Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chess Score Pad for iPad/iPhone

I was going to buy Monroi Personal Chess Manager for my son last week but came into the following iPad app for Chess notation recording.

Chess Score Pad -

I purchased and I must say I liked it very much.

This iPad/iPhone app is submitted for USCF certification but not FIDE because  FIDE has a rule that won't allow any electronic device that is multi-purpose and is not dedicated to chess move recording only. So if you are playing FIDE tournaments, Monroi is your only option as an electronic device (of course there is always the old classical pen and paper).

If cheating is a concern, here is how they tried to reduce the chance of it -

Designed for tournaments

  • Games cannot started unless Airplane Mode is turned on.
  • Once you begin to enter moves you must enter the results of the game before you exit, or the game will be marked "Abandoned" and locked from further editing.
  • Once the results have been entered, you cannot edit the moves or the results using Chess Score Pad. You can edit and annotate the game after you email the PGN to your PGN database.
  • There are no options to check for illegal moves or positions.
  • Should be used in tournaments with iOS 6 "Guided Access" as described in "Device Settings For Tournament Play"
However, if you want to cheat you don't need a device, it can be done in so many other manual ways as long as you are allowed to go to restroom or stroll outside / walk during your game. The concern is not invalid but I believe the advantage is lot higher than this small concern.

What are the advantages? Let me tell my ones and you can add or update those -
  1. All my games are available within a finger tip. The classical score sheet diary approach serves well but once oyu play several years and you have several diaries, it's ime consuming to find / search the exact games for a quick recollection. To get rid of it, I have been posting all my games again in my online chess blog so that I don't have to search diaries. Also think of loosing a diary while even if you loose the iPad, you can always have all your games backed up somewhere in an online drive. I must say Monroi will give you the same advatnage here.
  2. Using as less of staffs for all chess purposes  as possible. If I buy Monroi, I still have to buy a chess engine (Fritz in PC) or use a free one (Stockfish in ipad). So at times I have to carry 2 devices while if I can do everything in my iPad, I just carry one device. So I get rid of carrying a diary or a Monroi in addition to my iPad.
  3. Emailing my games. How convenient it is! My friends tell me, please post your today's game in your chess blog so that I can check tonight how did you play. And almost all the times, I dont get time to post on time. In those cases, I just email my game to that friend who is interested, instantly from Chess Scorepad iPad app. Does Monroi allow me to send the PGN to an arbitrary email address? I guess it can, but I would look forward to some of you for confirmation.
  4. Cheap price. While the casual version (less restriction as you are not playing in tournament condition) is $7 while the tournament edition is $12. It's a one time purchase and hence is cheaper than chess diary approach (which is let's say $12 per diary). It's definitely lot cheaper than $369 of Monroi.
  5. Interface. How wonderful the interface is compared to the black and what type look and feel of Monroi! My son, who is 6 years old, has not been writing down the moves in chess diary just because he gets too excited once the game starts and forgets writing down moves after first few moves. It would take him soime time to get used to using Monroi (may be first few games in tournament condition, not a big deal). But he was instantly able to record a game that I played with him at home in "tournament condition".
I can ssure you after using it myself, it's just a matter of time that people will start using it more and we will see it happening in many USCF tournaments. If not this app. some other app will make it to get USCF approval. Just like many of us read the real paper book instead of Kindle ebook, eventually Kindle ebook sell surpassed Amazon's paper book sell. Same will be here. On popular demand, tablet app will get established in the chess score taking notation although will not be a majority for a very long time to come. The convenience is too much to ignore!