An excellent freeware choice which appeals to many chess enthusiasts
Pros & Cons:
Many players will want a versatile program that encompasses different computer playing styles and allows more user options for analysis. Arena is an excellent freeware choice which appeals to many chess enthusiasts.
The attractive GUI is worth exploring with the aid of the excellent Help files, since it offers many useful features, including the ability to handle Shuffle Chess or Fischer Random Chess.
Arena is available either as a portable or for full installation, which is quite straightforward. Either way, you're provided with a good selection of preinstalled engines to choose from: the installer just provides a couple more.
In addition, you can easily add any other Winboard and UCI engines you wish (including the ultra strong Houdini, open source Stockfish and any of the other freeware engines reviewed here). Engines can be configured individually: Arena's Help files provide details on ways to adjust their behavior or strength. Linux users should also be able to get Arena up and running on Wine.
Arena was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on