iPad Screenshots


HIARCS is a multiple World Championship winning chess program and the only handheld chess program which has won matches and tournaments with Grandmasters. It twice won the Mercusor Cup tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina ahead of Grandmasters, the last time with a performance beyond 2900 Elo, the best chess performance rating for any handheld device in history.

In 1997 the World's strongest ever human chess player, Garry Kasparov, said "HIARCS is much better positionally than Deep Blue" and ex World champion, Vishy Anand, in a recent 2011 interview when asked what chess program he uses to analyse with said "generally I use HIARCS".

HIARCS Chess for iPad harnesses this chess power to enable your iPad to play chess like a super Grandmaster, analyse games and chess problems with you, or play at whatever weakened chess strength you want from beginner to GM strength while offering numerous features to help you learn and improve as you play with HIARCS. An advanced set of coaching features helps players of all strengths improve their chess play.

HIARCS Chess has a full range of realistic weaker opponent strengths and playing styles catering for players of all abilities from absolute beginners to Grandmasters. On the weaker playing levels HIARCS will make human-like mistakes appropriate to the level of play and this together with the integrated coach advice, assessments and alerts allow you to learn and improve quickly. HIARCS also monitors your chess performance and provides you with an Elo chess rating which tracks your chess ability in every game. It can continuously adjust its playing strength to give you challenging but beatable opponents as you improve.

HIARCS Chess will save battery life by using much less energy on the weaker levels, allowing more playing time on long journeys etc.

You can transfer PGN game databases to and from HIARCS Chess and load/save your chess games in PGN format, it even has databases of all the games between Fischer & Spassky and Kasparov & Karpov for you to play through and enjoy.

HIARCS has a large tournament book which is up to date with chess theory with over 235,000 variations. The book moves are displayed on screen with chess symbols and the opening variations are named and ECO coded.

Key features:
+ Extremely Strong chess program, genuine beyond strong GM-level performance
+ Suitable for all players from absolute beginners to strong Grandmasters with many handicap levels and opponents styles and advanced coaching
+ Intuitive and friendly, iPad tailored, user interface supporting all four screen orientations with multiple high quality piece sets, colour schemes and icons
+ Multiple playing modes: play white, black, both sides in two player mode, continuous analysis and interactive replay
+ Fully adjustable Elo strengths, adaptive levels and multiple playing levels and opponents
+ All levels below maximum are low energy to increase battery life
+ Rates your chess play and gives you an Elo rating which is updated after each game
+ Advanced coaching provides move options, hints, move safety and quality highlights and watches your play to warn about mistakes
+ Transfer PGN databases to/from HIARCS chess via iTunes file sharing, load/save PGNs, email games and PGN DBs from HIARCS
+ Set up or edit a position to analyse or play from
+ Advanced game navigation with move slider and VCR buttons for rapid and precise game navigation
+ Many selectable preset blitz, incremental and average time clock settings for timed play
+ Large HIARCS tournament opening book as used by the professionals!
+ Permanent brain for enhanced playing strength
+ Numerous chess display functions for showing chess moves, analysis, book moves, coach advice, move quality even legal moves
+ Integrated Html manual and help screens

What’s New

Version 13.8.4

+ Launch from PGN download or attachment
+ Millennium ChessLink Bluetooth improvements
+ Improved dark mode support

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

Sn0kr45h ,

Good Chess engine

I think HIARCS lives up to expectations. It’s not the strongest engine, but that’s not what I wanted. HIARCS plays chess good enough so I have a sparring partner to practice chess with.

One thing I like is that at my low rating level, the game feels pretty much like a human player. What do I mean by that? It doesn’t seem to make moves that are so blatantly bad that you are screaming at the engine, “why didn’t you take the piece I left hanging on accident?” HIARCS will make more subtle weak moves is my guess. If you hang a pawn or piece HIARCS will take it in my experience.

Anyway if you want a decent chess partner for you iPad and that goes nicely and plays as consistent as the Mac version then this is probably worth the money you pay.

One piece of advice if you’re planning to purchase this and the desktop version I’d recommend buying this first? Mine came with a discount off the HIARCS Chess Explorer and it stung a little when I found out I missed on a discount.

arifd2 ,

Excellent sparring partner

Strong enough to crush most humans but rating can be lowered to where you have a chance to win. The included Hiarcs opening book is a gem to learn openings. You can set up a position by playing through recommended opening moves then change to Hiarcs taking over white or black pieces which is an excellent way to practice openings. I make it play openings I hate playing against when playing humans so I get some good ideas from these games. The interface has not been changed much over the years and could be modernized to resemble the excellent Hiarcs for Mac program.

ifla01 ,

Great app

Probably one of the best chess app for iPad with a real human feel!
I would give it a 5 stars but...

1) Stop clock button does not stop the game clock
2) Previous comments by other reviewers (like Robert Ryan) on text being superimposed on top of each other on the screen has not been corrected

Hope next iteration will fix these shortcomings.


Applied Computer Concepts Ltd.
41 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.


English, German

Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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