Square Off Chess Board

Lab Notes

I’ve wanted a magic self-playing chessboard ever since I was a child, and now I have a @getsquareoff! $350, or two for $600. Mobile app required, my phone is off-screen right. Shown playing on easiest level to make me feel powerful.

Good build quality. Fulfills the concept of using a real board without the distraction of entering moves or pushing opponent pieces. Does not identify placed pieces or recognize moves, you must press down on squares. It’s a simple magnet on servos underneath.

It captures by moving the captured piece to edge of board then moving the attacker to the square. Knights, captures, and castles navigate between pieces along square edges. A wider more expensive model can home captured pieces and can reset the board; this one can’t do either.

Self-play engine is Stockfish. Also integrates with Chess.com for Internet play against humans or streaming live games for observation.

Overall, a good and reasonably priced execution of this concept. Last time I saw this idea sold commercially was in a Sharper Image catalog from my childhood, for $2,500. Happy to finally have one!

(Originally posted to Twitter on March 3, 2019. It received 10 likes and 1 retweets.)