This is the home page for the pgn-extract program, which is a command-line program for manipulating chess games recorded in the Portable Game Notation (PGN).

A full description of pgn-extract's functionality is available and included with the sources.

Here you can find the C source code and win32 binary for the current version. pgn-extract compiles and runs under Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. This program is made available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (Version 1).


The program is designed to make it easy to extract selected games from a PGN format data file based on a wide variety of criteria. The criteria include:

  • textual move sequences;

  • the position reached after a sequence of moves;

  • information in the tag fields;

  • fuzzy board position;

  • and material balance in the ending.

The program includes a semantic analyser which will report errors in game scores and it is also able to detect duplicate games found in its input files.

The range of input move formats accepted is fairly wide and includes recognition of lower-case piece letters for English and upper-case piece letters for Dutch and German. The output is normally in English Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN), but this can be varied.

Extracted games may be written out either including or excluding comments, NAGs, variations, move numbers, tags and/or results. Games may be given ECO classifications derived from the accompanying file eco.pgn, or a customised version provided by the user.

The program is designed to be relatively memory-friendly, so it does not retain a game's moves in memory once it has been processed.

Use the --help argument to the program to get the full lists of arguments.

New in version 17-19

These are the major additions in version 17-19:

  • Corrected failure to 'or' together multiple dates with -T and -t.

  • Corrected an error in the generation of hashcodes when a promotion is made.

  • Added --keepbroken to allow broken games to be output.

  • Added --totalplycount to add a plycount tag.

  • Added --addhashcode to add a game hashcode tag.

  • Added --selectonly to select output of only a single game.

Available Files

You can take a copy of the full source and documentation as either pgn-extract-17-19.tgz or Alternatively, a win32 binary is available.

Name Description Size Date
GZipped tar file of the complete source of version 17-19 of the program.
Includes help.html, Makefile for compilation and eco.pgn file for ECO classification.
305650 bytesOct 28 2014 Zipped file of the complete source of version 17-19 of the program.
Includes help.html, Makefile for compilation and eco.pgn file for ECO classification.
427193 bytesOct 28 2014
pgn-extract-17-19.exe win32 binary of version 17-19 of the program. 427193 bytesOct 28 2014 Zipped version of eco.pgn. 32081 bytesMay 24 2013
eco.pgn File of openings with PGN classification.
This file is already included in the source archives.
254723 bytesMay 24 2013
COPYING GNU General Public License (version 1). 12488 bytesDec 05 1997


Feedback and suggestions for further features are always welcome, although I can't always promise to undertake significant development work.