Monday, September 23, 2013

Best Chess Apps on Android

Amazing app!  If you want to analyze a position you are reading from a book or magazine, this app snaps a picture of the position and then loads it into your chess analysis app.  ChessOcr on Google Play.

ChessTempo Mobile
The best tactics site (in my opinion) got better with the introduction of the mobile version.  It's not really an app per se, rather just a web site that aligns better on a mobile device.  Check it out at

In addition to the original post, I wanted to keep adding as I find other apps I really enjoy.

Chess.Com App
The number one Android chess app I use is Chess.Com's app.  The app is stable; graphically nice and fairly easy to use.  The biggest thing I like about the app (and Chess.Com in general) is that is has pretty much everything I want: live play, correspondence chess, problems, videos, articles and all that.  The features I use the most are the live play and the correspondence.  I love the CC because I get an immediate notification when my opponent moves.  I pull my notification bar down, tap on the notification and then the board comes up and shows me the move my opponent made.  I can then open the analysis board and start playing with the position.  When I'm ready, I make my move.  The last thing I have to say about this is: goodbye RedHotPawn/Chess@Work (as soon as I finish my current games at that site).

The live version is stable as well.  When I'm at work and need to take a break, I go to the break room, pull up the app and play a few 5 3 games.  The interface is nice, clean, easy to use.  At night, after the kids are in bed, I get my tablet out and play 30 5 games.  Again, the biggest thing I'm happy about maybe isn't so much the app as it is the community - I can always find a game on; whereas I may not always find a game on FICS.  With this app, I think my FICS days may be over.

Chess Visualization Trainer
The other app I use almost on a daily basis is Chess Visualization Trainer.  I mainly use this to memorize the colors of the squares.  I has other functions, but I usually only use one-square color.  The other options are two squares diagonal, two squares knights move, rooks and queens mate, bishops and knights mate, mate in one and mate in two.

Analyze This
The last of the three chess apps I'm using these days is Analyze This - Chess (Free).  I needed a plain 'ol board to play the Pandolfini solitaire chess games in the Chess Life magazine each month.  It does the job and the interface is clean - nuff said.

A few months ago, I upgraded from an HTC Incredible to a new (restocked) Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  The Nexus has a much bigger screen than my Incredible.  As such, playing chess on the Incredible was a bit more difficult than playing on the Nexus.

So now that I had a bit bigger screen, I started really looking for a good chess app to play - especially one that would allow me to connect to FICS.

With that said, here's a list of the chess apps I have either used before or I have now and regularly use.

Chess Free - by AI Factory Limited
Chess Free is the first app that pops up on a search at Google play.  This was the app I had on my Incredible.  It is a good computer app - good graphics; lets you export games to a .pgn file.  I imagine most people marginally interested in chess would download this app; and rightfully so.

Chess for Android by Aart Bik
Chess for Android is average.  If you just want a chess computer app, just go for Chess Free above.  Chess for Android is fairly popular, but once I found Chess Free, I stopped using Chess for Android.  I did not install this on my Nexus.

Mobialia Chess
Mobialia Chess allows you to log on to FICS.  I remember having issues logging onto FICS when I installed this on my Incredible.  I just installed this app on my Nexus and tried logging into FICS again ... same issue - it just sits there trying to authenticate me - not impressed.

Chess Lite by Odesys
Chess Lite is another FICS-connectable app.  If I recall, it seems to work, but the graphics weren't all that great.

Yafi Internet Chess
Yafi is also a good client.  I use this chess app the most - especially when I have time to kill and want to play a quick 5 0 game.  It appears the developer is continuing to work on this app and I think this app has the best potential of all the FICS-related apps.

Tactic Trainer by Core Games
I love to do tactics.  I normally get my tactics fix on ChessTempo.  I can do tactics on CT from my Nexus, but since there is no app for CT, I have to use the browser interface ... I then have to zoom in and I usually can't get the zoom quite right, causes fat-fingering moves/mistakes ... anyway, I did find an app dedicated exclusively to chess tactics.  Tactic Trainer has 20,000 problems!  By comparison, CT has just over 54,000 problems - obviously not as many, but at 20K, that's still quite a lot.  It will track your rating progress and the interface is really good.  I wish Richard at CT would hook up with the developer of this app and collaborate on a ChessTempo app.

I just ordered a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) this week with a small bonus I received at work.  The Tab 2 should arrive on Thursday.  I'm sure I'll find lots of different and neat uses for the Tab 2, but the biggest reason I wanted it was so that I could play chess anywhere - only on a bigger screen than my Nexus.  I'm looking forward to doing a lot more tactics at CT on the Tab 2.  I'll also be able to use all the above apps and play chess on a bigger mobile display.  I'm sure I'll start playing more 5 0 games at ChessCube than on Yafi.

If you're an Android / Google user, what are your favorite chess-related apps?


  1. Hey Rocky!

    I have and Android phone and an Ipad. And the bigger screen of a tablet (regardless of platform) does make chess more fun!!

    For Android chess I have to say I have found a some of the paid apps to be better.

    Shredder Chess is great on the Android. It has: Time Controls, Good Computer Levels to play against. And comes with about a 1,000 puzzles to solve.

    Another great FREE App is Droidfish. Very nice chess app!!

    The best mobile chess app ever is unfortunately only available for Iphone or Ipad. Is called Chess and is by a guy named Christophe Theron. It has great training functions, is really fun to play against and it supports "variations" so you can actually play through a games collection a lot easier and because the screen is bigger it kind of feels like a real board.

    If that ever comes out on the Android platform I highly recommend it.

    The Chessbase app is pretty nice on Android as well. Constantly updated access to their online database, searchable by opening and player etc. etc. And then you can just email yourself the game if you want to really analyze it.

    If I was going to limit myself to two chess apps on the Android it would be the above mentioned Shredder Chess and Droidfish. I believe that they are hands down the two best chess apps on Android. (and I have tried most all of them!)

    But if I was going to only get

  2. Tommyg: Why do you recommend both Shredder Chess and Droidfish? Do you really need one if you have the other?


  3. Because they are both good. Shredderchess has a bit better play on lower levels and looks nicer in my opinion. Droidfish is a spectacular free option.

    Shredderchess also comes with 1000 tactical puzzles.

    So I just recommended both so that anyone who might read it could pick the option that was best for them.

  4. Got it, thanks for the advice. One more question. Are the puzzles in Shredder chess presented as positions, or is there some sort of puzzle mode to the program?

    And thanks to Rocky for the info about Tactics Trainer.

    I'm new to the Android platform, so I appreciate the help building up my software library.

  5. The puzzles in ShredderChess are separate positions in a separate part of the app. You don't play them against the engine.

  6. Thanks for the info. I have purchased Shredder chess.

  7. For Android I use daily IdeaTactics free with about 20,000 tactics problems.

  8. Thanks Rocky for mentioning Analyze This app

    I have some other Chess apps on Android and thought will highlight them here:

    iChess - Chess tactics, all from real games arranged in 3 levels of difficult. Additional puzzles available based on your choice of openings or even recent 2013 games. Can even load your own tactics/puzzle file in pgn format.

    Chess Book Study - One of its kind. Open a chess eBook in PDF format and make moves on the accompanying board, all in a single screen. Good old chess study!

    You can find all my Chess apps at this link:


  9. Anonymous6:49 AM

    Hi !

    Nice, here's another app :

    1. Thanks John Smith! I've seen Shredder Chess before and it looks really neat. But being as I'm a cheapskate, I wasn't willing to shell out $7.99 to try it. Also, after reading the reviews, it sounds like it still has some bugs to be worked out.

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  11. Hey, very informative and great post, may help to the students who are searching for a Training solutions New, by your post they con filer out best Training for them.
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  12. I recently started playing **Chess Social** and it's the best chess game for me on Android! Has full replay and comment features. Works on phone and tablet. You can also play with friends. Give it a try! Link:

  13. Hi. I made an android chess logicial game. When you wanna try, you can dowload it from google play.
    Web: - direct link to game.
    Have fun.

  14. Try Chess Run

    It's a chess-based platform game - not a pure chess game but a platform game featuring the standard chess pieces which are used to cross a burning board filled with enemy pieces.

  15. Good article. this is my suggestion