Meet ChessUp, chess coach, game analyst and worthy opponent. From the novice to the master, ChessUp has something for everyone. The smart, connected chess board has a built-in instructor who will teach you at your individual level. Touch a piece and the board lights up with three possible moves (green for your best move, blue for the next best, and red for “uh-uh”). ChessUp also analyses your gameplay, so you will know what you did wrong and what you did right. When you want to compete against the computer, it will match your level of play. And if you want to find a real person to play with, anywhere in the world, it will match your levels.
ChessUp happened because Jeff Wigh, Justin Farrell and Adam Roush met at work, all hired to develop new products. In addition to their jobs, they also shared a common interest in making STEM learning more fun and all were seriously into chess. When Jeff was teaching his daughter to play chess, he ran into a problem. Did he let her win and hamper her progress? Or did he beat her and possibly discourage her? The three put their heads together and came up with the idea for ChessUp. They had already worked on a smart Rubick’s cube, which gained them experience in 3D printing and making custom print circuit boards. As a proof of concept for a chess board, they made a tic-tac-toe board. From there, it didn’t take too long to produce the chess board, and in March 2021, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. The response was so off the charts (+$1,000,000), they quit their jobs, founded Bryght Labs and devoted all their time, brain power and expertise to ChessUp.
The ChessUp Team
Jeff is CEO, Justin CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and Adam CDO (Chief Design Officer). The mission of Bryght Labs is to make STEM-focused games more approachable and user friendly. They want to broaden the appeal of the most intellectually engaging games to educate, elevate and connect players around the world. The three founders have 48 combined years of experience in tech with 20 issued patents.
- Jeff has a BS in Computer Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He has primarily worked as product architect.
- Justin has a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University and a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri. He is a senior design engineer.
- Adam has a BFA and BA (both with distinction) in Industrial and Product Design from the University of Kansas. He is a product architect and a creative leader.
Dimensions: 15.75″ x 14.12″ x 1″
Weight: 3.7 lbs
Battery Life: 8 hours (2 hours charging time)
Playable Area: 12″ x 12″
Square Size: 1.5″
King Height: 2.8″
Languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish
Playing Chess With ChessUp
- The ChessUp board is simple to set up. Just turn it on, connect it to your smart phone app and you are ready to go.
- Novices start at Level 1 and learn all the basics from the built-in instructor. Move up the levels as you improve. For experienced chess players, start at your current level.
- Touch a chess piece and the smart touch sensors light up, displaying potential moves in green, blue and red, depending on the strength of the move.
- ChessUp is also tracking your every move to make sure they are all legal.
- Play a chess game against the computer. Remember the higher the level, the tougher your “opponent,” but you will receive more expert advice from your instructor.
- Play with a friend. You can both play with assistance turned on or leave it off if you feel ready.
- Play with a worldwide community of hundreds of thousands via Lichess, a free and open-source Internet chess server that will match you up with someone on the other side of the world, if you’d like, or with someone in the next town.
The integrated app unlocks features such as the automatic clock and in-game and post-game analyses.
- The clock, combined with the board’s ability to sense the pieces, allows you to play games such as blitz and bullet. The clock switches automatically after every move to leave your mind free to think about how you are playing and if you are winning.
- Make a move and press “Learn” to understand the moves and the strategies behind them.
- Pressing “Learn” also allows you to see how a particular move will work out.
- Re-watch your game and see the moves in the order they were made.
- The ChessUp Academy is a comprehensive library of chess lessons.
- The ChessUp Knowledge Base is where you go for ordinary support questions, FAQs, and how-to resources.
- The ChessUp Community is where you go to discuss all things ChessUp, from troubleshooting tips to sharing new feature ideas.