I am trying to get Stockfish's evaluation of a board position(which is in PGN format) using command line.
I know it accepts board position in FEN format, but is there any way i can provide PGN format?
If no, how can i convert PGN format to FEN?
Is there any tool in Python which can help me out?

  • This is great, but is it possible to update the code for the latest version of the chess lib?
    – Laurence
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Yes there are easy ways to do this. I'm going to briefly show you one quick way of doing it in python, using the python-chess module. If the in-code comments are not enough, feel free to ask for clarifications or possible extensions of the code:

To showcase a working example, I've taken a game between Adams and Kasparov, you can download the PGN from the hyperlink. And our engine is the latest Stockfish available taken from the official website.

Lets call it PGNeval.py:

import chess
import chess.uci
import chess.pgn
import sys

arguments = sys.argv
pgnfilename = str(arguments[1])

#Read pgn file:
with open(pgnfilename) as f:
    game = chess.pgn.read_game(f)

#Go to the end of the game and create a chess.Board() from it:
game = game.end()
board = game.board()

#So if you want, here's also your PGN to FEN conversion:
print 'FEN of the last position of the game: ', board.fen()

#or if you want to loop over all game nodes:
#while not game.is_end():
    #node = game.variations[0]
    #board = game.board() #print the board if you want, to make sure
    #game = node         

#Now we have our board ready, load your engine:
handler = chess.uci.InfoHandler()
engine = chess.uci.popen_engine('...\stockfish_8_x64') #give correct address of your engine here

#give your position to the engine:

#Set your evaluation time, in ms:
evaltime = 5000 #so 5 seconds
evaluation = engine.go(movetime=evaltime)

#print best move, evaluation and mainline:
print 'best move: ', board.san(evaluation[0])
print 'evaluation value: ', handler.info["score"][1].cp/100.0
print 'Corresponding line: ', board.variation_san(handler.info["pv"][1])

Lets test it with the aformentioned game PGN, our command is:

python PGNeval.py adams_kasparov_2005.pgn

And here's the output I get:

FEN of the last position of the game: br3r2/5ppk/p2pp3/4b1BP/N3P3/q4P2/1PnQB3/1K4RR w - - 4 27 best move: Qxc2 evaluation value: -10.87 Corresponding line: 27. Qxc2 Rfc8

  • 1
    Is there any way i can traverse to any node of a game(not just end node)?
    – John
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 20:07
  • 2
    yes, just loop over the nodes, I've added one way of doing this in the edit.
    – Ellie
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 21:36
  • 1
    variations gives you all child nodes which you are re-assigning to game to traverse till end. Thanks phonon for your help.
    – John
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 3:44
  • 3
    my pleasure. Have fun playing around with this module, it's well written.
    – Ellie
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 18:33

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