Background

Building a team to build a board

Bryght Labs has appointed Abrahamyan and Aronian and keeps hiring developers for the Chessup board, reports Stefan Löffler.

Tatev Abrahamyan is the Chess Director of Chessup.
Tatev Abrahamyan is the Chess Director of Chessup. (Lennart Ootes / St Louis Chess Campus)

ChessUp was an instant sensation on Kickstarter. Since we first reported the funding for this new type of interactive board has more than doubled and the campaign has moved on to Indiegogo. When founder Jeff Wigh presented the prototype, his target was to raise a modest $30,000. By now the preorders have reached $1,875 million.

The design has been simplified: Buttons are only visible when the board is in function.
The design has been simplified: Buttons are only visible when the board is in function. (ChessUp)

Bryght Labs has promised to deliver in November, well in time for Christmas and the long winter nights. The design has been simplified. The function buttons will be invisible and only light up when the board is in function. For the “full” package a smart bag has been designed. The company has pledged to add other games than chess as well as chess lessons. To devise and deliver the latter, Tatev Abrahamyan has been hired, an experienced chess teacher, coach and Woman Grandmaster from Los Angeles.

Abrahamyan also brought Levon Aronian on board. The Armenian top player who is still preparing his announced move to the U.S., serves as chess advisor and brand ambassador. Chessup users will learn from games of Aronian and can meet him once a month on the planned playing platform. The super grandmaster has insisted on integrating Chess960, and Jeff Wigh was happy to comply.

Levon Aronian joined ChessUp as chess advisor and brand ambassador
Levon Aronian joined ChessUp as chess advisor and brand ambassador (GibChess)

With November approaching Bryght Labs wants to further increase its team and is looking to hire a UI/UX designer and an Android Mobile App Developer. Unlike many other chess tech jobs that can be done remotely, the applicants are expected to work in Overland Park, which is part of the Kansas City bubble and only a four-hour-drive west of Saint Louis, the US chess capital and probable future home of Aronian.