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The 3D cannot be easily enabled. A thread that people refer to is

but I tried several suggestions on that thread and it doesn't work yet.

The message is:

No Python OpenGL support
No Python GTKGLExt support

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Yeah I want an answer to this too, I have installed both mentioned packages and it goes to a black screen and just crashes. – ricbax Oct 31 '09 at 22:22
sudo apt-get install python python-q4 might take care of the openGL – The Green Frog Nov 3 '09 at 15:23
Chess rocks. Not the video game, I mean. – The Green Frog Nov 3 '09 at 15:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try this:

sudo aptitude install python-opengl python-gtkglext1

However I think 3D mode is ugly as well.

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what video card do you have. with mine, it looks nice. – The Green Frog Nov 3 '09 at 15:24
when i installed the ktkglext1 package, chess wouldn't start any more – The Green Frog Nov 3 '09 at 15:26

Mine worked with just installing the 2 commands, I believe if that does not work it must be your video card. I have to agree the models in 3D look uglier than 2d. I think someone could have spent a little more time in the decoration department. :P

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