A Review of Learn Chess for iPhone

We all want to develop new skills, but lets be honest we don’t all have the time to sit down and read a book. We do however seem to have time at the most annoying of moments, when you are sitting in traffic forever, waiting for you kids to get out of school, or waiting in a doctor’s office, you know how interminably long that time can be. Wouldn’t it be great if you could double use the time you want to be learning a new skill with the time you spend waiting? Well thanks to some clever and educationally minded developers in the App Store you can. If you ambition du jour happens to be to learn chess, this is exactly the e-book for you.

Application Design

Learn Chess markets itself as an e-book. This is only partially true. The manuscript is one hundred and eighteen screens long, which is sizable when you consider the size of the screen. The thing is that this book is mostly photos. When it comes to many e-books this would actually be a loss, leaving the reader feeling short-changed. In this case however, the images are an integral part of how you learn to play the game. After all, figuring out how to play chess without a chess board is like learning the violin with a bow. It just won’t work.


It is worth mentioning that the images are very clearly rendered. With standard markings for the pieces on a chess board. You are going to have to know what the markings are for pieces such as a knight or a queen in order to know what is going on, other that that the images are perfectly clear. Instead of a traditional black and white the images are in blue and white, which is pleasing to the eye. The text on the bottom of the screen is easy to read. It doesn’t bleed down into the next line which is a nice feature when you consider that now everybody is going to pinch the screen opened and make the screen larger. In order to scroll through text and images you use arrow buttons similar to the ones that you would find on a CD or MP3 player. These allow you to go backwards or forwards just be aware, that is you want to skip though massive sections you should probably go to the index, otherwise you are going to have to go through all 38 of those pages manually.


This game has no audio components to speak of.


This application is free in the App Store, which means you won’t have to spend any of the money we all rightfully know should be going towards your music.


All in all, if you want to learn what this application is trying to teach it is definitely worth giving it a shot. It’s basic construction, sections on strategy and imagery help you to understand what is going on. This application is a good thing for anybody trying to use chess. If you want, you can even pair it with one of the applications that allows you to play chess on your phone and turn the theory into practice.

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