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Arena 3.5

Play chess online or against 250+ engines

by Mike Williams

Our Rating:
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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, German, Russian
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 03 July 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1077
Developer: Martin Blume
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Arena Chess 3.5
Play chess online or against 250+ engines

Arena is a powerful tool for playing chess and analyzing games.

The program interface is better than many similar tools. The 2D board looks good and is very configurable, key options are relatively easy to find, and you can learn a lot about Arena's features just by browsing the menus. There's detailed local help, too (and a real Windows Help file, not a PDF or a website with no search feature).

Arena is able to use more than 250 chess engines, many of which have adjustable strength, so you're unlikely to run out of opponents. Although if you do, it's also possible to play online games against people worldwide.

The program has strong support for analysing games, helping you understand the thinking processes of individual engines.

A host of extras includes support for variant games, including Shuffle Chess and Fischer Chess/ Chess 960. There's a stack of configuration options to ensure everything works as you'd expect. And if you find yourself getting too engrossed when you should really be doing other things, don't worry - a built-in Boss Key (Ctrl+0) can dismiss Arena to the system tray whenever someone gets too close.

Verdict:

A powerful chess playing and analysis tool. Arena's well-designed interface and detailed help file mean it's easier to use than many similar programs, too.

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