Best Chess Software Programs for PC Windows

We are evaluating PC Windows chess applications to rate the best chess software programs for the PC. Here are our ratings.

#1 HIARCS Chess Explorer Pro

Overall: 4.75/5 stars (full breakdown to come)

HIARCS Chess Explorer Pro for PC was released in early 2022 after 10 years development by the developers of HIARCS Chess Explorer. The Pro version is aimed at the full range of chess players from beginner to Grandmasters and chess professionals. HCE Pro is already comfortably the most powerful chess program for PC Windows and the choice for all aspiring chess players who want the most powerful chess tools to study and improve their chess. Many ChessBase customers are now switching to HIARCS Chess Explorer Pro and we recommend HCE Pro to all PC Windows users who want the best chess software program on their Windows computer.

#2 HIARCS Chess Explorer

Overall: 3.75/5 stars (full breakdown to come)

The classic HIARCS Chess Explorer for PC contains most of the features a beginner or club player would want to be able to manage databases, learning openings and play chess against a variety of chess opponents as the Elo strength can be set and the cool feature of matching your strength is available in HIARCS Chess Explorer.

We plan to add detal and other chess software applications to our list on this page. Below you will find a very detailed table of product comparisons to help you make your choice.

Features HIARCS Chess Explorer Pro HIARCS Chess Explorer
Platform from $79.95 from $54.95
PC Windows Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11 Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11
Displays Up to 4k Up to 4k
64 Bit Support
64 Bit Optimised
Engines Included HIARCS 15, 15.1, 15.2 HIARCS 14
Single Core Rating 1 core, 4GB, 3300 Elo 1 core, 2GB, 3050 Elo
Deep Edition up to 16 cores, 16GB, 3400+ Elo
Premium Edition up to 32 cores, 32GB, 3450+ Elo
Supports add-on UCI Engines
Engine matches (advanced)
Endgame tablebase support Nalimov and Syzygy Nalimov only
Play against computer
Rates your play in Elo
Play Elo rated opponents 750-3300 750-3050
In-game coaching
Play using Millennium boards from v1.2
Database games included 575k+ games 35k games
Max database size 30 million games 2 million games
Annotated 1400 games 800 games
Tactical test databases (advanced)
PGN Database Support
Chessbase CBH, CBV Support
HCE Advanced Databases
Online Book Access
Extra Book Downloads Add-On Option Add-On Option
Online Endgame Navigation (Deep/Premium)
CTG Book Support
Data Views
Game Explorer (advanced)
Player Explorer (advanced)
Opening Explorer (advanced)
Analysis Explorer (advanced)
Tree Explorer
Evaluation Explorer
Database Statistics
Database Search
Quick Search
Header Search
Position Search
Material Search
Pawn Structure Search
Opening Search
Advanced Search
Game Analysis
Game Analysis (advanced)
Batch Game Analysis
Comments and Variation
Complex Nested Variations
Advanced Features
Reference Databases
WorkBase autosave
Find Duplicates
Compare Duplicates
Compact Database
Tournament Tables
Pop Up Variation Boards
Advanced Graphics
Layout Management