Lucas Chess: play and train chess

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 4, 2016
Updated • Jul 16, 2018

Lucas Chess is a free chess training and playing program for Microsoft Windows devices that ships with an impressive set of features.

While I do know how to play chess, I was never particularly good at the game. My father taught me the game of kings, but I lost interest in the game and started to explore other gaming options early on.

Chess has simple rules that anyone can learn quickly, but it is highly strategic and requires excellent forward thinking capabilities.

Lucas Chess

Lucas Chess is a free, long standing, chess training and playing program for Windows that is suitable for absolute beginners, grandmasters, and anyone in between the two extremes.

The chess program ships with 36 different engines ranging from 1300 elo all the way up to 3000 elo. Additionally, it ships with engines designed specifically for young children who pose little challenge but help explore chess in a non-competitive environment (and win likely against the computer early on).

The section for children is gamified a bit as well. Children can try to complete animal albums by beating opponents. For each opponent beat in the game, a new animal picture is revealed. You may proceed to the next album once all animals of an album are collected.

learn chess children

While you can play against various engines without using the training components of Lucas Chess, this is one area in which the program really shines.

If you select competition for instance, you start against a beginning engine. The engine analyses each move you make, and suggests different moves if your move is less than ideal.

chess training

This may help you get better at the game by analyzing why the tutor suggested a different move.

As far as play options are concerned, you can pick an elo rating that you want the engine to emulate, or customize the engine by selecting it from the list of available ones instead.

The customization options are impressive. One option that you have is to assign a personality to the engine that you can assign specific opening, mid game and end game strategies for.

Training makes up a big part of Lucas Chess. While you may not find all training options useful, like checking your memory on a chessboard or playing blind chess (without seeing the actual pieces on the board, like memory chess), others may be quite useful.

You may train end game or mid game positions, play against grandmasters, try to find the best moves, or learn openings by repetition.

Closing Words

Lucas Chess is a program designed for chess players of all skills. Absolute beginners may use it to play against computer opponents that are relatively easy to beat. The tutoring system with its move suggestion option helps get better at the game over time.

Somewhat experienced players may learn new openings, mid or end game strategies, or play against computer opponents that match their skill.

Lucas Chess, all in all is an excellent program for anyone interested in chess.

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Author Rating
5 based on 6 votes
Software Name
Lucas Chess
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  1. cmcanulty said on May 24, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Can you explain how to install in linux? I used to use it with wine but in ubuntu 18.o4 won’t work

  2. chesscanoe said on July 16, 2018 at 5:54 am

    I was able to download Lucas Chess version 11.09 from thanks to a Ghacks post elsewhere. I’m impressed with its function and options.

  3. Seban said on December 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I like Arena Chess GUI:

  4. Guest703 said on December 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    As for me, I grew up with Combat Chess:

    Yes the AI could also be tweaked between “beginner” and “master” levels. The animations were brilliant. Still have the CD somewhere.

  5. ilev said on December 5, 2016 at 8:28 am
  6. David said on December 4, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Nice find Martin. This might be the first time I’ve seen something like this on gHacks.

  7. Troels said on December 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    It is crazy – can’t stop the tutor changing my moves. Use Chessmaster.

  8. Thanks said on December 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Perfect, thank you, Martin. I was looking for something like this for a long time and you finally found it. I am very, very happy. Again, thank you so much.

  9. Shiro said on December 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Looks like a nice way to teach kids and adults the game. Will check it out. But I’m really interested in finding just such a program for shogi (Japanese chess, lots more fun but also more difficult). Anyone have any suggestions?

  10. Tom said on December 4, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks for the tip.

    A tip not only for chess – play on the safe side:


  11. jasray said on December 4, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you very much!

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