Author Options:

connect chess board to pc? Answered

Hi, i want to connect a normal - nicely looking wooden chess board - to my pc to play chess against the computer but instead of staring at the monitor, i rather want to look at my "analog" chess board, move on the board and let the computer "tell" me the next move (ie i don't have to sit next to the monitor when i play). i have been searching the web up and down and so far, havent found a single web page where somebody describes of how to do that; all i find is 500 dollar electronic chess boards .... since great chess programs exist for the pc, there is no need to write my own, i just want to read out the positions on the chess board - either through a web cam and some recognition software, or more hardware oriented with sensors on the board...... i really don't have a clue how to approach this problem in practice - any advice would be appreciated. regards, charline


Three words: Wacom Graphics Tablet. The pens on these tablets only have to hover above the writing surface to move the mouse, and when the pen touches the surface, the mouse clicks. simply overlay a chess board onto the tablet (using sticky backed plastic or paper) and hold a pen in your hand/design a glove with a stylus in it. When you want to move a piece, pick it up making sure the pen/glove touches the surface and put it down where you want to move to, again placing the glove or pen on the chess board surface. It might work, I can't see any real obvious flaws.

I imagine using reed switches under the board with small magnets in the base of each playing piece might be a start. Hope someone designs this, wouldn't mind one myself, but like you I am not technically minded enough to see it through.

Maybe you could make each square on the board into a button using an old keyboard, and each keyboard key could be (if it's possible) programmed to move the mouse to a certain spot on the screen? I have no idea how to do the programming part but it's just an idea

thanks for the tips!! i am not sure, if i could use a self made touch made with a real chess board though :-( the point for me is, to use a normal big chess board instead of a computer screen or small one drawn on paper (i guess that's what i would have to do for the touch pad). i thought about using sensors, but that seems to require quite a bit of technical understanding which i lack.