10 Things You Need to Know About Shredder App

Yury Markushin
Category: Reviews

Today we will talk about one of the most popular and possibly one of the best chess apps there is (according to other reviews): Shredder.

We will explore the IPad/IPhone version of Shredder.

A very similar version is also available for android devices. Let’s take a closer look at this app [includes a video review].

1. Shredder is very user friendly

Shredder is a very user friendly app. That doesn’t mean, however, that it will be a very ‘chess friendly’ if you set it on a maximum strength level (which is, by the way, 2600). It will probably kill you. But, the overall look and feel with graphics is very impressive. All control buttons are placed in the right places, everything is smooth and high quality looking.

Check out the video review of Shredder prepared by Robin Crowley for TheChessWorld.com.

2. Shredder has an Opening Book and Endgame Database

It is a great feature, to have a fully functional game database on your device. For example, it has 250k games on e4 and 207k games on d4. Of course, it’s not a ChessBase database with almost 5 million games, but it’s pretty good for an app.

Another useful feature is the 6 pieces endgame tables. You can setup any position with 6 pieces or less and it will instantly solve it, showing the game outcome with the best play.

The only negative aspect of Shredder’s databases is that they are not actually stored on your device and cannot be used without an active internet connection.

3. Shredder has a powerful analysis mode

Shredder app has an infinite analysis mode, which means that it will use all its brains (or processors) to think about the position you have entered and come up with the best possible plan of actions. It can analyze for an infinite period of time, which in case of an IPad, means until the battery dies.

4. Shredder has a ‘hint’ button

This is a little question mark (‘?‘) button which eventually asks Shredder for help when you have a bad position. Shredder will suggest an optimal move. Some may disagree, but it’s not a good idea to even have that button available for the player, since he will always have a temptation to press it when under pressure. In real over the board chess game, there is no magic button to press and save the day.

5. Shredder comes with 1000 built in chess puzzles

This is actually something useful. I’m a big fan of tactics problems and its ability to improve one’s game. When I see software developers insert them in apps, they automatically get a + in my eyes.

Anyways, Shredder’s puzzle section is pretty sophisticated. The positions are taken from the actual games . Shredder makes the first move and your job is to refute it, meaning to find the best possible continuation. Shredder times you and the faster you come up with a correct move, the more points you will receive.

6. The chess board is fully customizable

I like to customize the things I use. In Shredder, you can select different chessboard colors and styles, choose various chess pieces and so on. Some of the pieces look pretty abstract and stupid. I’ve always wondered who would ever use them? But there are classical chess pieces available as well and they look pretty neat.

7. Playing blindfold is possible

It is also possible to play blindfold chess with no pieces visible on the board. That’s a nice app feature, right there! Previously I have recommended playing blindfold chess to improve yourvisualization skills by using either a special software or a chess playing environment like ChessMaster. Now you can use Shredder to play blindfold chess.

8. Adjustable playing strength

You can change Shredder’s playing strength from 850 ELO (beginner) to 2600 ELO (Grandmaster) in increments of 1 point. You can also change a playing style of the engine to spice up the game. The possible styles are: Normal, Solid, Passive, Aggressive, Active, Random. If you want to practice with different types of opponents I recommend setting it to ‘Random’.

9. Shredder can save/load pgn games

This is a useful feature if you want to save your own games for future analysis (actually Shredder saves all the game you play anyway) or load recent Grandmaster games to look over yourself.

10. Overall performance

Shredder looks and works pretty well, without any noticeable lag or freezing. The controls, even though not perfectly placed, are pretty intuitive and relatively easy to find. Some options such as coach and hint are pretty useless.

Features like game database with an opening book and the endgame tables are definitely a good thing to have on a chess app. However, since they’re not stored on your device, an active internet connection is a must if you want to use them. It may spoil all the fun if you don’t have one. Also, I want to mention the chess puzzles and the blindfold chess options as attractive additional features.

Overall I will rank Shredder app 7/10. Recommended.

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Updated 01.13.2024


Robin Crowley:
Alex, as part of my training, I make deep analysis on each position while playing against it's highest level, then I compare my decision with the app's coach best advised moves and carefully analyse each of their variations lines, so I can understand the "thinking process" behind each move and that has helped me to improve my instincts when playing.Hope this helps.
How do you use HIARCS, or any chess engine for training? Just by sparring-playing matches and games? Or you actually doing some deep analyses stuff? How does that effected you rating, did it go up after this kind of training? :-)
Robin Crowley:
Talking about playing strenght, IMPO, I've found HIARCS to be the strongest option among iPad apps. So far, HIARCS is my personal #1 favorite training tool, being #2: Chess Pro (coach) and #3: Shredder in that order.
Kenton B,:
But if we don't take that into account a great app for 8$.
Kenton B,:
I played shredder on IPad and actually beat it on a maximum strength level at the aggressive setting. I have an older IPad though. As a 2200 rated player myself, I cannot believe it gained 400 point over 2 year of Ipad upgrade. I would say it plays at 2350 - 2400 max. I played 2600 rated human players a few times and it was a completely different experience. Also if I set a Fritz 12 on 2600, it just blows me off the board, as expected.
Robin Crowley:
Was it Shredder for iPad or for the iPhone?, some times the iPhone versions are not as strong as the iPad ones.
I've been using Shredder app for two years but its trenght on 2600 elo is hardly 2100. I love tactics puzzles after solving them all my score was 97%