Top 5 Ways to Use New Analysis Board for Online Lessons

ChessKid has recently upgraded and overhauled our analysis board ( for all of your online lesson needs. As a chess teacher myself, I need this to replicate my "demo board" that I use in class. In fact, it's even better!

My favorite format for teaching online lessons:

1. First review the club/group leaderboard, sorted by amount of puzzles attempted in the past week.
2. Teach a lesson with the ChessKid analysis board.
3. Host a ChessKid tournament or have kids play games in the fast chess server.

Here's some of the most important (new and improved!) ChessKid analysis board features:

1. Importing full games into the board (from your child's game history or any PGN)

One of the easiest ways to teach, review, or learn from games played is to upload a PGN to To find a PGN of an individual kid you can use the drop down menu next to a kids name in the kids tab. From there, select “game history” to see their past games played.


Once in game history you can select the game you want the PGN from and again use the drop down menu and click “Get PGN”.

When you click Get PGN, the PGN will download. Open this download, copy all of the text, and paste it into the “Load PGN” part of the analysis board.

Once you click Load, the computer engine will analyze the game and you are ready to start learning!

*Note that we are currently working on a way to get "one-click" access from a finished ChessKid game to the analysis board with no download required. 

2. Drawing arrows and highlighting squares

This makes it easy to visually show what a teacher is discussing while teaching a lesson. With beginners I always like to draw the arrows for how a piece moves to visually reinforce for the student. For intermediate or advanced players, when asking students to calculate moves in their minds, I would sometimes draw the arrows of where the pieces moved to make it a little easier to remember where the pieces are.

To draw arrows you right click on board and drag where you would like the arrow to go. You can draw big or small arrows and even an arrow for the knights movement!

For squares you have the option of making red, green, or blue squares.

To make a...

   Red square: right click on mouse
   Green square: hold control or shift (same on mac) and right click
   Blue square: alt (option on mac) and right click

 3. Setting up custom positions and saving them for later use

The setup/save feature of the analysis board allows you to save your favorite training or tactical positions to show kids later. To access the set up board click “set up” on the right hand side. From here I like to hit the trash can button to clear the pieces off the board. Now you are able to drag pieces onto the board to create whatever position you want!

You can save and name your favorite positions to show kids later by first clicking load setup, and then save!

First Click Load Setup

Then Click Save 

4. Interpreting the analysis board

When analyzing your games the engine will have an evaluation bar that grades the chess position after whites and blacks past moves. If the evaluation bar reads as 0, the engine is reading the position as equal. If the evaluation bar reads the position as +1, you can roughly think of that as the engine saying white is one pawn better than black. If the engine reads the position as -5, you can roughly think of that as Black's position being a rook better than White's. You will also see the evaluation bar be proportionally more white or black, depending on who is doing better.

 The above position is evaluated at -4.36, in blacks favor, after whites blunder of Ba6

The analysis board will also tell you if white or black has a forced checkmate. This is shown by M and number to show how many moves the checkmate will take if done the fastest. 

M1 is telling you white has checkmate, in one move, with Rxd8

You will also see various words such as Book, Great, or Blunder after reviewing your moves. Words such as Book, Excellent, and Good mean you played moves the engine liked, while words like Blunder, Inaccuracy, or Mistake means there were better moves in the position to be played.

5. Variations

While using the analysis board you will notice the engine provides you the top three recommended moves. You should give the engine a little bit of time after each move to calculate the variations to depth. The top variation will be the line of moves the engine evaluates as helping white (or black) the best! Exploring the different variations can be a great way to learn chess!

In this common chess position the engine is telling you Bb5 (the Ruy Lopez) is the top variation, Bc4 (the Italian Game) is the second best variation, and d4 (the scotch game) is the third best variation.

Although it can be easy to fall into the trap of following the engines recommended moves in future games, remember that people are not computers! Every chess player has their own favorite style so be sure to explore and keep an open mind.

These 5 ways to use the analysis board are just some of my favorite ways to use it. We hope that in your shift to online teaching and learning these tools will be useful to you, too!