Let’s face it: Chess is pretty geeky. Then again, so is the iPad (c’mon, it is). Blend the two though, and you’ve got…well, let’s just say that playing chess on an iPad at your local coffee hangout is a Wookie’s fingernail-width less geeky than insert-hyperbolic-geek-stereotype-here.
Who cares though; with its portability, large screen and potential to reach all 600 million chess players around the world, the iPad is the ultimate gadget for playing electronic chess, and the free Social Chess app is the way to play.
As its name probably suggests, Social Chess addresses the social aspect of chess (yes, there is one) better than any other chess app for the iPad — the most important facet of this socialness being the integration of the sophisticated Elo rating system that ranks players based on the value of their wins and losses; for instance, wins against a lower-ranked player would count less than a win against, say, IBM’s Deep Blue. That’s probably the biggest draw, but there’re a lot of other little nuggets that make the app worth checking out. No iPad? No problem — Social Chess works just as well on the iPhone.