Download the Lichess Elite Database

This is a collection of games from

I filtered all (standard) games from lichess to only keep games by players rated 2400+ against players rated 2200+, excluding bullet games. Edit: From December 2021 on, I only kept games of 2500+ vs. 2300+ rated players.

I believe that the database might be useful for players who want to be up to date on the latest theoretical novelties as strong players test their discoveries online. Another potential use for this database is to see how strong opponents would face your openings in practice.

I published the Lichess Elite Database from 2013 until May 2020 as a torrent which you can get below (known issue: tournament games from lichess are not included):

  • As a torrent (3.6 Gb, you will need a torrent client to download the files).
  • As a direct download (582 Mb, .7z format which you can open natively in linux or with 7-zip on windows)

Here are the PGN files as downloadable zips for the following months:

My thanks to John Hartmann for generating and sharing the files between January 2023 and April 2024!

Are you rated up to 1700 FIDE/1900 lichess and looking to improve your chess? Message me on lichess and we’ll setup our first lesson!

Feel free to help me pay for the server costs via a paypal donation:

Do you want to get a message each month when a new update is out? Join the Lichess Elite Database team on lichess!


Q: How to use these files?
A: Import them into the database software of your choice such as chessbase or scid. I have tested the files with scid but not with any other software. Please check out the video tutorial if you are not sure what you should do!

Q: Why aren’t the clock times included?
A: To save space.

Q: Why aren’t the URLs of the games included?
A: lichess stores the URLs of the games in the “Site” tag. Unfortunately scid has a limit on the number of different sites which can be stored in a database which is reached pretty fast if each game has its own site. I decided to delete the URLs to be able to use the files in scid. From June 2020 I kept the URLs under a new tag called “LichessURL”.

Q: Why would I need to download this database if the lichess explorer has the same games?
A: The lichess explorer is great for ad-hoc checking where you went wrong in a game but its inherent restrictions (currently you can only see the top 4 games in a particular position) doesn’t make it as useful as a downloadable database for in-depth opening and middlegame preparation.

Q: Can I generate the database myself to suit my needs better?
A: Sure, I use pgn-extract to generate the database, you can download the scripts I use here. Use them at your own risks but please let me know if you end up doing a cool project with them!

Q: I have a comment or suggestion – how do I contact you?
A: Feel free to message me at