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Pocket Chess Strategy Review
keywords: PocketPC, Strategy, Windows Mobile, Study, Training, Tutorial
Robert Pawlak
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Convekta's release of Pocket Chess Strategy comes very soon after their release of Pocket CT-ART. Both programs represent a genre of software that have here-to-fore been ignored by most of the other chess software companies. Right now, these programs are your best choice if you want to study chess on your PocketPC.

With a name like "Strategy", you might expect the program to only include "quiet" positions. This is definitely not the case, and there are plenty of examples that call for precise calculation and good tactical skills. The purpose of the program is to teach you how to play certain types of positions (for example, when there is a space advantage to exploit, or when one side has an isolated queen's pawn).

Nearly every feature of the PC version of Strategy 2.0 is present here, including results tracking, multiple users, and the like. While the ability to play a position out against a chess engine is missing, I think it's a pretty minor omission in this program. Here's what Strategy for the PocketPC includes:

The program also comes with a written manual (!), which is pretty rare, especially for PocketPC software. I would recommend that you quickly read through it, since it covers some essential topics. Probably the most important of these is the difference between theory and practice modes.

In summary, I highly recommend Pocket Chess Strategy. Convekta has done a really good job by producing both a stable program, and one that manages to squeeze all it's graphical features into the small screen of the PocketPC. This software really has no other competition, and if you use your PPC for playing chess, then you should take a look at this program, which allows chess study as well.

Much more information on Pocket Chess Strategy is available at the Convekta store.

Here are a few screenshots of the program in action:

[practice mode]

Some of the themes you can test yourself on 

[Tracks results]

Pocket Chess Strategy tracks results

[Two weaknesses 1]

Test position from on the theme of "Two Weaknesses" 

[Answer to exercise] 

The answer to the exercise

[stepping through answer]

Stepping through the answer 

[annotation example] 

An example from "Theory mode"

Compatibility Notes

This program occupies approximately 3.1MB of space on your PPC, and will also need to install the MS compact framework, if you don't have it on your machine (newer PocketPCs with windows mobile 2003 already have it in ROM). The program is compatible with WM2003SE, although there will be a warning when the program is installed.

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