SparkChess is an online chess game in which users can challenge a computer opponent. The computerized opponents here vary in difficulty and the more difficult opponents are a challenge even for some chess professionals. SparkChess lets users chose whether they are white or black pieces. Users can pause their game and come back to it if they are unable to finish a game in a single setting. Also, if the user makes a mistake they can click on the 'Undo Move' button to go back a step. Additionally, users can challenge real life users through its multi-player capability. So whether users want to waste some time, be distracted from other work that they need to do or if they want to improve their chess-playing skills, SparkChess may be able to help.
SparkChess was developed and maintained by a web design company called Media Division. Media Division is a Romanian company. SparkChess has won many awards and it was featured by Google, RIM and Adobe for its cross-platform capabilities.
SparkChess is notable in that its difficult computerized opponent is actually very difficult and programmed to not be repetitive or predictable in it chess play. Also, the lighting up of the eligible moves or pieces is particularly useful for a new player who is just learning the game.
The application is well designed and responsive. There were no time-out or connection issues. When it is the user's turn to move, SparkChess will light up the board with green-colored squares. When no squares light up this mean the piece cannot be moved at that particular time. This is specifically good for players who are learning the game and haven't memorized all of the chess rules just yet. To complete a move, the user just needs to click on the green square. In the case the user changes their mind, they can click on the piece a second time and select another move in its place. Overall the game is fairly intuitive to play and can help rookie players become at least somewhat acquainted at chess. The free version of the application is ad-supported, and the ads are quite obtrusive.
There is no registration required to play the most basic version of SparkChess. Users can download the full-version or access it through a hosting gaming site that support the game and register through that site to access more of the games features. Those registration processes will vary.
SparkChess' online version is completely free to play. It is supported by advertisements. Users do not need to register at all to play the basic version online. If users do subscribe to some full-version gaming site that supports SparkChess (such as vgamenetwork.com) they can access more features of the game, but the costs to do so vary and depend on the hosting gaming site. Users could also download the full version SparkChess Flash game to their computer for $8.99, but then this wouldn't be considered a web application anymore.
SparkChess is recommended for the beginning chess player to easily become acquainted with the classic game. Additionally, highly skilled chess enthusiasts can also try a game on SparkChess to see how their skills rank against the higher difficulty computer opponents. The basic version is free and well designed, so anyone interested in chess is recommended to give it a try.