HIARCS Chess for iPad Touch
On this page you will find five sections offering help on how to use the
HIARCS Chess product on the iPad:
You can access many of the HIARCS features via the menus and
view displays. These are explained below.
This menu allows you perform the following operations on the
A new game can be started with you playing the white or black pieces,
analysing with HIARCS or simply in two player mode without analysis.
Save the current game to a PGN database of games. PGN stands for Portable
Game Notation. A new PGN database can be created if required or select an
existing database you have saved games to before. Multiple games can be saved
inside a PGN database. You can copy PGN databases to your desktop computer via
iTunes file sharing when your device is connected.
Load a game from a PGN database. Select the database to load from,
then you will be presented with the list of
games in the database so you can select one to load. PGN databases can be
transferred from your desktop computer to your device via iTunes when your
device is connected.
E-mail game or PGN
You can email the current game or even an entire PGN
database as an email attachment.
You can edit the current position or set up your own position. This is useful
for entering positions and problems from books and magazines. Once the edit is
confirmed as done HIARCS sets the play mode to two player - no analysis. You
can then set the appropriate play mode as you require.
If you think your position is hopeless you can resign the
game giving victory to your opponent.
These features allow you to navigate through a game and obtain
coach and book advice from the computer.
This option takes back the last move played in the current position (if one
exists). You can also use the short cut of swiping your finger across the move
list from right to left to take back a move. Alternatively you can use the move
This option steps forward playing the next move played in the current
position (if one exists). You can also use the short cut of swiping your finger
across the move list from left to right to step forward a move. Alternatively
you can use the move slider.
Take back all
This option takes back all the moves to the beginning of the game.
Alternatively you can use the move slider or VCR-like start of game button.
Step forward all
This option steps forward all the moves to the end of the game played so far.
Alternatively you can use the move slider or VCR-like end of game button.
Coach move advice
This option allows you to view the move advice of the
coach for the current position. The coach will then present a list of move
options it thinks are worth considering. If you wish you are able to select
a move from the coach move advice list to play.
Book move stats
This option allows you to view the book moves available in
the current position together with the book statistics. The book statistics
are derived from more than a million of the highest quality games played by
the strongest human and computer players in history. For each move you can
see the number of games in which the move was played, the performance% of
the move and the average Elo rating of the players who played that move.
Finally the probability% is given which is the final assessment on the
importance and quality of the move. 0% represents moves which HIARCS will
The HIARCS menu gives you access to the chess features
available from the chess engine:
This allows you to select the playing mode for the game. You can select to
play white, black or have HIARCS analyse continuously while you enter moves.
Analysis is on full strength so is intensive and may drain the battery faster than normal
Alternatively, you can simply enter moves in two player mode without analysis with
just checking for legal moves. Finally you can ask HIARCS to replay the game
from the current position onwards to the end of the game with a configurable
delay between each move.
Chess Clock Settings
This allows you to enter a "Game in" time control for the chess clocks
in which you should play all your moves, the clocks count down; once your
time reaches zero you effectively lose on time so try to play your moves
fast enough to avoid this. Alternatively you can select an average time per
move which HIARCS will observe, the clocks count up. It is also possible to
select a time control together with an increment in time at each move.
play within the time control and you should try to do likewise as it is good practice.
The engine room screen is where you can set the sophisticated
features of the HIARCS chess engine.
This screen allows you to set up various of the view options available.
If HIARCS is thinking this option will make it move
immediately. Alternatively, if it is your turn to move, this option makes
HIARCS swap sides and start thinking about a move. If the play mode is in
two player analysis or watch mode, this will be changed into play mode with
HIARCS taking on the current side to play.
This option can also be accessed through the computer
chip icon on the main screen (bottom right).
Info & Updates
Allows you to read useful information about HIARCS, menus,
screen, icons and ratings help information for the application. You can also
find out about book updates and a
discount coupon offer for other HIARCS products. Finally if you need to
contact HIARCS support you can send an email while still inside HIARCS.
The engine room screen is where you can set the
sophisticated features of the Hiarcs chess engine. You can set the following
Maximum strength: When ON HIARCS will play at
its strongest. This will be at least Grandmaster strength and probably
even stronger depending on the speed of the device. You can see the maximum
expected strength displayed in this cell.
Set Elo strength: You can set the strength at
which HIARCS will play from 1000 Elo (beginner) to the maximum
strength on your device. This gives you a great variety of playing
strengths. When both Maximum Strength and Adapt Strength options
are both OFF the Set Elo Strength is used. It is important to note that
the Set Elo strength level is low energy and conserves your battery life
because HIARCS does not need so much of the CPU to reach most desired
Adapt strength: When ON, HIARCS will adapt its
chess strength to your chess playing strength. To do this HIARCS continually
keeps track of your chess ability by keeping a chess rating for you.
HIARCS updates this after each game and as more games are played the
accuracy increases. In theory this could be the only chess setting you
need as HIARCS will adapt to how you are playing to always give you an
interesting, challenging but beatable opponent. It is important to note
that the Adapt strength level is low energy and conserves your battery
life because HIARCS does not need so much of the CPU to reach most chess
Your rating: This displays your Elo rating performance so
far based on your games. It also displays the number of games rated,
your wins, draws and losses. The resulting Elo rating is updated after each game played properly (e.g. not swapping
sides). This information is also used in the Adapt Strength option to
pick an opponent of your strength. You can clear the rating using the
Clear button but only do this if you really want to clear all the rating
information and game scores so far.
Coach warning: When ON HIARCS will look for
any serious mistakes you might make and warn you; giving you the
opportunity to takeback the move or ignore the advice. HIARCS will
briefly play its move response so you get a glimpse of the threat
response HIARCS is intending. The HIARCS Coach will also alert you when
you missed a much better move and offer you the chance to take back your
move to find the often surprising best move.
Permanent brain: When ON HIARCS will think
about its response even when it is your turn to move. This increases the
playing strength at the cost of extra battery usage especially if HIARCS
is using maximum strength.
Playing Style: This allows you to choose
between Solid, Active and Aggressive styles of play.
Book variety: The variety of moves chosen from
the large opening book can be set:
Off - No book consulted
Wild - A very wide selection of moves even those that are
Surprise - Selects surprising but interesting moves
Dynamic - Selects between the most playable dynamic moves
Tournament - Selects only the best playable moves available
Please note you can obtain large and more up to date
opening books from www.hiarcs.com
and even obtain the full HIARCS tournament book, as used by the world's
strongest chess players, on a subscription basis.
This screen allows you to set up various of the view
Show legal moves: This
option when ON shows the legal moves available for any piece you select.
The legal destination squares are highlighted in blue.
Show move advice: This
option when ON shows the quality of the moves available for any piece you select.
The destination squares are highlighted in colours to indicate
move quality with red for poor moves, amber for weak moves, yellow for
ok moves and green for good moves.
Coach assessment: This
option when ON asks the coach to give a numeric assessment on the
current position in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. A
positive value favours white, a negative value favours black. Values are
given in pawns where +1.0 equals a 1 pawn advantage to white. This
feature is useful to understand how well you are doing in a game
especially when you have turned off analysis output from HIARCS. This is
also very useful in replay game mode to spot almost immediately where a
mistake is made in many games as the game replays!
Display analysis: This
option when ON shows the thinking analysis of HIARCS at the bottom of
the screen. Of course seeing your opponent's thinking gives you a big
advantage in game play but it is also very useful in analysis play mode
where you can play moves and get analysis from HIARCS about the moves
List book moves: This
option when ON shows the book moves available in the current position
and when there are no more moves available it shows the name of the
opening played together with the ECO reference (Encyclopaedia of Chess
Piece set: This option
allows you to select from the 8 piece sets available:
Elite, Modern, Merida, Alpha, USCF, Staunton, Classic and Fun
Color scheme: Allows you
to select from a number of colour schemes for the chess board including
textured squares. You can choose between Brown, Blue, Green, Red and
Gray solid colours and Wood, Walnut, Cloud and Marble textures.
Figurine notation: This
option when On shows the pieces in the analysis and book output as small
figurine chess pieces instead of letters.
Your name: Enter you name
here to have it displayed on screen and in game saves.
The HIARCS screen is made up of the following areas:
- White & Black player information lines
This information indicates the
status, player name, their Elo rating and the clock time. The information is
switched when the board is rotated/flipped. The status can be set to:
|Your Move - it is your turn to make a move|
|To Play - it is HIARCS' turn to move but HIARCS has not been asked
to start thinking, this can only occur if you navigated to a point in
the game where HIARCS is to play, e.g. did a single move take back after
HIARCS had played its move.|
|Thinking - HIARCS is thinking about its move|
|Analysing - HIARCS is analysing for that side to play|
The player names and Elo rating will reflect the players in the game. When you are playing HIARCS, you will see You and HIARCS and the Elo rating
will indicate your current rating and that HIARCS is set to. If you loaded a
game between other players those player names and Elo ratings will be
displayed to correctly reflect situation at the time the game was played.
The clocks will reflect the current time settings, for time controls the
clocks will count down. When the clock reach zero that player has
effectively lost on time, and goes red. However, HIARCS will allow you to
play on. For average time per move settings the clock will count up.Chess board and pieces
You can modify the appearance of the chess board and select multiple piece
via the HIARCS:View Options menu
This is an optional line which enables you to see the best book moves
available in the current position and once "out of book" it will display the
name of the opening played and ECO code. Book moves are displayed using
Algebraic notation and can be followed by the symbols: ! to indicate a
strong move, ? to indicate a poor move or no symbol to indicate a normal
playable move. You can see statistics for book moves in the Book move stats
Move list or Move highlight colour legend
The move list displays in algebraic notation the moves played in the game up
to the current position. You will see new moves added as moves are played
and moves are removed if you take back moves. You can also navigate through
the moves or replay the moves of the game in which case you will see the
move list changed for each move.
When you have Show move advice on, each time you select a piece to move the move list will be replaced by a
colour coded legend explaining the colour highlights. This legend is removed
and replaced with the move list as soon as you make a move or deselect a
The analysis line is an optional line which enables you to see while HIARCS
thinks the line of play expected by the chess engine. The analysis is displayed with
the depth of search in ply, evaluation where 1.00 = a pawn (positive for
white advantage, negative for black advantage) and the expected line of play in
For example 15 -0.25 5...Bd6 Nf3 Nge7 Bg5 f6 Be3
The first number is the depth searched, -0.25 is the value (black ahead by a
quarter of a pawn) and the expect move sequence is 5...Bd6 Nf3 Nge7 Bg5 f6
With Coach assessment on, you will see the value assessment
of current position from white's perspective displayed in the bottom right
corner of the screen. Above that is the information about the move being
For example "0:24 5...Nf6 (1/30) 1440kN 60kN/s" means HIARCS has been
analysing for 24 second, it is considering move 5...Nf6 which is the first
of 30 available moves. It has analysed 1440K positions, and is searching 60K
positions a second. A Node is a Position, K is thousands.
Menu buttons and icons
The toolbar displays the menu button and icons. You can read more detail
about the menus and icons in the menu help screen and
icon help screen.
Navigation slider and VCR buttons
Optionally via the navigation icon you can use the move navigation slider
and VCR buttons to navigate around the game. HIARCS will update game
information as you select a different point in the game. The navigation
controls appear in place of the analysis and book information while the move
list is moved up the screen to make it easy to see where in the game you
Flip/rotate board: Tapping this icon will rotate the chess board around 180
Hint move: Tapping this icon asks HIARCS to give you a hint move to help you
decide on the best next move. The hint move is demonstrated on the board by
making the recommended move and taking it back.
Navigation: Tapping this icon makes HIARCS display the game navigation move
slider and VCR buttons if not currently on screen. If already displayed the
navigation controls are removed from the screen.
of game: Tapping this icon makes HIARCS go to the beginning of the game. It has
no action at the beginning of a game.
Tapping this icon makes HIARCS takeback one single move. It has no action at the
beginning of a game.
Tapping this icon makes HIARCS stop thinking or stop replaying.
Tapping this icon makes HIARCS step forward one single move in the game. It has
no action at the end of a game.
of game: Tapping this icon make HIARCS go to the end of the game. It has no
action at the end of a game.
Microchip: tapping the microchip has multiple functions depending on the play
mode and who is to play.
|Your move in game play against HIARCS with white or black, the
microchip will make HIARCS change sides, rotate the board so you are always
playing up the board and start thinking.|
|HIARCS To Play but not thinking: The microchip will make HIARCS
start thinking. This can happen if you takeback moves or navigate to a
position in which HIARCS is the side to play.|
|HIARCS is Thinking: The microchip will make HIARCS stop thinking
and move now.|
|In two player no analysis play mode the microchip will turn on
|In continuous analysis play mode the microchip will turn off
analysis and return to two player no analysis. This analysis toggle is very
useful while reviewing a game that has already been played since you can
analyse those positions you are interested in and save battery life by
turning off analysis with one tap when you don't need analysis.|
Chess players are given a chess rating to gauge how strong they are at
chess. The standard rating system used in chess is called Elo ratings named
after Arpad Elo. A related system is used in tennis.
Elo ratings are based on the results of games and ratings of opponents
The Elo rating system ranges from 1000 Elo (a complete novice) to 2800
Elo and beyond for the strongest players of all time.
Were a player A to score two points for every one point of player B, then
player A would be expected from this performance to have an Elo rating about
120 Elo points more than player B. As you can see there is a great
difference in chess strength as you go up the ratings.
The ratings can be split into the following broad classes:
|Class of player
|Class E -
|Class D - Hobby
|Class C - Club
|Class B - Club team
|Class A - Strong
Hiarcs uses Elo ratings in a number of ways:
|Hiarcs computes the maximum strength it expects to achieve on your
device. This can be seen in the Engine Room in the Maximum Strength
|Set Elo - Hiarcs will allow you to select its strength based on an
Elo rating you can set between 1000 Elo and its expected maximum
(probably Super Grandmaster!). |
|Your rating - as you play games against Hiarcs it will keep track of
your rating progress and display it in the Engine Room, Your Rating cell
entry. Hiarcs assumes your rating is initially at 1600 Elo but will
continually adjust this to reflect the most up to date rating you have.
|Adapt Strength - allows you to set an opponent which adapts its Elo
strength to yours so you can always get a challenging but beatable
Did you know?
you can access the
navigation slider and VCR buttons by tapping on the navigation icon.|
you can also navigate by
swiping your finger in the move list area of the screen. Swipe left to right
to move forward in the game and swipe your finger right to left to take back
you can transfer PGN
databases to HIARCS on your device by using the file sharing feature of
iTunes. Simply connect your device to your computer with iTunes running.
Click on your device under DEVICES and click the Apps tab. Scroll down to
File Sharing and you will see HIARCS Chess listed under Apps, click on the
HIARCS icon/name and you will see the Chess Documents HIARCS currently has
access to, you can drag and drop you own PGN databases into HIARCS'
documents and they will be transferred to your device with a sync. These PGN
databases will then be available to load in HIARCS.|
you can select and play a
coach move via the coach move advice screen, simply tap the move you want to
play and tap done.|
|you can select and play book moves via the book move stats screen,
simply tap the move you want to play and tap done. Please note perf%
statistic is always from white's perspective.|
|you can replay the game moves from the current position via the Replay
Play mode setting. If you want to see the whole game replayed you should
first take back all moves. During replay you can stop the replay at any time
by tapping on the microchip, menu buttons or VCR buttons.|
|in play mode the Elo displayed is the approximate Elo level of the
players concerned. For HIARCS that Elo level can be controlled in the Engine
Room. Your Elo level is measured as you play games and updated accordingly,
over time this value becomes more accurate. You can read more about Elo
ratings in the Chess Ratings screen.|
|when you select a new game, edit position or load a game, HIARCS will
decide if the current game can be rated by adjudicating it. Games are not
rated if you have changed sides during the game, or changed HIARCS' Elo
|to achieve truly accurate ratings you should not have analysis
displayed, or coach assistance since that can help you play more strongly.
However, we realise you want to also learn fast so if you use these
advantages don't worry HIARCS will still rate your performance, just realise
the rating maybe a little higher as a result.|
|the name of the ECO code and name of the opening is only displayed at
the end of the opening since often the opening is not really determined
until then due to transposition of moves.|
|the microchip has multiple functions depending on the play mode and who
is to play:|
|in Your move in game play against HIARCS with white or black,
the microchip will make HIARCS change sides, rotate the board so you are
always playing up the board and start thinking.|
|when HIARCS is To Play but not thinking: The microchip will
make HIARCS start thinking. This can happen if you takeback moves or
navigate to a position in which HIARCS is the side to play.|
|when HIARCS is Thinking: The microchip will make HIARCS stop
thinking and move now.|
|in two player no analysis play mode the microchip will turn
on continuous analysis.|
|in continuous analysis play mode the microchip will turn off
analysis and return to two player no analysis. This analysis toggle is
very useful while reviewing a game that has already been played since
you can analyse those positions you are interested in and save battery
life by turning off analysis with one tap when you don't need analysis.|
|in continuous analysis play mode HIARCS uses its maximum strength
irrespective of the normal game strength settings to ensure you get the best
|you can load new larger books for free from
www.hiarcs.com, just click on the iPhone
or iPad product page to find out more.|
|you can contact the HIARCS team directly using the E-Mail HIARCS support
item in the Info & Updates screen.|
|if you like HIARCS and want to help spread the word please visit the
iTunes App Store to
review it. Thank you. |
|you are welcome to join the HIARCS
emailing list to
receive product announcements and discount offers.|