Since chess was invented, people have been trying to play it remotely. Chess by mail, virtual chess, live-streamed chess, they’re all fun, but not quite like sitting down to a board and moving pieces. Square Off, though, uses robotics and AI to let you play chess against anyone, anywhere, using a real board and real pieces.

On the surface, Square Off looks like a premium chess set, with rosewood coloring and a classic Grand Kingdom piece design. It’s what’s inside the board that makes it different from old-school sets, and made it a CES Top Tech & Innovation Awardee 2020. Once you set up the pieces and connect the app to your phone via Bluetooth, the automated pieces get to work.

Square Off uses a carefully designed system to track the moves of each player and reflect them on both their boards. So even if you’re halfway across the world, you’ll watch as your opponent begins their Silician defense in real-time, with pieces moving as if they were really there. It’s perfect for practicing games with a distant friend, or finding new players while keeping the feel of real-life chess. With a community of 30 million players, and growing, you’ll always find somebody to play against.

If you want to sharpen your skills, you always have an opponent in the board itself. Square Off has twenty levels of chess-playing AI built-in. You can turn up the challenge for a more stimulating game, or start the difficulty low and work your way up towards becoming a better player. And, with a battery that lasts for up to fifteen games, and a standard DC charger, you can bring it with you and keep playing.

A Square Off board is usually $449, but for a limited time, it’s $399.99, 10% off.

Prices subject to change.

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