I'm looking for free software that automatically analyzes and annotates chess games (post-mortem), preferably marking blunders, suggesting good alternatives, pointing out missed tactics (forks, pins, skewers, removing the defender, etc.). Preferably it should also generate some printable output (e.g. PDF) so one could ruminate away from the computer, and in front of a chess board. What do you guys use for this?

12 Answers 12


ChessBase will do what you're describing (enter the game, then tell it to annotate), but it is not free.

Scid is a free alternative database program, but it will not automatically annotate your game.

See this chess.com thread for more: Is there any free software to analyse the completed game?

  • 1
    Chessbase the program does not do automatic full game engine analysis. The engine GUIs Fritz, Houdini, Komodo and Rybka sold by Chessbase can "Blundercheck" or do "Full Analysis."
    – A passerby
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 17:44
  • 9
    Scid CAN automatically annotate your game. Just open any analysis engine window and click on "Annotate"
    – sharcashmo
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 14:25

Arena Chess

Arena is a free chess application that has a rich and stable feature set. It should do pretty much all you need to do - except generate PDFs (not sure what you mean by that)

  • 1
    Can it even annotate? Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 9:51

BabasChess is free chess software (good for play on internet chess servers) that has automatic analysis with Crafty chess engine feature. It is somewhat basic but is useful and I think BabasChess is good as free software!


Arena Chess 3.5: Play/load your game then use menu option "Engines/Automatic Analysis". You can set time, depth of analysis, etc.

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Lichess allows you to import a game in PGN and automatically generates computer analysis for it.


The best free chess software I've found is the Tarrasch Chess GUI. At the link you can DL the interface and a compatible engine of relatively strong strength. It provides a decent enough opening database, and will give you computer evaluations for each move.


Most chess programs allow you to run an engine while you go through the moves of a game, and see the engine's evaluations. This is sometimes called a Kibitzer, Infinite Analysis or just Analyze. The program Chessbase and Tarrasch are examples of programs which do this.

Some programs can be set up to annotate, blundercheck or do a full game analysis. In this, you set how long the engine will look at each move, and what degree of error it should comment on. When it finishes its analysis, it shows you game notation marked with question marks and alternate lines. The programs that do this are Aquarium, Arena, Babaschess, Chess Assistant, the engine GUIs sold by the company Chessbase (Fritz, Hiarcs, Houdini, Komodo, Rybka, Shredder), Chessmaster, Chesspartner, Hiarcs Chess Explorer, SCID, SCID vs PC and the Shredder GUI sold by shredderchess.com. The engines Crafty and Yace also have an "annotate" feature.

On Windows, I use Chessbase, but I don't print anything out. On my Android phone, I use Chess PGN Master Pro, and on my iPad, I'll probably end up going with Giordano Vicoli's Chess_Studio, for analyzing.


Having tried almost all known software and tools to analyze my games,
decodechess.com gives a learning experience that's not seen anywhere else. It's more than just annotations of the style you were looking for, but actual explanations! Really cool stuff, worth trying and they run a generous free trial and are looking for feedback. Here's a screenshot of their cool tab system: Decodechess explanations

  • Just tried. Nice concept but the analysis is bad, bad and bad. Make very little sense.
    – SmallChess
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 22:16

You can get a good free PGN Viewer app from

PGN ChessBook

which comes with the very strong Stockfish analysis engine built in. It has some good tools for analyzing games, as described on

Automatic blunder check and game annotation features

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.


Android app Analyze This Pro (there is a free version too) has a feature to annotate and even comment on games.


A friend made this: https://www.chesscompass.com/ I think it's what you are looking for? Seems easy to use, and he's nice so I thought I'd try and promote it for him a bit.


I am surprised that no one has suggested Lucas Chess.

It's free and easy to use for analyzing your games, with customizable options for the analysis you want.

To analyze your game, you open your pgn file (tools/open or paste pgn) or create your own game (tools/create your own game) and then go to utilities/analysis/analyze. You can also play any alternative move after the analysis (as white or black) against any engine of your preference!

It also has many other features such as:

mate in 1,2,3 and 4, find best move, resistance training, tactics by repetition, play like a grandmaster, determine your calculating power, a large choice of internal chess engines, graphical analysis, generating tactical positions from PGN files, move trees, personal opening guide, training openings and many others.

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