do I interpret the analysis "Details"?
"Details" section gives you the analysis of the
computer. The essential information it gives you are the best
variations it has found (a variation is a possible continuation
of the game), the score of each variation, and the "depth"
of the analysis it has been able to do for each variation.
computer displays up to 4 of the best variations it has found for
the side to move, one per line.
You can swipe the
analysis to the left or right to see more than fits on the
Let's say it's white to play, and we look at
Here is what we could see on an iPad:
d4 (+0.70 Depth 9)
d4 d5 Bb5+
d3 (+0.38 Depth 9)
d3 Bg7 d4
O-O (+0.36 Depth 9)
O-O e5 Ng5
Ng5 (+0.28 Depth 9)
Ng5 d5 Bb5+
on an iPhone or iPod touch:
+0.70 d4 d5 Bb5+
D9 +0.38 d3 Bg7 d4
D9 +0.36 O-O e5
D9 +0.28 Ng5 d5 Bb5+
first variation is always the best in the computer's opinion, but
you should really keep in mind that all the variations shown are
excellent. Inferior variations are simply not displayed at all,
and so sometimes you will see less than 4 variations: if there
are only 2 excellent moves for example, only these two will be
shown. Please don't obsess over the order of the moves, because
playing any of them will probably lead you to the victory
Every variation starts with what the computer
considers as an excellent move for the side to move. You take the
first move of every line (variation) and these are the moves the
computer suggests to play in this position. For the example
above, it means that the best moves are:
(it means pawn to the d4 square)
d3 (pawn to the d3
O-O (short castle, a special move)
(Knight to the g5 square)
the variation's first move, you find the most probable
continuation. For example in the first variation the computer
thinks that after white has played pawn to d4, black will play d5
(pawn to d5) and white will then play Bb5+ (Bishop to b5, the
plus sign reminding you that this move gives check).
each variation, the score that is displayed represents how well
the white side is doing if it plays this line. By default, all
scores are from white's point of view, which is now standard
in chess. You can change this in the Settings page.
score near 0.00 means that white has no advantage over black.
score around +1.00 means that white is approximately one pawn
better than black. White may have a real advantage of exactly one
pawn, or this advantage can come from a superior position with
exactly the same material on both sides.
If the score
is around -1.00, then white is behind by approximately one pawn
or has positional weaknesses equivalent to being one pawn
For higher or lower scores, the following
standard scoring system is used:
Knight = 3.00
Bishop = 3.00
Queen = 9.00
a score of +2.00 could either mean that white has an advantage of
2 pawns, or 1 pawn and a much better position, or has traded a
knight against a rook. Or any other combination...
in grandmaster games an advantage of 2.00 or more is considered
decisive. For amateur games, it must be more than that to say
that the game is practically over.
A special case
happens when the app has seen that one side could checkmate. In
this case, the score will be represented as "+Mn" or
"-Mn". For example, "+M2" means that white
will mate in 2 moves, and "-M1" means that white will
be checkmated on the next move.
The "Dx" or
"Depth x" part represents the depth of the computation
the app has done to find the best moves and the associated
scores. It is the number of moves by each
side (sometimes called the number of "half moves"). A
depth of 2 means that the app has been able to compute every move
by the side to move followed by every move of its opponent (that
is, one move for each opponent).
A small depth like 4
or 5 is generally not enough to play well. Depths starting at 6
and above give good assessments of the position and of the best
moves. A depth of 6 means that the computer has been able to
compute all possible continuations on 3 full moves (3 moves by
As you can guess, the higher the depth,
the better the analysis.