Chess on tablets: Playing on Playchess

by Albert Silver
7/27/2014 – It is one o'clock in the morning and you just wanted a quickie before turning off the light? No problem. You can do it at a desk with a computer of course, but with a tablet you can do it in bed, just as if you were reading a book. Have a fifteen minute break during work? To scratch that chess itch while you sip some coffee or tea, just start the Playchess app. See how in this video.

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While chess is fun, blitz is addictive. There is no question about it. The allure of the game's infinite layers with the adrenaline rush and quick gratification were understood from the very earliest days of the chess clock, and anecdotes behind players such as Mikhail Tal abounded. In one story, while he was hospitalized, he escaped from his room to the nearest chess club where he was found playing blitz in his hospital pyjamas. This happened more than once. Had he been alive today, there would have been no need with tablets and smartphones offering round-the-clock opponents from all over the world.

Bobby Fischer enjoying a blitz game against Tigran Petrosian at the Moscow Central Chess Club

Being able to play blitz online is hardly new of course, but what tablets or smartphones bring is more than the convenience of portability, it is a slight change in the interaction and the way you play. One of the biggest problems with playing at a computer is the mouse. This may seem strange, since we have grown so used to them, but they create a degree of separation from you and the board. In a tablet, you remove that barrier and are back to directly moving the pieces yourself.


Video demonstrating how to play blitz or bullet games on Playchess on a tablet

For those curious, the tablet in the video is an LG G Pad 8.3 inches, which I find to be the perfect size for chess and reading.

You can download the Playchess app here.

Scan the QR code above with your phone or tablet's camera to go straight to the Android Market link.

In the next article, I will cover studying chess games on ChessBase for Android and demonstrate the experience.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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