Friday, 30 August 2013

iChess v3.5 released - New dimension to solving chess puzzles

I am absolutely thrilled to release a new version of iChess with lots of interesting features and changes. This is iChess' 21st release in 2 years!

NEW IN v3.5
  • iChess automatically tracks the puzzles you find difficult. Then you can go to the Bird view of that puzzle set and choose "SOLVE FAILED PUZZZLES" option to start solving them. This will start loading all the amber and red colored puzzles in sequential order so you can keep your bird view clean. Go green!
  • Now you can choose to rotate the board so that you can practice solving puzzles for the other side. By default, iChess always places the board so that the winning side is at the bottom. But solving puzzles with the winning side on top can give a new dimension to your Chess and improve your defensive ability as well as ability to spot tactics for your opponents! See Settings
  • Lots of UI improvements
    • Added Sound
    • New Open PGN screen to quickly load your pgn file without having to wait to auto-scan
    • Hint button changes color per the side to move so its easy for you to know which side wins in that puzzle
    • Dark Theme to cool your eyes if you don't like staring at a completely white screen
    • Cool blue color
    • Prices in the puzzle store are in local currency plus other minor changes.
  • Remove Ads right from within the Free version. Now you don't have to worry about losing your PGN files or score. See Settings to remove all Ads from the Free version and make it identical to the Paid.
  • Lots of bug fixes and battery improvements.
  • Support different languages. Some of the language translations may be incomplete. More coming soon.
Special thanks to Dejan, Dorian, Felipe, Fermin, Gergely, Michael, Raymond, Rudy and others who helped with the app.

iChess - Chess puzzles Tips & Tricks

  • Swipe to move back and forth through the puzzles
          Review previous puzzle - Swipe left to right
          Load next puzzle - Swipe right to left

  • Jump to a puzzle number
          Load Bird view and tap on any number to load that puzzle

iChess FAQs

How does the Scoring work?

For each puzzle solved = 10 points
Failed =  minus 5 points
Hint = minus 5 points

Total score = Total Solved - Total Failed - Total Hints taken

What do the Bird view colors mean?

Green = Solved
Red = Failed
Amber = Puzzles that you find difficult.

I do not want the app to automatically load the next puzzle. I want to review the current puzzle after I solve it. How do I do that?

Its in the Settings! Open iChess Settings > deselect "Solve and Load Next". Now iChess will stay on the same puzzle once you solve it so that you can analyze it further.

Why does the Hint button change color?

The Hint button changes color according to the side to move. This should make it is easier to recognize the side-to-move than reading the "White/Black to move" text on top of the board.

If I choose to "Remove Ads", do I have to pay again for other devices or if I re-install or reset?

No! Once Paid, your purchase remains with you forever, just like the Paid app! So even if you buy a new device or reset the existing device or uninstall-reinstall iChess Free again, you should no longer see Ads.
(IMPORTANT: You should be using the same primary email account on your device with which you made the purchase, else it wont work.)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Tactics in the Endgame ebook

I have now graduated from developing Chess apps to self-publishing Chess ebooks!

My first ebook, "Tactics in the Endgame" is now available on Amazon and it is currently FREE (for few days)!

Hope you like my latest offering, just the way you have loved my apps!

PS. This ebook is based on my "Endgame Tactics" puzzle from iChess app.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Indians at the Tromso Chess World Cup

The Chess World Cup is taking place in Tromso, Norway. The top 2 winners qualify for the Candidates, the winner of which will wrestle against the world champion.
There are 4 Indians participating at the Tromso World Cup (Sasikiran, Negi, Adhiban & Akash).

Update after R2:
Adbhiban is the lone Indian standing. He now faces world #9 Hikaru Nakamura in R3.
Sasikiran was ousted after he lost 1.5-0.5 to Sergey Karjakin in the rapid playoffs.

Edit: After the tiebreaks in Round 1:

  • Caruana (2796) 1.5 - 0.5 Akash (2332) => Akash eliminated
  • Alekseev (2714) 3 - 5 Adhiban (2567) => Adhiban wins
  • Kryvoruchko (2678) 4 - 2 Negi (2634) => Negi eliminated
  • Sasikiran (2660) 2.5 - 1.5 Lupulescu (2650) => Sasikiran wins

Caruana (2796) 1.5 - 0.5 Akash (2332) => Akash eliminated
Elo difference: 464 points!!

Game 1 - Akash 0-1 Caruana
Akash lost the first game with White although he was equal for nearly 25 moves. Caruana slowly squeezed Akash back to the wall and cramped his position.
Position after White's 40. Re2
How did Caruana (Black) end the game!?
Solution: (highlight the black box to see the solution) Rxh4!  (Hint: Simplification!)

Game 2 - Caruana 1/2 Akash
Needing a win in the final game of the mini match and playing Black against the World #3 is not easy. The pieces soon came off the board and Akash's extra doubled pawn gave no significant advantage and a draw was signed after 57 moves.

Alekseev (2714) 1 - 1 Adhiban (2567) => Tiebreak
Elo difference: 147 points!

Both games were uneventful draws. So Adhiban has done a good job of taking his higher rated opponent to the tie breaks.

Tie breaks consist of 2 games with a time control of '25 minutes for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move'. Tie breaks are on Tuesday, 17:30pm IST.

Kryvoruchko (2678) 1 - 1 Negi (2634) => Tie break
Two decisive games with Black pieces!

Game 1 - Kryvoruchko 0-1 Negi
Negi nicely maneuvered his pieces and exchanged them at the right time. The Rook, Knight and King soon set a nice mating net around the White King and the opponent resigned. Pretty instructive game!

Game 2 - Negi 0-1 Kryvoruchko
With White pieces, Negi only needed a draw to qualify for the next round. But Caissa had other plans!
Negi came out of the opening with a advantage. When things were almost equal, Negi made a mistake by moving his Bishop to e6 at move 42!
Position after White's 42. Be6?
How did Kryvoruchko (Black) force things here?
Solution: 42... d3!! {offering his Knight!} 43. Ra1 (43. Rxb4 Rd8 {
who can stop the pawn?} 44. Re4 Qxe4!! 45. Qxe4 d2 {wins}) 43... Nc2 44. Rd1
Qe2 45. Qg4 Rd8 {and Negi resigned 5 moves later} 0-1

Sasikiran (2660) 1 - 1 Lupulescu (2650) => Tie break

Game 1 - Lupulescu 1/2 Sasikiran
Draw in 19 moves! (I remember reading how Sasikiran has a fighting spirit and generally does not accept quick draws.). But this strategy probably makes sense in a match, where you are content to draw with Black, preserve your energy and fight for a win with White.

Game 2 - Sasikiran 1/2 Lupulescu
Sasikiran did get a tiny advantage in the Nimzo Indian but Black was never into any serious trouble.

Tie breaks consist of 2 games with a time control of '25 minutes for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move'. Tie breaks are on Tuesday, 17:30pm IST.