How to Play the Secret Chess Game in Facebook Messenger
Attention, nerds and Bobby Fischer wannabes: Facebook wants to help you.
Well, not really. But it does want you to play a somewhat clandestine game of chess with your friends in its chat messenger app.
Simply choose a friend, type "@fbchess play" into the chat box and watch the magic happen:
A chessboard then appears in the window, and each player chooses his or her color. (You can also opt for a random assignment.)
To move a piece, type "@fbchess" followed by the first letter of the piece and the space to which you want to send it.
For example, if you want to send your pawn to B5, type the following:
Here's the result:
Typing "@fbchess help" will give you a full list of commands:
The origin of the game is unclear, though as the Verge points out, it was discussed in December in the chess subforum on Reddit. We've reached out to Facebook to get some clarification, and we'll update if we hear back.
As Reddit user @AS1LV3RN1NJA points out, however, chess isn't the only Easter egg hidden within Facebook's chat function. Typing "@dailycute" gives you photos of cute animals, which you might need after your friend destroys you with her sick chess skills. (Or vice versa. We don't know your life. Maybe you're the secret spawn of Bobby Fischer!)
Have fun, nerds.