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Has anyone used this app, "e+Chess Books"? have you heard of it?! YOU NEED IT!
It's an impressive tool that is FREE. It's an enhanced Chess Book reader that includes a chess "engine" that allows you to walk through every move in the book, Undo moves, jump ahead, etc - without having to setup a real board and rearrange pieces. It is NOT a chess "book", nor is it just a database of openings, GM games, etc. Here is how it works:
In essence it's as if you were reading the book, and the author was there with you setting up the chess board for you, making the moves, taking back moves and showing you variations, all at the click of your finger.
Current Books Available:
Why am I advertising this app? I have nothing to do with it, but I am disappointed that more books aren't included. So I'm hoping more people will get interested in it, use it, so more interest means more authors will contribute.
The app can be found on iTunes here:
I feel the same way as you. I really want this to succeed so that more and more books become available. However, it's worth emphasizing that as long as you consider the book prices to be reasonable -- and I think they are -- you have nothing to lose by getting this app. It's not like you're buying into an obsolescent technology - at least, not as long as there is hardware to run apps.
Got it. Love it!
Here's a great example of what I'm talking about....
I bought "The Amateur's Mind", by Silman (paperback). GREAT BOOK. BUT...
I have to use a separate "Analysis" board to setup every position in the book (either on a real chess board, or I use "Chess Openings" app to setup the boards (and learn the openings at the same time!). But it's still cumbersome. AND....
The Reti-Carls, Baden-Baden 1925 match on page 93 STARTS at move 27 (and move "1. Nc3!" is mislabeled, it should be "27. Nc3!"). So, in most chess boards apps, I can't just setup the position, I had to go find the game on the internet, follow all 26 initial moves, 1 by 1, to get to move 27. With e+ Chess Books, I simple CLICK on the board, and voila! it's there.
Master Silman, if you have any influence, or if you are planning on putting your other books on this platform, I have to say it's fantastic.
I also love these application its realy shame that there is so few books availible for these app, hope there would be more in the future.
Mr. Silman informed me via email that his Reasses Your Chess book will be coming to e+Chess app in approx 6-8 months. Hopefully sooner
I can guarantee you I will be purchasing the Reassess book via this method when it is available. Bravo!
I just came across this app today. Sweet! I got the book of Morphy's games that goes for $40 in the only paper edition, hardcover. In this app it was only $12.99 I think? It is this book:
407 games and it includes all the pictures...nice format!
Meanwhile SmartChess (http://www.playsmartchess.com/index.html) is scheduled to release an iPad 3-compatible version (and has been for some time now - I do hope it's not languishing).
I received an email from Smartchess! app developer and their app just had an update. It now works for the ipad 3 and it has a more polished look to it with new boards and pieces to choose from (just make sure you select a board or the app will not work once you come to the first diagram).
It seems like a nice update, lets hope they get some more books available
So I noticed - hurrah!
A few minor niggles with SmartChess!, which I expect will be fixed in the next release (especially if Andres or the developers are reading this, or I find out the proper way to send feedback):
1) The docs say the font can be changed in Book Settings using the gear icon on the Home screen, but that doesn't appear to be an option.
2) It's great that the font size can be changed so easily while reading, but it would be nice if it would remember the selected size rather than reverting to the default size every time a different book is opened.
3) Being able to move pieces on the board is great, but there doesn't appear to be any way to undo individual moves; hitting the back arrow icon undoes everything.
4) It would be nice if the current move was highlighted in the text, and if tapping on a move in the text jumped to the corresponding position (as in other chess programs). As it is, one has to do an awful lot of tapping to get through a page of moves just to get to the next page. (For example, the 1st page of the adh2050-kokings game in the free book Setting Up Tactical Combinations by Andres.)
5) The piece sets are all a bit odd looking to my eyes, apart from Lundquist (which is obviously the one I will use). How about offering some of the ones that users of scid, ChessBase, etc. are used to? Merida is a good one.
6) The engine is easily beatable at the maximum difficulty (100), which seems a little inconsistent with the 'seriousness' of the rest of the app. Ok, so I can use another dedicated app for that, but still...
ETA: I guess this should be in a separate thread because we're meant to be discussing e+Chess not SmartChess!
No, I think it's good to look at alternative systems! Maybe I should change the thread title to "Interactive Mobile Chess Apps!", or something like that.
I'll be honest, though...I don't care for SmartChess. I tried it, and although it *is* nicer looking as an App, it's not nearly as functional. And let's face it, I think Chess players would prefer substance over looks. All the problems you're describing, above, don't exist in e+Chess. They did a good job making it exactly what it is supposed to be...an interactive chess board that you can play along with the book.
I recently added Silman's "End Game" book, and it also includes audio clips from the author. Most are "words of encouragement" type quotes, but there are some that are technical in nature, further explaining a principle (Opposition, for example) that supplements the text.
Bronco70 indicated, above, that Silman's Reassess book (arguably one of the best chess training books in a long time) will become available in e+Chess soon.
It looks like you can choose the font color to only be black or white at the gear icon and choose three different text sizes on the pages.
In the info button there is an email link for support, Andres is very quick to respond. You should send him your thoughts. He seems very open to ideas and feedback
Okay, I will. Thanks, Bronco70.
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