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My son is into chess and plays chess tournaments. I would like to know what good chess software is available to analyze his games. The software should analyze move-by-move and should point out weak/strong moves, alternative moves, blunders, tactics etc. What do you use for this? I googled, I see lots of options and I don’t know which one is good or bad. Thank you.

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    My suggestion is not to use them for this purpose. Analyzing a position is one of the basic skills in chess, not to mention analyzing own games improves your game a lot. – Cyriac Antony Aug 19 at 9:55
  • @CyriacAntony That is true but a lot of chess programs allow you to do a "what if" kind of analysis. You input the game and then by changing a move you introduce a variant for which the engine will tell you how good or bad it is (and of course you can have variants on variants). I still kind of suck at chess, but this type of assisted analysis has helped me increase my rating quite a bit. – ChatterOne Aug 19 at 12:30
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One of the problems with chess-analysis software for weaker players is that it just shows the strongest move per the computer, without any explanation why. There are some programs, like the ChessBase programs that, using their "Tactical Analysis" feature, attempt to give some explanation to the moves, but they are all wanting.

That said, decodechess.com seems to do better than most for newbies. As a USCF Master, the explanations are pretty good from what I can see, and the underlying "engine" (program) is Stockfish, which is A LOT stronger than the best humans in history. Although a premium account is $99/year (right now, 50% off with the promo code "DECODESPRING". for the record, I have no affiliation with the site, nor am I a member), you can create an account, and "decode", or analyze three games per day for free. If you like it, I would jump on the promo.

This is not analysis software, but I would also recommend the book "Logical Chess Move by Move". It is a classic, and there is an new algebraic edition for $12.98 on Amazon.

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    Thank you, we just tried decodechess and so far we liked it. – technewbie Aug 19 at 22:27
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Lucas Chess is a very good free software I used for several years. It has an intuitive interface and gives in-depth analyses and move recommendations.

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Stockfish is very strong and free. Lichess.org makes it available under the analysis section.

For my phone I use the droidfish app and with that you can download any engine you want. There are hundreds of freely available engines including stockfish.

In the old days I would download a free version of Fritz and then replace the Fritz engine with the best engine I could find. It seems a little impractical though nowadays.

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My suggestion would be to get your hands on ChessBase. This software allows you to store your games in a structured format, coming back to them whenever you need it, with many options for variations, annotations and comments. Also, many chess books can be read in a very practical way in this format (with the software showing the moves for you on a board)

I would be more hesitant towards the use of a chess engine, though. Game analysis is one of the best ways of training, and leaving it for a computer to do it for you will make you miss that opportunity. I analyse all of my games by putting them into my database, but I do the analysis myself, rather than with Stockfish, Fritz, Komodo or the engine of your choice.

My advice would be to use an engine like Stockfish (it's free!) to correct his analysis, rather than to analyse the games themselves. For the opening moves, checking what's been played in previous high-level games (and what happened next) is often a great idea, too!

  • I have been using ChessBase since version 1 (it was the reason I bought my first computer), and frankly, while it is a great tool, it is probably overkill for a kid, who is just learning; or for a kid, just to store his games with annotations. In addition, what a player, who is learning needs the most is verbal/written explanations. Integrating an engine like Stockfish certainly is a strong analysis tool, but it doesn't help at all with the explanations. – PhishMaster Aug 21 at 2:01
  • @PhishMaster What other game-storage solution would you purpose? By the way, my answer actually agrees with what you say about Stockfish – David Aug 21 at 7:30
  • What I am saying is that for a kid, I am not sure it is that important at all. I am not sure how old you are, or if you have kids, but interests often come and go. Before I bought the premier chess database software for a kid, I would not necessarily run out to buy it until they were at least 1400. In addition, storing games was not the original question. While there is no doubt it is a great product, it does not explain moves well at all, in my opinion. – PhishMaster Aug 22 at 16:25
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You can get a good free PGN Viewer app from

PGN ChessBook

which comes with the very strong Stockfish analysis engine built in.

The best annotated PGN game collections I could find were also added to my website at

Annotated PGN download page

It took me several days to find these. There are 950+ annotated games in “.pgn” files and I added every world championship match game ever played.

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Chess.com membership might be an option both in general for this specifically. It has a feature that allows games - whether played on the site or elsewhere - to be analysed. This includes a "retry" feature where the analysis will find weak moves with the challenge of finding a better one. It'll also graph the relevant strength of the position of board as the progress.

Chess.com does have free features and several levels of membership at different costs. It also has various lessons and other features as might be expected.

I've no affiliation other than as a (paid) user.

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The most feature rich tool for making recommendation I have used is chess-pro app. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chess-tiger-pro/id423198259

My favorite feature is that you can page through the position in the game where the computer thinks you have made an error. It also can alert you to threats and has other guidance features.

To learn the most from your games it is important to review them yourself first before analyzing them with a computer.

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Chessbase is your best bet if your son is serious about playing for years to come. I believe the base version is around $100, but it comes with default (super strong) engines to help analyse. The software also allows you to input your games and save them, allowing you to review them later on.

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