Main menu

Open the main menu by tapping on the menu button or by swiping from the left side of your device to the middle of the screen. The other menu items depend on the selected mode:

Changing the mode

There are three modes of Chess PGN Master which can be selected by tapping on the current mode, e.g. View mode in the left menu.

When the mode is changed the menu and action bar also change to only show the menu items and action bar buttons which are relevant for the selected mode.

View mode

In view mode no changes to the current game are possible with these exceptions:

  • through the opening explorer moves can be added

  • engine analysis can be added to the game

  • pasting from the clipboard is possible

  • marking squares and drawing colored arrows using the coloring buttons

Edit mode

In edit mode new moves can be added by tapping on a piece (of the player to move) and tapping again on the target square. The Add game to file is availabe and also a context menu is added to the move list (long tap on a move in the move list to open the context menu with some menu items also available in the Add game to file).

In edit mode you need to tap on empty squares if you want to move forward or backward in the game by tapping on the left or right side of the board.

Guess the move

Selecting guess the move mode hides the move list and you can try to guess the next move by tapping on a piece (of the player to move) and tapping again on the target square. If the move was correct the move is made and the app makes the next move of the game (of the other player) automatically. Then you can guess the next move.

Using the buttons of the button bar it’s possible to move through the game with the left and right button. So even if you cannot guess the move right you can still move on, go to another position and try again.

Guess the move mode is also perfect for solving chess puzzles.

File menu

The file menu lets you open a PGN file containing chess games. After selecting one of the menu items the list of games changes and the last viewed game gets selected.

Create Example PGN (Chess Fundamentals)

Selecting this menu item creates an example file you can use to try out features of PGN Master. Select a location for the PGN file in the file saving dialog. This menu item is only visible as long as you have not created the example PGN file.

Open file

Open a file from the device memory using the system file chooser. Be sure to only select files containing games in portable game notation with the ending “pgn”. When you have Google Drive installed you can directly open PGN files from your Google Drive file storage and have them synchronized automatically in the background.

Open Dropbox file

If you have a Dropbox account you can open PGN files directly from your account. Selected files are downloaded to place where you put it in the file dialog and then opened. They are not synced automatically with Dropbox. Which means that if you make changes locally on your device you need to update the changed files to Dropbox yourself if you want the changes also in your Dropbox account.

Open URL

Open a PGN file if you know a web URL (link). You need to enter the exact location of a PGN file on the web.


It is much easier to just open the web browser on your device, tap on the PGN link in your browser and then choose to open the file with Chess PGN Master. See also Watching live games


Opens your favorites. It contains the games added with the menu item Add game to Favorites.

Search master games

This feature requires a separate app Master Games to be installed. It adds the option to search for master games by specifying game data or by searching the current position:

search master games

Search master games dialog

  • Search game data: searches the master games database for the entered search criteria

  • Search position: searches the master games database for games containing the displayed position (within the main line)

If more than 1000 results are found then only the first 1000 results are displayed in the game list.

New file

Creates a new empty file with the chosen file name at the selected directory. Be sure to add the pgn file extension to the file name. E.g. “myFile.pgn”

Game menu

The game menu consists of game related menu items:


Shows various data about the game. To add information to games see the Save game dialog.

search master games

Game information dialog

Add game to Favorites

Adds the current game to the favorites.

New game

Creates a new game at the end of the game list. An empty game is added automatically to the currently loaded file.

Paste from clipboard

Pastes game data (a whole game or just a position) from the clipboard. See also Sharing chess games with other apps.

Strip comments/variations

Strip all comments and annotations and/or all variations from a game.

Save game

Opens the save game dialog:

save game

Save game dialog


Make sure you have a backup of your important PGN files. Saving games should be safe but the author does not guarantee that saving games will always work and that there will be no data loss.

The following fields (the PGN format also calles them “tags”) are always visible and cannot be deleted: Event, Site, Date, Round, White, White ELO, Black, Black ELO, Result and Annotator

You can add more fields by selecting “ADD FIELD”. New fields are added at the bottom of the list. To delete a user added field just delete its content. Empty fields will be removed after saving the game.

Save as new game

This is the same as Save game except that it saves the game as a new game at the end of the currently opened PGN file.

Delete game

Deletes the currently selected game from the curent PGN file.


Always check twice if the game selected is the one you want to delete! Make sure you have a backup of your important PGN files before you choose to delete a game.

Add game to file

Adds the current game at the end of another PGN file.

Add game to new file

Creates a new PGN file containing the current game only.

Position menu

Position related menu items are available in edit mode:

Annotation editor

Opens the annotation editor either in a separate window (on a phone or in portrait mode on a tablet) or instead of the game list (tablet in landscape mode):

annotation editor

Annotation editor

You can change the annotation before the move, after the move and add a move symbol and a position evaluation symbol.


After you save a game with annoations and reload the game the annotation after a move can be changed to an annotation before the move of the next move. The reason for this behavior is the way PGN files are loaded in Chess PGN Master. Nevertheless the move text will always stay the same.

Symbols explained


Good move




Brilliant move




Interesting move


Questionable move


Equal position

Dubious move


Slight advantage for White


Slight advantage for Black


Decisive advantage for White


Decisive advantage for Black

Edit start position

This menu item starts the position editor to edit the start position of the game. This is useful if you want to enter e.g. a chess puzzle which does not start at the usual chess start position.

position editor

Edit start position


When you change the start position all moves of the current game will be deleted.

When the position editor starts no piece from the piece list is selected. When no piece is selected the delete mode is active: Tapping on a piece removes the piece from the board.

If you want to add a piece select the piece to add from the piece list and tap on the position on the board where you want to place the piece. You can tap again on another position to add the same piece again. If you want to add a piece with a different color select the white/black button to change the color of the pieces in the piece list.


If the position is invalid (e.g. no Kings on the board, too many Kings, etc.) then the OK button is disabled and the position cannot be set.

To clear the board or set the initial position tap on the clear board/initial position button.

Select the Position settings from the action overflow menu to change the following settings:

  • allowed castle moves for White and Black

  • White or Black to move

  • move number

  • En passant square if the last move in the position was a pawn move and the next move could be an en passant move

If you want to enter a Chess960 position check Chess960 and enter a position number. If you manually add a Chess960 start position the position number will reflect the entered start position.

Scan position with ChessOcr

This menu item is only available if the app ChessOcr is installed on your device. It calls the app to scan a position e.g. from a book and to retrieve the scanned position into Chess PGN Master.

Insert Null move

Inserts a null move into the current position. You can also add a null move by selecting your King and then the King of the opponent.

Promote variation

Promoting a variation moves a variation one level up. I.e. when the current variation is direct a sub-variation of the main line and you promote this variation then the promoted variation becomes the main line.

Delete current variation

Removes the current variation. Only works on variations and not the main line.

Delete current move

Deletes the current move and all remaining moves in the current variation.

Add position to file

Adds the current position to another file.


See Settings.