Chess Club iPhone app by Visionary Bits is an online chess game that allows you to play chess from your iPhone against anyone around the world. The company states that they have more than 13,000 members. I enjoy a good game of chess but I don’t often play on computers, online or my iPhone. I’m fortunate enough to have friends nearby that I play regularly so I can usually get a game or two in.
I played quite a few games on the free version of the Chess Club app and found it to be fairly enjoyable and even challenging at times. It comes with a number features allowing you to personalize your chess game including a customizable chessboard layout, real-time clock and resign or draw features.
The paid version, at a cost of $3.99, includes all of the standard features installed on the free version plus additional features such as creating a game room to play specifically with friends, and allowing games to be saved and accessed later through the Replay feature. It also contains a collection of games from past Grand Masters.
I found the chessboard to be slightly small for my comfort. On a few occasions while attempting to move my pieces along the back row I accidentally tapped the key requesting a draw or attempting to resign. Another issue I had with Chess Club was not being able to ascertain the ability (or ranking) of the player I was playing.
During one game I had an annoying glitch. My opponent was close to being timed out; suddenly he mysteriously acquired additional time. This occurred several times during Chess Club. I used the chat feature, which I hate, and asked how he was accomplishing it. He said they didn’t know.
Finally, the chat feature is probably my most hated feature on the Chess Club app. I see the necessity for it to some extent but several people I played felt the need to attempt to carry on a conversation throughout the game. Besides just being annoying it requires you to bring up your keyboard to text during which you are unable to see and study the chessboard.
Those few issues aside, I can understand how Chess Club can be a lot of fun for the avid online chess player. I found many of the games enjoyable and don’t mind using this app on occasion. But personally I prefer playing my chess sitting directly across from my opponent with limited chatting.