5 Best Free Chess Software in 2023

No matter who you are, a hard-core player or an inspired amateur, the best free chess software may come in handy. It is a great tool to get practiced and even learn some new moves.

Moreover, using chess programs you can analyze games, study openings, and watch cyber chess warfare.

Top 5 Free Chess Software

  1. DecodeChess - AI engine
  2. Arena - With games database
  3. Stockfish Engine - For professionals
  4. Komodo Chess Engine - Full game analysis
  5. Shredder Chess - For all levels

The programs described in the article are functional and have several playing configurations. They all are powerful tools but still, some software may be set to play at a human level.

Some programs are completely free while others have free trial periods. Creating a list of the best free chess software, I paid attention to whether they offer learning materials, PGN database and basic openings.

1. DecodeChess - Our Choice

AI engine
  • With chess moves auto-explaining
  • With useful hints
  • Game maps and stats
  • None

Verdict: This chess software includes a tutorial section that teaches you basic strategies, the opening and endgame play, tactical moves, advanced tactics, and develops tactics for controlling the center and endgame. You'll also get a good idea of the various open squares on the chessboard, including the pawns, Rooks and Knights, and how to control the center. You can stream your game on video platforms using YouTube streaming software.

In addition, the guide provides a short explanation of how to use some of the more complicated tactics in the game. It also covers various openings that you can employ in the game, including the Rook opening, Queen opening, and a variation on the Rook and Queen opening. As it is free, anyone can try out the software before buy it.

decodechess interface

2. Arena

With games database
  • Customizable interface
  • 250 chess engines
  • Automatic game analysis
  • Engines tend to crash

Verdict: The main feature of the Arena is that you can play as if you were playing a live game, with the same interface as when you are playing in a real game. Every move you make will be recorded, so you can see how good you are, or your opponent's skills, as you move forward. If you are playing a difficult opponent, you can even use the replay feature to see how they may change their strategy as the game progresses.

The graphics are fairly clear and crisp, and the game is very challenging. The only draw back I think is the fact that it is not available in certain languages. Also, the engine can crash, so you may need to install CPU monitoring software.

arena interface

3. Stockfish Engine

For professionals
  • Free and open source
  • Available for mobile
  • Includes an alpha-beta search
  • Mobile app is rarely updated

Verdict: Stockfish Engine gives you a very quick indication of your next moves, giving you almost notice-able timing on your opponent's moves. The computer keeps track of all your games and even suggests whether or not you should make a move depending on the situation.

This program also available for mobile, so you can practice playing chess anywhere. Stockfish Engine also provides a free game download. Some of the more popular games on this engine include: Antic Chess, Monopoly, Risk, Checkmate, Backgammon, and several variations.

stockfish engine free chess software interface

4. Komodo Chess Engine

Full game analysis
  • Has an automatic replay the game button
  • With Auto Skill feature
  • Great analyzing tools
  • May seem daunting for newbies

Verdict: The Komodo Chess Engine is a great tool for any serious or amateur player to have a better understanding of the game. Once you learn the ins and outs of the chess engine, you will quickly find that it can give you an unfair advantage. With just a little bit of practice and knowledge, you can easily begin playing chess better than those who came before you.

This software has an automatic replay the game button. But if you need to record your game, you'll need third-party game recording software. One of the best things about having the free chess software available to you is being able to download it right onto your computer to continue playing at anytime you would like. The fact that you have instant access to the software makes it so you can play any time you want and without any restriction.

komodo chess engine free chess software interface

5. Shredder Chess

For all levels
  • Over 1000 chess puzzles
  • With a personal assistant
  • Adapts play to user level
  • Need an active internet connection

Verdict: Shredder Chess offers you not only professional level chess play but it also allows you to download it right to your computer. So if you are interested in playing at the highest level, then this is a great chess program to look into. One of the greatest features of this software is its promotion feature. When you download the chess game to your computer, you can enter the tournament and compete against the Top players from around the world. You will be able to play one against one, as each player competes against the computer generated opponent.

Another great feature of the program is the tutorial series. You can actually download a couple of different tutorials to give you some practice before going up against a computer generated opponent.

shredder chess free chess software interface