The Square Off Pro Chessboard has revived my love of chess

Photo: Square off

I ran into a few issues here and there where the board wouldn’t register some of my moves and forced me to redo the move until it was registered. This can be frustrating if you are on time as all online matches are timed but it only happened a few times. The board is usually quite responsive, with beeps to indicate when you are making a move that is not allowed (such as when you move a pawn without realizing that your king is in check). You can play by just looking at the board, or you can keep the app open during the game to see the virtual board and details about your opponent (and even send them a message).

Endgame

I won one game on the Square Off Pro and it went downhill from there. But it doesn’t really matter – I’m having a lot of fun. Of course, no player is sitting right in front of me, but that doesn’t stop my partner from hearing me scolding and frantically yelling, “No, no, no, no, no, no!” And I have nothing but admiration when I lose. It’s great to see how other people play the game and the moves they use to outsmart me.

I would like to think that just like taking physical notes at school can help with retention, physically moving chess pieces help me learn the game a little better, but I can’t say for sure. I just like it a lot more than clicking a mouse or tapping a screen with a finger.

The Square Off Pro isn’t just about playing games, either. You can recreate matches from current tournaments and see how they played on the board, or even analyze your own games. Hooray, I see all the stupid mistakes I’ve made that led to my downfall. I’m not salty, I swear.

It’s much more portable than Square Off’s original chess set, but I wish it came with a more travel-friendly set. At this point, roll up the chessboard, put it in a cylindrical cloth box, and store the pieces in two separate mesh bags. It would be nice if I could store everything together in one package.

Other than that, it’s hard to find many faults with the Square Off Pro. I’ve been playing chess a lot more lately, and that’s all I ever wanted.


Special offer for Gear readers: get a 1-year WIRED subscription for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you want). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

Add Comment