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Old vs New: The SparkChess board redesign

Old vs new SparkChess board

With the new board design we introduced for SparkChess 10, some people were left wondering if the change was really necessary . After all, the old design has served the community for eight years and people grew attached to it. Far from us to pursue change for its own sake. In this post I’ll try to explain the reasons for the redesign.

Classic Sicilian Counterplay

white's position is hopeless

Play in the Sicilian is typically sharp because of the imbalanced pawn structure. It’s especially important to pursue the right plan in sharp positions, because it can be difficult to contain your opponent’s counter play, and he will often take over the initiative after a couple of small inaccuracies.

All-out Struggle for a Key Square

All-out struggle for a key square

Black makes a critical error on move 14, and tries to organize a defense with his king in the center. Both sides focus their attention on the d5 square. The square falls, and Black’s king must run for cover. In the meantime, White wins additional material and he enters an ending with a two pawn advantage.

How we test SparkChess across platforms

SparkChess 9 is now available on all major platforms and devices, completing a cycle started last year. You may be wondering why the mobile version came out a month and a half after the desktop version. Read on to learn how we test it.

Mastering Pawn Structures

After a little research, you’ll find that some variations have been played by chess grandmasters, but way less frequently than more solid alternatives. This often means they are used as “a surprise weapon,” and there’s a good chance there’s something about them that doesn’t hold up too well against correct play. Oftentimes, there’s just a single variation that comes close to refuting the idea, and the opponent has to know that line or find it over the board. Otherwise, the adventurous player often gets a good game.

Long Term Problems in Chess

When playing against the French Defense, sometimes f4 is played before Nf3, and sometimes Nf3 is played directly. In some variations, it’s a matter of preference, and at other times the position dictates a specific course of action.