Square Off (Magic Automated Chessboard!) Update
Nearly one year ago exactly I met with the Square Off team to see a demo of their automated chessboard. Honestly, I was skeptical then. And, one year ago when I first tried it, I was pleasantly surprised... but less optimistic than I let on. The board was too thick, moves were too slow, etc. I thought it had potential, but lacked the "polish" required to be a fun product.
Fast forward a year to THIS week when the Square Off team and I met again at the same exact time and same exact restaurant. But this time, EVERYTHING WAS DIFFERENT!
The Square Off team has done a TON of work to make the board more fun. They really went to work on the details. Everything looks incredibly professional - and gorgeous! The board is really high quality. It's quiet. The pieces move pretty quickly. The materials are excellent. The app is fantastic.
...and, it's getting Chess.com support! (Starting with Daily games first, Live games later.) You'll be able to log in and play your daily games (though you have to set them up).
Honestly, I'm so addicted to playing bullet games on my iPhone that I almost forget the joy of sitting down over an honest-to-goodness real chessboard and sinking deep into thought over the rich wood landscape. But I fell in love all over again while playing a long, deep-thinking chess game with a tummy full of hummus, falafel, and pita. I lost, but I didn't care. Every time I moved, I just sat back and waited for that moment of joy when the piece would start moving itself!!! (It never gets old.)
They are actually shipping units right now to fulfill their enormous backlog of demand. But you can signup on their website to be notified when they will have units available. If you enjoy OTB (over-the-board) chess AT ALL, I highly recommend Square Off. Just having one in your house or office will always start a conversation and blow people's minds!
(This is not a paid post. This is legitimate excitement from me to see this dreamy product coming to market!)