NCM is a powerful chess calculator that runs Stockfish 11 directly on your device. The app also includes free access to Stockfish 11, GNU Chess 6.2.5, and LcZero running on NCM's single CPU core hardware.
The optional NCM Pro in-app purchase provides a full year access to powerful hardware and features which significantly enhance the strength of calculations:
• Dual Xeon E5-2680 v2 20 CPU-core servers
• RTX 2080 GPUs for LcZero
• 6-man syzygy tablebases on SSD drives
• Stockfish development builds for up-to-the-minute improvements to the engine
- VoiceOver support
- Adding tap-to-move setting
- Removing invalid castling options when pasting FEN
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
Very Useful App
It may not be intuitive but as soon as you learn how to use this app, it is very helpful in the move analysis. I have upgraded to the pro version as I can make use of the 20core CPU in move calculations - with 4 different engines. For now I don’t have to buy a muti-core PC for the purposes of doing move analysis as this app allows me do the same.
My suggestion for improvement - while it it compatible with iPad, it does not do the landscape format. Thus it is a little bit awkward to the edit on my saved boards using the iPad as the display is in the portrait mode, and my keyboard is oriented on the landscape.
Another thing if possible is to increase the analysis time as the max time is only 30seconds. While 30 sec analysis can do a lot, the additional time will ensure that you are getting the best move possible within that alloted time. I know it means addition of more hardware and more costs. You get what you pay for, and for me if I am getting my money’s worth, I could possible pay more.
Very nice appearance, and feel to the app.
The app gives the impression of a ‘premium’ feel, if you will. It has a very modern look, and it is simplistic to utilize.
Despite all those positive comments, there is room for improvement.
I’ve noticed that if an illegal move is made on the board, if I’d copied the FEN/PGN, it won’t give you the exact game (PGN), only the current position from were the illegal move was made. This is a problem because when you castle, legally, the chess game will not show every move being made when you copy the PGN.
I do know, and it makes sense, as to why the whole chess game won’t show, as it is an illegal move, but castling shouldn’t be considered illegal. I do wonder if there is a way to castle, however, if not, I’d recommend that if you ‘capture’, or place the King in the Rook’s square, you’d castle.
Ultimately, there are many feedback by users, and suggestions, and should be taken to consideration. This app is great, and it deserves five stars.
Developer Response ,
Greetings, and thank you very much for the review and impressively (!!!) detailed feedback!
You've touched on a very interesting (to me, at least) aspect of NCM. Because we impose very few constraints on drag-and-drop moves, we do have to "untangle" those moves to a sequence of legal moves for the purposes not only of generating PGN, but also for sending the entire legal move history to the engine.
For instance, if you drag a pawn out, and then back, even though moving a pawn backwards (and out of turn) is illegal, the "legal move sequence" algorithm compensates for that.
The algorithm starts at the last position and works backwards to find a legal move linking the current position to the preceeding position. If no legal move is found from the immediately preceeding position, it descends through the history until it can find a position that is one legal move away. This should account for both moving and returning pieces as well as castling. If it can't find any such position, the current position then becomes the starting position, and any legal moves that were found during the execution of the algorithm are played on top of that.
With respect to castling by manually dragging the king and rook, when the algorithm encounters a position resulting from a legal castling move, it will look back one position in the history and see that the rook has moved to the other side of the king (illegal move), but then look back another position and see that the king moved two squares towards the rook and will recognize these two moves collectively as a single legal move.
At least that is what it should do. The algorithm has not been proven correct :) I suspect you have found a bug. If you can find a way to reproduce NCM not finding the legal move history from the starting position when it should, please email me details at email@example.com!
Again, thank you very much for your feedback, and I will be writing some more tests for castling to try and track this down.
Waste of money - Edited
The app doesn't come with any instructions on how to use and calculates moves only for white side.
I figured out the button to switch between black and white. App works nicely, UI could be lot better. Could not find an option to delete saved games.
Developer Response ,
Greetings! Sorry about this -- the app does indeed lack instructions. I'll work on adding those soon. It does calculate for both sides -- you just have to tap the pawn icon to toggle which side it calculates for. That is, of course, not the most intuitive UI, and the question comes up a lot! There's clearly improvements to be made. In any case, I really appreciate the feedback, and I will add some documentation to the app soon!
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.