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 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 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 hints 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 slider.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
List book stats (iPad only): This option when ON shows the book moves and statistic about number of games, performance%, average Elo rating of players playing move and the probability% of HIARCS playing the move in tournament book mode. This information is updated as you play moves, step or navigate through a game and while replaying games giving a fascinating insight into book possibilities. More details and move selection can be made through the Move:Book move stats view.
List coach moves (iPad only): This option when ON shows the moves the coach is advising in the current position. This information is updated as you play moves, step or navigate through a game and while replaying games giving a fascinating insight into move possibilities. More details and move selection can be made through the Move:Coach move advise view.
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.
Sounds: Off, Soft or Loud are the choices!
Figurine notation: This option when On shows the pieces in the analysis and book output as small figurine chess pieces instead of letters.
Board Coordinates (iPad only): This option when On shows algebraic and numeric coordinates next to the board.
Your name: Enter you name here to have it displayed on screen and in game saves.
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.
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.