Shop Auto Winter Products Salon Beauty Best Kids Books of the Year Black Friday Deals Week nav_sap_hiltonhonors_launch For a limited time. 3 months for $0.99. Amazon Music Unlimited. New subscribers only. Terms and conditions apply. Electronics Gift Guide Starting at $39.99 Try it first with samples Handmade Gift Shop Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon Early Black Friday deals: save 40% or more on Amazon Video Early Black Friday deals: save 40% or more on Amazon Video Early Black Friday deals: save 40% or more on Amazon Video  Three new members of the Echo family Save $50 on All-New Fire HD 10. Limited-time offer. $30 off Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop Now HTL17_gno

  • Chess
  • Customer reviews



on February 11, 2011
I just bought the program today, and played a few games. I'm a fairly good player, but I usually just play non-serious games. It seems to take about 1 second/move on level 7, and about 3 seconds/move on level 10 on my Kindle 2 USA model. It didn't make any howlingly bad moves, so if you're a beginner you should use the lower levels. There is also a mode to play another person instead of the program, and it has a 'how to play chess' and instructions.

Here are some things to consider:

Good things:
1) If you leave a game in the middle and put your Kindle to sleep, it remembers and gives you the option to resume the game the next time you open it, which is a nice feature.
2) It doesn't seem to suck up very much battery on my K2, which I was worried about.
3) It has a good display at the bottom which shows the pieces taken by each side and the moves in standard notation.
4) You can 'take back' moves which is good if you're a beginner. (OK, I cheat sometimes too when I'm fooling around trying different tactics.)

Poor things:
1) It doesn't seem to have book openings, as other reviewers have said, which is slightly annoying.
2) It likes to exchange pieces, even when losing (which is not a good tactic, and typical of some chess programs).
3) When you advance your pawn to the 8th rank, it automatically gives you a Queen instead of giving you an option as per the rules of chess (there are certain times when you don't want a Queen, such as when it results in an instant Stalemate).

Still, in spite of some of these, I liked it. It has a nice, clean interface, runs quickly, and doesn't seem to make any big obvious blunders.

So, if you like to play chess, I think it's priced just right and worth getting for playing a game when you're bored and don't feel like reading.
239 helpful votes
240 helpful votes
|
22 comments|Report abuse
on February 19, 2013
This review is for version 1.3 of this chess program.

I bought this game with some trepidation after reading the reviews. However, many of the problems cited in the reviews have been fixed:

The program does use an opening book. Against 1. e4, I've seen it play e5 (traditional), e6 (french), d6 (pirc), d5 (center counter), c5 (sicilian), and c6 (caro-kann). I got plenty of different games. When playing white, I've seen it open with e4, d4, and c4.

Pawns may promote to any piece, not just queens. I made it under-promote to a knight. Worked fine.

The human player can offer a draw. The program also called a draw on its own initiative after a 3-fold repetition (it was a legal draw, of course.)

Weak spots: sometimes the program can't keep up with my input (moving the 5-way button). Also, I get tired of skipping the "entire your name" dialog -- the name of a Kindle user does not change much! Just inherit it from the previous game and offer a way to change it for people who want to.

Overall, I'm happy with it. The opening book has enough variety for me. The highest level feels like about 1800 USCF which is good for me.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on January 7, 2013
This is good chess game.

I always wanted to play chess with computer, but it is mess to turn on the computer, then click the game and then play. I have wooden chess unit, but arrangement and packing/unpacking is time consuming. Now, I have the game on Kindle and which I play anytime with easy.

I did not know that Kindle can play such a complex game. Kindle sure has a powerful processor.
The game sometimes suggests moves to make. But not always. I dont know why it fails to suggest moves.

The good part is it allows to take back moves and start from wherever you want.
The move list is very useful part. I have to check if it allows to download the move list. It will be useful for learning.

1. One star for name
2. one star for price
3. One star for GUI and ease of use
4. One star for providing 10 levels of artificial intelligence
5. One star for features like: take back move, move list, save game, timers, pass-and-play with humans, etc.

I want additional feature:
1. Two humans will play first and then for some reason one human is not available. Instead of game being saved, I would like the Kindle mode for other human. I will be happy if the game ends.
2. Suggest which move was potentially not a good move or a turning point.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on July 2, 2011
As other reviewers have mentioned, this program is very basic, and is especially weak on openings. Up to level 7, it will play the same opening every time, which has allowed me to figure out how to mate in less than 20 moves playing either black or white, every time. When Kindle plays White at level 6 it will make a horrible blunder which will allow you to mate in just 9 moves! (Try it for yourself: 1.d4 c5 (The Kindle is a real sucker for gambits!) 2.dxc5 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bg5 Qa5+ 5.Nc3 Bxc5 6.e4 Qb6 7.Bb5(?) Bf2+ 8.Kd2 f6 9.Bh4(???) Qe3#) Beyond level 7 it is more sophisticated, although it will still make blunders at level 8. It seems to be especially weak on positional analysis, so a well-thought out material sacrifice in favor of position will always pull the wool over the Kindle's eyes. Whoever wrote the program ignored Anderssen's famous admonition: "two active pieces are worth a dozen sleeping at home". Another disadvantage for those serious students is that this program will not allow you to save your games or set up positions. That said, levels 8-10 are good for a strong intermediate player and the previous levels could be a good challenge for beginners.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on January 22, 2014
This is not a substitute for an instructional, analyzing engine. It doesn't have fancy graphics options, and the pieces seem a bit small for the size of the board squares, but this is not a wimpy engine. Lack of a challenge will not be your problem. Best fight I've ever had for 3 bucks. In fact, I would say that for 1000 - 1100 level players, level #1 may be to hard. Many of the more negative reviews are from older versions or older Kindles. I think they've got it mostly right with this version. Love how it works by touchscreen on my 2nd Gen Paperwhite. It doesn't have endless options, but it has all you need for a good game. At 3 bucks it's worth every penny.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on June 2, 2013
This is a simple program to use. But it is very basic. For a beginning chess player it is ideal. And of course the price is wonderful...for a few bucks you have a nice little program. I play chess on the internet at a fairly high level. So I do not use this program as a learning tool. It takes too long and it's strength is limited. I use it to document and store the six or so games I always have going. That way i do not have to carry a chess board around with me or use one of those postal chess booklets where you keep track of the games.
If you have an ipad, I would suggest you buy the I Chess Pro. It stores all the games and plays fast and at high level, and has an easy "take-back" feature so you can do game analysis.
So I use this program as a way to look at games on the run and think about the positions. And, if stuck with an hour to kill somewhere, I can get a game in with it. It won't make a terrible blunder, but is not a re-incarnation of Bobby Fisher either.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on August 14, 2012
I have played with chess federation ranked players and sometimes won. With this game I started (and still am) on level one. It was beating me all the time at first. After about 20 games it is about half and half. I am letting it be white now, and have won a few that way. Soon I will move to level 2. I don't get the bad reviews. The chess game offered here must be a new revision. (For example someone said it doesn't promote a pawn to anything but a queen when it reaches the other side. Not true. It makes you choose a queen, bishop, knight, or rook before you can go on.) I didn't buy it at first because of these reviews. Then I thought, "Why not for the price?". I am so glad I did. This program is so cool. It seems more like a person than some people. It mixes up the openings. I haven't gotten to where I want to do timed games, but it is an option. You can also pass your kindle back and forth with a friend if you want to use it as a board. Castling and all of the moves are easy with the arrow keys or touch instead of notation. I does give you notation for it's last move in case you missed it. I glanced at the simple instructions and was up and running withing minutes.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on October 22, 2012
I've always wanted to learn to play chess, but never had the time. Well, now I do have the time and this program is working just fine for me. It's very easy to use. Just select the piece you want to move, and select the square you want to move it to. If you mess up and try to make an "Illegal" move, it will let you know.

You can play against the Kindle, or another human. You can play white or black, take back moves, review the game, and if you get in a tough spot you can have it suggest a move.

There are ten levels of play, (so far level one is enough for me) and you can play a timed game, or a game with no time limits.

It has a section called "How to Play Chess" that tells you the moves each piece can make and other basic rules of the game.

So far I haven't been able to beat it, (hence the title of this review) but I'm having longer games, and making it think more about it's moves. Obviously I'm not a good enough player to give a detailed review about any drawbacks the program may have, but for a beginner like me, and for the price, I think it's terrific.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on March 15, 2011
The program is not bad especially at $0.99, but it has a major flaw. When you queen a pawn, it does not give you the option to select anything but the queen. A queened pawn (pawn that reaches the 8th rank) should give the play the choice of what piece (other then the king) to replace the pawn. I'm sure, however, the programmer can easily fix this problem with a game revision.

It also lacks of an adequate opening database. An adequate opening database would allow the program to play different styles and openings. Chess programs like Fritz and Shredder have opening databases as well as the ability to add to the database. Such addon databases could be sold separately by the programmer. This maybe something else the programmer might want to look into to improve this program.

Another suggestion would be the ability to save the game text for later review and download to your computer via the USB.

However, the fact that the Kindle can even play chess is amazing.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
|
11 comment|Report abuse
on March 15, 2011
I just tried this product without a lot of expectations, also due to the very low promotional price.
I was really surprised both by the good graphic quality and - especially - by how well the program can play considering the comparatively low-power and low-memory processing platform on which it runs.
Also if I only play chess within my family and with friends, I feel I have a reasonable skill and understanding of the game; in fact, I was able to win - sometimes - up to level 5 / 6, but also at this somewhat lower level (higher is 10) the program play consistently, without big errors and always exploiting any weak move on your side. Also at maximum level, the program takes only a few seconds to complete a move, and this suggests that the average battery consumption is not too high.
You can clearly find many weak points if you compare with PC chess program (e.g. you can only look back to a limited number of past moves) but the only one I found annoying was the apparent lack of any "random" choice of the program at the beginning of the game (i.e. no opening library seems to be present). However, I wouldn't be surprised if a new version of the program is going to be released soon, because some missing functions seem really easy to be implemented; I would buy it also if somewhat more expensive.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
Please enter a question.
See all 2 answered questions

Customers also viewed these items

Checkers
$0.99
Play Hangman
$0.99

Need customer service? Click here