Very often we get questions about apps kids can use to learn or improve their chess. We were aware of apps to solve puzzles and play chess, but they were not all suitable for kids who are just starting to discover the magic of chess. That being said, we spent the last couple of days having fun and trying some chess apps designed for kids.
Here’s our recommendation:
Chess for Kids. FREE, offers in-app purchases. We found this app that’s offered by chess.com easy to use, with a friendly interface and very useful for kids. They can learn the rules with the short introductory video, solve puzzles in order to sharpen their tactical vision and practice what they’ve learned versus computers of different ratings (from 400 to 2200) or online, against other children.
Coach Jay’s Chess Academy. FREE, offers in-app purchases. The app is structured in 5 levels and teaches kids very important concepts: checkmate, defense, endgame, strategy and tactics. Every subject comprises both lessons and puzzles. After each new concept kids can solve puzzles, which gradually increase in difficulty. We found this app very useful not only to learn chess, but also to quickly improve.
Play Magnus. FREE, offers in-app purchases. A great app, not only for kids, but for every chess player. Kids can play different-aged Magnus, starting from 5 years old to 25. We chose to include this app here, as we thought every kid would be excited to play and try to beat the younger version of the current World Champion. Besides this, they can take advice directly from the top player by watching his training videos!
MiniChess. Not free. We haven’t tested this one, but we did notice it is approved by the ex-World Champion Garry Kasparov. The app presents the journey of Cheddar, a little mouse, and his discovery of chess. With the help of Cheddar, kids get to learn chess and solve puzzles in a fun way.
Alterman Chess. Not free. Another app that we haven’t tested, but the fact that it is developed by a Grandmaster made us give it credits. It promises a fun way for kids to learn chess, by fighting the monsters in order to rescue the pieces.
Dino Chess. FREE. We chose to add this app as well because of its popularity. We were expecting to find a fun app for kids to play chess, where the army of pieces is replaced by an army of dinosaurs. However, we were completely disappointed. First of all, the app doesn’t have the option of playing against a computer, hence it needs a partner. But this would be nothing if the board would be set up correctly. The a1-h8 diagonal is light, the king is set on d1 and castling is not available. Definitely not recommendable!