Chess has remained pretty much the same for centuries. You move pawns and bishops and knights. Your opponent does the same. And eventually, someone wins. It’s just the way it is. And that’s not changing, because chess is chess. But what is changing is that now you can move those actual, physical pieces with your phone. Neat.
Square Off is a new innovation in chess boards that does things differently via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, magnets and artificial intelligence. It’s on Kickstarter right now, has already been funded, and you can back the project yourself (pledges start around $200) to reserve a board when they begin shipping next year.
Once you’ve got a set, you pull up the corresponding app, which syncs with the board. Indicate your move via said app, and that will be conveyed to the board over the internet. That’s when the magnets take over, effortlessly moving your chess pieces across the board. And it’s programmed in a way so that the pieces don’t collide during movements.
If you want to sit across from your opponent, that’s one option. Or you can play an opponent on the other side of the world and watch their pieces move before you like magic. But because the board has built-in artificial intelligence, you can also play the board itself, which features 20 different difficulty levels.
Surely one of those is “beginner.”