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There are lots of great chess apps out there.  We can’t claim to have tried them all, but here are five that we like and use.  We like apps that don’t require much reading (if it is for younger kids), that do not allow chatting with unknown people, do not have excessive in-app purchases (to be an ongoing annoyance for younger kids and their parents), ads are discrete or non-existent (please use your judgment about the appropriateness of apps with ads for your child), are easy to navigate and with clear/simple instructions.

1. Dinosaur Chess: With this app, kids can learn and play chess.  There are no in-app purchases or communication with others.  Has great audio for non-readers.   Primarily for beginners and younger players.  We link to the iOS version, but it is available in a variety of formats.

2. Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess: This app has lessons, skill builder games/drills, puzzles and chess playing. Has a lot of audio, but a younger child may need help reading instructions for the skill builders and puzzles, especially the first time.

3. Solitare Chess: Great little chess based puzzle app.  Progressive difficulty.  Younger players may need help initially, but once they understand the rules, they will enjoy playing without help.

4. Chess (Optime): Simple chess playing app.  Free with ads, low fee for ad free.  One player or two.

5. iGame Clock (free): A simple chess clock.  Works like a real chess clock, but free so that your child can practice using a clock without purchasing a chess clock.  It cannot be used in a tournament, but it’s a great way to see what using a chess clock is like.  It also makes a great travel clock.

What are your favorite chess apps for kids?  Has anyone used Chess with Friends, Chess Academy for Kids or Chess Kids? These three looked interesting; however, we were unable to do sufficient to make sure that it fit our criteria.  Specifically, we look at whether apps are too new or have too few reviews to be sure they aren’t buggy, have inappropriate ads, are too expensive, and if it is possible to chat with strangers.  Please let us know your experiences with these or other chess apps.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. We had a mention by Damen Fletcher from Train of Thought for a new app by Magnus Carlsen called “Play Magnus” via Facebook. Anyone tried it?

    March 27, 2014

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