Amazing functionality and value

12/9/2013 – The whole history of chess in an app: five million chess games, updated once a week with new games from world class tournaments. The app comes with full statistics, an email service and even a chess engine. "The beauty of this application is that it works much the same as ChessBase itself, but in a manner that is totally portable," writes Chris Wainscott in his Chess Cafe review.

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ChessBase iOS app: amazing functionality and value

Review by Chris Wainscott

After last month's review of the disappointing ChessBase Tactics app, I was apprehensive about reviewing another ChessBase app. However, in this case ChessBase stuck with their strengths and produced an amazing and useful application that comes in very handy.

When you first open the app you see their title screen:

You are then directed to the home page:

Click the "online" button and you will be taken to a list of recent games:

I am not certain how often the online database updates, but it is frequent. In the month or so that I have been testing this app it has updated three times, and as I write this on November 28th it already contains games from the recently completed European Team Championships.

The beauty of this application is that it works much the same as ChessBase itself, but in a manner that is totally portable. One of the ways in which I put it to use was for opening preparation in upcoming club games. The clubs I attend play one slow rated game each week, so typically you know your pairing several days in advance and can do a little bit of preparation.

If you click the graphic of the chess board that appears in the lower left corner of the app (see above in the list of games) you see the following:

At this point if you press the magnifying glass search icon you are shown a list of games with that starting position:

Click on the game that you want and you can begin to examine it:

Once you are done examining the game you can press the Games button in the upper left of the screen and you will be taken back to the previous screen, which lists the games starting in the position you selected.

One drawback of this feature is that it does not save the search parameters between uses. In other words, if you perform a search for a specific line and then set it aside, when you go back later you will have to start over from scratch. It would be nice to see ChessBase update this in a future version for those of us who do their research in increments when time allows rather than all at once.

You can also search for games between players, just like in ChessBase itself. To do so simply click the search button in the lower left hand of the screen:

Then you will be taken to this screen:

If you are looking for a game between two specific players, simply click the advanced button:

Enter the information to look up the game you want. One way in which this came in handy was when I was reading an opening book and I was able to search for the games that were listed in the notes without having to be at my computer.

Another nice feature with this app is that it comes with an analysis engine. To access the engine you tilt the phone so that the screen shows in landscape. You will then see the start button for the engine:

Click the Go button and the engine will start analyzing:

Of course, you can also click the Stop button when you are done using the engine.

The app also provides the ability to email games. I have a few friends whom I regularly get together with to study and it is convenient to be able to send a quick email of a game or two that we will be looking at later.

To email a game, first bring up the game:

Then click the icon all the way to the right at the bottom of the screen:

If you then select the email option, you can email the game:

Of course, you can also select the other options that will allow you to do things such as publish games to Facebook or bring up information about the players.

I will leave you with one last feature that I found enjoyable. The menu has a hyperlink that will take you to ChessBase News on their website. Just click the link on the lower left hand corner of the screen:

Having spent the past month using this app on a daily basis, I almost forget what it was like before I had this tool at my disposal. I highly recommend this product. My assessment of this app: five out of six stars (Great)

Source: Chess Cafe

You can download the app in the iTunes store (price: $4.99)

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