eboard is already capable of playing games at FICS (but misses features such as last-move highlighting or move animation, and can only play, not observe nor examine games). Being stuck to the fact that every time I implement a new feature I must login to FICS, play a game against someone risking a core dump, repeat to test it, I'm now writing the interface connection to Crafty so I can test with a local chess engine.
BTW, GNU Chess 5.0's tarball is 30 MB and GNU removed all the previous versions of GNU chess from the site...ack! Better than getting a chess engine to win out every GM in the world, a chess engine programmer's challenge should be building efficient/"smart" search algorithms - searching the good positions and discarding fast the bad ones. Including a (required) 20 MB book (I haven't downloaded the beast to check the size yet, but I can only presume the huge size is due to a huge game book) looks dumb - what people want when playing chess with a computer ? That the computer reproduces every move from a GM game held in 1987 it has in the database or to challenge the CPU's transistors to outthink him ?