Updated: Apr 14
Right now, there is a chess engine match going on, or a tournament with your favorite players. Right now there is a broadcast of this important event for you.
Are you on a walk, spending time sitting on a park bench or maybe you are just traveling by train, or just preparing a meal at your place ?
Whatever you are doing right now, at any time you can live stream chess games, see and listen to the video broadcast, analyze ongoing and completed games and much more using smartphone with the FollowChess app by Mr. Asim Pereira.
This review will show images from the FollowChess Pro version 3.6.13 on Android system - the latest as of the date of this writing.
Versions for both systems are functionally almost identical, they differ, for example, in color themes. If the review remains showing a screenshot of the iOS version, it will be explicitly described.
FollowChess comes in two versions: Free and Pro.
Free has ads and has limited functionality, e.g. Free can not view all Standings only top, Pro can view all standings, etc.
The Pro version costs $0.99 per month which is less than one coffee from Starbucks.
It is also possible to buy a lifetime version, which will be Pro forever, without any limitations.
After launching the program, we are greeted by a screen with a list of chess matches and tournaments. There are a lot of them, as by default, in addition to live events, already completed ones are also available.
The user has the possibility to filter the events and leave e.g. only the live ones.
When you tap on a selected event, such as one being played live - FollowChess will take you to a screen where you will see multiple chess boards with open chess games.
Here is round 6 of one of the live events being played:
And below is another tournament, also broadcast live.
In real time, the chessboards are updated when players make a move.
It's cool to be able to watch multiple games being played at the same time :-)
FollowChess can operate in portrait mode (above images) or in landscape mode (below). The landscape mode is especially convenient when using a tablet or larger smartphone.
By pressing any chessboard you will be taken to the view of that selected and enlarged chessboard; the game notation will be shown and icons for selecting various functions will be displayed.
Below, the game in a vertical setting.
And here is a chess game in a horizontal setting.
At any time if we wish to change the chessboard design and color themes, this can be easily done in the app settings.
The choices range from light to dark color themes.
You can also change the appearance of the chess pieces for your own convenience.
When a chess game interests us...
...We can add it to the WatchList...
...To return to it at the appropriate time.
Favorite chess games after pressing the icon with a heart goes to the Favorites list.
But before that, we can add an appropriate label with a short description to the game.
Sometimes it happens that we are looking for a game that we have seen before but we don't remember exactly which one it was.
In this case, the function Recently Viewed will help us remember all the chess games we have seen before.
The app also allows you to share the game you are watching with others. For example, you can send a link via e-mail, instant messenger, bluetooth connection or forward the game to another application on your smartphone (e.g. for analysis).
The application also allows you to send a graphic file with the current situation on the chessboard and explanations in the form of colored arrows.
Using FillowChess you can automatically play a chess game according to the notation. In the settings there is an option to set time between moves.
Each position and game can be analyzed by the chess engine.
In the open chess game view this can be done in two ways:
1. Via the Share button pass the game to another application.
2. Press the robot icon and the Analyze This application will open.
The Analyze This application is by the same author as FollowChess.
It can function as a standalone application, or you can integrate it with FollowChess via the robot icon.
Both applications work perfectly together, forming a harmonious duo:
FollowChess allows you to watch games, tournaments, video broadcasts, etc.
Analyze This is an application for analyzing chess positions and games.
The games can be shown in graphical form on the chessboards or in text form.
When you tap the cloud icon, the app will download all the chess games (.PGN) of that event to your smartphone's storage.
If an event is broadcast, FollowChess will allow you to watch that broadcast while also following the game or watch the broadcast after the game is over.
Below are some images with examples.
We also have access to the scores for each round and the final scores.
The app allows you to keep up to date with comments during games and join in discussions.
Noteworthy is the search engine that allows you to quickly find a specific event, tournaments.
For example, when you type "tcec" into the search box, FollowChess shows all played tournaments of the TCEC event between chess engines.
As in the examples above, here too we get access to the results, detailed statistics, comments.
A nice addition to the app are interviews with interesting people in the chess world.
A useful addition is the option to choose how often you receive notifications.
FollowChess is one of the best - and perhaps the best - smartphone app for tracking live matches, tournaments and broadcasts of chess events.
Visually very attractive, easy to configure and not overloaded with unnecessary features.
Potential integration with the Analyze This app by the same author, makes FollwChess even more advantageous by allowing analysis by a top chess engine (Stockfish for iOS and Stockfish or any other by user-installed on Android).
The application does what it was designed to do and does it brilliantly. The author of this review in many years of using FollowChess has never experienced this app malfunctioning or crashing.
Many satisfied users have made this clear in comments on the Google and Apple stores recommending FollowChess.
The app basically has no weaknesses. The only thing I could wish is that it was translated into other languages, which would allow many users to use it even more comfortably in their native language.