, move previous etc) - but essentially that's it. If you're looking for more to do than sit down and play, DreamChess will leave you disappointed.

Verdict

DreamChess is seriously short on features, but also easy-to-use and hassle-free. Maybe worth a try for novice to intermediate players who only need the chess basics.