The chess program XXX beats your app!
OK, but can you beat Chess Tiger?
The Chess Tiger app has not been designed to play against computers. Its goals are totally different, and we would like to explain why it is pointless to compare the app to a competition chess program.
The Chess Tiger engine is very strong, and in 1999 and 2001 it was the highest ranked chess program on PC (playing against other chess programs - human players do not want to play against computers anymore). It has been improved ever since: you are not playing against the 2001 version!
However, the goal of the Chess Tiger app is to be useful to humans, to improve their game, on mobile devices.
In order to achieve these goals, the Chess Tiger engine inside the app has been tuned in a way that makes it much less effective against other chess programs.
- The Chess Tiger app plays varied openings, including openings that are considered as inferior. When it plays them, you have to find the right strategy!
- The app tries to create positions that are more interesting to human players. It is biased against closed positions, for example, which means that it will prefer an inferior move if it avoids a closed position.
- The app uses only one processor (core) to compute its moves. We have made this choice to conserve power as much as possible, as the app will be used most of the time on batteries. Other chess programs use several cores, so they can be for example 4 to 8 times faster than our app. However, they burn the battery fast, and make the device extremely hot. Or they don't run on a mobile device at all.
- The app uses a relatively modest amount of memory, for the same reason. Other chess programs are allowed to use Gigabytes of memory, which is not reasonable as the device must be shared by many apps at the same time.
- The app, depending on the mode it is in, computes more than the best move to play. It has to extract additional data for the post-mortem analysis of the game, which is done in the interest of the human player. The data is extracted while the game is played, not after it.
These are technical choices that have been made in the interest of the typical user: someone who genuinely wants to improve by playing often, on a mobile device, without sacrificing the other things the device is used for (like being able to place a call in the evening, after having played several games that day).
It must be noted, however, that the Chess Tiger app really plays at the level of a World Champion, if needed (above 2900 FIDE Elo). So the technical choices we have made, which make the app "weaker" than it could be, will not prevent you from improving, even if you are a Grandmaster already.
Wouldn't you agree that this is what really counts?