We a friend and I play chess we usually don't write down our moves.

It would be great if there would be chess boards which detects our moves.

We could play using a tablet computer, but we prefer to play with a real world chess board.

Are there chess boards which detects the moves we do?

The board does not need to be smart. For me it would be enough if it could act detect the moves and output the moves like a usb keyboard.

2 Answers 2


Yes, there are boards that record moves made automatically. This link should give you ample information about so called DGT-boards.

Because DGT-boards are pretty expensive, maybe you want to take a look at this discussion, in which the Novag Citrine board computer is proposed as a slightly cheaper alternative.

If the Novag is still too expensive, I would look further into the board computers/usb-boards, but those probably don't recognise the pieces automatically, which means they have to pressed on the starting and ending square of each move.

  • I honestly don't understand why the DGT boards are so expensive... It's impossible to find even a used one at (what I would consider to be) a reasonable price. Maybe it's just because it's a very low-volume product (I can't imagine they make more than a few hundred or so of these boards in a year) and they have to be priced this way to make them worth manufacturing at all.
    – patbarron
    Dec 31, 2015 at 17:24
  • 2
    It's expensive probably because it's a low-volume production.
    – ferit
    Dec 31, 2015 at 22:30
  • @BlindKungFuMaster thank you for your answer. Unfortunately I am not a hardware building freak. I think it should be possible to build a device which does report the current position via bluetooth to an android device (for displaying and other input/output). A Raspberry and some sensors would all you would need.
    – guettli
    Jan 1, 2016 at 11:07
  • @patbarron: lots of tournaments these days have live coverage, and they all use DGT boards. So I think they make more than a few hundred per year. Nov 3, 2016 at 14:06

I can't find a link anymore, but I remember seeing somewhere (perhaps in the Netherlands?) that they used cameras or mobile phones suspended above the board in order to visually register the moves. Might not be as accurate though and perhaps you want some high contrast pieces/boards in order to use this.

  • Like OCR (optical character recognition) but for chess boards. Cool, never heard of this before. Thank you for this hint.
    – guettli
    Nov 3, 2016 at 13:50

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