You can use Stockfish either online or on your computer.
To do this, visit chess.com/analysis or download the software from its website. Then, configure its settings and start analyzing any game.
In this post, we’ll provide a complete, simple guide on how to use Stockfish chess engine to boost your performance.
How to Use Stockfish Chess Engine Online?
Stockfish chess engine is readily available as a built-in feature on the leading chess platforms: Chess.com and Lichess.org.
That way, you can use the engine without downloading it to your computer. Here’s how to use Stockfish online:
1. Go to the Analysis Section on Chess.com or Lichess.org
In this post, we’ll focus on using it on Chess.com. However, the steps on Lichess are similar to that on Chess.com, with some slight differences.
Once you’re on the analysis page, move any chess piece, and the engine will start working automatically.
Note: On Lichess.org, you’ll need to turn on the engine yourself
2. Select Your Preferred Settings
Before you start analyzing, set up the engine with your desired settings by clicking the gear button above the chessboard.
Here are the three most important changes you can make:
There are two versions of the Stockfish engine to pick from. Still, it’s recommended to leave it on the default one.
Number of “Best Moves”
You can choose how many “best moves” you need the engine to suggest. This can be anything between 1 and 5.
The Maximum Depth
You can select the maximum analysis depth you need from 14 to 99. The higher the number, the deeper the analysis. For most people, 22 is a sufficient option.
3. Choose What to Analyze
There are multiple analyses you can do using Stockfish. Let’s take a look at each of them:
Analyze a Hypothetical Game
Move the pieces around and watch how Stockfish analyzes each play. This process can give you excellent insights into which moves are good and which need improvement.
You can use these insights to evaluate a strategy you plan to adopt. You can also use them to assess the strength of some random moves.
Analyze Particular Position
You can create a specific position with the chess pieces of your choice and let Stockfish analyze it.
That way, you can focus the analysis on a situation you usually encounter in the game. You can even use this option to evaluate a position you’re currently playing.
To do this, click on “Set Up Position.” Then “Clear Board.” After that, select a few pieces to design the desired scenario.
Analyze Specific Position with FEN File
You can also analyze particular positions in a game using a FEN file.
To do this, upload the FEN file or enter the information inside it into the analysis box. Then, Stockfish will display the position and thoroughly analyze it.
Analyze Previous Games with PGN
You can use the PGN file of any previous or current chess game to analyze it anytime with Stockfish.
Copy and paste the file’s data into the analysis box and let Stockfish do its job. Alternatively, you can upload the file directly to the engine.
By doing this, you can analyze the whole game and spot the best and worst moves and strategies.
Analyze Your Previous Games on Chess.com
You can easily analyze any of your previous games on Chess.com using the Stockfish engine.
To do so, hover over the Chess.com logo on the website’s homepage. A menu will show up. Click on “Profile” from the menu.
You’ll be directed to a page containing all your previous games. To analyze any of them, click the numbers under the “Accuracy” column.
When you click on them, you’ll enter the analysis page. On that page, you can use Stockfish to analyze the whole game.
4. Interpret the Numbers
When you get Stockfish numbers and analytics, you need to learn how to interpret and use them to your advantage. Here’s a brief explanation to help you understand Stockfish data:
The Best Next Moves
Stockfish suggests the best three moves you should consider depending on the current situation.
The Color of the Numbers
The color of each number shows which player has an advantage over the other currently.
The Value of Numbers
The value of each number indicates the extent to which the highlighted player outperforms the other.
If the numbers are still less than one, this means there’s a slight difference in performance. If the numbers go beyond one, an opponent considerably outperforms the other.
How to Use Stockfish Chess on Your Computer?
You can use Stockfish on your computer by integrating it into a GUI like ChessBase, WinBoard, or Arena.
Here, we’ll use it with Chessbase, yet feel free to use it with your preferred GUI. In any case, here are the steps to follow:
1. Download Stockfish and the GUI
To download Stockfish, go to the engine’s official website and install the latest software version.
Likewise, we’ll download ChessBase GUI from its official website.
2. Add Stockfish to the GUI
Once you’ve downloaded the ChessBase reader, you need to add the engine to the GUI to start using its analysis power.
To do so, open ChessBase software and click on “Board” from the program’s interface.
On the top bar, click on “Create UCI Engine.” Then, locate the engine on your computer and click “Open.”
Afterward, go to” Engine Management.” On the left side, select” Stockfish.” Click the upper arrow to move Stockfish to the right side and hit “Ok.”
Click “Add Kibitzer” on the top bar and select ”Stockfish.”
Now you can use Stockfish to analyze your games.
3. Read the Numbers
Stockfish analysis on GUIs is similar to that on Chess.com.
It suggests the two best moves based on the game’s current position. It also provides numbers on your performance.
You can easily learn how to use Stockfish chess engine by following the simple steps above.
Whenever you need help installing or using Stockfish, refer to this post for the required assistance.