Chess Hero

A free chess training tool

Latest version: 2.5


Chess Hero is a free chess training tool.

How does it work?

  1. You supply a set of PGN files
  2. The program picks random positions from the PGN files and challenges you to guess the best move computed by a chess engine
  3. On every attempt you are given a penalty (the difference in score between your move and the engine best)

The nice thing about this program is that you will also get very ordinary positions. Positions where not much is going on. If you compare your move with the moves of the game or the engine, you will find subtle differences in the evaluation of the moves. In this kind of positions, if you play moves that are 0.2 pawns worse than the best move, you will eventually lose against better players. That is exactly how this program can help you a great deal: it is as if a trainer is continually watching and commenting on you.

You can configure the program to work with multiple chess engines (it supports both the XBoard and UCI engine protocols).


Chess Hero main window

Click to enlarge


Above is a picture of the program main window. At the bottom right you can see my three attempts at the best move:

  • My first move was Nf2+, resulting in a penalty of 5.52 pawns. You can configure the program to accept moves below an arbitrary penalty threshold (by default it is set to 0.25 pawns).
  • Next I played h5, but that was another 7.07 penalty.
  • At last, I got it right with Qxd3.

You can greatly customize the program by simply feeding it different kinds of PGN files, such as:

  • Master games that match the openings you play
  • Your own games
  • Tactical positions from well-known collections
  • Games of your chess hero



Chess Hero is Freeware. You can download it from here:


Chess Hero 2.5 for Windows

Chess Hero installer

Chess Hero zip file



  • Version 2.5 (Jan, 5, 2014)
    • new option: background picture
    • new option: background brightness
    • new option: grid brightness
    • new option: pieces animation on/off
    • fixed bug with pasted positions
    • new translations: French, German
    • new help file: Russian
  • Version 2.4 (Jan 29, 2012)
    • new side-to-move filters
    • new pick mode: random + sequential
    • new constraint: max attempts
    • new option: always allow next
    • support for variations in PGN book files
    • enable Play for game moves (i.e. non-engine replies)
    • archive: record time taken
    • new option: minimize to tray
    • sound effects
    • new translation: Russian
  • Version 2.3.1 (Oct 9, 2010)
    • fixed a critical bug that might crash the program on start
  • Version 2.3 (Sep 26, 2010)
    • new Statistics window
    • added Dutch translation
  • Version 2.2 (Jul 18, 2010)
    • new PGN setting: max time to find best move
    • new PGN setting: filter moves by half-move ordinal
    • new Paste Position command
    • new UCI engine configurator
    • improved PGN parser
    • added new graphics
    • added new customization options
  • Version 2.1 (Mar 27, 2010)
    • new archive window to review and replay past positions
    • new move modes: drag-and-drop, click-and-drop
    • added some more options and settings
  • Version 2.0.1 (Sep 13, 2009 - evening)
    • fixed a bug that caused the program to start multiple instances of the engine when minimizing/restoring the main window.
  • Version 2.0 (Sep 13, 2009)
    • rewritten from scratch
    • better-looking graphics
    • animated pieces movement
    • resizable board
    • new game panel to display game text
    • new Play button to play a few moves against the engine
    • copy and save variations in PGN format
    • new per-profile penalties
  • Version 1.1 (May 29, 2009)
    • new Reset Penalties command
    • filter side-to-move by player name
    • support for non-ascii file paths
    • minor graphic tweaks
  • Version 1.0 (Jan 18, 2009)
    • First public version