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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Non-Chess iOS games for iPad/iPhone that will help you develop your Chess Skills

Hi everybody!

As you know, I train for chess almost all the time, in various areas of chess, openings, middle game strategy or tactics, and endgames. I play training games and analyze all my games very deeply on my PC with professional software like Chess King which has its huge database GigaKing and the strongest engine available today Houdini 2.

However, that's not all I do to be in shape before tournaments. Many of you know I do a lot of sports, running 5K races, swimming, playing tennis, that helps to keep me in good physical shape. That's very important.

But playing chess at a competitive level requires a high degree of concentration, pattern recognition, and quick decision making abilities and it's good to find different and entertaining ways to train those skills.

I have found out that playing some non-chess games on my iPhone or iPad really helps!

I'd like to share with you below 3 such games I have stumbled across and which I play once in awhile to keep my mind fresh and train in a different and fun way, Gridit, Trism, and 4Q.

1) Gridit is a great game to improve your concentration skills

Gridit, a puzzle game for the iPad and iPhone ($0.99), is an example of a game which requires extended focus and quick response. It's a fun pattern-matching game that I play regularly to complement my training. It involves finding tetris-like patterns on a grid of colored blocks. You have to be quick and incredibly focused in order to spot the patterns on the evolving grid of colors. As you progress in the game, the patterns that you have to find stay on-screen for less and less time, so you need to act quickly and maintain concentration if you want to score high points. Much like in chess and especially chess blitz!

2) Trism helps you train pattern recognition

Trism, by Demiforce ($2.99), was one of the early hits in the App Store when it was first released in 2008. I still love it. It's a puzzle game that involves sliding color shapes and aligning them to form special patterns. It's a fun game for chess players because you need to be cognizant of the relative placements of blocks in the entire grid as sliding one block will affect the arrangement of many others. In order to organize shapes into the most complex patterns, one has to plan in advance and strategize as well!

3) Q4 reminds me of chess because the pieces move like a Chess Queen!

Q4 ($0.99) is a new and unique strategy board game - simple to understand, but challenging to play! Q4 takes only takes 30 seconds to learn, but an age to get good at. Everyone can enjoy the game, from young children, to a chess Grandmaster. For a real challenge set the AI to HARD, and the TIMER to 3 Seconds, or play TWO PLAYER mode, for the ultimate duel of minds. Q4 great for all ages and a fabulously fun way to train your brain.

Do you know any other non-chess games that are good exercises to help strengthen concentration and pattern matching skills?

Posted by Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk
12th women's world chess champion

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  • At April 9, 2012 at 2:13 AM , Anonymous alexis cochran, nz said...

    wow looks awesome - would check them out shortly

  • At April 9, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Anonymous Keith Schmidt, Berlin said...

    Full marks to Gridit am hooked

  • At April 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM , Anonymous saira fernandes, madrid said...

    wow chess queen has quite a method to train. those are real great games. i tried them. of course have always been a great tetris fan so i go with gridi.

  • At April 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM , Anonymous sebastian wolff, ny said...

    hey chess chess queen so that's a neat way to prepare and thanks for telling us your secret. non-chess games - great - i just tried Q4 and Gridit, guess am going to get all of them. all the best in russia.

  • At April 9, 2012 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Derrick Kingsley, LA said...

    My pick is Gridit and Q4. Nice tip for improving chess thanks Chess Queen I also got chess king now.

  • At April 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM , Anonymous amrit puri, knights chess club, new delhi said...

    Gridit is the Best. I like it most.


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