Last week, I blogged about it here:

The amateur programmer kept tinkering with computer chess through high school and college, though he didn’t have as much time for it after joining Microsoft out of college in 2001. He worked for the software giant for four years, mostly on Office user interface.

After a brief stint at a startup company called MindTouch in 2006, Kerrigan took some time off, backpacking in Europe and Asia. Later, as he was contemplating what to do next, he started thinking about a chess game for the iPhone — Apple’s popular mobile device — but initially thought he was too late.

“I didn’t have the idea to work on iPhone apps (applications) because I thought the market would be flooded and there would be too much competition,” Kerrigan said. But, he said, “I looked at iTunes and it turned out there wasn’t much out there. I saw an opportunity.”

He bought a Mac and an iPhone, did research, registered as a developer with the Apple App Store, and started coding.

The result was a game called tChess. The first version of the game, called tChess Pro for chess enthusiasts, went into the Apple App Store on Nov. 6. It sells for $8. A second version for casual players called tChess Lite, which sells for $1, got released Nov. 15.

Last night, I downloaded the tChess software into my iPod touch and tried it out myself. I played 2 games against it. The first one was with the default strength. I checkmated it in 27 moves. The second game was against the highest level. I also won but it took a bit longer.

Here is my personal assessment:

1. The interface is nice and easy on the eyes.
2. Everything works intuitively and it is quite simple actually. I think everyone can figure it out immediately.
3. The playing program is not bad. Obviously it is not strong enough for professional players but it is good enough to beat 95% of the chess players on this planet.
4. It is quite inexpensive.
5. It also gives an excellent entertainment and educational value, especially if you are on a flight or with kids on a road trip. I definitely prefer them playing chess or read over playing violent video games any day.

On the scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 9. Well done!

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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