I'm a maker and I'm doing my own chess board.

I want the board to be able to sense where are the pieces located, so my idea is to use magnetic sensors and magnetic pieces.

I would like to just ask a simple question: In the existing magnetic chess sets that one can find everywhere, is the board magnetic and the pieces just contain metal or the opposite (each piece has a magnet and the board is just a metal layer)?

Could somebody who has a magnetic chess set check?


2 Answers 2


Magnetic chess sets have a metallic board and small magnets in each of the pieces.

  • Thanks, then I can use the pieces and I don't have to manually add the magnet myself, and in the board I can just add magnetic sensors in each cell.
    – Elerium115
    Jul 6, 2018 at 15:43
  • how do you propose to mount the magnetic sensors? they won't work if you put them below the metallic sheet of the board...
    – lenik
    Jul 22, 2018 at 1:24

A magnetic chess set would just be magnets in the pieces and a metal board. If you want to link it to a program to track the pieces, you'd have to track the original positions (initial setup, or later game positions), and from there you could track where pieces were, what moved, and extrapolate what piece moved. That would be a question for Code Review SE, or if there is an EE stack

  • Be aware that you also need to keep track of every change. If not you might not be able to see a capturing move. For example: a bishop on f5 can capture the pawn on d7 and h7. If you did not 'notice' that one of these pawns was lifted from the board you cannot know what pawn was taken.
    – Marco
    Jul 8, 2018 at 19:09

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