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- If you want to take your gaming to the next level, don't hesitate to use the best chess training software available now.
- These specialized apps include features that will enhance your knowledge about the game strategy and play.
- Note that some of the programs even have interactive modules within the lessons.
Chess is a game that has fascinated players from all over the world, so there is no wonder that more and more people want to learn how to play it.
While there are many basic chess apps, the best chess software comes with extensive tutorials that will enhance your game.
Some programs even have championship chess engines that have taken on the world’s most popular players. This is where chess training software for Windows steps in, so we encourage you to embrace the challenge.
Best tips on how to train your chess skills
Whether you’re just starting to understand the basics or you’re a seasoned player, you can’t stop training your skills for a better outcome in matches with your friends, online, or in competitions.
In that respect, we have a few pieces of advice that will help you achieve great results when you’re training.
➡ Pick the best training for your level
If you’re a beginner, you need to start with the basics, and even if they sound too easy, don’t go too fast over any information. Let it settle and use it repeatedly.
More experienced players should address their weaknesses if they are aware of them, without neglecting the other aspects of the game.
➡ Always focus on your tasks
Although it sounds obvious, when you’re training or learning (and that stands for everything, really) concentrate on the task at hand.
If you can’t focus 100% on your training or learning, postpone the lesson until you find the level of concentration required. Otherwise, you won’t be able to assimilate the information.
➡ Try playing with better players
Although it’s very satisfying to have only victories, competing against weaker opponents will not raise your game level.
Playing is the best form of exercising what you’ve learned but you will soon understand (if you didn’t already) that any moves can be countered by a more skilled opponent.
Our list of the best cross-platform chess apps can get you to play more, whether you’re on PC or mobile.
What are the best chess training tools for Windows users?
ChessDecode – Best chess AI analyzer
DecodeChess is the first AI teacher when it comes to chess. It analyzes every move from a match and gives insights for you and about your opponent’s moves as well.
Improve your game sense and strategic thinking with the most advanced chess analysis software.
DecodeChess provides real-time suggestions when playing against any opponents. Moreover, see what their intentions are and create counter-moves to win any situation,
The AI algorithm of DecodeChess makes the perfect combination of a grandmaster and one of the strongest engines available, Stockfish 12. While you provide the engine with personal feedback for your own moves, the AI will understand better and create better suggestions for you.
The computer AI can adapt to your own game style and create personalized recommendations. It will respond accordingly to create a balanced game experience.
If your ELO rating is up to 2000, you are always wondering where you can improve your skills and how to create better situations in matches, this software is the right choice for you.
DecodeChess’s main key features are:
- In-depth explanation of every suggested move
- Providing learning frameworks
- Threats explanation and move to prevent them
- Human-like opponents with different difficulties
- Better moves suggestions
- Real-time analysis
DecodeChessYour ideal companion when it comes to chess game insight.
Chess Tutor from Shredder Chess – Best in-depth lessons
Chess Tutor is a chess training software from Stefan Meyer-Kahlen which created the Shredder Classic series (18 times the World Computer Chess Champion).
Well, yes, you will learn from a real pro and the teaching method is tuned to every level of understanding.
These courses are based on the internationally successful The Steps Method by Brunia/van Wijgerden. They are separated into three distinct parts: Step 1, 2, and 3.
The first step brings you the basics and contains 23 lessons, 1800 exercises, and 66 games. The 2nd Step is about tactics and positionings and contains 21 lessons, over 1900 exercises, and 84 games.
The 3rd step will train your skills for openings and endgames and other fundamental tactics. It contains 23 lessons, 2150 exercises, and 93 games.
And talking about teaching methods, the lessons are not simple videos that you will forget the day after.
Everything is interactive and the lessons are presented in match conditions, on the board so that you can understand every move and its consequences.
And after a lesson, you can set it into your mind by performing a few exercises. The first ones are extremely easy and will gradually increase in difficulty.
You can try them for free by downloading the demo versions.
Here are some of this training app’s most important features:
- Separate modules for gradual learning
- Courses based on the acclaimed method by Brunia/van Wijgerden
- The training includes interactive exercises and games
- Lessons are presented in match conditions
- Dedicated for each level of understanding and skill
Chess TutorChess Tutor will become your ideal personal trainer in the world of competitive chess.
Fritz 17 Chess – Best AI chess opponent
Fritz is one of the best chess programs that has beaten some of the game’s greatest players from Kasparov to Kramnik.
Note that it comes with the Rybka chess engine that’s ideal for tournament players and is compatible with Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
The latest addition to the series has an expanded database that includes more than 1.5 million historic games and a new 64-bit engine.
Fritz 17 provides more advanced training options and some great playing modes. The software offers tutoring for all stages of a game.
The program highlights things that you missed during the match at the end of a game and gives you an ELO rating for your opening, middle, and end game.
In addition, Fritz 17 also provides access to ChessBase web tools such as on-demand chess videos and Live Database.
Let’s take a look at the top features of this chess training app:
- Enhanced search engine with evaluations technology
- Success control and measure your progress options
- Generous library of pre-made repertoires
- Fat Fritz included (to emulate human strategic analyses)
- Rybka chess engine
Fritz 17 ChessCompete against the most famous players with the Rybka chess engine that will prepare you for amazing tournaments.
Deep Rybka 4 – Great AI capabilities
Rybka is a groundbreaking chess engine program that won consecutive WCCC championships (Fritz is also based on that engine).
Mr. Rajlich, one of the great chess players, developed the original engine and has now enhanced it with Rybka 4.
Deep Rybka 4 is a multiprocessor version that’s available with alternative Fritz, Chess Assistant, and Aquarium GUIs. There’s also Rybka 4 version without a GUI that you can add a compatible UI to such as Arena.
Note that this software is developed for more advanced chess players. It primarily provides players with detailed evaluations of playing positions. Deep Rybka 4 also gives you an in-depth analysis of games.
Other bonuses of this program are its extensive game database and the one-year Classic membership. Deep Rybka 4 Aquarium also comes with a copy of the Openings Encyclopedia 2010 that includes comprehensive evaluations of all the chess opening moves and positions.
Let’s take a look at its most important features:
- Improved tactics and understanding of the attack on the king
- Extensive library of 1.5 million games
- Classic membership for Playchess.com included one year
- 32 and 64-bit versions are available
- More precise and more powerful engine
Deep Rybka 4Train your chess play and strategy using software that won consecutive WCCC championships!
Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition – Great for grandmaster insights
The Grandmaster Edition is a highly instructive tool that includes a valuable course on chess basics delivered by 8-time national chess champion, Josh Waitzkin.
With the help of tutorials, players can apply their newly acquired skills in either single-player or multiplayer mode.
Its most impressive feature is the game database that includes over 600 k games that also includes the most important plays in the history of classic and modern chess.
If you’re a fan of aggressive play, you will also benefit from an attacking chess course commented by the famous Grandmaster Larry Christiansen.
The only problem is that this software is officially supported only on Windows Vista or Windows XP. However, readers reassured us that it actually works on more recent versions of Windows.
Take a look at its most notable features below:
- Comprehensive tutorials on chess basics taught by Josh Waitzkin
- Multiplayer and single-player modes are available
- Extensive analysis of the most important chess games yet played
- Generous database of 600,000+ games (both modern and classic)
Chessmaster: Grandmaster EditionJoin the national champion Josh Waitzkin in a quest to master the latest chess techniques and strategies.
Komodo Dragon 2 – Great training platform
Dragon 2 is one of the most advanced chess training platforms based on the NNUE (Neural Network Updated Efficiently) technology.
The new version is a big improvement over the previous Komodo 14.1, evaluated at a strength of 210 elo in standard mode.
And that is thanks to the embedded neural network that can evaluate the situation more accurately and provide some tactics that usually go past other solutions.
According to the publisher, Dragon won the 2021 TCEC Swiss championship in normal chess, simply because it can now play in a more human-like style.
That’s because its game relies on learning, not just on algorithms that, in many cases, don’t work on a real board.
Dragon 2 added a new interesting feature called MCTS Optimism that will make the software more confident in its decisions and less confident in predicting your moves.
The new version also includes more levels, Personalities, and an Auto-Skill feature that will attempt to match your level, ideal when you’re training.
Lucas Chess – Great for begineers
Lucas Chess might not have a world-beating chess engine but is better software for novice players than some of the alternatives here. The program is also freeware, which is a big bonus.
One of the best things about Lucas Chess is that it has 36 chess engines for you to play against with various game modes.
Furthermore, payers can also add more engines so long as they’re based on the UCI protocol. The software has various lessons for players and includes AI training partners and training positions.
The tutoring engine gives players a limited number of hints to win matches. Trans-Siberian railway is one of the software’s more novel chess training options that are based on a train trip through Russia.
Overall, Lucas Chess has plenty of training options; and as freeware, it’s better valued than most chess programs.
How to become a chess champion
You finally know how you can train and have the tools to do so, but you could also use some advice on how to become the next Kasparov.
Take note of a few interesting strategies that will get you to an advanced level quickly:
➡ Don’t rush to make a move
You have probably seen a good move, but don’t be too hasty to make it. Look around and see if you have other, better ones, at your disposal.
Patience and enhanced analysis of the other player’s game are the best scripts for success, so take your time even if you’re playing a timed game.
➡ Don’t forget about castling
Castling is one of the most important defense moves and the earlier you perform it, the sooner you’ll be prepared for attack.
The move also brings the rook into play faster and we don’t need to stress how valuable is an active rook on the table.
➡ Bring your pieces into action
At the beginning of the game, the most valuable pieces stand behind the peons but the sooner you get them out, the sooner you will get the initiative to attack.
We’re not saying that this should be performed randomly but you should act upon your designated strategy.
➡ Start with a strategy
Always have a plan in mind, a strategy to follow. Of course, it can change in the course of the game because it will be influenced by the opponent’s moves.
However, it’s always better to have a plan from the beginning that you will be able to follow through by anticipating the other player’s moves.
➡ Play as much as you can
Many programs in our list are interactive but keep in mind that there are also online chess platforms where you can play with people from all over the world.
Practicing is the best way of testing your strategies so get yourself into competitions as much as possible.
This concludes our guide that includes chess programs for Windows with extensive training options and guides for players in addition to numerous playing modes.
The chess engine programs are invaluable coaches that provide detailed feedback which will take your game to a whole new level.
However, you can also take a look at our selection of the best free chess apps that you can use to play on any device.
Which one did you choose? If you’ve tested similar training tools, make sure you give us a hint in the comments section below.