ChessMatec is a chess app that’s distinctive in its own way. It’s very different compared to the other apps such as chess24, lichess or chess.com.
First of all, this app is made for kids. And it has all the features that’ll engage children and keep them playing chess. This app was founded by chess grandmaster Boris Alterman and his wife Luba Alterman. In this review, you’ll understand some great features about this app.
Like every other app, you have to create your own account first in order to access it in the first place. Once you do, you’ll be taken to the home screen of the app.
The app has a really simple homepage design. This makes for a good navigation experience. One knows where to click and what to expect. At the present moment, the app has options for 8 different courses. These courses cover the following –
- Chess basics (How pieces move)
- Mate in 1, 2, 3 moves.
- Basic & Advanced Tactics
When you click on the course, you are taken to a separate page. Have you ever played Tower Defense games? The ones you find on a website like miniclip.com? Basically you’re on a journey and there are different stages you must go through to make progress. Also on each level you’re rated on a scale of 1-3. That’s how this app page looks like.
The ChessMatec team has basically gamified chess to make it interesting for children of different ages. We guess they figured out that children spend a lot of time playing video games online. So an interface that matches that would really attract them.
The user interface is absolutely stunning and attractive. It’s a joy to breeze through the app.
Coming to the chess content, the lessons are also gamified. For instance, the starting lesson is about the rook. So first, the app will show you how the rook moves and captures. You will be left impressed with their animation and graphics. After that, you are supposed to pass the level.
There’s a progress meter at the bottom that’ll show you how much progress you’ve made in the current level. Once you accomplish a goal, you get a star on the progress bar. Earn 3 stars to successfully finish that level! When you finish, a little soldier will cheer you on. It’s a classic way to encourage children to keep on going.
Also, the pieces are personified to resemble a real soldier. This certainly makes the game very adorable. Bonus points for this charm factor.
To advance to the next stage of the journey, you need to finish all the levels of a particular stage.
Bonus Course: Space Adventure
The space adventure is another interactive game. Here the main goal is to capture monsters with your chess pieces. Even though there are no monsters on the chess board, it helps a child learn about the movement of the pieces. As an adult, this might seem absurd. But from a child’s perspective, it makes a lot of sense. It keeps the children engaged in the learning process.
Does this app have a paid version?
Yes, it does have a paid version. The paid version unlocks all the other features of the Chessmatec App. For example, levels above 1500+ rating are all behind the paywall. The paid version also unlocks the dashboard where you can track your progress and rank among the app community.
During the research, I also found that the app has tied up with several schools(most of them in Israel). We guess there might be some special features for students who have registered for this app, via their schools.
After reading the review, you can safely assume that the app isn’t for professional players. After all there aren’t any monsters in real games! Also, the app interface might not resonate with a lot of adults.
However, it’s a great app for children who’re just getting started in chess. Traditional methods of teaching chess might seem boring to a child. Long lectures can often kill the curiosity of children. So sometimes you have to make things interesting for them, even if that means showing them dragons! You’ve to learn to see the world the way they see it. And the ChessMatec App does exactly that!