You must calibrate and update your ChessUp before first use. Learn how below:

Getting Started


Make sure your ChessUp is sufficiently charged before beginning. If you switch the board on and see the low battery icon, charge your ChessUp for at least 30 minutes. Use the provided USB-A to USB-C cable with any USB-A port or USB-A AC charger block specific to your region. For faster charging, use a charger block with greater than 1 amp power supply.

Once plugged in and charging, the charge status indicator will blink. Once fully charged, the charge status indicator light will remain on and will no longer blink.


Allow the board to acclimate to room temperature before beginning the calibration process. This could take up to 30-60 minutes if your ChessUp was just delivered on a hot or cold day.

Download the ChessUp App


Download and launch the ChessUp app (links below).


Follow the steps in the app to set up a ChessUp account using Apple, Facebook, Google or a valid email address. Be sure to allow the app access to Bluetooth in order to connect to your ChessUp. Once you reach the ‘Play Screen,’ you are ready to begin.

Calibrating ChessUp


Make sure the board is on a flat, non-metallic surface.


Make sure the board is unplugged and the top surface is clear. Remove all chess pieces and/or any other objects from the top surface of your ChessUp.


Power on your ChessUp and launch the ChessUp app. Once a connection between the board and the app is established, the tile in the upper right corner of the app screen will display ‘ChessUp Connected.’


Once connected, tap the circular profile icon in the upper right corner of the app screen. This could be your profile picture or an initial depending on your profile settings. Once in the profile menu, tap on 'Board Updates' and then tap 'Calibrate Board.'


Calibration only takes a few seconds. Do not touch or power off your ChessUp during calibration.


Your ChessUp will display a light sequence signifying calibration has successfully completed. The app will also display a calibration success message which can be dismissed.

Updating ChessUp Firmware

The ChessUp app may have already prompted you to perform a firmware update for your ChessUp. If you have already updated your ChessUp’s firmware, you may disregard the following steps. If you have not completed a firmware update for your ChessUp, please follow these steps:


Just like the calibration steps above, once a connection between your ChessUp and the app is established, tap the profile icon in the upper right of the ‘Play’ tab. Once in the profile menu, tap on 'Board Updates' and then tap 'Firmware Update.'


Your ChessUp will display update progress by displaying a green rectangle that gradually turns to blue. The app will show update progress as well.


Once the update is complete, your ChessUp will resume normal operation and the app will display a success message. You are ready to play chess!


If after a few minutes, the update fails to make progress, terminate the app completely, turn your ChessUp off and then back on, and repeat the process to initiate a firmware update.

Setting Up the Pieces

A chess board has 64 squares. Each square has a name consisting of a letter and a number. Use the letters and numbers on your ChessUp to discover the name for each square.

When initially switched on, ChessUp pulses 32 squares on the chessboard (16 blue and 16 green). This is called the “startup sequence.” If there are no chess pieces on those squares, the 32 squares will reappear. This indicates the starting position on each side. The blue squares indicate the starting position for the white pieces and the green squares indicate the starting position for the black pieces.

Each chess piece type has a specific starting position. These are the names and starting positions for each piece type and color:





Queens (always on her own color)


The light on each square will turn off once a piece is placed on it. If a piece is placed on a square that is not part of the starting position, that square will light up purple indicating a piece should not be on that square.

Once all 32 pieces are in the starting position, the 32 squares will blink 2 times which indicates the game is ready to begin.

White always goes first in chess. Touch any white piece to see all available legal moves. The square of the selected piece will light up purple and the moves will light up blue. Note: only pawns and knights have legal moves available on the first move.

Once a game is finished or if you would like to start a new game, return all the pieces to the starting position. Once the pieces are in the starting position, ChessUp will blink the starting squares to confirm a new game is ready to begin.

Adjusting Game Modes

ChessUp has two settings buttons, one for white and one for black. These settings buttons cycle through the different game modes for each side. There are two basic game modes with various levels for each. The AI Assistance Mode is for when a person is playing that side of the board and AI Opponent Mode shows you where to move the pieces for that side.

Note: ChessUp does not require the app to operate, but using ChessUp with the app enables higher levels of the AI Assistant and AI Opponent when a game is initiated through the app.

AI Assistance Levels

ChessUp provides different levels of AI assistance by ranking the strength of each available move by color.

There are 4 colors used on the ChessUp board: purple, red, blue, and green. It is important to note that each of these colors look different on light and dark squares, but each color means the same thing (e.g. light green means the same as dark green).

The meaning of each color changes based on what assistance level you have selected. Please note: Only assistance levels 1-3 are available on the board alone. Initiating a game through the ChessUp app is required to access assistance levels 4-6. The chart below shows the meaning of each color as it relates to each assistance level:

AI Opponent Levels

The ChessUp AI Opponent has 30 different levels of difficulty. Difficulty levels 1-12 are available on the board alone - no app required. Initiating a game through the ChessUp app is required to access difficulty levels 13-30.

On your ChessUp, different colors are used to represent the current difficulty level in sets of 6. The difficulty color coding is outlined below:


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