HIARCS Chess Software for PC Windows, Apple Mac and iPhone/iPad iHIARCS Chess Help
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HIARCS Chess for iPhone/iPod Touch

On this page you will find three sections offering help on how to use the HIARCS Chess product on the iPhone/iPod:

bulletMenu system
bulletScreen Help
bulletChess Ratings

HIARCS Chess Menu System

You can access many of the HIARCS features via the menus and view displays. These are explained below.

Game menu

This menu allows you perform the following operations on the game:

 

 

New game
A new game can be started with you playing the white or black pieces.

Save game
Save the current game to a PGN database of games. PGN stands for Portable Game Notation. A new PGN database can be created if required or select an existing database you have saved games to before. Multiple games can be saved inside a PGN database.

Load game
Load a game from a PGN database. Select the database to load from and the game to load.

E-mail game
You can email the current game.

Edit position
You can edit the current position or set up your own position. This is useful for entering positions from books and magazines.

 

 

Move menu

These features allow you to navigate through a game and obtain hints from the computer.

Give Hint
This asks Hiarcs to give you a hint move to help you decide on the best next move. The hint move is demonstrated on the board by making the recommended move and taking it back. This option can also be accessed through the "light bulb idea" icon on the main screen (bottom).

Take back
This option takes back the last move played in the current position (if one exists). You can also use the short cut of swiping your finger across the move list from right to left to take back a move.

Step forward
This option steps forward playing the next move played in the current position (if one exists). You can also use the short cut of swiping your finger across the move list from left to right to step forward a move.

Take back all
This option takes back all the moves to the beginning of the game.

Step forward all
This option steps forward all the moves to the end of the game played so far.

 

 

 

HIARCS menu

The HIARCS menu gives you access to the chess features available from the chess engine:

Play Mode
This allows you to select the playing mode for the game. You can select to play white, black or have Hiarcs analyse continuously while you enter moves. Analysis is intensive and may drain the battery faster than normal. Alternatively, you can simply enter moves in two player watch mode with Hiarcs just checking for legal moves.

Chess Clock Settings
This allows you to enter a time control for the chess clocks. Hiarcs will play within the time control and you should try to do likewise - good practice.

Engine Room
The engine room screen is where you can set the sophisticated features of the Hiarcs chess engine.

View Options
This screen allows you to set up various of the view options available.

Move Now
If Hiarcs is thinking this option will make it move immediately. Alternatively, if it is your turn to move, this option makes Hiarcs swap sides and start thinking about a move. This option can also be accessed through the computer chip icon on the main screen (bottom right).

About HIARCS
Allows you to see background information about HIARCS and help information for the application.

 

Engine Room

The engine room screen is where you can set the sophisticated features of the Hiarcs chess engine. You can set the following features:

Coach Watching: When ON Hiarcs will look for any serious mistakes you might make and warn you; giving you the opportunity to takeback the move or ignore the advice.

Permanent brain: When ON Hiarcs will think about its response even when it is your turn to move. This increases the playing strength at the cost of extra battery usage.

Playing Style: This allows you to choose between Solid, Active and Aggressive styles of play.

Book variety: The variety of moves chosen from the large opening book can be set:
    Off - No book consulted
    Wild - A very wide selection of moves even those that are extremely poor
    Surprise - Selects surprising but interesting moves
    Dynamic - Selects between the most playable dynamic moves
    Tournament - Selects only the best playable moves available

Maximum Strength: When ON Hiarcs will play at its strongest. This will be at least Grandmaster strength and probably beyond depending on the speed of the device. You can see the Maximum expected strength displayed in this cell.

Adapt Strength: When ON, Hiarcs will adapt its chess strength to your chess strength. To do this Hiarcs continually keeps track of your chess ability by keeping a chess rating for you. Hiarcs updates this after each game and as more games are played the accuracy increases. In effect this could be the only chess setting you need as Hiarcs will adapt to how you are playing to always give you an interesting challenging but beatable opponent.

Set Elo Strength: You can set the strength at which Hiarcs will play from 1000 Elo (complete beginner) to maximum strength on your device. This gives you a great variety of playing strengths. You must ensure Maximum Strength and Adapt Strength options are both OFF in order for the Set Elo Strength to be used.

Your Rating: This displays your performance so far including the number of games, wins, draws and losses. The resulting Elo rating is updated after each game played properly (e.g. not swapping sides). This information is also used in the Adapt Strength option to pick an opponent of your strength. You can clear the rating using the Clear button but only do this if you really want to clear all the rating information and game scores so far.

View Options

This screen allows you to set up various of the view options available:

Show analysis: This option when ON shows the thinking analysis of Hiarcs.

Show book moves: This option when On shows the book moves available in the current position and when their are no more moves available it shows the name of the opening played.

Show legal moves: This option when On shows the legal moves available for any piece you select.

Piece set: This option allows you to select from the 5 piece sets available:
    Elite, Staunton, Classic, Modern, Colossus

Color scheme: Allows you to select from a number of colour schemes for the chess board.

Sounds: Off, Soft or Loud are the choices!

Figurine notation: This option when On shows the pieces in the analysis and book output as small figurine chess pieces instead of letters.

Your name: Enter you name here to have it displayed on screen and in game saves.

 

 

Screen Help

The Hiarcs screen is made up of the following parts

Black player information

Chess Board and Pieces

White player information

Book information

Move List

Analysis information

Menu buttons and icons

The White and Black player information indicates who is to move or thinking, the players names, their Elo rating and the clock time. The information is swapped when the board is rotated/flipped.

The book information is an optional line which enables you to see the best book moves available in the current position and once "out of book" it will display the name of the opening played. Book moves are displayed using Algebraic notation and can be followed by the symbols: ! to indicate a strong move, ? to indicate a poor move or no symbol to indicate a normal playable move.

The Move List displays in algebraic notation all the moves played in the game.

The Analysis information is an optional line which enables you to see the line of play expected by the Hiarcs chess engine. The analysis is displayed with the depth of search in ply moves, evaluation where 1.00 = a pawn (positive for white advantage, negative for black advantage) and the expected line of play in algebraic notation.

The menus are explained in detail in the menu help.

The icons in the bottom right hand corner give access to three commonly used features:

  1. Board rotate - Flip/Rotate the chessboard
  2. Idea - Give a hint move
  3. Computer chip - If Hiarcs is thinking this option will make it move immediately. Alternatively, if it is your turn to move, this option makes Hiarcs swap sides and start thinking about a move.

 

Chess Ratings

Chess players are given a chess rating to gauge how strong they are at chess. The standard rating system used in chess is called Elo ratings named after Arpad Elo. A related system is used in tennis.

Elo ratings are based on the results of games and ratings of opponents played.

The Elo rating system ranges from 1000 Elo (a complete novice) to 2800 Elo and beyond for the strongest players of all time.

Were a player A to score two points for every one point of player B, then player A would be expected from this performance to have an Elo rating about 120 Elo points more than player B. As you can see there is a great difference in chess strength as you go up the ratings.

The ratings can be split into the following broad classes:

Class of player Rating Range
Class E - Beginner/Novice 1000-1200 Elo
Class D - Hobby player 1200-1400 Elo
Class C - Club player 1400-1600 Elo
Class B - Club team player 1600-1800 Elo
Class A - Strong club player 1800-2000 Elo
Expert 2000-2200 Elo
Master 2200-2400 Elo
International Master 2400-2500 Elo
Grandmaster 2500-2600 Elo
Super Grandmaster 2600-2700 Elo
World Champion contender 2700-2800 Elo
World Champion 2800+ Elo

Hiarcs uses Elo ratings in a number of ways:

bulletHiarcs computes the maximum strength it expects to achieve on your device. This can be seen in the Engine Room in the Maximum Strength cell.
bulletSet Elo - Hiarcs will allow you to select its strength based on an Elo rating you can set between 1000 Elo and its expected maximum (probably Super Grandmaster!).
bulletYour rating - as you play games against Hiarcs it will keep track of your rating progress and display it in the Engine Room, Your Rating cell entry. Hiarcs assumes your rating is initially at 1600 Elo but will continually adjust this to reflect the most up to date rating you have.
bulletAdapt Strength - allows you to set an opponent which adapts its Elo strength to yours so you can always get a challenging but beatable opponent.

 

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"generally I use HIARCS." - Five time World Chess Champion Vishy Anand, in a recent interview when asked what chess program he uses to analyse with
 
"HIARCS is much better positionally than Deep Blue." - Garry Kasparov 1997 (after game 5 of the rematch)

World Chess Champion, Vishy Anand, used "Powerful" HIARCS machine in preparations for his 2010 & 2012 world title matches

"This level of service is one other big reason to buy HIARCS." - John Jackson

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World class Palm, PC Chess, Mac Chess, Pocket PC and iPad, iPhone Computer Chess Software with innovative features and chess playing strength
HIARCS Computer Chess Engines are designed and developed by Mark Uniacke in England.
HIARCS is a trademark of Applied Computer Concepts Ltd. All other product trademarks acknowledged.
Copyright 1991-2016 Applied Computer Concepts Ltd. All rights reserved. Last modified: Thursday September 08, 2016.
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