The enormous popularity of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix has led to an increased level of interest in the noble game of chess.
With thousands of budding Beth Harmons looking to learn the rules of this ancient board game, we thought we’d highlight a few of the more useful chess apps out there on the App Store to help sharpen your game. These four each offer a completely different approach to learning the game and honing your skills, so there’s something for everyone!
Learn Chess with Dr. Wolf [Free]
Learn Chess with Dr. Wolf is a chess teaching app that takes a reassuringly personal approach to improving your game. As you play through a series of rounds of chess, the affable Dr. Wolf will offer suggestions and point out your mistakes.
The app will also provide 25 lessons that go into greater depth on key strategies like castling and defending hanging pieces. Throw in some inviting comic book presentation, and you have the perfect tool for introducing beginners and intermediate players to the fundamentals of chess.
Really Bad Chess [Free]
The name might not inspire a great deal of confidence, and it’s certainly true that Really Bad Chess plays fast and loose with the Chess rulebook. But developer Zach Gage’s innovative approach, which mixes up the chessboard to a near sacrilegious degree, forces you to tackle the game from a new angle.
You’ll need a rudimentary knowledge of how all the chess pieces move and interrelate, but the app offers a handy link to bring you up to speed on the rules. Other than that, Really Bad Chess is a great way to hone your strategy – despite what the name suggests.
iChess – Chess puzzles [Free]
For intermediate players looking to learn from the best, iChess breaks the game of chess down into handy bite-sized exercises. Rather than put you through a series of time-consuming full games, it instead provides 1000 offline ‘chess puzzles’.
These are essentially mid-game scenarios taken from real FIDE tournament games, which you must then solve for yourself. The app also lets you study famous games, as well as practice your openings.
Shredder Chess [$4/£4]
This one’s for the experienced or advanced chess players out there. Developed by Eiko Bleicher, the man behind the Universal Chess Interface protocol, Shredder Chess is a serious app with 12 computer chess world champion titles to its name.
Shredder can effectively mimic the playing style of a human chess player at any level of the game, including making realistic mistakes. It also includes a bunch of chess puzzles, and analyzes your own game for weaknesses.