Kopec has achieved the FIDEInternational Master title and has been a semi-professional chess player since 1976. He lived in Canada for several years during the 1980s, and competed there with success. He has written numerous books on the subject of chess, produced eight chess instructional DVDs, and has run chess camps since 1994. Kopec has also worked to promote his chess opening, "The Kopec System" (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bd3!?).
With Ivan Bratko, he was the creator of the Bratko-Kopec Test which was one of the de facto standard testing systems for chess playing computer programs in the 1980s.
Kopec has published notable academic pieces in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine error reduction, intelligent tutoring systems, and computer education.