My chess universe: chess apps and programs
My Chess Apps on my iPad Pro

My chess universe: chess apps and programs

NM HanSchut
Jun 11, 2018, 10:41 AM |

There is nowadays a large selection of chess apps and programs available. In this article I will share with you which programs I use and I hope to hear from you which apps and programs your favorites are and why. Of course, it depends on your hardware and operating system environment. In my case that is a Microsoft Surface Book (with Windows 10) and Apple products (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV).

This is my universe of chess apps and programs:

- For following live broadcasts of tournament and games with master commentary:

Apps: Twitch (, chessbrah) YouTube (Saint Louis Chess Club) and Livestream

I project the live video using Screen Mirroring on my TV to follow the games live with comments from grandmasters. Twitch and Livestream have PIP and allow multitasking. You do not need to project YouTube because there is YouTube app for Apple TV. Tomorrow (June 12) the Grand Chess Tour tournament in Leuven starts and you can follow the commentary of GM Seirawan, IM Houska and GM Ramirez for free on Livestream and YouTube. The broadcast starts at 8 am EST.

- For live games without video commentary:null

Apps: Follow Chess / Analyze This and Chess24. I prefer the display of the games on Follow Chess but use Chess24 for team games because you do not have a good overview per team in the Follow Chess app. In Chess24 you can also see future round pairings and the rating performance of the players.

- For off-line tactical training: App TacticTrainer. More than 20,000 exercises ranging from trivial to professional. The app tracks your tactics rating versus other players.

- For opening book and rapid analysis of PGN games: App Hiarcs Chess. I have a subscription to the opening book of Hiarcs that is updated every quarter. I use the book in ChessBase 14 and in the Hiarcs Chess app on my iPad Pro. It is handy to quickly analyze your games between rounds at a rapid tournament and then send the PGN by email for later detailed analysis in ChessBase.

- To play online chess: App Chess from Chess.Com and lichess from I used to play on ChessBase and ICC but there are nowadays much less players than on and organizes the Titled Tuesday every month. Ten rounds of 3 + 2 in which Nakamura, Caruana and Vachier Lagrave participate on a regular basis. It is fun to play and watch. Peter Doggers is the content director for and he an his team write great articles about all major tournaments. There are regular matches with the strongest players in the world, such as the Speed ​​Chess Championship and the Pro Chess League. There is always master video commentary of these tournaments on Twitch. Lichess is the alternative for It is free and ad-free and has good analysis tools and a well-designed interface. Recently lichess also started to organize tournaments for titles players. I estimate that lichess has about 1/3 of the number of players of 

null- For chess books and magazines: Apps: New In Chess (Magazine and Yearbook) and Forward Chess. Forward Chess has books from the publishers Quality Chess, New in Chess, Chess Informant, Chess Stars etc. You can replay the games in the book in a separate viewer with analysis of the Stockfish engine. Forward Chess is now also available for the Windows and Mac desktop. It is a convenient way to bring your chess books with you to a chess tournament.  New In Chess is probably the best chess magazine in the world and it is very convenient to bring all the issues with you on your iPad for reading in the plane or elsewhere.


- For analysis of your games and opening preparation

On Windows PC: ChessBase 14, MegaDatabase 2018, Hiarcs Opening Book, Houdini 6.03 / Komodo 12 / Stockfish 9 Chess Engines, Endgame Turbo Tablebases. In my opinion Chessbase is still the standard for chess  analysis and opening preparation. The MegaDatabase consists of 7.4 million games and every week you can download and add the last 5,000 games to your database. If you prepare for an opponent, it creates an opening tree of the games of your opponents and it is immediately clear what someone is playing, how he scores in a specific variation and you can easily import relevant grandmaster parties. 71,000 parties have been extensively commented by top players.

The Hiarcs opening book is not a dump of master games with their statistics. The book indicates the best move for all openings based on games from top players and engines and is also confirmed by engine analysis. It therefore contains many novelties and is for me always the start of my analysis. The book is based on 17.7 million positions and 3.9 million games.

To return to the beginning of the article: which apps and programs do you use and why? I'm interested to hear your insights and hope you leave a comment