Flash Chess III
(a.k.a. SparkChess)


Flash Chess III (FC III), which evolved into SparkChess (in the year 2010), is the latest incarnation from a company called Media Division and, of all the many online Chess games, that can be found on the Internet, this is definitely one of the better attempts ...

[Same Game, NEW Name (2010): "SparkChess"]

Launch Spark Chess - a.k.a. Flash Chess III
[ Click to Play Flash Chess III / Spark Chess ]

Things get better when you learn it's Free to play, too!

Previous versions played okay, but the looks were maybe not to everybody's tastes.

However, they've been working hard at Media Division and FC III certainly gets full marks for style.

But style's no good without substance, so does it play as well as it looks?


Three Difficulty Levels

When the webpage first loads, you get a choice of three difficulty levels to play at:

Chess Glossary - Flash Chess - 01
  1. Beginner
    This gives you a decent chance of beating your computer opponent and is the entry level to choose.

  2. Casual
    This setting, as they say, is "Perfect for a coffee break". The computer will still make mistakes which you can take advantage of, though increased concentration is required.

  3. Advanced
    This is the highest level you can choose. The computer will be going all out to beat you ... Will your best be good enough?

How It Plays

Chess Glossary - Flash Chess - 02Once you've made your choice and are ready to begin, you'll find that clicking on a piece - as long as it has a legal move - illuminates a green glow across all squares within range.

Unless you're playing strictly with the self-imposed "Touch Rule" - whereby, if you touch a piece, you must move it ...

... If you suddenly decide you want to move a different piece, than the one selected, you must click the piece that is currently active, which shuts off the green glow, then you can pick another piece to move.

The animated movement of the pieces is good - they have a nippy, gliding action to them.

So, overall, yeah this game plays as well as it looks.


Other Good Features

Chess Glossary - Flash Chess - 03Other features of the game include:
  • Moves recorded with Algebraic Notation, toward the top-right of the game's interface.

  • An "Undo Move" button, which does exactly what it suggests.

  • A "Save" & "Load" button. This is great ... at any time, during the game, Click on Save.

    When I tried this and refreshed the screen, I was presented with a dialogue asking me whether I wanted to resume the stored game, or start a new one.

    I've not yet come across a free online Chess game that does this. Very good.


Criticism?

If there's anything to criticize about Flash Chess III, I'd have to say the angle of the board means that some of the pieces partially block others, if they're one square in front.

Chess Glossary - Flash Chess - 04

This is particularly the case when you have a Queen or King behind any piece, which you want to move.



Click To Play Flash Chess III
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