Unlocking the Power of DIY eBoards for Chess Enthusiasts. A glimpse into the future?

Unlocking the Power of DIY eBoards for Chess Enthusiasts. A glimpse into the future?

Photo by Conor Luddy on Unsplash


I’m occasionally very vocal in my blogs, getting off the screen and using a real board. That was the main reason for my improvement in using the entire electronic portfolio of tools while staying within the classic ones such as books. Even better, play a game online with a real board. Finding the right board that’s affordable and fits my needs took me a while. My decision was for the ChessNut Air. After establishing a customer base, the company now has multiple boards and a foot in the ever-growing market. An actual competitor to the crazy expensive DGT boards. Developers supported ChessNut from the very early beginning to ensure easy integration with online chess, ChessBase, and other tools. But what if you have a fantastic board you like and want to use online without spending ANY money?

Ok, hear me out! This blog is for you!

The FIDE Master, whose name on Liches is BlindfoldBlunderer, had a revolutionary idea! DIY board with your webcam or even smartphone! What? Really? My first thought was “well, nice. Maybe works in some cases but never ever with different boards or size. The solution proved me wrong!



BlindfoldBlunderer is a FIDE master, computer vision engineer, and author of ChessCam. His idea was pretty straightforward: use computer vision AI to identify your board and chessmen, digitize your chess games and stream them, or play with your board a game on Lichess.

So, what is in for you?

  • Recording Record a static video of your chess game where all 4 corners are visible. It is easiest to use your phone with a cheap stand. If you have 0.5x zoom, use it to place the tripod closer to the board. The best angle is from the side.
  • Uploading Upload your video. If the corner detection is not perfect, set the corners manually.
  • Exporting Once the video has finished processing, click “Copy PGN” to save the game to your clipboard. You can also go to Export to view the game and export it to a Lichess study.

How do you play lichess using your own board?

I recommend to check out the existing videos. Actually I had some problems, but I hope with more users this innovative approach reach some kind of maturity.

  1. Demo of the “/play” feature of ChessCam

  1. Demo how to broadcast

  1. Demo how to solve a puzzle having on your real board

The code is open-sourced and on Github. Actually, it’s sometimes very slow, but I found the solution very promissing and worth a test. Check it out and support!


Amici Sumus

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