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Is there chess software out there that will try and rate your play? I vaguely recall an old Chessmaster software that did something similar, though by having you play through puzzles. I was looking for an actual engine to face you and gauge an estimated Elo rating somehow.

  • 1
    I just realized we have a related question on the site (not a duplicate, as yours asks a somewhat more specific question): chess.stackexchange.com/q/397/167 Note that half of Wes Freeman's answer there speaks to your particular question, and in fact gives the same advice as my answer below does. – ETD Sep 8 '12 at 16:22
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I realize what I'm about to suggest isn't exactly what you have in mind, but still, it is technically software, and it rates your skill through actual games: play games online against other people, e.g. at FICS, Playchess, ICC or chess.com.

Instead of using some software that would have you play games against an engine (perhaps with various "levels" that are supposed to reflect various Elo levels), and then has some algorithm or other that tries to convert your results against it into your own estimated real-world rating, my suggestion cuts out the middleman and throws you right into a real-world pool. This way seems more efficient if nothing else (and probably more fun).

Now any rating you get at one of the sites I mentioned will be on a somewhat different scale than that for, say, actual FIDE ratings, and they will differ from site to site as well. But you will usually have some way to translate your rating there into a percentile (within that site's playing pool), and that would give you better information about your playing strength than any purely algorithmic guess about it will.

  • I have discussed the comparison of ICC and Chess.com ratings with a number of staff members from both sites and ICC, off the record, have told me their ratings tend to be 100 to 125 over the USCF. Chess.com staff on their forum has said that their rating is about 200 points over their members claimed USCF rating. That makes sense as ICC tends to have a smaller, more serious playing pool, IMO. – Robert Kaucher Sep 7 '12 at 19:48
  • Another great site is redhotpawn.com, they have a ton of users. – Seth Dec 14 '12 at 23:12
  • You forgot lichess.org ? – Kartik Sep 28 '15 at 15:31
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Lucas Chess is free, and gives you a choice of playing for a "Lucas Elo" starting at 0 or a "Tourney Elo" starting at 1600. The program tracks your progress based on your games.

The full Shredder versions that run on Windows, iOS and Android all give you an Elo rating based on your performance against the engine in the last 10 games. The engine starts playing at a fairly low level, and if you have auto-strength adjustment switched on, it will raise the engine's level until you are each winning about half the games. (Apart from the Shredder version on the shredderchess web site, there is a version by Chessbase, but that one doesn't track Elo ratings).

The full versions of Remi Coulon's The Chess Crazy Bishop for iOS and Android also keep track of a rating for you I believe.

Shredder's ratings seem a bit high, and Lucaschess' and Crazy Bishop's a bit low, but anyway, they have that feature.

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