The chess purveyors at Chess.com just announced their latest strategic endeavor, and it could be a literal game changer for Apple users. On Wednesday, the popular go-to organization for all things chess publicly unveiled their Chess for iMessage app, a completely free download that integrates the ability to play directly into iOS texting. It’s simple, intuitive, and a great toolkit addition for leveling up your chess game.
To access it, Apple device owners—sorry, Android—simply need to download it from the App Store, then open an iMessage with your intended opponent. From there, scroll through the app add-ons until you see the Chess.com icon (green pawn piece), click it, and choose your opening move. The simplicity is echoed in the lack of pay add-ons, registration requirements, and caps on the total number games you can play at any one time. It’s just… chess. For iMessage. Pretty nifty.
PopSci has already tried it with a few friends, and it already appears to work great for on-the-go games sans any additional standalone programs. And on the off-chance your acquaintances are less responsive than others, Chess.com still offers a number of AI opponent alternatives such as Dr. Wolf, which also doubles as a solid strategy tutor.
The only current drawback is that the iMessage add-on doesn’t include increasingly popular game variations like Fischer Random Chess, aka Chess960. Of course, it’ll be more difficult to tell if your opponents are opting to play dirty, but maybe that will get you to reconsider you are regularly texting, anyway.