HIARCS Chess Software for PC Windows, Apple Mac and iPhone/iPad Hiarcs Chess Explorer
World Championship winning computer chess software program & downloads for chess database, analysis and play on PC, Mac and iPhone

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HIARCS Chess Explorer
World class chess database, analysis and playing program
The World Chess Software Champion
Suitable for all players from beginners to the World Chess Champion with human-like play
Platform: Apple Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.12 (Sierra) 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.14 (Mojave) including Retina graphics or PC Microsoft Windows™ XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 & 10 (32 and 64 bit) all editions
Playing ability: Beginner (750 Elo) up to World Chess Championship strength (3200+ Elo)†

Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish


Read more about HIARCS Chess Explorer for Apple Mac        Read more about HIARCS Chess Explorer for PC Windows

HIARCS Chess Explorer is the best graphical chess user interface on PC & Mac for chess players of all strengths to analyse and play chess games, positions and explore and learn opening theory and much more. Select the product above for your computer type (Mac or PC). Below you can see a history of changes made to HIARCS Chess Explorer since its initial release. We have delivered 6 years of free updates for HIARCS Chess Explorer customers!

All the updates in the 1.series have been free for existing customers. Here is a list of the updates provided and the functionality

[New!]HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.9.3 (free update for customers, 22nd November 2018)

bulletImproved look and feel on Mac OS and Windows
bulletImproved support for 4K and 5K displays
bulletImproved handling of non standard formats in PGN files
bulletFixes for arrows and edit operations
bulletNumerous minor improvements

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.9.2 (free update for customers, 1st March 2018)

bulletFlexible icon sizing for very high resolution displays
bulletImproved look and feel on Windows and Mac OS
bulletSupport for 4K PC & Mac displays
bulletImproved position setup usage
bulletAnalysis continues while annotating
bulletImproved handling of non standard formats in PGN files
bulletNumerous minor improvements

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.9.1 (free update for customers, 20th October 2016)

bulletHiding chess board in play mode is no longer permitted.
bulletFix to diagram size when printing (issue affected v1.9)
bulletFix to automatically save game in progress when quiting (issue affected v1.9)

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.9 (free update for customers, 24th March 2016)

bulletUpdated local opening book with latest theory up to March 2016
bulletRead-only DB handling
bulletDelete all games from filter feature
bulletAnnotate all moves in game analysis
bulletImprovements to live PGN handling
bulletHandles more exceptions to PGN standard during import/opening PGNs
bulletEnhanced support for AppNap during engine matches (Mac OS only)
bulletMore info stored in engine matches
bulletPDF export now available
bulletHighlight last move played
bulletCoordinates and move indicator included in copy board image and print diagrams
bulletMinimum board and window size issue resolved
bulletUpdated translations in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish
bulletUpdated manual and context sensitive help
bulletVarious other enhancements and bug fixes

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.8 (free update for customers, 18th December 2014)

bulletUpdated local opening book with latest theory up to December 2014
bulletUpdated online GM and GM+ (for Deep HCE) books with latest theory
bulletUpdates to ECO reference
bulletPrint game(s) to PDF (Press Alt key when clicking Print menu)
bulletConfirm loss of locked analysis
bulletAllow synchronised game filter with position and show games functions going forward and backwards through a game
bulletAllow Pasting PGN FEN with no move
bulletEngine match adjudication now optional
bulletAllowing pasting partial games onto position
bulletPlayer clock times restored after replaying move
bulletDetect last move blunders in game analysis
bulletDefault to last book used in game play
bulletDisplay date online book last updated with count of positions, variations and games
bulletSmarter resignation
bulletAllow hiding moves in training mode
bulletAutomatically switch to training mode when loading puzzles/test sets
bulletNew tactical test set included sorted by difficulty
bulletMac OS Yosemite look and feel improvements
bulletFix to Mac OS Yosemite sleep crash issue
bulletCorrection to tablebase dialog to display under promotions outcomes
bulletImprovement to live game presentation
bulletMove and square arrows and highlights marked in game notation with a star
bulletHandling of upgrades to Deep functionality
bulletMany other improvements and bug fixes

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.7 (free update for customers, 14th January 2014)

bulletUpdates to ECO reference
bulletLocal book updated to include top games to end of December 2013
bulletPlay engine matches from a position, useful for analysing positions and producing continuations. Opening Explorer tree can be used with engine match results to examine game statistics for position
bulletImprovements to sorting Opening Explorer columns
bulletImprovements to live PGN presentation
bulletImproved move animation
bulletImproved presentation of player information
bulletImproved engine protocol management
bulletImproved hints and guess move advice
bulletCurrent Opening Explorer book source preference stored
bulletDatabase and Remote PGN properties introduced
bulletGraphic board drawing capabilities, highlighted coloured arrows and squares for presentation
bulletBoard graphic commentary saved with games and available in replay and navigation
bulletGame notation full undo/redo also incorporates board graphics
bulletImproved game merging including comments
bulletNull move keyboard short cut introduced
bulletImproved handling when reading illegal PGNs
bulletExport PGN (games in filter) honours game list sort order
bulletColumn sort order maintained when changing sort columns
bulletMinimised scrolling of game notation during changes
bulletNew manual and context sensitive help for v1.7
bulletSaving starting comments enabled
bulletAdd preceding comments
bulletAdd new database and game(s) before needing to save
bulletMac Spanish/Portuguese language set up position dialog corrected
bulletMac OS Mavericks Open dialog default location resolved
bulletMany other minor improvements and bug fixes

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.6 (free update for customers, 11th November 2013)

bulletUpdate from any previous HIARCS Chess Explorer version direct to v1.6, no need to renter license
bulletConfigurable move animation speed
bulletIncreased hash table sizes allowed
bulletAnalysis and statistics are now available in play mode
bulletEngine settings access in play mode (read-only)
bulletMore engine configuration information available
bulletSpecial tournament play mode for using a chess engine in tournaments:
bulletMode was used when HIARCS recently won the World Chess Software Championship in Yokohama, Japan
bulletGame is saved after each move to tournament.pgn in the Explorer folder
bulletGame is initially paused until pause is depressed or first move is made
bulletNo move animation to speed up remote network display
bulletEngine configuration can be checked before game started
bulletPlayability for book novelties available
bulletAdd variations from locked engine analysis
bulletHandles engine time forfeits better in engine matches
bulletExport games in filter (fixed)
bulletImproved live game access and updates
bulletMany minor improvements and bug fixes

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.5 (free update for customers, 25th July 2013)

bulletUpdate from any previous HIARCS Chess Explorer version direct to v1.5, no need to renter license
bulletNew Quick search history and enhanced quick search function
bulletAnimation of piece movement in database mode
bulletOpening Explorer now with win/draw/loss statistics graphic
bulletImprovements to Merge game feature
bulletEngine v Engine match play:
bulletSingle game and match play
bulletConfigurable time controls
bulletEngine resignation and early draw detection
bulletOptional engine evaluation and depth in game notation
bulletDual engine analysis output
bulletEngine move sounds and animation
bulletCopy engine game and position
bulletAuto save of engine match games
bulletImproved memory management for hash tables and nalimov caches
bulletEnhanced tablebase dialog
bulletCopy image of board graphic
bulletAccess help videos
bulletLive game enhancements
bulletAdd new user moves as variations
bulletImproved commentary merging

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.4 (free update for customers, 19th March 2013)

bulletSignificant improvements to our Live game support:
bulletContinuous analysis of a live PGN game during updates and switching games
bulletAuto analysis follows live game moves as they happen - engine analysis restarts in the latest position in the chosen live game
bulletAnalyse, annotate and update live games at any point in the game with your analysis - live game updates merge with your analysis and annotations
bulletLock any engine to a position in the live game for analysis which you explore the game
bulletStars mark live games which have been updated, stars are only removed when you have seen the game and leave it
bulletLoad PGN and PHP PGN URLs, live or historical
bulletPop up preview analysis board uses current main board orientation
bulletEnable online books after launching from small PGN databases
bulletClassify ECO of played games
bulletMuch more book variety on set elo levels
bulletSubtle weaker play on the low set elo levels
bulletGame analysis show only errors checkbox corrected
bulletFix clock issue caused by system clock change
bulletMore flexible FEN handling accepting some FENs with illegal rights
bulletEngine name editing
bulletSpeed improvements in Player Explorer
bulletNo need to renter license information, update from any previous version direct to v1.4.

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.3 (free update for customers, 5th March 2013)

Watch and analyse Live PGN games

bulletDownload remote PGN databases
bulletUpdate live games with your analysis and variations
bulletMerging of live games periodically as they progress
bulletManual refresh or automatic refresh
bulletURL history of remote PGNs

Engines & Analysis

bulletLock engine analysis to a position
bulletNavigate and modify game while engine is analysing
bulletPreview any position in engine analysis output using cursor and pop up board
bulletTab title icon highlights when engine is being used in another tab
bulletMore configuration options for game analysis including instant blunder check
bulletNalimov tablebase path editable for remote access

Playing games

bulletImproved play game dialog
bulletExplicit play from current position in play mode
bulletStop pondering when pause is pressed
bulletFix to autosave for played games
bulletPlayed games are now always saved unless user disables it
bulletClock time restored on takeback
bulletDraw only possible if you win on time without mating material
bulletMore reactive player rating to recent games played
bulletNew save indicator at end of played game

Opening Explorer

bulletOut of book displayed when opening book source has no more moves
bulletFaster response handling for online books

Game notation

bulletVariations can be reordered
bulletFirst move of main variations in bold

Database handling

bulletDuplicate games are not copy/pasted if already in database
bulletEven more tolerant handling of illegal PGNs
bulletNative piece letters for a great many languages
bulletDrag and drop PGN databases into HCE to open
bulletEnhanced quick search capability
bulletImproved game list highlights
bulletAutosave of modified databases
bulletLast session of databases can be reopened
bulletDatabase identified when deciding on game save or discard
bulletHandling of additional Windows Russian character encoding
bulletDatabase limit increased to 1.75 million games


bulletServer connection state shown in About dialog
bulletOther fixes and minor enhancements

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.2 (free update for customers, 24th November 2012)

Opening Explorer

bulletNew "Last Search" source replaces "Filter" source and enables powerful analysis of a subset of games in a database, for example analysing your own opening    repertoire, preparing for opponent or analysing a tournament, etc etc.
bulletLockable Show games button provides the ability to instant show all games for the current position - a powerful tool for analysis and filtering.

This is an example how the new feature could be used:
1) Search for a player (you or an opponent etc)
2) Select Last search in the Opening Explorer Source:
Chess tree of games is instantly available from the last search results even for very large databases
Opening Explorer shows the player repertoire, moves, stats etc
3) Clicking the Show games button allows you to instantly view games from last search for current position - this will be the games where our chosen player in 1) above played this position.
4) Clicking on the Show game button padlock symbol will lock (or unlock) the Show games function.

This enables you to keep the Game Explorer list of games and the Opening Explorer list of statistics in sync as your move forward or backwards through variations. Other search criteria can be used to build a repertoire tree based on different search criteria.
The new Show games padlock feature also works in the full Database source mode.

Player Explorer

bulletPlayer Explorer now supports expansion of player opening reports
bulletFull player and database opening reports are now possible
bulletInclude full hyper-linking of openings, and player performances to actual games by a single click
bulletPlayer Explorer now much faster on huge databases and uses exact matches

PGN databases

bulletMuch faster header search (about 7 times faster!) - very fast PGN searching
bulletShows progress when copying games large amounts of games between databases
bulletPlayedGames database synchronised
bulletFind games by length of game.
bulletSet up tag added

Chess Game Play, Analysis and Printing

bulletIncreased book variety on Elo levels and adjustable by book move
bulletImproved realism of play on handicap Elo levels including time pressure panic
bulletUse single action for pasting game and position.
bulletGame analysis now configurable by time for game or per move
bulletGame analysis move range selectable
bulletPrinting of extended PGN information supported
bulletConfigurable print font and size.

User Interface and Interaction

bulletNew language supported: Portuguese
bulletConfigurable notation colours and background notation colour.
bulletAdditional sound mode to play sounds for all moves.
bulletMove guessing now configurable for analysis only or all modes
bulletRotate board during position editing
bulletCopy latest line as best in history mode
bulletCopy stats with analysis history
bulletDepth of search shown in play mode engine output
bulletA number of fixes and minor general improvements

Online Access

bulletConnect for book access when started from small PGN
bulletAuto reconnect when connection restored


HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.1 (free update for customers, 12th October 2012)

PGN database and games
    Improved loading of broken PGN files - PGN files which do not meet the PGN standard
    PGN support for both Unicode and CP1252 Windows Western European Character set encodings
    Single PGN database limit raised to 1.5 million games
    Improved tolerance of many non-standard PGNs and FENs
    Sorting of games by numeric round
    Export of filtered games in sorted order
    Indented display of variations in Game Notation for more clarity in complex variations
    Improvements to the Merge game feature

UCI Engines
    Improved display of engine statistics
    Loading 10 or more engines now possible without name issues
    HIARCS engines allow tablebases to be turned off (Never option)

Game play/entry
    Option to play game against computer from the top of board
    Move sounds optionally available in play and database modes
    Book statistics during play mode fixed
    Promotion book move issue fixed
    Average time per move playing level
    Improved accuracy of Elo rated opponents
    Game replay move interval configurable

User Interface and Interaction
    Apple Magic mouse and Mac Book track pad sensitivity improvements
    Main window display cosmetic improvements
    Single instance HIARCS Chess Explorer
    Improvements to German translation
    Numerous minor bug fixes.

HIARCS Chess Explorer v1.0 (26th August 2012)

HIARCS Chess Explorer is a superb new chess program for PC and Mac Chess Players which can run on both PC Windows and Apple Macintosh OS X computers. It offers an innovative and intuitive new graphical user interface together with the current World Chess Software Champion HIARCS chess engine. This unique combination is refreshingly easy to use and includes many new features for chess preparation, analysis and training for players of all abilities from beginner to Grandmaster. It has specialised features to help weaker chess players improve their chess including special weakened opponents, a chess coach which can demonstrate mistakes, show improvements and help you improve your chess.

For chess experts HIARCS Chess Explorer has many advanced features not seen in other chess software. The new features can help you analyse your chess games, improve your openings and prepare for your opponents.

Here is a brief outline of some of the key features of our exciting new chess product:

Modular plug-in design: the HIARCS 14 chess engine supports the Universal Chess Interface (UCI) which means it can be used in any UCI compatible chess Graphical User Interface (GUI). Equally the new Chess Explorer GUI can use any chess engine which supports the UCI protocol.

HIARCS 14 World Chess Software Champion chess engine is packaged with Chess Explorer to provide incredibly strong analysis, advice and play with a unique and entertaining attacking playing style. HIARCS won the World Chess Software Championship in Tilburg, The Netherlands in late 2011.

Comprehensive PGN database capabilities including simultaneous handling of multiple databases, searching and filtering by game header, game sorting, openings and positions etc, ECO and opening name classification, game lists and much more.

New ways of viewing game databases providing genuinely useful information to club player and professional chess players alike.

New ways to navigate chess games using positions, players, openings and statistics including outcomes.

Chess Player Information giving games, openings, statistics and information about chess players including many of the World's strongest chess players.

Extensive game notation support with embedded variations, text comments, annotations, chess move symbols, evaluation symbols, assessment symbols and chess opening naming.

Innovative Openings Explorer gives new insight into chess openings from different perspectives including access to the world's strongest opening book. With special features for HIARCS Chess opening book subscribers.

Advanced Analysis features allow game analysis with multiple engines showing multiple lines of play. Post game analysis with variation commentary and annotation allows you to check your own games or any you select for blunders and improvements.

Custom game play mode for playing against the World Champion HIARCS chess engine with realistic human-like set Elo strength settings suitable for players from beginner to Grandmaster. The custom game play mode has an integrated coach to demonstrate mistakes and highlight good moves and give hints. You can even monitor your chess progression as HIARCS Chess Explorer rates to chess play and helps you improve by adapting to your chess play to keep challenging you.

Multi-platform and multi-lingual Chess Explorer runs on both PC Windows (XP or later) and Apple Mac (OS X 10.7 or later) with multiple languages supported: English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

New HIARCS Chess Server integrated with the new Chess Explorer GUI provide innovative new features for chess players.

Game databases included with the latest top quality GM chess games at time of publication.

Annotated database included with high quality annotations, commentary and variations from International Masters and Grandmasters.

"In summary, this is an excellent chess system that is suitable for players of all strengths. It has a lot of features, comes with a super-strong engine, and it is very easy to use. Highly recommended" - Joe Petrolito, Independent review, Australasian Chess.

Existing HIARCS customers have been emailed with news and discounts for Chess Explorer. If you are not an existing HIARCS customer and want to know more about Chess Explorer please sign up to the HIARCS E-Mailing list so you can be informed.


HIARCS Chess Explorer is designed and developed by Michal Rudolf and Mark Uniacke.

HIARCS chess engines are designed and developed by Mark Uniacke.

Chess piece set images by Eric de Mund and Bruno Rizzuti based on fonts by Eric Bentzen and Armando Marroquin.

User Manual written by Mark Uniacke.

Language translations: English by Mark Uniacke, French by Alain Zanchetta, German by Christian Goralski, Italian by Bruno Rizzuti, Polish by Michal Rudolf, Portuguese by Claudio Zamana, Russian by Beglar Jobava and Spanish by Amador Cuesta.

Many games and annotations provided by www.chess.co.uk.

Beta testing and feedback by Ole Christensen, Chris Cook, Richard Fowell, Eric Hallsworth, Jonathan Naud, Matt Read, Bruno Rizzuti and Harvey Williamson and a number of other testers who prefer to remain private.

Move sounds by Ole Christensen.

Thank you to all those people (including those who prefer to remain private) who helped make HIARCS Chess Explorer a better product.

We also thank Eugene Nalimov and Andrew Kadatch for their kind permission to use their access code (copyright (c) Eugene Nalimov) and decompression code (copyright (c) Andrew Kadatch) for Nalimov tablebases in HIARCS chess engines.


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"generally I use HIARCS." - Five time World Chess Champion Vishy Anand, in a recent interview when asked what chess program he uses to analyse with
"HIARCS is much better positionally than Deep Blue." - Garry Kasparov 1997 (after game 5 of the rematch)

World Chess Champion, Vishy Anand, used "Powerful" HIARCS machine in preparations for his 2010 & 2012 world title matches

"This level of service is one other big reason to buy HIARCS." - John Jackson

† Highest performance reached depends on computer used.   *VAT may be applicable for customers resident in the European Union.
Prices are given in Pounds Sterling, US dollars and Euros. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Purchases in other currencies will be subject to conversion rates from Pounds Sterling (GBP).

World class Palm, PC Chess, Mac Chess, Pocket PC and iPad, iPhone Computer Chess Software with innovative features and chess playing strength
HIARCS computer chess engines are designed and developed by Mark Uniacke in England.
HIARCS is a trademark of Applied Computer Concepts Ltd. All other product trademarks acknowledged.
Copyright © 1991-2018 Applied Computer Concepts Ltd. All rights reserved. Last modified: Sunday November 11, 2018.
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