5 best software to analyze chess games in 2018

Elsie Otachi By: Elsie Otachi
Less than a 1 minute read

Computer chess enables players to play the game autonomously without human guidance, making it easier for the players to practice and be better at the game when there are no stronger opponents available.

To this end, the best software to analyze chess games, also known as chess engines, were innovated not just for analysis, but also competitions, and to provide insights through research on human cognition.

Today’s chess engines can defeat even the best of human chess players in normal conditions, but there still remains some gray area of doubt as to whether a computer can solve chess or not.

A chess engine is the algorithm part of the chess analysis software, program or machine, but its user interface is a separate part, which the chess engine plugs into as a replaceable module. Most available commercial chess programs run on PC-type of hardware, but there are those running on other hardware like phones, which are still stronger than many human players.

The best chess engines will analyze the chess or chess variant positions, and make decisions based on the best chess moves, by deciding which moves to make, without necessarily interacting with the user directly.

Check out our top picks for the best software to analyze chess games in 2018.

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Best software to analyze chess games

1

Arena

best software to analyze chess games

This is a free graphical user interface for chess that helps you analyze and play games plus test chess engines. It can run on Windows or Linux, and is compatible with Winboard protocol I, II and UCI protocol I and II, as well as Chess960, DGTelectronic chess board, and DGT clocks plus so much more.

Features include an easy to use and configurable interface that you can adjust according to personal preferences, 250 chess engines whose strengths vary from very strong or easy to beat (but some are adjustable), support for free and publicly available protocols, detailed analysis about the thought process of the chess engines, unique tournament features like how the engines compete against each other, and you can play online games against people globally.

With Arena, you can also analyze games automatically, and even print out the output on paper. It comes with the EPD support for easy analysis of position databases, and PGN support for the game so you can see the databases clearly.

Other features its multilingual tool which supports 19 languages for the GUI in Windows, and you also get to see the opening name, use opening books, analysis board, and much more.

Get Arena chess software

2

Fritz

best software to analyze chess games

This is a German chess program published by ChessBase, which comes with a multiprocessor engine, an improved program interface, and database with over 2 million games.

Fritz opens the door to the world of new ChessBase web tools, so some of the features you can enjoy include:

  • On-demand video with unlimited access to a comprehensive database that has training videos on every aspect of the game, recorded shows, and interviews among others.
  • Live database with 8 million games, plus you can access your server games collection at the click of a mouse
  • Training – you can test, train and improve your tactical skills any time with more than 34,000 training tasks to use
  • Analysis database with more than 200 million deeply analyzed positions plus much more
  • Sparring partner, trainer and updated databases with access to an online chess server.
  • Friend mode that makes for an ideal training partner to check your playing strength, time you use, and point out mistakes you can improve on.
  • Excellent overview and better access

Get Fritz chess software

3

Stockfish

best software to analyze chess games

This is a strong open source chess engine which is offered for free, and is available for both desktop and mobile platforms.

Stockfish has consistently ranked number one or near the top of most chess engine rating lists, and is one of the strongest open-source engines worldwide. It uses up to 512 CPU cores in multiprocessor systems, with a maximal transposition table size of 1 terabyte.

Features include an alpha-beta search, bitboards, great search depth because of more aggressive pruning and late move reductions, and support for Chess960, plus much more.

The program comes from the Glaurung, an open-source chess engine released first in 2004, and four years later, Costalba took over and renamed it Stockfish because it was produced in Norway and cooked in Italy – Costalba is Italian, and Romstad (creator of Glaurung) is Norwegian.

Stockfish is powerful and much stronger than the best human chess grandmasters. Unlike most chess engines, it is open source (GPL License), so you can read the code, modify it, contribute back and use it in your own projects.

You can also run it anywhere, including Windows operating system and on your smart devices, so you can get world-class chess analysis wherever you are.

Get Stockfish chess software

4

Houdini

best software to analyze chess games

This is a UCI chess engine influenced by open source engines. The Houdini 6 version is the second top-rated chess engine on major chess engine ratings, coming only one spot behind Stockfish, and its playing style has been compared to that of the Romantic Era of chess that had an attacking and sacrificial style.

This tool’s advantage against other top chess engines lies in its handling of piece mobility, which makes it the reason why it favors aggressive play that tries to win the entire game.

Houdini has no graphical user interface, so you need a chess GUI to run the engine, but its version 5 uses calibrated evaluations in which engine scores correlate directly with the win expectancy of the specific position.

This state of the art chess engine for Windows combines outstanding positional evaluation with the most sophisticated search algorithm. Houdini, the name, was given because of the positional style of the engine, its tenacity in hard positions, and ability to defend and escape, sometimes by the narrowest margins.

Get Houdini chess software

5

SCID

best software to analyze chess games

SCID stands for Shane’s Chess Information Database, and is an open-source application useful in Windows, for viewing and maintaining huge databases of chess games, with features comparable to popular commercial chess software.

This powerful chess analysis software has many features like interfacing with XBoard engines including Crafty and GNU chess, and UCI engines like Fruit, Rybka and Stockfish. You can play against human opponents or computer opponents, plus it’s database features include a Move Tree with statistics, General searches for endings, positions or players, and player information and photos.

SCID has a database of 1.4 million games, and it is fast because it stores chess games in its own compact database format but also supports portable game notation.

This tool is an open app to view, edit and manage collections of chess games, and is a multi-platform software that can run on Windows and other operating systems.

Get SCID chess software

Did your favorite chess analysis software make the list? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.

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