Hybrid Chess Clubs are Virtually here! – Have you tried Chess Ultra?

Hybrid Chess Clubs are Virtually here!
Just tried out “Chess Ultra” Quest 2 for Oculus which is owned by Facebook.
Quest 3 will be out soon.

You put the goggles on and play on a virtual board with anyone from anywhere who has the $4-500
hardware and is on the net.
The chess module is about $10. It only plays at about 2000 but that is not its most important function.
You can also buy modules for famous museums etc.
You sit down and reach out and grab a virtual piece and move it.
Your online opponent makes the next move, and you see their virtual hand move the piece and so on.

I knew you could buy an interactive- board and hook it up to your phone and watch the red lights come on –
indicating your opponent’s move, but this is way better.

This will change chess clubs forever.

Handicap players can watch the game on their ordinary tv hooked up to Oculus at home.
Their care person can don the goggles and play the moves called out by the handicapped player
against the opponent at the bricks and mortar club.
You can now live in Darwin and play in a chess tournament in a Sydney club – as long as you have
the hardware in Darwin and the club has it at the club.
Just a set of goggles with a hand controller to move the pieces at each end.

So now clubs can sign up members from all over the world and have them play in hybrid events at the club.

Round 1 you might play OTB with old Fred.
Round 2 you might play Igor from Minsk online.
Round 3 you are back to OTB.
Your team match against the club 60 kilometers down the road could have people from all over the world playing.
Online tournaments can have up to 32 players.
Why pay air tickets and accom. when all you have to pay the star is appearance fee.

Cheating – eventually, down the road, the hand controller will take your pulse and the cameras
will keep an eye on you.
Cheaper to set up a bank of cameras than to fly there.
Also, eventually, you will have a report from Stockfish after the game.
The computer will have a database of your games with which to compare your game and look
for disturbing anomalies.

YouTube has a VR section and I believe you can walk around events being played live if
someone is filming with a 3D camera.

The downside –
It will take a bit of getting used to.
At the moment it is not exactly like playing OTB. Close. Give it 6 months.
We won’t be rating games within the next 12 months but as new versions come out, anything is possible.

The upside –
It is cheaper than airfares.
The covid risk is gone.
Your club now has a much wider catchment area – the World!
I would imagine simuls would be easy enough to organize.

What about coaching? I don’t think you can chat at the moment.
Maybe you play on Chess Ultra and talk on the phone?

Got a lazy IM who couldn’t be bothered coming to the club?
They can stay at home in their sweatpants and play online.

Does anyone have experience playing online with Chess Ultra?

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