HIARCS Chess Software for PC Windows, Apple Mac and iPhone/iPad iPad Chess Manual
World Championship winning computer chess software program & downloads for chess database, analysis and play on PC, Mac and iPhone

HIARCS Home iPad Chess FAQ iPad Chess Manual

horizontal rule

Up

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:

bulletMenu system
bulletScreen Help
bulletIcon Help
bulletChess Ratings
bulletTips: Did you know?

HIARCS Chess Menu System

You can access many of the HIARCS features via the menus and view displays. These are explained below.

Game menu

This menu allows you perform the following operations on the game:

New game
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 game
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 game
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.

Edit position
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.

Resign game
If you think your position is hopeless you can resign the game giving victory to your opponent.

 

 

Move menu

These features allow you to navigate through a game and obtain coach and book advice from the computer.

Take back
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 slider.

Step forward
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 not play.

 

HIARCS menu

The HIARCS menu gives you access to the chess features available from the chess engine:

Play Mode
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 usage. Alternatively, you can simply enter moves in two player mode without analysis with HIARCS 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. HIARCS will play within the time control and you should try to do likewise as it is good practice.

Engine Room
The engine room screen is where you can set the sophisticated features of the HIARCS chess engine.

View Options
This screen allows you to set up various of the view options available.

Move now
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.

 

Engine Room

The engine room screen is where you can set the sophisticated features of the Hiarcs chess engine. You can set the following features:

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 chess strengths.

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 strengths.

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 extremely poor
    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.

 

View Options

This screen allows you to set up various of the view options available:

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 you enter.

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 Openings).

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.

 

Screen Help

           

The HIARCS screen is made up of the following areas:

  1. 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:
    bulletYour Move - it is your turn to make a move
    bulletTo 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.
    bulletThinking - HIARCS is thinking about its move
    bulletAnalysing - 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.
     

  2. Chess board and pieces
    You can modify the appearance of the chess board and select multiple piece sets via the HIARCS:View Options menu
     
  3. Book information
    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 screen.
     
  4. 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 piece.
     
  5. Analysis information
    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 algebraic notation.
    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 Be3

    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 considered.
    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.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. 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 are.


HIARCS Chess Icons

Flip/rotate board: Tapping this icon will rotate the chess board around 180 degrees.

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.

Start of game: Tapping this icon makes HIARCS go to the beginning of the game. It has no action at the beginning of a game.

Takeback: Tapping this icon makes HIARCS takeback one single move. It has no action at the beginning of a game.

Stop: Tapping this icon makes HIARCS stop thinking or stop replaying.

Forward: Tapping this icon makes HIARCS step forward one single move in the game. It has no action at the end of a game.

End 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.

bulletYour 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.
bulletHIARCS 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.
bulletHIARCS is Thinking: The microchip will make HIARCS stop thinking and move now.
bulletIn two player no analysis play mode the microchip will turn on continuous analysis.
bulletIn 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 Ratings

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 played.

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 Rating Range
Class E - Beginner/Novice 1000-1200 Elo
Class D - Hobby player 1200-1400 Elo
Class C - Club player 1400-1600 Elo
Class B - Club team player 1600-1800 Elo
Class A - Strong club player 1800-2000 Elo
Expert 2000-2200 Elo
Master 2200-2400 Elo
International Master 2400-2500 Elo
Grandmaster 2500-2600 Elo
Super Grandmaster 2600-2700 Elo
World Champion contender 2700-2800 Elo
World Champion 2800+ Elo

Hiarcs uses Elo ratings in a number of ways:

bulletHiarcs computes the maximum strength it expects to achieve on your device. This can be seen in the Engine Room in the Maximum Strength cell.
bulletSet 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!).
bulletYour 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.
bulletAdapt Strength - allows you to set an opponent which adapts its Elo strength to yours so you can always get a challenging but beatable opponent.

 

Useful tips for using HIARCS and its features

Did you know?

bullet you can access the navigation slider and VCR buttons by tapping on the navigation icon.
bullet 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 a move.
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bulletyou 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.
 
bulletyou 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.
 
bulletin 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.
 
bulletwhen 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 level.
 
bulletto 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.
 
bulletthe 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.
 
bulletthe microchip has multiple functions depending on the play mode and who is to play:
bulletin 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.
bulletwhen 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.
bulletwhen HIARCS is Thinking: The microchip will make HIARCS stop thinking and move now.
bulletin two player no analysis play mode the microchip will turn on continuous analysis.
bulletin 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.
 
bulletin continuous analysis play mode HIARCS uses its maximum strength irrespective of the normal game strength settings to ensure you get the best analysis possible.
 
bulletyou can load new larger books for free from www.hiarcs.com, just click on the iPhone or iPad product page to find out more.
 
bulletyou can contact the HIARCS team directly using the E-Mail HIARCS support item in the Info & Updates screen.
 
bulletif you like HIARCS and want to help spread the word please visit the iTunes App Store to review it. Thank you.
 
bulletyou are welcome to join the HIARCS emailing list to receive product announcements and discount offers.

 

horizontal rule

"generally I use HIARCS." - Five time World Chess Champion Vishy Anand, in a recent interview when asked what chess program he uses to analyse with
 
"HIARCS is much better positionally than Deep Blue." - Garry Kasparov 1997 (after game 5 of the rematch)

World Chess Champion, Vishy Anand, used "Powerful" HIARCS machine in preparations for his 2010 & 2012 world title matches

"This level of service is one other big reason to buy HIARCS." - John Jackson

Highest performance reached depends on computer used.   *VAT may be applicable for customers resident in the European Union.
Prices are given in Pounds Sterling, US dollars and Euros. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Purchases in other currencies will be subject to conversion rates from Pounds Sterling (GBP).

World class Palm, PC Chess, Mac Chess, Pocket PC and iPad, iPhone Computer Chess Software with innovative features and chess playing strength
HIARCS Computer Chess Engines are designed and developed by Mark Uniacke in England.
HIARCS is a trademark of Applied Computer Concepts Ltd. All other product trademarks acknowledged.
Copyright 1991-2016 Applied Computer Concepts Ltd. All rights reserved. Last modified: Friday July 01, 2016.
Contact
the HIARCS Team by email:  .  Read our Privacy Policy here