Chess on the iPad

Ziryab
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A quick search of the App Store for the Apple iPad shows that more than two dozen applications are now available. Certainly many of these are or will become available for the Droid Xoom, Galaxy Tab, and similar devices. With so many choices, how does one select the best value?

I have installed close to a dozen chess programs since I purchased my iPad in late August. Three of these continue to draw my attention nearly every day, one is brand new to me today and remains untested, and one received its first use on Thursday. Shedder is exceptional, tChess Pro has features lacking in all the others, and Chess.com continues their leadership in internet chess. DinosaurChess looks promising for young players looking to get started in our game (I may blog a review in the not so distant future). That an app allows my iPad to become a chess clock might prove useful, especially if there were more coffee houses with tables large enough to support a chess set, the iPad, and a couple of cups of java.

Chess.com's iPad app facilitates playing correspondence style games on their site, or "online chess as it called there." It does not rotate as do most other apps, and the menu seems limited. However, it did not take long for me to discover that the Stats link provides access to all other site features. Moreover, and possibly to my detriment, the lack of flash support in iPad's programming no longer hinders playing live chess through the Chess.com app. I do not recommend one minute play as the screen is far less responsive than a mouse, but imagine the possibilities if you share my addictions. The Chess.com app offers ready access to play against their online computer, their tactics trainer (far superior to the popular Chess Tactics Server in my experience), and video lessons. As a commercial site, Chess.com has limited features for non-paying members, but the iPad app is free. The site offers enough possibilities for free to keep the interest of most aficionados, knowing that in time serious players will crave the benefits of paid membership.

Read the entire article at my Chess Skills blog.

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