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I once saw a GM on youtube using an electronic chessboard, a board that could be plugged to a computer. I liked the idea.

What is it used for? When should one consider buying it?

5

I assume you are referring to DGT-style electronic boards.

I think, the main purpose of those boards is to broadcast chessgames - e. g. on a beamer in the playing venue or on the internet. It is also useful (if it doesn't fail) for blitz games or, more generally, in any game situation where none of the players write down their moves any more if you need to comprehend the course of the game as an arbiter.

I don't see lots of uses outside a tournament context. The GM you referred to may have used it to record what he did on the board. Some people feel better analyzing on a "real" board rather than using the chessbase broadcast or some screen-capture method.

The only reason I could see to buy one as a person that does not intend to do the things mentioned above would be if you were too lazy to write down what you play in practise games or if you want to practise blitz games (although even here I could think of much cheaper alternatives if I look at the prices they sell at).

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    Online blitz games are recorded on many sites, so that is a less costly way to get recorded blitz games. – newshutz Mar 18 '14 at 15:08

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