Helping children learn chess through mini-games



Library of instructional mini-games to learn how pieces move, board vision and strategy.

Tutor Control

Set up custom mini-games or other positions for a lesson.

Chess engine

Play regular chess or mini-games against an engine optimised for children.

Teaching Chess in the Classroom ?

Learn about our new Classroom Edition

Library of mini-games

Comprehensive library of 30+ chess mini-games that help children learn chess in a fun way.

Clear explanation of rules

Each mini-game provides clear instructions of what is required to win the game and which special rules apply.

Helpful guidance

If a move is made which is not allowed based on the mini-game rules a clear explanation is provided.

Engine with 6 levels

Two player mini-games can be played against one of the 6 levels of engine from beginner to expert. The lower levels play at the level of a beginner/intermediate junior player.

What are chess mini-games ?

Learn why mini-games are ideal for children learning chess


Tutor control

Designed for tutors running a lesson in a classroom or by sharing their screen over a web conference.

Set up custom mini-games

Intuitive position editor to set up any position and ability to configure or add mini-game rules.

Board annotation

Enable board annotation to allow drawing of arrows and circles on the board for explaining ideas.

Manage Lessons

Create a lesson containing mini-games, full games or custom positions organised according to topic.

Import PGN positions and games

Import positions and games from Lichess Studies,, ChessBase or other tools using PGN import.

Are you a tutor or chess coach ?

Learn how to save time preparing for lessons

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See what our customers say about us

I am a satisfied customer of Acorn chess. It is a great learning tool for newer scholastic players. The wide array of mini-games allows kids to drill micro skills and develop their chess games at their own pace.

Ben Johnson - Scholastic Chess Coach in the US

I find Acorn Chess to be extremely useful when teaching both one-to-one and group sessions. Of particular use are the mini-games, which tie in perfectly with the Chess in Schools and Communities curriculum.

Sean Marsh - Chess in Schools Coach in the UK

Acorn chess has unique features that make it great for teaching beginners.  With mini-games that teach more than just how pieces move, to a multi-level bot that avoids the tutor having to make deliberate mistakes, it is ideal for lessons.

Neil Dainty - Chess Coach for Juniors in the UK

Acorn Chess is a very well thought out selection of mini-games that are invaluable for chess coaches. The site has clearly been designed by chess coaches, for chess coaches. Highly recommended.

Claire Summerscale - Chess Coach and author in the UK

What makes Acorn Chess unique

Instructive position fragments

Most chess applications only allow legal chess positions that include 2 kings. Acorn Chess lets you set up and play through any instructive position fragments even without kings.

Configurable mini-game rules

Adjust existing mini-games or create entirely new mini-games by defining the win conditions and other special rules that apply.

Engine optimized for children

The engine for Acorn Chess has been built and tuned to play chess at a similar level to a child beginner and make typical mistakes that children would make.

Free forever

No hidden charges. Use all features for free.

Child safe

No online interaction. Application runs locally offline.

Use offline

Does not require internet connection to run.

Universal application

Install on Windows, Mac or Linux. Works on Raspberry Pi.

Import positions

Use PGN import to import positions and games from other applications.

Automatic updates

New releases are detected at start up and downloaded.

Ready to get started?

Learn more or buy now.