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.
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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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.