iPhone Chess apps: Glaurung vs HIARCS round 1

I love playing chess, so I thought I’d do several iPhone chess app reviews and run some app vs app games to see which one performs best. This morning I ran Glaurung, which is a pretty powerfull free chess app for the iPhone (free; direct iTunes link), against HIARCS ($9.99; direct iTunes link), which just arrived for the iPhone yesterday for $9.99 and is supposed to be rated at 2850 ELO.

Note that this is not a review, but just a first look at a first game in a series. I plan on running several of these to see if one app always dominates or if it varies back and forth. Also, much thanks to everyone on this Chess.com forum thread, who got me started on the idea for doing this set of reviews.

On the first round of Glaurung (white) vs HIARCS (black), HIARCS won:

UPDATE: So far, I have Glaurung, HIARCS, Shredder, ChessGenius, tChess Pro, and Deep Green apps lined up for this line of comparative iPhone chess engine reviews. I think I’ll hold a little virtual tournament.

Also, thanks to Ted Summers, in the comments below, for pointing out that I left out important details about the time settings for the match:

30+5 was the time limit with both apps set at their highest rating, and I simply switched back and forth between each app, moving for the other one. I also kept permanent brain off, as I wasn’t really keeping the app open for any real amount of time besides when it was actively thinking and moving. HIARCS had about a minute and 56 seconds left on the initial 30 when it achieved checkmate. Glaurung had closer to 3 minutes left.

The full pgn of the game is pasted below.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “Aug 29, 2009”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Glaurung”]
[Black “HIARCS”]
[Result “0-1”]
[DisplayPlyCount “204”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O Bb6 7. Bb3 Ne7 8. Nbd2
O-O 9. Nc4 Ng6 10. h3 Qe7 11. Re1 Be6 12. d4 h6 13. Bd2 c5 14. d5 Bc8 15. Nxb6
axb6 16. Bc4 Bd7 17. a4 Ra7 18. b3 Rfa8 19. Rb1 Ra5 20. Bf1 R5a7 21. Nh2 Kh7
22. Bd3 Kg8 23. Rb2 Rf8 24. Bc1 Re8 25. Qe2 Raa8 26. Be3 Kh7 27. Ng4 Nxg4 28.
hxg4 Qh4 29. f3 Nf4 30. Bxf4 exf4 31. Rd1 h5 32. Qd2 Qg3 33. gxh5 Re5 34. Qf2
Qg5 35. Re1 Qh6 36. Kf1 Rxh5 37. Ke2 Kg8 38. Kd1 Qg5 39. Rd2 Rh2 40. Kc2 Ra5
41. c4 Ra8 42. Qg1 Rh6 43. Kb1 Qe5 44. Rc2 Kh7 45. Rcc1 Rh8 46. Qf2 Kg8 47. Qd2
Rh2 48. Kc2 R8h3 49. Re2 Rh6 50. Rce1 R6h5 51. Rg1 f6 52. Qe1 Rg5 53. a5 bxa5
54. Qxa5 Kf7 55. Qd8 Bh3 56. Qb6 Rhxg2 57. Rgxg2 Bxg2 58. Qc7+ Qe7 59. Qxe7+
Kxe7 60. Rf2 Rg3 61. Be2 g5 62. Kd1 f5 63. exf5 Kf6 64. Kd2 Kxf5 65. Bd3+ Kf6
66. Re2 Bh3 67. Rf2 g4 68. fxg4 Kg5 69. Bc2 Bxg4 70. Rh2 f3 71. Ke3 Rg2 72.
Rxg2 fxg2 73. Kf2 Bf3 74. Kg1 Kf4 75. Kf2 Ke5 76. Kg1 Kd4 77. Bf5 Kc3 78. Bd7
Kxb3 79. Bb5 Bxd5 80. cxd5 c4 81. Kxg2 c3 82. Bd3 c2 83. Bxc2+ Kxc2 84. Kf3 b5
85. Ke4 Kc3 86. Kf5 Kd4 87. Ke6 Kc5 88. Kf5 Kxd5 89. Kf4 b4 90. Ke3 Kc4 91. Kd2
b3 92. Kd1 d5 93. Kc1 d4 94. Kd1 d3 95. Kc1 Kc3 96. Kd1 b2 97. Ke1 b1=Q+ 98.
Kf2 d2 99. Kg3 Qe4 100. Kh3 Qf4 101. Kg2 d1=Q 102. Kh3 Qdf1#
0-1

About C.K. Sample III

I am a father, a husband, a blogger, a parrot owner, a pug owner, and the Chief Product Officer for YouEarnedIt. This site has no comments. If you want to talk to me, send me an @cksample on Twitter. If you like this post, feel free to buy me something off of my wishlist.
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12 Responses to iPhone Chess apps: Glaurung vs HIARCS round 1

  1. Ted Summers says:

    What was the Time Control? Also what were your Match Conditions? Did you use two Devices or one?

    Thanks

    • 30+5 was the time limit with both apps set at their highest rating, and I simply switched back and forth between each app, moving for the other one. I also kept permanent brain off, as I wasn’t really keeping the app open for any real amount of time besides when it was actively thinking and moving. HIARCS had about a minute and 56 seconds left on the initial 30 when it achieved checkmate. Glaurung had closer to 3 minutes left.

      • Ted Summers says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. I went over the game in detail and enjoyed it very much. A nice win by Hiarcs. I think Glaurung made some bad strategic decisions that lead to a positionally lost game. It amazes me how something so small can play at such a high Grandmaster level of play. I look forward to seeing the rest of your match.

        Thank You

        • Thank you for pointing out that I left this info out. I’m updating the post with it. Also, I will be testing several different iPhone Chess engines against one another, so expect more posts like this.

  2. Janptr says:

    Hi
    I have Glaurung and Fritz on my Ipod. Whats bad with Fritz is that not possible to continue if lost on time.
    Also not possible to see how Fritz analyze the game during a game or between 2 players. Most change to analyze mode to watch. Glaurung beat Genius on my Nokia N82 with 2-0 games/5min. What seems to be good at Genius at Ipod is that its possible to download PGN files. But a limit to 2 MB per file. You are lucky enough to have them all (the interested ones) so which one you actually prefer to use? Any more then Genius that can load PGN files?
    Regards
    janptr

    • Hi Janptr,

      I just started using all these so that I could do a set of reviews on all of them followed by a large comparative review after I’ve had time to use them all, so it’s a bit early for me to be able to say which one I like best. I’d like to add Fritz to the list of apps to test on the iPhone, too, but the developer hasn’t responded to me yet. So far, Genius is the only one to allow the PGN uploads, which is really cool for studying / carrying a database of games on your iPhone. tChess Pro has a blind chess setting which is cool. All of them seem to have some cool features of their own that differ from the others, and I’ll make sure to list them all in the individual reviews and the big comparison.

      Cheers,

      C.K.

  3. janptr says:

    Can tChess Pro import PGN files? Could read that its possible to export. To be fair to some readers I might input that the strange of Hiarcs is not near 2850 ELO, this high rating it got from another hardware during PC testing, right? Also would add that I some days ago purchased Chess DB but was quite dissanpointed. First it? quite slow to open a Search. Second, the games seems to be of older date. Guess there is not newer games then about couple of years back. A search for Fischer just get about 10 games….I mean a DB that contains (it says at least) 500 000 games just have a few played by Bobby Fischer. I was happy to computer games as well but also those was very old. A contact with the support let me know that they are going to release a newer database in a couple of months BUT that will be a new application so I cant expect to upgrade the one I just purchased: ( Recommendation is not to buy Chess DB.
    Regards
    janptr

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  6. drive says:

    Hi C.K. Sample,
    thanks for your tests… have you tried a match between the strongest softwares on the market? I mean shredder, hiarcs and fritz. I bought shredder and I found it very strong at the higher lever but also below… consider I am about 2000 elo rated player.

  7. Daniel says:

    I’m really impressed with HIARCS on the iPhone. Its a bargain and $9.99, I hope its enough to keep the programmer in business.

    This is going to be amazing with the iPAD.. I wonder if we’ll be able to put chess pieces on top of the screen??

    Daniel.

    • Well, the pieces would have to be specially designed since the iPad’s screen, like the iPhone’s, requires a little bit of capacitive conductivity in order to respond to touch (like the slight bit of electricity coming from your fingers); so it’s doubtful, but it would definitely be cool.

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