Best iPhone Chess Apps?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #1


    I'm just starting to get back into chess after not playing for a long time, and I was wondering what the best chess apps for iPhone would be? I'm looking for three different types of apps, what would be the best app for:

    1. Playing against other people online, probably correspondence, but if live online play does exist that'd be sweet. Which iPhone chess apps have online play with the most users ands strongest players?

    2. Strongest chess engine. Pretty straightforward here, but which iPhone chess app has the strongest chess engine?

    3. Best tactics trainer. Which iPhone app has the largest amount of tactics, with the highest difficulty as well?

    Thank you all for your help!

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #2


    Yes, but for which question? 1, 2, or 3?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #3


    simple! 4 all 3. Cool

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #4


    Internet Chess Club is one of the best chess websites out there (other than Their website is available as an app. They have online tournaments and a great field of players.

    Stockfish for question 2. They say that Stockfish plays at the same level as commercial engines such as Rybka and Houdini. It's also the most powerful open source chess engine in the world. Shredder is another a fantastic program that would work just as well. would work great for question 3. I don't know of any other tactics websites that are offered as an app, sorry!

    I hope this helps, good luck! :)

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #5


    I downloaded a free tactics i-phone app called "Chess Tactics - Free Strategy Trainer". This is quite good, you solve tactics without being timed and you get a rating. You can also see other peoples' comments etc. The problems and solutions are entered by users, so occasionally they are garbage (eg saw one where the each side had about 5 pawns ready to Queen - the position had been entered upside down), but mostly they're OK.

    I also have the Shredder app (the one you pay for). This is really good for playing against, since you can specify the Elo you want it to play at. It calculates your rating. The engine claims to be able to go up to 2500 strength, don't know how strong it really is. This app has lots of features, very pleased with it.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #6


    To use tactics on, you have to suscribe though. I'll look at that free tactics app, are there any apps that have a strong engine and tactics?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #7


    Yeah I guess that's true. I'm gonna do my playing (question 1) on, everyone on chess with friends is awful. I'd like to combine 2 and 3 into the same app, so I guess is there any app with tactics/puzzles that also has a playable engine?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #8


    Why not try the SmallChess app? It's about the level of Stockfish and it's fun!

    It is powered by a new engine and supports many innovative features.

    Main Features

    • FICS
    • Elo 3000+
    • Play against Bobby Fischer & Magnus Carlsen
    • Integration with YouTube and Google
    • Multi-PV Analysis
    • Beauty of Chess (woman chess players)
    • PGN Reader
    • Online Store (to download Carlsen games etc)






  • 3 years ago · Quote · #9


    It is a good cheating app. In other apps, you will have to memorize the lines in your head. In SmallChess, you get a big board with the lines actually played.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #10


    You don't like my teddy bear? : - (

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #11


    Hiarcs is the best engine, IMO.

    For playing correspondence, the app is best.

    There are several choices for tactics training depending what you want. My review may help: 

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #12


    InoYamanaka wrote:
    Ziryab wrote:

    Hiarcs is the best engine, IMO.

    For playing correspondence, the app is best.

    There are several choices for tactics training depending what you want. My review may help: 

    I bet fritz can take it

    Last I checked, Fritz was not available as a good quality app for the iPhone.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #13


    It looks like shredder has a strong engine and many puzzles, so that could be a solution for 2 and 3. Thoughts?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #14


    I don't think neither Shredder nor Hiarcs can be considered as a strong engine in todays standard. Both are relatively weak and rarely used seriously nowadays.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #15


    1 . Shredder on iOS

    Shredder has a decent interface for the iOS. But you must pay for the iPhone and iPad version seperately, this is a kind of rip-off. The engine itself is decent but lag far behind a wide range of modern chess engines such as Critter, Stockfish, Rybka, Houdini and Komodo. It has everything an average user would want but no more. The puzzles are modest. You can find many and many other free chess app offering much bettter puzzles. Unfortuantely, Shredder on iOS is mostly designed for average users, it has no clock management, no pondering, no permanent brain. The PGN support is barely acceptable

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #16

    willbecomeaGM without a doubt

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #17


    Hiarcs on iOS is stronger engine than Shredder and clearly written for advanced users. The engine is nowhere close to Stockfish but still strong enough to beat a grandmaster. Unfortunately, it sells its iPad and iPhone version separetly, again, it is kind of a rip-off. The app doesn't have any puzzle, and it shouldn't because the app focus on the chess engine itself. You will see which move is good and which move is bad by the colors shown on the chess squares. Something that none of the other chess app do.

    Hiarcs uses the old Stockfish GUI as the interface. It works but it is old. You would feel like back when Apple just released the iPhone 3GS. It's graphical support is disappointing. Overall, the visual design of the app is poor. Again, Hiarcs is all about the internal engine.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #18


    Stockfish is the strongest chess engine on the iOS platform without any doubt. It is free. Unfortunatley, it hasn't been updated for over a year and unlikely be updated ever. The interface works but it's really back in the old days befor the retina display.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #19


    SmallChess is a new chess app. It's powered by a new chess engine designed specially for the app. The engine is very strong, about the level of Shredder but still lag far behind Stockfish. In fact, Stockfish and Komodo are the only two chess apps on the iOS platform that can be considered as "strong" in the 2013 standards. Everything else is irrelevent.

    SmallChess has by far the best visual design. It has tons of puzzles, not just chess positions but also about woman chess players. It is by far the most powerful chess app for the platform in terms of number of features it support. It has FICS, custom opening books, custom tablabase, online store, chess pgn preview, load a chess game from Safari, guess-game with Carlsen & Fischer, Twitter, Facebook, draw your favorite chess position.

    The analysis tool is outstanding. You can choose between a single PV and multi PV. The layout is totally amazing. It is the only chess app in the list here that has a modern visual design.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #20


    Komodo is a very strong chess app for the iOS. It's probably even stronger than Stockfish. Unfortuantely, the app itself is a total rubbish. For example, it doesn't show the analysis which is unbelievable because it is something that any strong chess app should offer. The time management is crap. The graphcis is crap. The aniamtion is crap. Everything about the app other than the engine itself is shit.

    The app is so bad that it is called "Chess Legend" rather than just "Komodo". If you look at the Komodo website, they sell their engine for PC and Android but iOS is not listed! Komodo on iOS is a shame.

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