In this section we have gathered a few articles on how to find chess tools for use on your home computer or tablet in order to get the most out of your home study. The main focus will be on free software, however there is room to mention some commercial alternatives from time to time.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive installation guide or user instructions for each of the applications listed, rather it is supposed to be a fairly straightforward list of articles outlining where to get one or two of the strongest chess engines out there, how to hook other software up, and where to find games databases and load them into the software.

It should not matter what operating system you use, therefore the articles will try and list alternatives for the two or three most popular. So for a desktop you should find software for Windows, Mac and Linux. For mobile phones, alternatives for Android and iPhone will be listed.

Any suggestions for that we might have missed are always welcome.

For home study, whether you simply want to play, try out a new opening or analyse your games, a chess engine is a must for anybody from Magnus Carlsen through Vladimir Kramnik to the home enthusiast.

Now that you have set up Scid vs PC and loaded all your own games, you are ready for the big time. You want to download possibly millions of games, keep right up to date with the latest games played on the world stage, and find the bleeding edge openings. Possibly you want to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon analysing some classical games with annotations. Read on. Stockfish installed and a few of your latest games carefully typed in as PGN files and saved, you are eagerly ready to begin analysing to see where you went wrong or where you possibly went right. But now what?

FICSYou may have done as much reading as you can handle in a day, and certainly have had as much as you can take of depressing analysis for the week. You want to play, but it is only Thursday, and the club does not meet for another five days. What to do, what to do?

Well, thank god for the Internet.

That's right, you too can play the World Champion. First you have to download the Play Magnus app from your favourite app store, whether that is the iTunes or Google app stores, then you can use it to practise chess anywhere you go. As an extra incentive, each year, Magnus will select registered players of all levels who will get to meet him and play against him in a live event.

Have you got to travel on the train to work, or simply feel like your lunch hour is somewhat wasted browsing the web, have you often wondered if you could spend that time learning more about chess? It is difficult to bring your own chess teacher with you every day on that  journey, or is it?

In today's competitive chess world, a database of previous games is a must. Not only by collecting your own games for in-depth analysis and future reference, but also if you want to look up games with the same opening because you are preparing against an opponent or simply because you are genuinely curious how to proceed after that amazing Grünfeldt line you have just seen Peter Svidler do.

In this article, we will show you how to create a database and how to use it in Scid vs PC.

Thanks to the people at Chessbase, Watford Chess Club is pleased to introduce Fritz Online

Here you will find a willing chess partner to play at any day and time of the week. Clicking on the Fritz Online logo will open a new window where you can log in and set engine strength. Enjoy.