Chess on Your Smartphone: a Starter Guide

Wondering how to study or play chess in an efficient and entertaining way on your smartphone? Check out our new guide that will walk you through the procedure step by step.

First of all, decide what chess activity you are most interested in at the moment.

Do you want to learn the basics of chess, starting from square one? Or maybe you are interested in expanding your knowledge about the opening, middlegame, endgame and other aspects of chess? In this case we highly recommend downloading the Magnus Trainer. It gives you the warm feeling of having the reigning World Champion sit next to you and coach you in his trademark sarcastic manner. Recommended level: beginner to ELO 2000.

Not interested in reading any manuals? Do you enjoy playing and learning by doing? Check out Play Magnus, an application that allows you to challenge a custom-built engine that imitates the style of Magnus Carlsen of any age you like. Most people can beat kid Magnus age 5, but what are you going to do if he grows up and comes back for vengeance at age 29? Spoiler: next month a new mysterious challenger will be added to the list of your potential opponents! Recommended level: beginner to World Champion.

Are you a big fan of chess puzzles? You will face plenty of exciting challenges in the Magnus Trainer. On top of that, Tactics Frenzy, designed by Magnus Carlsen and his star team of chess experts, presents a new dimension when it comes to puzzle-solving. It offers different game modes, time controls, analysis tools and the opportunity to compete against other members for monthly prizes. Recommended level: beginner to World Champion.

Do you find normal chess a bit dull? Check out the mini-games in Magnus Trainer, combining the basic elements of chess with arcade gaming principles. This is both fun and good for your brain! Recommended level: beginner to World Champion.

Not sure what to pick? Why not download them all?

Play Magnus (Android)
Play Magnus (iOS)
Magnus Trainer (Android)
Magnus Trainer (iOS)
Tactics Frenzy (Android)
Tactics Frenzy (iOS)

Photograph: Fred Jonny

Last but not least, here are our special deals of the month for you to consider:

• Download the Play Magnus app for free. The Starter Pack is 50% off at the moment. Grab it before Magnus Carlsen tucks it away!
Magnus Trainer has an ongoing sale: 50% off on monthly membership (Android) and 25% off on monthly membership (iOS).
• Get a 50% discount on Tactics Frenzy (Android) by activating the promo code KEEPITFRENZY.