Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games played by millions of people of all age groups worldwide. Chess helps to raise your IQ, increases your creativity, memory power, problem-solving and reading skills, teaches planning and foresight and much more. The study shows that playing chess is a good exercise for both sides of the brain and also improves your concentration power.
A few decades back, when people wanted to play chess they needed to find a human opponent or play against a computer. But at present time, lots of smartphones chess apps are available. Now people can play chess anywhere anytime on their smartphone. Being myself a chess player and lover, in this article, I am going to share some of the best android chess app available at Google Play store.
If you want to practise chess online then lichess is the best choice. It is open source and free for all chess app that claims user base of 150,000 players. Being myself a chess player, I really like this app. It’s easy to find opponents based on criteria you set, play against a computer, play correspondence chess, watch online games of professional players, participate in tournament and much more. It also has a training section that provides chess puzzles to practice on a regular basis. There’s also a built-in chess clock with lots of features. Other special features includes ability to set a position and play against a computer, analyze chess positions and built-in chess opening books. The app also keep records of your rating progress of Bullet, Blitz, Classical, Correspondence and Training games. It also stores the games played by you for future reference.
Download: Lichess [Price: Free]
2. Chess Free – Play Magnus
If you want to play with current Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen, then you should definitely try this. You can set the age of Carlsen from age 5 up to his current age ( as age increases difficulty also increases) to play against him. Currently, Play Magnus only supports single player gameplay but in future multiplayer feature may be added. This chess app also includes chess training by Magnus Carlsen himself. Only a few training videos are free to view, the rest you have to purchases. It also offers a chance for you to qualify to Play Magnus Live at a secret location annually. The chess engine is developed by the same developer who developed the popular Stockfish chess engine.
Download : Chess Free – Play Magnus [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
3. Chess – Play and Learn
This is the official chess app of chess.com. Millions of people play chess on regular basis on this website. The app allows you to easily play games with other players, practice tactics, solve puzzles, watch online games, participate in a tournament, and read interesting chess articles for free. It also provides video lectures of GrandMaster and useful lessons to help you improve your chess skills. While free services have limited access to these resources, you can subscribe to premium services such as Diamond, Platinum, and Gold. Overall this app is good for anyone who wants to play chess and make friends online.
Download: Chess – Play and Learn [Price Free with in-app purchases]
4. Chess Tactics Pro
Chess Tactics Pro offers tons of chess puzzles with different difficulty levels to make you a better chess player. The puzzles has 3 difficulty levels: Easy, Medium and Hard. It also offers puzzles on daily basis, offline puzzles to practice and also allows you to track your ELO and progress in different difficulty levels.
Download: Chess Tactics Pro [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
5. Chess – Analyze this
Chess – Analyze this is a chess app developed by passionate chess lover Asim Pereira who has also developed many other chess applications. This app helps to analyze your games and points out your blunders, goods and bad moves, strength and weakness through which you can improve your games and skills. Here’s a official demo video of Chess – Analyze this:
Some of the best features of this applications are as follows:
- Easily load and analyze any games from pgn file
- Full Engine analysis of the current game with verbose English commentary
- Annotate games with symbols and comments
- Supports Engines like Komodo 8, Komodo 9 which use the “Open Engine format”
- Manage and install new UCI engines. (Pro only)
- One click analysis from iChess, Follow Chess & Chess Book Study apps
- Share PGN/FEN with other Chess apps like Droidfish or send via Email/Twitter
- New innovative feature to move back and forth by simply tilting your device
The paid version costs about $4.99 and has extra features such as No Ads, ability to install new UCI engines, auto replay games, and set analysis time greater than 5s. While free version works absolutely perfect, you might want to switch over to a paid version to enjoy the above-mentioned features.
Download: Chess – Analyze this [Price: Free/ Paid: $4.99]
You can read in detail about this application at http://www.mychessapps.com/2013/05/analyze-this-tips-and-tricks.html
6. Chess Book Study
This is another great chess app by Asim Pereira. The app allows you to load in any chess book in pdf or epub format and play through the material with a split screen chess board. This app is only useful if you are voracious chess ebook reader and has a smartphone or tablet of larger screen size. It is quite tedious to read ebooks and move actual physical chess pieces. But this app makes is very easy to read an ebook and practice chess side by side at any time anywhere.
Here’s an official demo video of Chess Book Study:
There isn’t much difference between paid and free versions. The free version has ads, does not give othe ption to save games and has minor UI limitation which is removed by paid version.
Download: Chess Book Study [Price: Free / Paid: $5.99]
DroidFish is an Android port of the very strong Stockfish chess engine, combined with a feature-rich GUI. There is a tons of features such as adjustable playing strength, two-players mode, one-touch moves, color themes, FEN/ EPD import, analyze mode, opening books and much more. The DroidFish engine i.e Stockfish is considered one of most powerful chess engines. This chess app is for players who really want to improve their playing skills and take their skills to a new level.
Download: DroidFish [Price: Free]
8. Chess Free
As the name implies, this is a totally free chess game with no in-app purchase. The only difference between a paid and free version is that a paid version does not have ads. It is the most downloaded (over 50 million+) and rated (1 million+) chess game in GooglePlay store. Some features of Chess Free are:
- 12 play levels (Novice->Expert) This uses intelligent weakening for lower levels. Good for beginners.
- Chess Tutor. This powerful option shows a recommended piece to move, excellent for developing chess strategy and avoiding simple mistakes.
- Analyse move. Perform deeper analysis on your move.
- “Show CPU Thinking” option for level 3+. Allows the user to see what the AI is considering.
- Achievements, Leaderboards and Cloud save for stats! Uses your Google+ account
- Provides ELO Rating based on your results against CPU in Pro Mode.
- Review game mode. Step through your game!
- Load/Save game files & PGN Export
- 8 Chess Boards and 7 Chess Piece Sets
- Uses Treebeard Chess engine (as used in Microsoft’s MSN Chess)
Download: Chess Free [Price: Free / Paid: $0.99]
9. Chess Online
This is another popular multiplayer chess app. It is a chess app for everyone, including amateurs, pro players or children. ChessFriends.com is a big international chess multiplayer community with over more than 1,600,000 registered players. You can either register or even play as a guest with other players, play various games such as Blitz, Classic and Bullets, track your rating performance, and even add your real FIDE account with real FIDE ratings.
Some other features include:
- Unrated games – Play chess live for fun, train your chess openings, improve your chess results
- Strong computer for offline play, 20 strength levels
- Access your account from various platforms, including web browsers and mobile devices (Mobile web, Android, IOS, Windows mobile)
- Multiple languages supported
- Rankings and detailed statistics with charts
Download: Chess Online [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
10. Real Chess
This app brings classic chess game into a new dimension. With advanced 3D graphics, you can feel all the beauty of interacting with a virtual chess set. You can play against the chess engine or another player. Some of the features of this chess app are:
- Online gameplay. More than 1 million registered users worldwide.
- Chat with opponents while playing online
- AI with 2400 levels of difficulty
- Hints for beginners – highlighting of possible moves
- Different themes of chess set;
- 3D and 2D board variants
Playing in 3D can be fun but I personally prefer 2D. Real chess is a good chess app for any beginner to start with.
Download: Real Chess [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
It is not possible to list all the chess apps available in Google Playstore since there are tons of android chess app.
1. ChessBase Online [Price: $8.99]
ChessBase is a popular chess database android app. With this paid app, you get access to over 5 million chess games of professional players, load and save your own pgn files, improve your opening skills by checking variations with a board, dynamic books with user defined search filters and so on.
2. Follow Chess [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
This is another great app by Asim Pereira that lets you keep updated with the latest games happening around the world. You can watch multiple live games in a single screen and with the new watchlist feature, you can also watch multiple live games from different tournaments in a single screen.
3. Chess King Series [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Chess King is among the prominent chess app developer company. It has developed more than 10 apps for different levels of player ranging from beginner to expert. Some its most downloaded apps are: Chess Strategy, Total Chess Endgames, Chess: From Beginner to Club, Chess Opening Blunders and much more.
4. Shredder [Price: $6.57]
This is one of popular paid chess app available in playstore. You can play against Shredder or analyse positions or solve puzzles. The best part of Shredder is its powerful playing strength. Its playing strength can be adjusted from ELO 850 to ELO 2600 and has 1000 built in puzzles. You can import or export pgn format games and even analyze your games. The only drawback is that the developer has stopped updating the apps from 2 years.
5. iChess [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
iChess is another popular chess puzzles app. It includes over 1000 puzzles for absolute beginners to expert players. There are three difficulty levels to make things easier and the game is built with Stockfish which is one of the better chess engines.
6. Perfect Chess Trainer [Price: Free / Paid: $5.48 ]
Perfect Chess Trainer is a chess training app. The app feature includes blunder analysis, guess the move, endgame training, opening training, train tactics, view pgn files and so on. The demo version has limited over certain features and provides only limited resources. With purchase of paid version you can unlock lots of features which includes more than 6000 puzzles, 4000+ world champion games, more opening and end games training tools etc.
As I mentioned earlier there are tons of android chess app in Google Playstore. Being myself a chess player, I listed out some best chess app in my opinion. Among the above mentioned apps, my personal favourite are lichess, Analyze This and Chess Tactics Pro. Your choice may be different.
Did I miss any one of your favorite or popular chess app? If so, please comment below to let me know. Also, share which one do you prefer for practising chess in the comment section below.
That’s a good selection you’ve posted.
chess24, chess pgn master, chess genius, acid ape chess, and chessify are worth mentioning.
Thank you for your suggestions John. I will soon write another article on this topic with some more useful and powerful chess apps.