SmallFish Chess for Stockfish

4.8 (2.7K)
144.6 MB
Age rating
Current version
Ted Wong
Last update
2 months ago
Version OS
14.0 or later
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User Reviews for SmallFish Chess for Stockfish

4.78 out of 5
2.7K Ratings
10 months ago, meta732
One of the best!
As good as if not better than almost everything out there regardless of platform. I use this to analyze all of my games whether OTB or online. I love that it shows multiple lines with each move. Trust me when I say that it's hard to find anything as robust and user-friendly on PC (eg, Lucas Chess can run Stockfish but I haven't been able to configure the settings to display multiple lines during analysis). And hats off for an exceptional (and appropriate) privacy policy! This app is a gem and must-have for chess enthusiasts of every level. Not convinced by my endorsement? SmallFish is recommended by the Stockfish team via the official website. -14 Pro Max on iOS 16.1.x
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8 months ago, AjedrezSobrio
Outstanding Tool
This thing is simply amazing! A must-have for any serious or aspiring Chess player. It used to be, in my experience, that a phone app couldn't match up to a program on a computer. I have this app on my lap(tablet)top and on my phone and it performs just the same. Extremely strong! You can see several lines simultaneously. Truest a great study/strengthening tool. The fact that it's free, well, it's just outstanding...!
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3 years ago, Fprwsl
Opponent always runs out of time.
No matter what I do in the options, I always win because my opponent runs out of time. The game continues, however, even though the clock is 0.00 so that’s a good thing. This issue starts immediately: playing white pieces, I play 1. d4, black always immediately plays either d5 or f6; I play 2. c4 . . . . black “thinks” 20-40 seconds before making a second move, usually c5. Really? As long as 40 seconds to make the second move. And that “thinking” exists throughout the game. For instance, black offers a queen trade: I accept. Then black deliberates 20, 30, etc. seconds whether or not to capture my queen when there is obvious nothing to deliberate. Hardly a realistic or enjoyable scenario.
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3 years ago, ifla01
Well designed app - update
After updating to ios13.6, it seems that there are graphic issues (piece alignment to the board, coordinates alignment to the board). None of these are impediments to using it, but are annoying. Please update! *Having tried many chess apps, I consider this app to be excellent! Most chess enthusiasts say that the only decent chess games were developed for PC. Until finding this app I thought that was true. My preferred choice has been Chess Master- Grandmaster edition (pc version), which I used for more than 10 years. This app is certainly the best contender yet!
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5 years ago, richerchess
I find SmallFish difficult to navigate(the HIARCS app is very intuitive but not free of charge). Also I believe SmallFish does not display number of positions looked at per second as the regular Stockfish app does. Stockfish is free and easy to use. Another issue is that I can’t see whether the endgame tablebase I downloaded is installed on SmallFish, or how to verify that SmallFish is using them( I think a red TB is displayed WHILE the table base is in use). But If true that it’s Elo ~3300 on iphones, that’s pretty cool. If u mostly need the very strongest app, at the cost of some features smallfish is the one to get.
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3 years ago, Samthelamanite
Crashes often
Running on an iPhone 11 using iOS 14.4 and it crashes almost every time I use it. Crashes when I manually set up a board to play out or when I'm adjusting settings. I love this app and would love it to work seamlessly. The crashing is unfortunate so I can do anything to reduce the crashing, let me know. Love the board setup option, option to play as black or white, the two or three move recommendations. I would love if it told you the opening you were playing as you chose the moves.
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1 year ago, dantheman11
New additions?
Could you please add personality, adjustable search depth, and more evaluation lines (10)! This app is literally the best out there but these are all features I have desperately wanted in one app but haven’t been able to find in an all in one package. Thank you for all your hard work! This app already is the best, but these features would blow the competition out of the water.
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5 months ago, elevensbest
As a beginning chess player . . .
I love that the grapg function will show me every time I make a bad move and then, with the scroll bar, I can take that bad move back and try something else (hopefully, with a better rating on the graph). With these two tools working in tandem and providing feedback, I can teach myself how to read the board and use intelligent strategy.
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4 months ago, StewardH
Very Powerful and Versatile
The SmallFish Application is incredibly powerful and offers an exceptionally useful array of features, including a continuously updated graph showing how well the player is doing. The blue arrows point out all possible legal moves. Incredibly, the application is free of charge. Highly recommended for players of all levels, and can challenge players at the highest levels.
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2 months ago, mrbusters
I will just use Stockfish
I don’t know what the advantages of this app are over stock fish. it says in the description review your game with comments. That’s leading me to believe that it annotate’s my game…. it does not. Yes you can analyze your game with comments if you leave those comments. So it lets you write your own comments in a game. Next I load one of the grandmaster games. The game shows annotations but soon as you make the move the annotations disappear. If I’m doing something wrong, please explain it to me and I will change my review. Which brings up another point. The app is not user-friendly at all.
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7 months ago, RoyDaBob
Best chess app
This app works great for analyzing games and checking out the engine moves. I think it will be better tho if it has chess board scanning feature like other chess apps. Other apps have a feature which lets you take a screenshot of chess board and set up the board with the picture. It would be great if this app also adds this!
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3 years ago, chuchu0rocket
Great game
This game, on intermediate level is very challenging for me. It offers a number of different game pièce icons and provides a list of the moves made. I know there are a number of free chess games offered in the App Store but I’m sticking with this I e as it has th be one of the best. It even has a function where you can leave notes as you play along for further study. Great game and what’s more it’s free!
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3 years ago, Aidanwalter111
Best Stockfish App
This is definitely the best Stockfish app out there. Highly recommend. The only problem I’ve noticed is that the best move arrow often does not match with the actual best move as provided by the analysis. Also, sometimes the three lines of analysis are not ordered by their actual strength. Other than that, amazing app with very active development.
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8 months ago, Butterfingers999
Loved it but…
I’m not sure what I did with it, but I was messing with the setup positions game-set to have a little fire in the game, but it crashed, completely fine. Then I realized it crashes every time I opened it, now I’m upset that I broke the app. If your wondering, I got it to work but I had to uninstall, so glad the fix was that easy, I just wish there was a warning on invalid setups.
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7 months ago, Ken Harpster
Great Stockfish based chess application
I’m not an expert by any means, but Stockfish is such a great chess engine. Ted has done a great job of bringing Stockfish to iOS in SmallFish! Kudos for the hard work and keeping the app free of charge and ad free! My favorite feature is the “blunder check” which shows where made I made poor choices, and provides better moves.
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3 years ago, Splangy613
Free? Hard to believe, but true.
I started playing with this app a few weeks ago and became more and more impressed over time. The UI is solid and the ability to move through a game while getting analysis is so slick. I love this game and I’m playing it every day and you should too.
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2 years ago, hostaris
Great Engine, Too Difficult
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have the attention span for chess. That being said, I can usually hang with the first few levels up to like 500 ELO. Not on this one. Even children’s mode blows my back out every game. So if you’re even a little bit good at chess, you won’t notice. I mainly use it to record PGNs of games I have with my kiddo.
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10 months ago, Drawgood
Broken App
I am not sure how this app can remain in the App Store if it simply does not work according to its own options. When I attempt to play against the engine it gives you settings for the engine strength, how many seconds to think (5, 10, 15, 30..n…infinite time) threads to look for, and how much memory to use. This does not work because even when you set it to think 5 seconds (which is actually pretty long for an engine) it takes too long and usually loses on time. It takes way more than the selected time. Another problem is, for some reason, it cannot import a game PGN while other apps can import the same text from the clipboard no problem. The official StockFish app can do it no problem. So, why would anybody waste their time on this broken one?
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6 years ago, ChessCoach123
Excellent, better than Stockfish
This is a fantastic app, especially since it is free. Regularly updated to use the newest and strongest Stockfish engine (which is the equal of the strongest chess engines in the world, free or paid). Beautiful, simple interface with unique analysis graph. For every move, shows who is winning and by how much in a easy-to-understand graph. Virtually unique among free programs in allowing users to add comments to moves. Very helpful in going over your own games and making notes on where to improve. Developer has responded very quickly to emails pointing out bugs and suggesting improvements. Thanks, Ted!
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4 months ago, plentyzeross
Excellent…top notch
Gets to the heart of chess in a straightforward and direct way helping the player improve with thoughtful tips and take backs. Has many options to change the board, pieces, time duration and level of play. A true asset for improving your chess game!
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12 months ago, mouse_potato_li
Awesome chess engine app
Hi this is the go to app for me when setup position and doing analysis. It’s been updated very frequently with all nice feature. Kindly requesting to add ‘Show book move’ option when playing, which will be very helpful for studying the chess. Thank you!
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3 months ago, cllawson
Incredible Chess App
This app succeeds where so many other chess apps fail- proving that slick advertising, corporate marketing, etc are not the deciding factor in creating a remarkable user experience. This chess app has been developed with such intuitive insight. Highly recommend. Thank you!
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3 years ago, notsoavidgamereviewer
The app is very useful, well organized, and has an abundance of customization options. It is great that something like this is free. The one and only change I would like to see is a dark mode for all the menus, as it would be much easier on my eyes. Other than that, I love the app.
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5 years ago, Cjcardoso
Great for study
I read books on a chess reader app, but not all books are in this format. This app allows me to play and set up positions from the book, and I explore moves that are not mentioned. I also download a bunch of tournament PGNs for later references. I also use it to sharpen up my openings. Really great app. Get it!
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3 years ago, Dhjazz
Love it but...
The app won’t open after a single use. I use it to annotate my games and then export PGN, all good. Go to do another game and when I open the app it crashes immediately, won’t even open. So I delete it and reinstall it. It’s worth it cause it’s a great tool so I give it 4 stars, but maybe developers can fix this issue somehow?
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4 years ago, 3\/@ñ nn€ÿ£[$
Constantly crashing
Every time I open the settings or flip the board the app crashes. The app is brilliant other than this problem hence my 5 star rating. I don’t want the rating of the app to be ruined due to an iOS update. Please fix soon!
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9 months ago, Beat raters
Need to convert a position on the fly in a game! Plug it in and watch as SmallFish turns what is horrible into what is great. Just one problem. It starts trading pieces when it shouldn’t. Like if it’s up a queen against a knight and queen. It’ll trade queens which is just dumb a lot of the time
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3 years ago, CurryMe
The absolute best chess app in the store.
As far as I am concerned this is the singularly best chess app in the store. I am grateful for all of the recent updates, which only make it better. Is it the most pretty? No. Is it the most social? No. Is it the easiest? No. Is it still the best by a far margin? Yes. Download immediately.
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10 months ago, jakemh24
Very Hard to Navigate
The app is super confusing and non-intuitive. I can’t complain too much, since it’s offering a strong engine free of charge. But I’m just really surprised they don’t lay things out in an easy-to-use way. It was difficult to figure out how to just analyze a position with 3 threads of analysis, but I’m slowly figuring things out.
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6 months ago, Ráger
Amazing app overall awesome, it would be nice that there was a little explanation behind every move and why it’s the best just to really get that learning curve overall love it but still.
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9 months ago, Evan k937
Crashing Last Few Days
Great but won’t open ever since recent updates. It crashes immediately. Please fix soon!!!
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5 months ago, Chillychilboy
Pretty good
This is an amazing app for analyzing games and for studying grandmaster games, but a big problem holding it back is its interface, it is very difficult to navigate and some of the buttons overlap. Never the less, an amazing app, hopefully these issues will be fixed in the future.
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9 months ago, a swwwwss
I love this game!!
I love this game but i will tell you a update that you could do so when your playing a game can you put numbers and all the letters please it makes it so easier love this game love yall
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3 years ago, deepmodem
What good is it if it keeps crashing?
This could be a wonderful program if it didn’t always crash and die. I have an ipad pro with plenty of storage and using the latest os. I’ve tried deleting the app and reinstalling the latest versions many times. Either the game will completely crash, or it won’t move and the clock will run out unless I force it to move. Currently it is unusable, hence the one star.
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3 years ago, Mulraven
Good but crashes
I like the app and appreciate that it is offered for free. However the game constantly crashes both on my iphone and ipad.
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3 years ago, 
Good settings and easy to use
Adds some much needed settings and features other apps lack. Only thing missing for me is option to provide multiple suggested moves in analysis mode when there are several “good” moves
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5 years ago, Ryanmp99
Recent TB Crashing
Crashing related to tablebase usage has gotten much worse since the recent update. Could you work on adding an analysis mode in which you can analyze multiple lines at once without them being deleted?
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3 years ago, dnskajsbshs
Hecka dope
I’m learning so many openings with this and it’s great to use to cheat against your friends, very good can’t recommend it more, although I’m not sure you can use this to play online
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4 years ago, nobody612
IOS 13 issues
Do not want to ruin the rating of the wonderful app, but Almost all settings entries are broken in IOS 13! Fix please! Update: Fixed.
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6 months ago, Napoleon_PhoneApart
Great Chess Software!
I just download Smallfish yesterday and am very impressed by its strength on a cell phone. I have Stockfish installed on my PC, so I'm fairly familiar with it. If I had a wish list for Smallfish, it would be: 1. The ability to disable flipping the board every other move. 2. The option to let Smallfish play itself. This would be handy when studying endgame play. A wonderful piece of chess software, though. Great job!
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4 years ago, stallions555
Screen flips up half way
The screen flips up and does not come back down when I press the option button please fix
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2 years ago, Patrick... In Portland, OR
Love this app!
Super useful at helping me see deeper into the game and learning advantages based on longer term analysis. Fairly easy to understand and easier to use… even for a hack like me.
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9 months ago, eluvvio
Overall good
The app should be a little bit easier to navigate but It helps me a lot
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3 years ago, LesLL
Latest version seems broke
latest version seems broke. Used app for years. Now it makes the stupidest errors - allows mate in one! Timers can get hung up or confused. Wished I had kept older version. Description says added Stockfish 11 but there seems to have been some interface changes as well. I am using original iPad Air.
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8 months ago, jose capablanca
Great Application
I know it’s not a powerful engine but for a free tool it’s now my favorite chess pastime. My rating is low expert and it affords me plenty of improvement opportunities.
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11 months ago, woodpusher84
Was my go to app till recently
Why are pawns moving backwards? A pawn shouldn’t be able to move backwards to capture a queen. No I didn’t flip the board or anything silly. Do you have an email support so I may email a video of this
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3 years ago, SilverFire2
Great app, but display keeps bugging out
The display keeps bugging out where the chess board is jammed half offscreen to the top, please get this bug fixed Update: Am on iPhone 11 Max Pro, most recent update. Has happened multiple times, a few potential triggers have included: - turning on coordinates - loading positions from the ChessTactics app But unfortunately I don’t have a good way to reproduce the bug. Sometimes it resolved itsef on app restart and other times it persists, but in latter case turning off coordinates and then restarting fixes it
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8 months ago, Rocker Big C.
Opponent takes too long to move
Whenever I use this the first few moves go by really fast, but around 10 moves in it just stops, I left my phone on and around 10 minutes later it moved to the one square where the opponents arrow was pointing to, no matter what I do it can’t and won’t change.
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12 months ago, spamspamspamm
No unlimited time for human players
Why can’t I have a no time limit game? Sure, restrict the thinking time of Stockfish so it won’t spend years per turn, but the human player should be allowed a mode where they can take as long as they want, like a correspondence style game.
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1 year ago, Steve.kc
AI needs serious tweaks
The AI is not good. If you’re trying to practice and learn openings your opponent either goes completely off book or is so ridiculously overpowered you cannot even practice and improve. This is not a good program for novice players. It may be good if you’re 1600+ but setting the opponents ranking lower and it just doesn’t make sense.
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