Facebook Messenger has gained a ton of useful features in the past few years. It's no longer just a simple chat program. You can send stickers, GIFs, voice messages, money and even play games. The latest game is Chess, which you can now play against a friend in a one-on-one chat with a simple command.

All you need to do is open Facebook Messenger, start a chat with the person you want to play against, type @fbchess play and hit enter. Oddly enough, Android Central said that hawk-eyed Messenger users may have had access to this feature for the past several weeks. It's new to me, though, and I've already started a few games with friends. Keep in mind, however, that you need to have the Messenger application installed. It doesn't work in a browser window, at least in our tests.


Also, movement isn't very easy. You can't just slide your pawn around the chess board, for example, and instead need to use standard chess moves using commands like:

  • Start game with random colors: @fbchess play
    • Pick the colors: @fbchess play white/black
    • Pick the opponent: @fbchess play white John
  • Make a move: use Standard Algebraic Notation
    • @fbchess e4 or @fbchess Pe4 moves pawn to e4
    • Nbd2 to move knight from b-file to d2
    • B2xc5 to take on c5 with 2nd rank bishop
    • e8=Q to promote pawn to queen
    • 0-0-0 or O-O to castle
  • Claim draw (e.g. 3-fold repetition): @fbchess draw claim
  • Offer a draw in the current position: @fbchess draw offer
  • Offer an undo of the last move: @fbchess undo
  • Resign: @fbchess resign

Still neat, though! Try it for yourself now.