Chess Software

May 17, 2014, 12:00 PM |

I find many questions “Which chess software is the best?” or “What chess software to buy?” so I decided to write a small post about it.

1.   Chess GUI

·         Arena GUI (mirror) is probably the best and most popular free chess GUI.

·         Kvetka is a tiny free GUI, which can be useful if you like minimalism, don’t need much additional functionality or just want the smallest GUI possible.

·         Aquarium, as for me, is the best chess GUI for analysis. It has many useful and interesting features like IDeA or analysis of the whole game.

·         ChessBase is the great tool for managing chess games databases. I wouldn’t recommend it as primary chess GUI, although it can be used in that way. You can update its megabase with TWIC. You may also want to try free ChessBase Reader first or even to use instead.

2.   Chess Engine

Best free engines are: Stockfish(stable, development, improved development version), Gull, Critter

Best commercial engines are Houdini and Komodo.

For those who asks: “Do I need to purchase commercial engine?” Well if you ask, then you don’t. Free engines are perfectly good for amateur.

By the way, you can participate in improving Stockfish here.

3.  Opening books

Well good opening book must be consistently updated and can become out-of-date very soon. Here you can check monthly updated opening books rating list.

Moreover, I can advise you Hiarcs opening book, which is not free.

4.   Endgame Tablebases

Endgame tablebases can be downloaded here or found on different torrent trackers (much faster).

If you don’t want to download all of 6-men tablebases, here you can find analysis of most frequent 6-men endgames. In addition, if you are using Aquarium, you can access to 7-men endgame tablebases online.

5.   Soft from Fred Mellender

Fred has some nice software on his homepage. I use only Chessboard Capture Program, which is just great tool to use with PDF chess books, but you might find his other soft useful too.