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DGT Board,
a sensory board developed and market by Digital Game Technology. The board in conjunction with a digital chess clock is connected to a host computer and its chess gui or control program via USB, serial interface, or Bluetooth, and acts as a real-time move input device during game play, to monitor or broadcast the game, or to give chess engines a whiff of dedicated chess computers.

Piece Recognition

Sensor Technology

The patent-registered DGT sensor technology [1] recognizes pieces containing piece-type and piece-color specific passive LC circuits with a resonance frequency of 90 to 350 KHz, the coil on ferrite core. Squares and their respective pieces (if any) are scanned by 2 x 8 silver-ink printed trace loops on a polyester film placed under the board, file and rank sequentially selected by analogue switch multiplexers, feeding back the output signal of an amplifier via the selected inductive coupled LC circuit to its input, forcing oscillation in piece specific resonance. Measuring the signal frequency or its period via a digital input port by the controller firmware to convert it into appropriate piece codes takes about 3 ms per square [2] .

Inside the Board

Inside the DGT Board [3]

Scanning the Board

void scanBoard(char *board) {
   for (int rank = 0; rank < 8; rank++) {
      switchRankMultiplexer( rank );
      for (int file = 0; file < 8; file++) {
         connectFileMultiplexer( file );
         int f = measureFrequency(); /* e.g. in a 0 .. 35 range ~ 3 ms */
         *board++ = pieceTable[f]; /* includes empty (0) */


Chess GUIs

The DGT Board can be used with most GUI's [4] , such as Fritz GUI by ChessBase, Chess Assistant and Aquarium by ChessOK, Shredder GUI, Arena, PocketGrandmaster, WinBoard [5] and XBoard. The open source dgtdrv library by Pierre Boulenguez under GPL Version 2 or later, can be used to adapt almost every GUI to interact with the DGT board [6] .


Josu Bergara Ede's dedicated User Interface for various open source chess engines, dubbed Gavon, based on the Raspberry Pi is able to interface with the DGT USB or Bluetooth Board.

Gavon Bluetooth DGT Board Connection, YouTube Video


Jean-François Romang's PicoChess is a dedicated chess computer based on Stockfish on Raspberry Pi and the DGT Board [7] . The display of the digital chess clock acts as output device of a command line interface.

PicoChess on a DGT eboard by Jonas Žnidaršič, BCE, YouTube Video [8]

Revelation II

DGT technology [9] is involved in the Revelation II dedicated chess computer, developed by Ruud Martin's company Phoenix Chess Systems in cooperation with DGT [10] [11].

Revelation II Test by Jonas Žnidaršič, BCE, YouTube Video

DGT LiveChess Software

DGT LiveChess Software allows live broadcast of chess games via the internet [12] , as used for instance in recent ICGA and CSVN computer chess tournaments served by DGT employee, CSVN chairman and tournament director Jan Krabbenbos. Participants are advised to don't use the board for analyzing purposes, as it was quite usual in over the board computer chess with ordinary chessboards.

DGT Board in action for live broadcast at PT 45, round 4, Kallisto - The King
Bart Weststrate and Johan de Koning, Marcel van Kervinck and Stefan Meyer-Kahlen [13]


DGT Pi is a dedicated chess computer expansion hardware for the DGT Board integrated into a DGT3000 digital chess clock, released in October 2016 [14]. DGT Pi consists of a Raspberry Pi 3 with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality, and multiple chess engines included.

See also

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External Links


  1. ^ Patent US6168158 - Device for detecting playing pieces on a board - Google Patents
  2. ^ How electronic chessboards works by Ben Bulsink DGT Project, rec.games.chess.misc, February 19, 2004
  3. ^ DGT presents: new clocks, technology – and Vladimir Kramnik, ChessBase News, January 10, 2008
  4. ^ Which programs support the DGT e-Board?
  5. ^ DGT Winboard interface by Jan Krabbenbos, Winboard Forum, June 19, 2012
  6. ^ dgtdrv: An input engine for the DGT Digital Chess Board
  7. ^ PicoChess by Jean-Francois Romang
  8. ^ Video: DGT board and modern pieces by Steven Edwards, CCC, September 01, 2013
  9. ^ DGT presents: new clocks, technology – and Vladimir Kramnik, ChessBase News, January 10, 2008
  10. ^ Revelation II from DGT
  11. ^ DGT starts delivery in december, Phoenix Chess Systems, December 01, 2013
  12. ^ CSVN Live
  13. ^ Photo's PT45/GT27 day 1
  14. ^ DGT Pi - Chess Computer for DGT e-Boards - Digital Game Technology

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