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Chess 2020 - Online Help

Quick Start

  • Start game: Select Start - New game against the computer. The Start menu is in the upper left corner of the app.
  • Make moves: Point and click the piece to be moved, point and click on destination square. Drag&drop also works.
  • The status of the application is displayed in the lower left corner of the window.

Application Controls

Main screen

Start Menu

  • Get the full version...** - Displays the Get the full version dialog. This dialog has three buttons:
    • Buy full version - Opens a Web page that shows the price of a license key and allows you to purchase it online. The license key(s) are delivered to the email address that you specify during the purchase.
    • Activate full version - Opens a dialog where the purchased license key shall be entered. The application will be upgraded to the full version upon entering a valid license key.
    • Return to game - Closes the dialog.
  • Rematch - Starts a new game with the same settings as the last game and swaps the sides. (Only available if a game has been finished or is in progress).
  • New game against the computer - Starts a new game without time control with the same settings as the last game played (or with the defaults if no game has been played yet).
  • New game against the computer, with a time limit* - Starts a new timed game with the same settings as the last timed game played (or with the defaults if no game has been played yet). In timed games, each player has a per-game time limit and eventually a per-move time bonus.
  • New game with custom settings...* - Opens the New game dialog that lets user select game parameters. In the dialog, there are three sections:
    • Player setup - This section lets you select from a single player game, two player game (at one computer) and a computer-vs-computer game.
    • View - Selects the color that will be adjacent to the viewer (starting at the lower side of the chessboard/screen) and sets who will play this color (player or computer).
    • Clock - Determines if there should be time control in the game. Allows setting a per-game time limit for each side and optionally a per-move bonus.
  • Exit - Quits the application.


*Only available in the full version.
**Only displayed in the trial version.


File Menu

  • Open...* - Opens a game from file using the standard file open dialog. The application supports the standard Portable Game Notation (PGN) format as well as Forsyth–Edwards Notation (FEN). These formats are compatible with other chess programs. Games in these formats are widely available on the Internet. This application can open PGN files that contain multiple games. In such case, an additional Select game dialog will be displayed.
  • Save* - Saves the current game into the file that was previously opened (applicable to single-game PGNs only, will not overwrite a multi-game PGN) or that was previously saved.
  • Save as...* - Lets the user select a new or existing target file using the standard file save dialog. The current game is stored to the file. This application always stores only one game into a single file. If the target file exists then its content is overwritten.
  • Load FEN from clipboard* - Loads FEN position from Windows clipboard.
  • Copy FEN to clipboard* - Saves FEN position to Windows clipboard.


*Only available in the full version.


Game Menu

  • White's perspective - Turns the chessboard so that the a1 square is in the lower left corner of the chessboard.
  • Black's perspective - Turns the chessboard so that the a1 square is in the upper right corner of the chessboard.
  • White* - Chooses who controls the white side. Selecting an item resets the current move time.
  • Black* - Chooses who controls the black side. Selecting an item resets the current move time.
  • Swap sides* - Swaps the sides. The chessboard is rotated by 180 degrees and the players swap the control of the colors.
  • Beginning - Returns the game to the initial state. It is then possible to move forward using the History panel or the Navigation buttons. This menu item and the next one are only displayed if the history contains at least two entries.
  • Last move - Advances the game to the last move.


*Only available in the full version.


Level Menu

Skill level is set for Computer (opponent) and Advisor separately. Computer is the AI that starts the game at the top of the chessboard. Advisor is the AI that starts the game at the bottom of the chessboard. Advisor also provides advice for either side when requested via the Advisor menu.

  • Random moves - the lowest difficulty setting, chooses random legal moves.
  • Beginner - ELO about 500.
  • Novice - ELO about 700.
  • Recreational player - ELO about 900.
  • Hobby player* - ELO about 1000.
  • Intermediate* - ELO about 1100.
  • Upper intermediate* - ELO about 1300.
  • Club player* - ELO about 1500.
  • Higher-class player* - ELO about 1700.
  • Expert* - ELO about 1900.
  • Vicemaster* - ELO about 2100.
  • Master* - ELO about 2300.
  • Grandmaster* - the highest difficulty setting, ELO about 2500.
  • External UCI engine...* - opens the External UCI engine dialog allowing to plug in and configure an external engine.


*Only available in the full version.


Advisor Menu

  • Number of possible moves - Shows the number of legal moves for the current position in the Status bar.
  • Advise move* - Starts the computation of the best move for the current position. The quality of the result depends on the level assigned in the Level menu. Once the computation finishes, the result is displayed in the Status bar and graphically highlighted on the chessboard. This menu item is only displayed when applicable (a move can be done and a computation is not in progress already).


*Only available in the full version.


View Menu

  • Pieces - Visual styles.
  • Board - Visual styles.
  • Transparent background - If checked, then the main window has a transparent background providing a modern look. Otherwise, the background is grey which may improve text legibility.
  • Moderate game speed - This item causes the AI to wait about a second after each move before it starts a computation.
  • Animate moves - If this menu item is checked, then the moves are animated.
  • Play sounds - If this menu item is checked, then sounds are played.
  • Highlight last move - If checked, then the source and destination squares of the last move are highlighted.
  • Highlight selected piece - If checked, then the piece selected by user lights up.
  • Highlight possible moves - If checked, then possible destination squares are highlighted every time the player clicks on a piece.
  • Highlight computed moves - If checked, then the so far best move is highlighted during computer's computations. This provides a graphical representation of the move selection process.
  • Show main variation* - If checked, then the Main variation is displayed.
  • Show taken pieces - If checked, then the Taken pieces are displayed.


*Only available in the full version.


Edit Menu

  • Delete history after selected move* - Deletes all moves that follow the current position from the History list. This may be useful prior to saving a game if omitting some moves is desired.
  • Player may override computer's moves* - If checked then the player can make a move instead of the computer when it is computer's turn. This may be useful if the player wants to test a different position than the computer would choose.
  • Edit mode* - If this menu item is checked then the application enters the edit mode. In this mode, it is possible to move pieces arbitrarily across the board, off the board and back. Use the Taken pieces panel to move the pieces off the board and back on. Place pawns on the 1st or 8th rank in order to promote them. The game play is paused, but it is possible to use the Advise move function to analyze the position.
  • Edit from empty board* - Clears the board and turns the edit mode on.
  • Edit from basic setup* - Sets pieces up into the starting formation and turns the edit mode on.
  • Move number and the side to play next...* - Opens a dialog that allows setting the next move number and the side to play next (black or white).


*Only available in the full version.


Help Menu

  • Application controls... - Launches this help page.
  • Game rules... - Displays the rules of chess.
  • About... - Displays the About dialog with version and copyright information, optionally shows the End User License Agreement (EULA).

2. Chessboard

This part of the screen represents the chess position and allows the player to make moves. Point and click on the piece to be moved, point and click on the destination square. You can also drag&drop the pieces.


3. History

This panel displays move history for the current game. The moves are written in Algebraic Move Notation. The panel also allows to browse the history. Simply click on a move on the list and the position will be shown on the chessboard. After selecting a position, it is possible to play it: if it is player's turn then the player can simply make a move, if it is computer's turn then click the Continue here button in order for the computer to continue from the selected position. History browsing is also allowed during computer's move computation, the game will return to the position that the computer calculates as soon as the computation is finished.

  • Back - Returns to the previous position.
  • Forward - Moves ahead to the next position.
  • Continue here - Makes the computer continue from the current position. Only applicable if it is computer's turn and the computer does not calculate already.

5. Clock

In games without time limit, the clock shows the time the player or the computer takes to make a move (i.e., time elapsed since the last move). In timed games* the clock shows the remaining time the players have in the game.


*Only available in the full version.


6. Main Variation*

This panel displays the expected upcoming move sequence. The length of the sequence depends on the selected difficulty level. This panel can be shown or hidden via the View menu.


*Only available in the full version.


7. Evaluation

The computer displays the evaluation of the current position as a byproduct of move calculations (in the units of centipawns, 1 pawn = 100 points). The panel shows the evaluation of each move that the computer selects as a good candidate. The figures can be used to asses the status of the game. Positive numbers indicate white's advantage, negative numbers indicate black's advantage.


8. Computation Control

This area shows computation progress and allows stopping the computation by clicking the Stop button. A stopped computation can be resumed by clicking the Continue here button.


9. Taken Pieces

This panel shows pieces that have been captured during the game. Taken pieces can be shown or hidden via the View menu.


10. Status Bar

This area shows the status of the application.