I am trying to find a good program to help me perfect my opening play. It needs to be something simple because I am no computer expert. I don't understand the opening trees and all that high tech stuff. I was wondering if there was any program that lets you make moves and it tells you what opening you are using and shows the most popular responses and right and wrong moves. If you could provide in your answer what it is exactly that the program does and how you use it I will greatly appreciate it. If it matters my rating is 1430.

  • 2
    There seem to be some misconceptions here. Opening "tree"s are not particularly high-tech. And there is no bright-line "right" and "wrong" move distinction in openings. It's all pretty gray. And any opening "book" you'll find with any program will have big "gaps" -- acceptable moves that are not listed for a position.
    – Jeff Y
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 14:45
  • Try my SmallChess chess app. It has the feature.
    – SmallChess
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 14:53
  • 1
    Related questions here and here.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 16:59

4 Answers 4


Try 365chess.com Chess Opening Explorer.

Gives number of games win/lose/draw statistics and shows what opening was played. You can also click into a game for the moves when the tree gets down to one game.


There are excellent iPhone apps for this. A simple to use and personal favorite is "Openings", although when you search for it type in "Chess Openings". It may not be exactly what you're looking for but it's definitely worth a look.

  • I am using CPT for quite a while and I think it is worth its money. Very usable interface and smart repetition-algorithms.
    – BNetz
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 19:58

Below 2000, you should not be spending too much time on openings.

I would suggest that you learn how to navigate opening trees and use chessbase light. Even better is to get a higher rated player to go over the openings and explain the concepts. This option gives better feedback.

Chess Opening Wizard (bookup.com) and Chess Position Trainer (chesspositiontrainer.com) are good. There was another provided by sourceforge.net, but I can not find it anymore. COW has a feature which you could load a pgn file and it would make an easy-to-use tree up to the number of moves you entered. This feature, IMO, is not worth the $67 cost. CPT does not have this convenient feature and is not worth $40.

Since pgns are mostly GM games, I suggest you find a chess club to get the opinion of average people.


lichess has a new opening explorer feature when you are using an analysis board that will tell you popular responses to moves and tells you the opening you are using.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.