In this day and age there is no shortage of good chess software and good free chess software.
Even if all you have is a browser you can port your position from any chess game to FEN notation and do an analysis of it online in your browser provided it has certain basic plugins and abilities.
Something really nice I had was”Chess Master 6000″ when I was about 19 in 2000 ish, it was really decent software at the time and probably still would be if it ran on anything current! It was a learning environment and a playing environment all built in I spent hours playing and learning on it.
Forwarning: Always be careful when downloading ANY software to your PC, exeuctables and binaries could harm your computer always check files with an antivirus, a good rule of thumb is if it’s mirrored on chess.com then it is probably safe (concerning chess software). Always use tools to verify a file is safe.
Today something more modern but quite a bit like “Chess Master 6000”,is something out there called “Spark Chess” I find it very similar and is also paid software. –> http://www.sparkchess.com/flash.html?
You can download their software or simply run it online in a flash browser.
There are also many free chess engines and gui’s I can recommend, one of them is really lite and that’s Tarrasch GUI for chess, I find it simple and very lite and quick to install and run and doesn’t waste alot of HDD or RAM on your computer it’s good for slower or older computers
A really good one that has been around for quite a while is ‘Arena Chess GUI’. Arena is a quality chess engine interface and runs winboard/xboard engines really well and also UCI.
UCI = Universal Chess Interface. UCI is a set of commands that the engine communicates to the computer or device, it’s universal hence the name Universal Chess Interface. It’s a set of predetermined commands where data is conversed back and forth between the engine and your PC or Mac or phone so they know how to interact n order to analyse your position or games or play against you and/or another engine.
Winboard/xboard is the same concept as UCI but is older and different but works on the same principles. xboard originated moreso on MacIntosh and UNIX/Linux.
Arena can be found here:
Adding an engine is fairly simple under ‘Engine’ menu select manage engines then select details and add (under ‘new’) the engine you have downloaded.
The current best chess engine is Stockfish which you can get here: http://abrok.eu/stockfish/
<h2>Chess Master Series</h2> (Paid software)
Chess master is a very good series of software for playing and learning chess. Back in the early mid 2000’s I receieved a copy of “Chess Master 6000” and also a copy of a discounted “Chess Master 5500”, both were on compact disc with installation instructions inside the casing of the disc on leaflets.
I spent alot of time trying to beat the main engine at various time controls, and I was eventually able to do so at a 3 minute and 1 sec increment games by playing safe closed positions from the openings.
It is very good software with good graphics and learning puzzles and end game study and other thing’s you would expect from a chess suite. Later on I bought “Chess Master 9000”.
Chess Master 9000 was very much improved with better analysis and on better processors and computers overall it was a good program.
You can download the latest Chess Master Software here at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chessmaster-10th-PC/dp/B00023XXMM
<h2> Fritz and Chessbase</h2> (paid software)
Not long after I started playing chess master 6k my friends introduced me to a much stronger engine called Fritz that also had a chess suite and it’s own host of made up chess opponents.
Fritz was farther ahead in all ways from CM6k (Chess Master 6000), in pretty much every way including endgame and especially tactical thinking. Fritz would really wind it’s web around you forcing you out of pawns and pieces in a few innacuracies and was therefore so much stronger than CM6k.
Chessbase was a much stronger database software as well capable of holding many more games and managing them faster than CM6k’s database interface. I still enjoyed surfing through games with CM6k, and it’s free db contained many worth looking at Grandmaster games such as the Bobby Fischer vs Spassky matches and many other notable master and GM games throughout the last 300+ years.
Fritz and Chessbase are both products of the same company (ChessBase), and are sometimes bundled together.
A collection of older chess programs from the late 90’s to mid 2000’s
Chess Screen Savers and themes
There is a nice little selection of software for Windows here including screen savers and themes:
I really like this screen saver, not simply because it was the only one I found (link): https://www.chess.com/download/view/playing-chess-7 but it has nearly all of Kramniks games and Kramnik is a former world chess champion and a very good player. If you get bored of Kramnik games you can load any PGN file with 100’s of games like all of Carlsen or Kasparovs known games, it’s a good way to incidentally study your favorite players.
Please note: Always be careful when downloading any software or executable/binary file! Some software contains advertisements and/or malware and spyware, a good rule of thumb is if it is chess software always verify that it is mirrored on chess.com (website), and always reupload it to virustotal.com to detect any virus or malware.
Virustotalis a free service where you can upload any file under 60mb and run it against 100’s of antivirus software at one time and give yu a readout on that file. It’s a good idea to use these when in doubt.