Little Chess


Little Chess ... Well, it's Free to download ... But that's about as good as it gets.

It reminds me of a University project that claimed a decent grade and the student who created it has all the intentions in the world to make it better, at some point, but then totally doesn't.

I first came across this Chess program, slightly before I discovered I had Chess Titans on my version of Windows Vista ...

Back then, I was only just beginning to learn the game (of Chess) and hadn't made up my mind as to whether to get my wallet out for a computer program, or for an electronic, programmable Chess Set.

Anyway, here's a quick overview of this simple Chess program:


What It Is ... And Isn't

What it Is ... Little Chess is a basic Chess program ... it allows you to play with somebody else sitting at the same PC as you ...

What it Isn't ... It's NOT a game which you can play by yourself (e.g. versus the computer, or linked over the internet) ... There is no database of pre-programmed moves, unlike Chess Titans, or Fritz, for instance.


Options Menu

Chess Glossary - Little Chess - Options MenuLittle Chess has a basic list of options, which can be found from the drop down menu, labelled 'Game'.

From here, you can choose to start a New Game, view the Board setup, or Actions sub-menus.

Going into the Board sub-menu, you're able to:

  • Reverse the board, so you can play either as Black or White;

  • select/deselect the Drag-and-Drop option (which I'm not sure why you'd want to, as it appears you cannot play any moves!);

  • or turn on/off the Highlight Move option, which, with it left on, puts a blue border around the square a piece has just left and the one it's landed on.

As for the Actions sub-menu, all you have is an option to Undo the Last Move.


Algebraic Notation

Chess Glossary - Little Chess - Algebraic NotationI suppose this should actually read 'sort-of' Algebraic Notation ...

Little Chess gives you the reference of the square a piece came from and the square it lands on ... BUT, there's no mention of the major pieces, so, looking back, you're unable to tell whether, say, a Queen made a capture ...

Nor is there any reference for Pawn Promotion, Check, Checkmate, or Castling ...

If you're going to go to the trouble of showing the Notation, then why not at least do it properly?


Castling

Chess Glossary - Little Chess - CastlingThis was a bit troublesome ... As you can see in the video, at one stage, the program wouldn't complete the Castling manouvre ...

It appears this happens when you've played one game and successfully Castled already ... If you then select New Game, from the Options menu, the next time you come to a Castling opportunity, it doesn't work ...

The only way Castling would work again is by closing down the entire program and starting all over again ... Not good.


Pawn Promotion

Chess Glossary - Little Chess - Pawn PromotionThis worked fine ... as it takes place, you get a sub-menu that pops-up beside your mouse, which allows you to select either a Queen, Rook, Bishop, or Knight.

Again, we go back to the Algebraic Notation issue and find that there's no mention of what piece was Promoted, nor where it is on the board.


En Passant

Chess Glossary - Little Chess - En Passant AnimatedThis special move has also been worked into the program and doesn't appear to suffer from the glitch that affects Castling ...

If you start a New Game, En Passant still works - you don't have to close the program down and start from scratch.


Check & Checkmate

Chess Glossary - Little Chess - Check - Checkmate AnimatedWith either of these situations, Little Chess displays a pop-up dialogue box to declare which side's King is in "Check", or which side's King was "Checkmated".


Summary

Just because it's free, does not make this worth your time downloading ...

If you want to play a game of chess and don't yet want to pay for, say, Fritz, then why not click the link below and play Flash Chess ...

With said Flash Chess, you don't have to download it, don't have to pay to play and can enjoy a game or five against the computer opponent over the interweb.



Little Chess ... Not As Good As Flash Chess
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