MaterialChess for Android is a fantastic chess app

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 6, 2016
Google Android

MaterialChess is a free application for Google Android devices that lets you play and train chess in a variety of ways.

One of the most refreshing features of the application is that it is completely free of charge. It does not cost a dime, does not request privacy invasive permissions, does not contain advertisement or in-app purchases.

While that is a great start for an app, it is not the only thing that makes this chess application shine.


MaterialChess throws you right into a game against the default computer AI. What looks like an ordinary chess game at first, is not one as hints are enabled by default.

What this means is that you get one or multiple suggested moves that you can follow but don't have to. This is excellent for beginners who want to learn the game. Experienced players can turn off the hint system completely, or simply ignore it instead.

You use touch actions to make moves, and get a history of all moves below the chess board. Several moves are listed in a row to save space and display as many moves as possible in the history area.

You can start a new game, and select from several game modes prior to that. The game's analysis mode is but one of several that it makes available. You may play against another human locally or against the computer, or replay a game.

Other options in this regard include changing the opening book file, or switching to a different chess engine.

The settings provide you with a wealth of features. It is suggested to open them on first start to modify them based on your needs.

You may change many appearance settings there, enable left handed mode, enable quick move, or enable blindfold mode to play chess without seeing any of the pieces on the board.

Closing Words

MaterialChess might not teach you the basics of chess, but it will help you get your feet wet for the first time with its move suggestion system. This is excellent for beginners as it highlights several moves that work well in most situations. It is still up to you to decide if you follow any of the suggestions, or make a different move instead and see how it goes.

Since you can replay games, you could load a game again to try a different strategy the next time.

The app is free, highly responsive, and fantastic for what it offers. If you like chess, give it a try.

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  1. jern said on December 6, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Magnus Carlsen is depressing. I’ve given up.

    Komodo is World Computer Chess Champion
    7/5/2016 – Its stiffest competition came from the German program Jonny, running on a giant 2400-core machine. With only 48 cores the US program Komodo finished the computer tournament in Leiden, Netherlands, equal first with Jonny, then went on to win a hard-fought tiebreak, making it the 22nd World Computer Chess Champion.

    Like so many girls have told me, size doesn’t matter…

  2. Evan said on December 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    The only review for the application on the Google Play Store suggests that it may be a copy of Droid Fish, which is another chess app that includes many of the same features.

    Do you have any experience with droid fish and how it compares with this?

  3. Anonymous said on December 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I’m more into backgammon, but all the backgammon games are shit-tier, at least as of today.

    I remember the good old Froyo era when there were actual good backgammon games with multiplayer and everything.

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