Square Off introduces a rollable connected chess board

We’ve been covering Square Off for a couple of CESes now — ever since the connected chess startup competed in one of our pitch offs. The Mumbai-based startup has been rapidly iterating on technology that lets users play a physical chess game with opponents across the globe, including the arrival of the new modular gaming system, Swap.

Today at CES, it announced the upcoming arrival of a new rollable system, adding a level of portability to its offering. Obviously you lose some of the magic here — the self-moving pieces have been sacrificed in order to bring a board that can be rolled up and stashed in a backpack for easier transport. That effect was a big part of what made the tech so eye-catching in the first place.

Image Credits: Square Off

The system will still take advantage of Square Off’s existing AI and connected technologies, allowing people to play globally against competitors. Between the continued inability to congregate in-person and the rise in interest in chess in the wake of Netflix’s wildly popular “The Queen’s Gambit,” this seems like an opportune time for the startup to launch a new product.

Unlike past offerings, the company won’t be going through a crowdfunding site to launch this one. Square Off expects to bring the product to market around March, priced at $199.