Chess Openings Wizard by Bookup Corp. (Universal)
Released: Dec 22, 2018
Version: COW build 50
Size: 334 MB
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Ranking - Education (iPhone)

Ranking - Education (iPad)

Chess Openings Wizard

Bookup Corp.
Screenshot #1 (iPhone)
Chess Openings Wizard is where tournament players go to work on their openings.

The app is based on the Bookup program that first came out in 1984. It has full editing and training power like its brethren apps on Macintosh and Windows.

Openings can be moved back and forth to the Macintosh and Windows versions.

Chess Openings Wizard does not play chess, nor does it come with a game collection. It is meant for designing openings for White and defenses for Black, and then testing the player's knowledge of the lines by playing mock games.

Sample ebooks include an opening guide (thousands of named and categorized opening positions accessible through any move order), an ECO master framework, and the White and Black repertoires of Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. It also includes a demo ebook with excerpts from a highly annotated repertoire in the Open Game.

A free chess engine server program can be run on Macintosh or Windows. That allows the iPad and iPhone to use the latest and strongest UCI engines for live analysis. (The server must share the same WiFi connection.)

The Pedigree ribbon shows the results of games in each opening position but uses only games between two super GMs. That way you know if the move is trusted by the best players. (And it's important to know if a move has never been played by a super GM when facing another super GM.) This is the same feature found in Chess Openings Wizard Professional for Macintosh and Windows.

The short version is: if you are designing an opening with a game database app or with a playing program, you're working too hard. Chess Openings Wizard contains 34 years of refinements, with precisely the tools that a serious tournament player requires to prepare openings fast.

What's new in version COW build 50
Dark mode and iPhone are now supported. The chess diagram includes (optional) algebraic hints and arrows showing the last move played. The list of ebooks is sorted by name. A speed button for editing comments allows the comments to be scrolled without triggering editing mode.

Two new functions have been added. The first adds any moves to a position that transpose to any other position. The second adds any moves that reach positions in the Pedigree database.

The Pedigree database is made up of the opening positions of all games where a super GM (extremely strong grandmaster) is paired against another super GM. If a move reaches one of these positions, a ribbon next to the move shows the relative wins for White, draws, and wins for Black.
Our verdict: Good
  • + Chess Openings Wizard is a highly rated app (4.5-star).
  • + It is currently 81% off its regular price.
  • + The app is also at the lowest price we've seen.
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