I'm looking for a Scid port (or alternative software) to run on an iPad. Currently I use SCID + Stockfish in my Ubuntu Linux, but I'd like to use my iPad for the same functionality.

AFAIK there's a SCID port for Mac, but I've found nothing for the iPad. Any suggerence?


When I ask for the "same functionality" what I'd like most would be:

  • Games database (of course).
  • Database search.
  • Openings explorer (aka tree view).
  • Analyze games.
  • Annotate games.

Others like playing on FICS/ICC or playing the computer are not needed as I can use other clients for that.

  • SCID on the go?
    – magd
    May 13, 2015 at 10:56
  • 1
    AFAIK Scid on the Go only works on Android, not iPad. And has a limited functionallity.
    – sharcashmo
    May 13, 2015 at 11:58
  • 2
    What exactly do you want from the app? Database? SmallFish and SmallChess has it.
    – SmallChess
    May 13, 2015 at 14:31
  • I'll update the question with the functionalities I'd like to find, so we can rank alternatives according of how many of them they implement.
    – sharcashmo
    May 13, 2015 at 14:51
  • 1
    I should have been more precise. I actually meant nobody wanted to volunteer their time to make something what you described for free on the iOS. The GPL license thing has nothing to do with our discussion. I have a GPL chess app on the iOS myself...
    – SmallChess
    May 14, 2015 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


Giordano Vicoli's Chess_Studio (not to be confused with a similarly named e-reader app from Gambit Publications) seems to have many of the features you are looking for. I've only tried Chess Studio Light, but it is able to import a much wider range of PGN files than any of the PGN viewer apps. Within a PGN archive, you can view lists of games sorted by Event, Opening, Player or Year. The game window in the Lite version allows you to add nested variations and text and some NAGs (!, ?, only move, and novelty), but you may need the paid version to analyze with Stockfish as kibitzer, or add long lines of moves to a game. You can save games, or send them by email. It registers itself as a PGN program, so you can use the "Open in..." menu item to add PGN files to it from programs which have "Open in..." You can download and upload from Dropbox and iCloud. You can download from TWIC or PGN Mentor. It also has Nalimov tablebases for 6 men endings. In the paid version, it looks like you can play against Stockfish, and set its rating from 500-2500 elo with a choice of aggressive, active or solid styles. You can set up a position, and play the engine from there. There isn't a tree view or keys. The openings index is sorted by ECO codes with no diagrams or names. Even so, it's the most complete PGN editor/database I've seen for iOS.

In Smallfish, Smallchess and Stockfish, when you try to add a new variation, the app deletes the moves that were there before, so nesting is impossible. They don't seem to allow you to add text comments or NAGs either. Smallfish can display text comments from PGN files you import, but the moves in these comments are not clickable.

Re. Android, Chess PGN Master Pro, Droidfish and Chessbase Online all seem to allow you to annotate games, and add subvariations and some NAGs. The Chessbase app for iOS seems to be more about just accessing their website.

Re. opening repertoires, I haven't tried the iOS version of Arnel Domingo's Chess Opening Trainer, just the Windows demo, but it lets you input your own repertoire, test it, and has trees.

I should also probably mention that there are a number of PGN Editors that you might be able to access online using Safari: Chess.com's Analysis Board Editor, Lichess.org's Board Editor, Apronus and Caissa's Web. A lot of sites also have opening trees, eg. 365chess.com, Chessbase and ChessOK.

  • +1 No... SmallChess allows variations be added. I'll add that as a new answer.
    – SmallChess
    Sep 24, 2015 at 14:25
  • Smallchess doesn't appear to have a game notation panel. When you're annotating, you probably want to see both the main line, and sidelines you add.
    – A passerby
    Sep 28, 2015 at 14:38
  • I've added my answer. Please take a look, SmallChess has a game notation panel and more.
    – SmallChess
    Oct 1, 2015 at 1:19

I'd want to add details to @A_passerby's answer. SmallChess does support multi-variations. It also supports game annotation. It's a very advanced software. See the screenshots below.

PS: I'm the author of the app.

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  • Oh I see. In settings, you turn on Coaching, and for Coaching Style, you select 'game.' You can insert one subvariation, but I can't seem to promote a line, and if I input a new move in the subvariation, it overwrites the move that was there before. Chess_Studio can make subvariations within subvariations, and gives you the option to promote lines.
    – A passerby
    Oct 2, 2015 at 19:33

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