CHESS ON THE MOVE

Part 2    The Applications

01/11/2013

 

Now I'll take a look at some of the applications that the Nexus 7 has to offer, but before I do so, there are a couple of additional points I would like to make concerning the tablet.  Firstly, before you do anything, up-date the system.  This is easily done via the Settings option.  Secondly, load a decent anti-virus programme.  Tablets are even more susceptible to malpractices than other forms of computers so anti-virus is a must.  I use AVG which has always served me well on my desk-top and lap-top.

As I have said earlier, there are some 500 chess apps available on the Nexus.  These are easily found in the store with "chess" inserted in the search box.  Obviously, 500 apps are rather too many to review individually so I will deal with them in various categories.

1. Apps for beginners.

2. Apps for playing only

3. Apps for playing on the internet.

4 Apps for study purposes.

5. Apps for openings

6. Apps for the middlegame and strategy

7. Apps for endgames.

Naturally there will be a fair amount of cross pollination in dealing with these categories eg one app will deal with more than one category.

But, before we launch into a detailed description of these apps, I want to draw your attention to one very recently produced that deals with a very topical subject -  the forthcoming match for the World Championship between the holder, Vishy Anand and his challenger, the wunderkind from Norway, Magnus Carlsen.  As this match starts on 7th November, it is timely that I draw your attention to the app now.

This has been prepared by Asim Pereira who is notable for designing a number of chess apps.  In this particular app, which is free and can be obtained by typing "chess world championship 2013" into the search box of the Store App, there are a number of interesting features. 

To fill in the time before the match starts, all the games played between the two antagonists to date are available.  All 25 such encounters, fully annotated, can be seen by using the window opposite.  Of these games Anand has won 12, Carlsen 8 with 5 draws, so we can expect some pretty lively chess if this pattern is

maintained in the match. These games are well worthy of close study.

When the games start they can be followed move by move with information sent directly to the Nexus tablet.  To analyse any particular position, another free app needs to be at hand.  This is called "Analysis This" and will use both  the Critter and Stockfish chess engines to supply authoritative comments. We will find as we work through the various apps provided by Google, that some applications are harnessed to another in order to expand the information.

 So that you do not miss the start of a game, you are sent a prompt when the first move is made.  Similarly, you are advised when a game is finished and you will know the result before playing the game.

As you view the games, there is a choice of boards that allow you to support your favoured player.

 

 

The blue board indicates that you are a supporter of "cool" Anand and the red board shows that you are favouring "hot" Carlsen,

 

 

 

Another feature of this app is a section on the tactics that each player has employed  against other players.  There are 30 positions available and these are presented in a puzzle format.  This is something else that will keep you entertained before the match starts.

This World Championship is probably the most interesting since the title was wrested from the Soviets in 1972 by Bobby Fischer  Vishy Anand has held the title for quite some time mainly due to his very expert preparation and vast experience in match play and strategy.  During his period on the throne, his tournament results have been rather nondescript, but his match play has been without parallel.  He is now over forty years old and is pitted against a 22 year antagonist who has yet to play a match of this calibre.  However, Magnus Carlsen has dominated tournament play during the last eighteen months and has thereby reached an ELO grading higher than any other player has ever achieved. So, we have a match of experience versus youth the outcome of which is difficult to foresee.   

This app is one that ! can thoroughly recommend to both beginners and more experienced players, particularly to those viewers who want to follow "Chess on the Move".  It will entertain on those dreary train journeys and inform during those few moments that you snatch during work to keep abreast of topical events.

Bil Frost

November 2013

The first article in this series can be seen here