Photo: Square Off
I ran into a few issues here and there where the board wouldn’t register some of my moves and would ask me to repeat the move until it registered. This can be frustrating when you’re on the clock as all online matches are timed, but it only happened a couple of times. The board usually responds fairly quickly, with beeps alerting you when you make an illegal move (like moving a pawn without realizing your king is in check). You can play by simply looking at the board, or you can leave the app open during gameplay to see the virtual board and details about your opponent (and even send them a message).
I won a game on the Square Off Pro and it went downhill from there. But it doesn’t matter – I’m having a lot of fun. Sure, I don’t have a player sitting directly across from me, but that hasn’t stopped my partner from hearing me cursing and frantically screaming, “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 what moves they outsmart me with.
I’d like to think that physically writing notes in school can help me remember and physically moving chess pieces will help me learn the game a little better, but I can’t say for sure. I just find it a lot more fun than clicking a mouse or tapping a screen with a finger.
The Square Off Pro isn’t just about playing games. You can recreate matches from current tournaments and see how they were played on the board, or even analyze your own games. Hooray I can see all the stupid mistakes I made that led to my downfall. I’m not salty, I swear.
It’s a lot more portable than Square Off’s original chess set, but I wish it came with a more travel-friendly kit. For now, you roll up the chessboard, place it in a cylindrical cloth sleeve, and then store the pieces in two separate mesh bags. It would be nice if I could put everything together in one kit.
That being said, it’s difficult to find much fault with the Square Off Pro. I’ve been playing a lot more chess lately, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
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