XBoard is the standard chess game for playing chess on Linux computers. It's not very fancy, it's not got a trendy look, but it's great for playing chess. And it supports all the commonly used chess engines available.
 Starting XBoard
You can select chess engine to play against from the command-line. It starts Gnuchess if no other engine is specified.
To start Crafty:
xboard -fcp 'crafty xboard'
The -tcp option supports many arguments, for example:
xboard -fcp 'crafty xboard hash=12M hashp=5M'
xboard -fcp phalanx
You can also connect to a chess server, which must also be given as a command-line argument. For eaxmple:
xboard -ics -icshost freechess.org