By Ben Rooney
Platforms: Android, iOS
Developer: Media Division SRL
This is one of the few apps specifically designed for the Galaxy Tab to make use of its 7â€³ screen. And it does it well. You could not play this on a normal mobile phone screen.
Firstly for complete chess newbies, it does a great job of showing the moves; tap a piece and the eligible squares it can be moved to light up in green. The game gives you a three-quarter view from white’s point of view. It would be nice to be able to change the perspective, and rotate the board.
One nice cheaty function is the undo move. So when the computer bags your rook because you didn’t spot the queen on the other side of the board, you can just cheat, undo the move and then put in some killer blocking tactic. I have to confess that I used that a lot.
Be aware that the game uses Adobe’s Air, so as well as downloading the game itself, you will have to download that as well. Both are free, and once you have Air on your Tab it is, of course, available for other programs.
There are two levels of difficulty in this free version: Cody (easy) and Claire (a little harder). As a chess klutz, I am not able to say how good a chess player the machine is, but as a keen amateur I found I could beat Cody if I thought hard about it (and was not bashful about using â€˜undo’), but alas Claire was more than a match for me.
The blurb says the chess engine â€œobserves all chess rules, including the elusive en-passant, offers a Board Editor with FEN string supportâ€ so if you are chess buff, then I am sure that is a bonus. But for the keen amateur who is looking to improve his or her game, or for those looking to use their spare time in a more challenging way than Angry Birds, well this deserves its place on your Tab.