Does the iPad Make the Traditional Chessboard Redundant?

Innovative new chess app has players reaching for their devices instead of traditional chess sets

More than 62 million households have recently watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, sparking a surge of interest in chess worldwide with a recent 300%+ increase in searches for “chess” according to Google Trends and chess book sales rising by more than 600% according to the NPD Group. With incredibly high levels of interest in chess, a new innovative app now provides the possibility to turn a smartphone or tablet into a digital chess set for two players for the first time. Entrepreneur Adrian McPhee developed “Two Player Chess”, a symmetrical digital chessboard app, to solve problems with traditional 2D chess designs that have meant until now two people couldn’t enjoy chess together on a single device.

When two people are using a single phone or tablet as a chessboard, traditional 2D chess piece designs have meant the pieces are upside down for one player – because the players are sitting opposite each other and the pieces are not symmetrical. This caused Adrian McPhee, a chess player himself, to develop “Two Player Chess” a symmetrical digital chess board app for mobile and tablet devices. With the unique symmetrical design, players of Two Player Chess both see the same board, just as with a traditional chessboard. Every smartphone or tablet can now be turned into a virtual chessboard for two players with Two Player Chess, meaning you always have a chessboard with you.

Adrian got the idea for Two Player Chess a few years ago, when during a holiday he discovered that he couldn’t find an app that would turn his iPad into a chessboard for two. During the first COVID-19 lockdown he decided to develop his idea into an application, with the thought that during this time more people would want to play boardgames. The release of Two Player Chess has accidentally coincided with the massive spike in popularity of chess driven by the successful Netflix series: “Friends and colleagues are asking me if I had knowledge about the Netflix release calendar!” Adrian says.

Whether a digital chessboard makes the traditional chessboard redundant remains to be seen. It is a fact that Two Player Chess can be an alternative for starting chess players who have a smartphone or tablet and are on the fence about buying a chess set. Features in Two Player Chess such as the highlighting of legal moves can help beginners to understand chess, whilst flexible timers, a record of game history and ability to share games via email and Whatsapp also provide advantages over traditional chess sets. For more advanced players, Two Player Chess is a great addition to the traditional chess board, because it offers the possibility to play chess anytime and anywhere with two people. Two Player Chess can be downloaded for free via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Links are provided at

Editorial note: for more information, please contact Adrian McPhee: