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How to play the secret chess game hidden in Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger Secret Chess Game

Hundreds of millions of people spend hours of their lives on Facebook every week, but there are some secrets that only a few of them have discovered. For example, last December, a member of the Chess subreddit community found a secret, playable chess game hidden in Facebook Messenger that anyone can play.

READ MORE: Follow these 5 steps to keep yourself safe from hackers

In order to start a game, just open a Messenger conversation with a friend and type “@fbchess play” to begin. A chess board will suddenly appear in the chat box and the player with the white pieces moves first. But despite the fact that a visual representation of the board appears on screen, you’ll have to type in commands to make a move.

Each of the pieces is represented by a letter: P is pawn, R is rook, B is bishop, N is night, Q is queen and K is king. In the image above, if I wanted to move my pawn in the e column to e4, I’d need to type “@fbchess Pe4” or “@fbchess e4” into Messenger. It’s what’s known as Standard Algebraic Notation, but you can type “@fbchess help” if you need to see the rules.

You can also choose what color you start with by typing “@fbchess play black/white,” offer an undo of the last move with “@fbchess undo,” see starts from the game with “@fbchess stats” and resign with “@fbchess resign.”

No, it’s not the best way to play chess with a friend over the Internet, but it’s a fascinating, hidden diversion worth checking out.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.