06 March 2012

Chess Pro V for iPad: Review

Chess Pro V has large pieces and pink and yellow squares that may appeal to the aesthetic sensibilities of some chess enthusiasts. If not, other colors and sets are available. Unlike most computer applications, it spends a long time thinking for each move, even on the lower levels. This element, while irritating for those seeking a quick game at lunch, may render Chess Pro V a good choice for impulsive players who fall into the habit of making ill-considered moves when the opponent--carbon or silicon based--moves instantly.

I tested the iPad version, but the app is available for Android and Symbian devices. A earlier version is available for iPhone and Windows Mobile.

This app has six basic levels: beginner, novice, amateur, intermediate, difficult, and expert. An additional six levels are set by the number of seconds per move, from one to thirty. These levels might suit the player looking for a quick game between other daily tasks. Another ten levels range from one minute to 180 minutes per game. Chess Pro V tracks the user's statistics at each level, although it lacks the option to save games.

Arrows beneath the playing board permit full review of a game in progress, or of a game just finished. From any position, it is possible to resume playing. This review feature renders the app far more useful than Ohm Chess HD (reviewed yesterday) for the player who aspires to improve. It also facilitates post-game recording.

Stripes, James - Chess Pro V, Amateur [A50]
iPad, 06.03.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b5 3.e3 bxc4 4.Bxc4 d5 5.Bd3 Be6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.0–0 Bg4 8.Nbd2 e6 9.e4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Bxe4 Rb8 12.Bc6 Bd6 13.h3 Bf5 14.Qa4 Bd3 15.Re1 Rb6 16.d5 Bf5 17.Nd4 Rb4 18.Bxd7+ Qxd7 19.Qxd7+ Kxd7 20.dxe6+ Bxe6 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.a3 Rb7 23.Re2 Rhb8 24.b4 Rg8 25.Be3 Re8 26.Bd4 e5 27.Rae1 Bxb4 28.axb4 Kc6 29.Bc5 Reb8 30.Rxe5 Rxb4 31.Bxb4 Rxb4 32.Re7 Kb7 33.Rxg7 h6 34.Ra1 Rb6 35.h4 Rc6 36.g4 Rc4 37.Kg2 Rd4 38.Kg3 Rd3+ 39.f3 Rd6 40.h5 Rb6

Time for White to Simplify
41.Rxa7+ Kxa7 42.Rxc7+ Kb8 43.Rg7 Rc6 44.Rg6 Kb7 45.Rxc6 Kxc6 46.g5 hxg5 47.h6 g4 48.Kxg4 Kd6 49.h7 Kd7 50.h8Q Ke6 51.Qd4 Ke7 52.Kf5 Kf8 53.Qd7 Kg8 54.Kg6 Kf8 55.Qd8# 1–0

Advertisements are distracting, but a $1.99 upgrade offers to remove these.

Chess Pro V is no different than other free chess apps in lacking features that I consider essential: ability to save games, resignation and draw offer functions. Rotation appears limited to portrait mode. The menu did not make it immediately evident how I could change chess sets. The options button in the upper left corner brought up menus that allowed me to choose my preferred notation style, but I had to press an arrow in the lower right to access the menu that would cause notation to appear. Playing with the images at the bottom of the screen brought forth the six chess sets, and multiple color choices. It enabled showing the game clock and the notation. The notation lacks move numbers, an irritating omission.

All in all, Chess Pro V is an app worth considering for players looking for a sparring partner on the iPad. It is available in many other mobile device formats as well. For $1.99, it may represent a good bargain.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)