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Mobile Chess

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Just as the FIDE WCh in Tripoli hits the finals I'm off to Toulouse, France for my sister's wedding. You know how hard it can be to get an internet connection in these third-world countries, so updating may be sporadic at best. I'm armed with a wireless card and a global dialing account, so I'm hoping to be able to send at least small "vacation" versions of White Belt and Black Belt while on the road.

Apart from the usual ChessBase suspects on my laptop, I have my trusty old (and I mean old) Palm Pilot with me. It has Chess Tiger on it. It's a fine program (and they gave me a review copy) but since it's not very strong on my slow Palm Vx I've never bothered to try out other Palm platform chess programs. And since I wouldn't use a Pocket PC for much I haven't tried Pocket Fritz 2 or the other sophisticated and pretty programs for the mobile Windows OS. I keep hoping that ChessBase will realize the marketing value of giving me a nice Pocket PC so I can promote Pocket Fritz, mention how handy it is on the subway and while traveling, etc., but so far they haven't fallen for it.

Since chess programs max out the CPU they can drain batteries like Dracula. What is your favorite mobile chess program? Comments are especially welcome from those who have tried more than one. Not looking for full reviews, of which there are plenty on the web, just some testimonials. How much use do you get out of it? Good user experience overall?


France a "third-world country"? Skripchenko should have pulled your ears right off :) !

I have Pocket Fritz 2. It has a "low power" option for the engine which is pretty nice. (It's also nice because that is the only way I can beat it!)

... I should also add that I use it (PF2)*constantly*! In fact, I never go anywhere without it. One under-promoted feature is the tactics training. It uses a simple PGN file for this, so you can easily replace it with a different one of your choice. I now have a customized tactics.pgn with over 5000 positions (taken from various web sources)!

Americans are aware of the fact, that there is a country called "France" in the world? I'm totally in shock.
Wasn't it replaced on your maps, isn't it called something like "Freedonia" now? (Oh no, that was from a Marx Brothers movie ...)

france... oh yeah... i seem to remember bailing out your @$$es how many times now? of course we americans know where france is... it's where all our soldiers are buried.

I have a Sony Clie (Palm OS) running ChessTiger at (I think) 32 Mhz. I've got about 4M set aside for hashtables.

I rarely use CT for sparring, but instead us CT in two-player mode to go through games from books, and to digitize my tournament games into PGN. The nifty thing about using my Palm instead of a real board and set is that I can work through analysis and take back moves instantly without having to physically reset the pieces. With one tap the base position is reset.

Chess Tiger does not allow adding comments into the PGN files while inputing a game. To add comments I have another program called PocketChess Delux, which works OK. PocketChess also has a mini database feature where you can upload mulitple games or positions per PGN file. Unfortunately, PCD is not very flexible. The PGN tactics feature of PF2 seems more flexible than my PCD Palm application.

I can read chess books about twice as fast as I used to, now with my Palm by my side to move pieces around. What a time sink reading chess books was before I had my Palm. Now, going through multiple branches of analysis is a breeze.

Howard Goldowsky
Boston, MA

I have PF2 running on a Dell PDA (the 300MHz version). I use it a lot (daily travel to and from work 4 hrs!): the tactics training mentioned above, master games provided with the software, and the pgn files that come with White and Black Belt. With the latter, I have to go through the pgn file with a text editor, and save each game into its own pgn file, because PF2 (or the PDA?) can't handle the big pgn file; some of the games are corrupt. Concerning battery life, I have never tested it, but without analysis I would guess you can go 4 or 5 hours without recharging, and a couple of hours when running in analysis mode.

All in all, I am really very happy with it.

MiG : " FRance a third-world country".
the only thing which comes to mind is that
Michael Greengard has a third-class brain or education, whichever you pick.

And after all these black&whitebelts, what are his chess ratings improvements ??( i am talking USCF or FIDE, not 1-minute games )
Nowhere to be seen.

at least the lack of substance affects his writing as well as his chess play.

Hi Francis, have you ever heard of something called irony? Usually Americans are said to lack it, but Mig is definitely an exception. You, however, seem to miss any understanding of it.

Dear MIG,

Hope you enjoy your stay in Toulouse, my former domicile and one of the most beautiful cities in France "la ville rose".


As WB subscriber, I really would appreciate to have the possibility to make download of the WB in PalmOS format.

Would be very simple: a compact folder, with games without commentaries and an archive for game.

For example, in the WB # 11, all "Ninja Tactics" positions had functioned after I copy and paste game by game of pgn archive for the Palm Desktop (in "Memo Pad"), but the "Analyze This" game didn't function because the archive was too big with notes. To read it in the PalmOS I need to clean it.

As Chess Tiger doesn't read commentaries, the archives could include only the game.

I don't have PF2 or Pocket PC, but I think that is equal to the Chess Tiger for PalmOS.


I use Chess Genius on my Treo 600. The new ARM-optimized version seems better than Chess Tiger. Pocket Chess Deluxe is also a godsend for reviewing annotated pgn files, but it still requires a conduit to convert pgn files to Palm databse files. I've sent in requests to the developers of CT and CG to add native pgn support, but they said it's not on the to-do list. So I guess PCD is the best option for reviewing books on the Palm to date, and CG is the best for "competitive" chess.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 6, 2004 8:36 AM.

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