@rexrainbow might come in correct me on this, but I've compared your capx with his sample 'pick neighbors.capx' and this is what I found.
-picking neighbours is only possible with 'tiles', ie placed on LZ=0. I tested this by modifying the 'pick neighbors.capx' and populated the LZ=1 (ie as 'chess'; in Rex's Board terminology, anything LZ>0 is Chess and LZ=0 are Tiles), the Chess objects were _not_ picked. So this is consistent with your own capx.
-This makes the labelling 'pick neighbor chess' a bit misleading. It seems to actually mean 'pick neighbor tiles'
-Because of this you are unable to pick any neighbouring chess.
My suggestion is:
-Create the underlying Tiles array.
-Populate your Chess pieces normally.
-On touch with a Chess, query the tile underneath the chess
-Pick the neighbors of the tile
-Pick the chess pieces on top of the those picked tiles
-Generate your predict_kick sprite on those chess pieces
See this modified capx: https://www.dropbox.com/s/iawhh1trdfrmi ... .capx?dl=0