Everyone is aware of big Facebook games like Candy Crush Saga and Farmville thanks to the relentless number of notifications people get for it. What most members probably won’t know is that there is a secret game of chess hidden within the site’s Messenger platform which can be invoked only by entering a special command.
This hidden easter egg only works in Facebook’s chat window, the Android and iOS Messenger app, and the desktop version of Messenger. All a user has to do is enter ‘@fbchess play’ in a conversation and a chess board will pop up. Unfortunately, playing the game is not as simple as starting it.
Instead of working on a simple touch-based drag-and-drop system, Facebook’s version of a chess game is entirely text-based. Players have to type a command in standard algebraic notation and the pieces will follow. For instance, typing ‘@fbchess e3’ will make the Pawn move to the e3 location.
Facebook likely knows that most of us aren’t well-versed in standard algebraic notation, which is why it has provided for a handy list of commands and its meanings. Entering ‘@fbchess help’ pulls this information up in the chat window. The naming convention is relatively straightforward for the pieces with Q for Queen, K for King, B for Bishop, N for Knight, P for Pawn and R for Rook.
Facebook’s secret chess game was first uncovered by Reddit users about a month ago. It’s not the first game to make an appearance on the social networking website’s Messenger platform. That honor was taken by Doodle Draw, which debuted on the service back in June last year.