Looking for a Good Visualization Tool

I am looking for a good tool to use for visualization of the game tree and for exploration of variations during correspondence games.

The tool would need to graphically show the tree of explored variations as intuitively as possible and have some means for managing the complexity of the tree when it starts getting too large to display (perhaps, for example, the ability to collapse (but not delete) branches).

The tool should support annotation. Missing this feature would not be a complete deal breaker if the visualization is exceptionally good, but it is pretty important.

Another nice-to-have would be for the tool to have the ability to recognize transpositions and to somehow visually link them to prevent analyzing the same position a second time.

Features not Needed

  • The tool need not have an engine (as use of an engine constitutes cheating). If it does have an engine, it must be possible to disable the engine.
  • The tool need not have a database of games to draw ideas from

Tools I've Tried

The chess.com analysis board shows variations as a linear textual sequence of moves with sub-variations embedded inline in parentheses. After exploring more than a couple of sub-variations, I find it gets too complicated to keep track of things.

lichess.org is somewhat better but can still be difficult to follow.

Recommendations Requested

Are there any particular tools that are recommended for visualization of the game tree and for exploration of variations?

More generally, apart from tools, what techniques have people found useful for mentally managing the complexity of a chess game tree and not getting lost in all the variations?

  • 3
    Have you looked at ChessTree? Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 13:26
  • I didn't know ChessTree existed, but that's a great tool. When I first took openings seriously I looked up the moves on Lichess and then made my own tree in my notebook by hand. Not a bad way to learn actually. Commented Jun 16 at 1:59

2 Answers 2


I was looking at this same topic earlier and wondering which opening lines I perform well on and which I struggle with. I came across a Github page called Chess Graph (https://github.com/Destaq/chess-graph). Pretty neat way to look at your opening lines and seeing which ones you win and lose more often with. I took it a step further and separated the graph into when a user plays White and Black. I implemented this on my new chess website (www.knightlychess.com). Full transparency, you can see a short three game previous for free, but need to pay $1.99 per month to view your full chess analytics.

enter image description here

This is what my implementation looks like and my last 20 games (10 white and 10 black). You can see I am a strictly c4 English player as white and have lost against c5 (Symmetric English), e5 (Reversed Silician), and B5. I need to study up on these opening lines.

enter image description here


I created a (free) tool that fits your description :) it's called https://www.treevis.org/ it can handle transpositions, show all moves at once (no collapsing yet, but I'm working on that feature). It has an engine and lichess database explorer. It has annotation support plus you can color your moves to visually show mistakes/ brilliant moves/ lines that need further exploration.

You can hover above the moves to display the position on the chessboard, make moves to add them to the tree or import pgn files.

Hope this helps :)

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  • This is really cool, I built something very similar to it pinsandgambits.com except I don't visually depict the tree, however all the variations are a tree structure, very much like you have displayed
    – Paweł
    Commented Jul 9 at 15:23
  • Thanks :) I actually saw your website already. One can tell that you put a lot of work into it, thanks for creating it! I tend to get lost in large pgn files and lose track of which variations I checked out already and which ones I haven't, that's the main reason why I started treevis
    – LehrerB
    Commented Jul 11 at 4:47

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