Posters on Reddit have demonstrated that it is indeed possible to play chess and Checkers via iMessage using emoji characters. (but indeed they are not quite useful as in middle of the game who know which horse is white one or black one or actually which one is horse & which one is camel lol..).
Now its quite easy to remember the black & white pawn's as well the use of its. because here the horse is actually horse & elephant/camel is actually camel.
If you don't know how to activate the emoji keyboard or basics of iMessage read my below posts.
If you facing any problem in arranging the pawn as shown above just send an iMessage to me at contact@iDeas4iOS.com. Keep Playing Keep Enjoying.