Tools in a chess player's workshop - Mac

Updated: May 8

In macOS, as in other systems, you can use programs for every chess enthusiast, from the beginner to the very advanced, for the correspondence chess player and the fan of competitive chess engines.

This post is dedicated to adults chess players who would like to use the most interesting, useful and proven tools - programs ( not web-based tools and servers ) for various chess activities in their chess workshop - Mac operating system (macOS).

My goal is not to discuss as many programs in as much detail as possible, but to demonstrate the key capabilities of the tools I have selected in relation to specific chess activities, e.g. training, analysis, database and engine use, etc.

This entry will be updated on a regular basis when I feel that there is software worth presenting to you dear readers.

To learn about the capabilities and practical use of the best chess software, I invite you to visit the course area at



Training / Practice


Play Chess Offline

Hiarcs Chess Explorer

Play Chess Online

ICC for Mac

Chess Game Annotations / Database / Analyzes

Scid vs. Mac

Chess Engines

Banksia GUI

How to play chess

Fortunately for us fans of this Royal Game, you don't need to read several books to play your first chess game :-)

Learning to play chess is relatively easy and quick. Mastering the basics of the game will allow you to play one or more games, which is important in memorizing the chess rules.

It is a good idea to simply ask someone who can play to show us the basics of chess. If we don't have such an opportunity, I suggest reading just one page of Wikipedia, where the rules of chess are described in a very simple and understandable way.

Training / Practice

SparkChess (authors: Media Division SRL Team) is a commercial program that also runs on Andoid, iOS, iPadOS and Windows systems.

SparkChess is a very elegant program with many options for learning, training and practice. It is characterized by readability and simplicity, which does not mean that the program is poor, on the contrary.

After launching, we are welcomed by a window with precisely described options to choose from.

By selecting Learning, more detailed selection options appear:

Once you enter the Lessons area, SparkChess offers numerous lessons that are mainly geared towards beginner chess players.

So let's check out some of them.

First: Promotion and En-Passant.

The lessons are interactive and include commentary.

The student has buttons to e.g. go back to previous comments of the program to consolidate the acquired knowledge.

Another example: Tactics - Overloading.

The program automatically revived the chessboard showing the correct move.

At any time during the lesson, the student can use the explanations of the computer trainer.

I will show this in the following item taken from the lesson discussed above.

After clicking on the Analyze button...

...A menu appears after the checker containing: Control, Mobility, Attacks and Close button.

Depending on which button you click, SparkChess describes the position in detail and shows important things on the chessboard with colors,

When you click the Show Coach button, program show threat indicators and the directional arrows for moves.

If you need a suggestion to consider, then SparkChess will show suggestions when you click the Help me button.

We can change or set a different position at any time. This is a useful feature when checking different lines.

When learning or practicing, SparkChess often shows useful tips.

It is worth training and learning from the best... also from their mistakes.

SparkChess has annotated chess games in its database.

Below are screens from two different games.