Online Chess – Play Opponents Online

Available In: App Store       Price: $1.99  

Online Chess I’ve always liked chess. I have a recollection of getting my butt whooped by Chessmaster 3000 on the computer. I’d play from time to time with a friend from school, and I really liked the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer”. Thus, I was eager to give Online Chess a chance to get me going again with chess and with my first chess app on the iPhone.

With Online Chess, there is no computer opponent. It’s strictly you versus someone on the other side of the information superhighway. Online Chess connects to the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), which boasts over 300,000 registered users and over 1,000 players online at any moment. The fastest way to start playing chess is to setup a quick pickup game. From here, you can determine the amount of time on the clock and how many seconds are added to your time on each move. You also get to determine starting color and whether you want to play a rated or unrated game. Once another player has accepted your challenge, you’re immediately sent to the game board. Other game options include issuing and accepting specific challenges from other available players online.

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I was very impressed with how easy it was to find another player and begin playing chess. It was even easier to start losing games given how long it’s been since I’ve played. Signing up to FICS is optional, but I found it necessary in order to get rated. Plus, it’s cool to keep a running tally of how well you’re doing, plus the rating system allows you to choose other players that might make your matches more competitive. It’s no fun playing against the best when you’re just starting out. Once you’re playing your game, the app is very smooth and although there are sounds available, you can switch them off in settings, as they tend to get annoying after a while. Unlike my experience with Touch Hockey, which took forever to find an opponent, Online Chess takes literally seconds to match you up. It helps that there are so many players, and my guess is that most of them are not playing on an iPhone. Still, the game is designed so that everything runs well on the iPhone. There is a zooming option that is highly touted by the developer, but I ended up turning this off as it suited me fine to just “touch and drag” my piece when making a move.

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Still Searching for Bobby Fischer
My comments on shortcomings might have more to do with my lack of chess skills. So far, I have found the competition to be a bit difficult for me. I’m getting better, but I may need to hit the books before going further. As mentioned above, the ratings help, and I have begun searching for players more on the sub-1000 scale as I dust off the cobwebs. I will say that I have had a few games where my opponent ran out of time (see screenshot), and for some reason, I did not get credit for the victory. There is messaging allowed during the game, and I have been a recipient of some taunting, but the only responses I have on the iPhone were limited to things like “Yes”, “No”, or “I’m on an iPhone”. Not exactly the stuff of intimidation. Lastly, I could also use some explanation on the ratings. The messages move a bit too fast to determine what changes were made after each game.

Check Mate!
Overall, I am very impressed with Online Chess. Within seconds, I can play a game of chess versus a live opponent, and the gameplay on the iPhone is easy and fluid. The app is simple and not over-burdened with options or game settings. There are some minor flaws, and the developer noted that he is working hard to make this the #1 chess client on the iPhone. He is also seems committed to frequent updates, so there is great potential for this game. I am convinced that should the developer invest in a little marketing, it may be just a matter of time before this app gets some featured attention. For $1.99, you get a solid iPhone game with access to an unlimited number of opponents through FICS.

Below are three promo codes…cheers to the first three people who redeem them. Promo codes can be redeemed in iTunes in your computer or using iTunes on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Let us know in the comments if you redeem them that way everyone knows they are gone. Thanks, Brooke!

Promo Code 1 – NXHRRYT4H7XT
Promo Code 2 – 9RFH3A66FF34
Promo Code 3 – T9FHKE4FKW6H


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  1. Dustin Riley says

    This aint fair i was the first one to try the promo code but i live in Canada! No love for ur friendly neighbors up north eh. :(

  2. Thanks i love Chess and online it’s even better. Nice app by the way and thanks for the Promo Code.

  3. Thanks second code used!

  4. thx David an brooke for free copy great web site
    Promo Code 3 – T9FHKE4FKW6H

  5. Dustin Riley says


  6. I’ve been back into Chess for the last few months…since I got the iPhone. I found [Chess with Friends] to be the best and FREE so far. It allows you to play with your friends (on the iPhone only so far) as well as play others online. They have a running total moves for ALL players at over 6,000,000 moves in the last 4-5 months. The best thing is that you have 7 days to make your move. You can see if your opponent is online, in your game right now with a little pair of eyes in the upper right corner as well. You can get a good game going if both players are playing at the same time. Your turns only take a few seconds to show on the server and your opponent can see that you have played within a few seconds.

    Anyway, just thought anyone interested in Chess would be interested in trying this other one out.

    You don’t get to choose your online opponents just yet, but they are working on adding that. So if you happen to get me…[Yablonsky], then have fun.

    This is the MOST used app on my iPhone.

  7. hi

  8. pastorekbandika says



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