iPhone App for Cheating at Chess

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The iPhone app for cheating at online chess and specifically marketed for cheating at "Chess with Friends" is aptly named "Chess Cheats."

Here's the gist of how the Chess Cheats app works:
  1. Open the Chess with Friends app (or any online chess game you're playing) on your iPhone
  2. Take a screenshot of the Chess with Friends game you're currently playing on your iPhone by holding down the power button and the home button at the same time (this is how all iPhone screen shots are taken).
  3. Exit your Chess with Friends app (or whatever chess app you're using)
  4. Open the Chess Cheats app
  5. In the Chess Cheats app you pull up the screen shot of your Chess with Friends game. This is very easy to do. Simply select the screenshot from your image gallery. The Chess Cheat app has a button in the lower left hand corner to easily do this. See the picture below.
  6. After uploading the screen shot of your game into the Chess Cheats app (below picture on right) there's a button in the lower left hand corner to see what move the computer system would make.
  7. Decide whether or not you want to make the move the computer suggests and hit the button in the upper right hand corner (below picture on the right) to return to your game of Chess with Friends.
How to use an iPhone app to cheat at online chess, including Chess with Friends.
The Chess Cheats app costs $0.99 (like a lot of apps) and I decided to try it out for myself so I bought a copy.

Obviously $0.99 isn't much money on any budget but I felt even better about buying this app after digging a little deeper and learning about the guy who developed it.

Meet Shawn Gano.

This is his personal website: http://www.gano.name/shawn/

He looks and seems like nice guy.

He's:
  • in his 30's
  • from Michigan
  • went to undergrad at the University of Michigan
  • got his Masters and Ph. D at Notre Dame
  • lives in Pennsylvania with his wife (Rebekah) and dog (Chester)

  • likes scuba diving

  • got his private pilot's license in 2004

This is someone I'm happy to support with my small contributions of buying his $0.99 app.

So, I tried the app out and it was even easier to use than I thought it would be.

I used the Chess Cheats app on a couple of my friends without telling them.

This wasn't a very friendly thing to do, but I justified it by calling it research for this website. The app worked in that I won the games, but the games were against friends that I normally beat.

An experiment to see how the Chess Cheats app stacks up against excellent players:

  • Setup a chess match between a computer chess program that's set to maximum difficulty and the Chess Cheats app. The way to do this is to use the method described in the basic chess cheating example. A simple illustration of the setup is pictured immediately below. In this example the "Computer on Difficult Setting would make the first move.

Chess Cheating iPhone app versus a computer chess player.

  • I ran this experiment and learned three things:
  1. This experiment was more tedious than I thought it would be.
  2. This experiment took longer than I thought it would.
  3. The iPhone Chess Cheat app decisively beat the chess program on my Mac, albeit it wasn't really until the end that the iPhone app pulled away.

One downside:

I'm usually playing multiple games (against different people) at the same time, so keeping track can be a little challenging considering you have to exit the Chess with Friends app each time you use the Chess Cheat app, but this really only becomes an issue when I have lots of games going back and forth at the same time quickly, which isn't all that often.

Using this Chess Cheat app is still waaaaaaay faster than manually setting up a mirrored chess board for every game I'm playing.

Realistically, unless a cheat was built directly into Chess with Friends I'm not sure what could be quicker than simply plucking screen grabs of games.

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Before you leave check out:

"If you're not cheating, you're not trying." - Quote from: Lots of people who cheat