Chess keeps evolving alongside technology. We’ve come a long way since the famous victory of Deep Blue, the first chess computer to defeat a world champion in 1997. Today, even the best human players are no match for chess engines.
These engines are valuable tools if you want to improve your game. One way of using them is through electronic chess boards. The best electronic chess boards include DGT Centaur, Chess Genius Exclusive, iCore Chess Master, Square Off Chess Computer, and DGT Smart Board.
While traditional chess sets are the norm, electronic chess boards allow you to do more, including playing with your friends remotely and against chess engines. In this article, we’ll tell you why you may want to get one and the top 5 best electronic chess boards out there.
Why Use Electronic Chess Boards?
Electronic chess boards are devices designed for accurate and rapid input of chess moves.
They have several functions, including live game transmission, training, online play, computer matches, and game analysis.
They’re available as handcrafted wooden boards or as more affordable plastic versions. Here are three perks of having the board that may convince you to buy one.
1. They’re an Enhanced Learning Tool
Electronic chess boards allow you to play against chess engines, which helps you sharpen your skills without the fear of judgment from a human opponent.
In addition, they usually have interactive features that help you learn, like allowing you to replay famous games played by grandmasters in real time.
Furthermore, the boards serve as a genius, record-keeping system that instantly captures and stores all moves made in a game. This feature makes it easier for you to review and analyze your past games.
2. You Can Play Chess from Anywhere in the World
Connecting you with other players from around the world is another significant electronic chess board benefit. Through this feature, you can break geographical barriers and expand your chess network.
3. You Can Play on a Physical Board
The best part is, you can do all those things while playing on a physical board. Electronic chess boards have the unique advantage of combining technological capabilities with the tangible presence of a board and pieces.
With this chess board, you no longer need to strain your eyes with extended screen time whenever you want to play with chess engines, global opponents, or study past games.
The Top 5 Best Electronic Chess Boards
If you’ve weighed the advantages of electronic chess boards and are eager to get one, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of the top 5 electronic chess boards to help get you started.
1. DGT Centaur
DGT is a leading brand when it comes to electronic chess boards. One of its most talked-about models is the DGT Centaur which you can get for around $300.
Centaur can learn from your gameplay. It analyzes your moves with touch sensors and responds with LED lights that tell you its moves.
Unlike other boards that are notoriously difficult to beat, this board aims to strike a balance between giving you a challenging yet enjoyable experience. Another nice feature is it doesn’t need a computer or online connection.
You can use the Centaur as a standalone device. It’s also a great board to start with due to its simplicity. It only offers three levels of difficulty that adjust based on your performance.
While it doesn’t boast many advanced options, you may prefer it if you like a straightforward and user-friendly experience. It’s powered by Stockfish, a highly regarded chess engine with an Elo of over 3000.
2. Chess Genius Exclusive
Chess Genius Exclusive by Millenium is another wise choice if you’re looking for a dedicated chess computer. It’s priced at around $500.
This impressive device has a proven track record, having won multiple computer chess championships in the past.
Like other electronic chess boards, it uses a piece-sensing system that allows for natural and intuitive gameplay. You can simply place the pieces in their initial positions and the computer will detect and start a new game.
One of its unique features is how the computer’s brain is housed in a separate module. This design choice ensures compatibility with future designs, providing potential for upgrades.
Another interesting feature is you have the freedom to adjust the processor speed, giving you unlimited control to tailor the difficulty level.
3. iCore Chess Master
iCore Chess Master is an affordable chessboard that you can get for around $70 on Amazon. The board is designed to serve as your chess tutor.
It has a teaching voice system that not only alerts you to threats to your pieces, but announces legal moves and offers you strategic ideas to improve your game.
Furthermore, you can choose from 12 chess modes and 30 difficulty levels. The board also offers up to 100 pre-set chess exercises so you can practice your skills in various scenarios.
In addition to chess, you can play eight brain games on this board, including checkers and four-in-a-row.
4. Square Off Chess Computer
Square Off calls their chess computer the “world’s smartest chessboard,” because it uses Stockfish, the leading chess engine with an estimated Elo of over 3000. You can get this board for around $200.
What sets this board apart is its ability to move the pieces on its own. Though two other chess boards offer this capability, Square Off is the most accessible one.
However, you can’t use this board without connecting it to a phone or tablet because the electronic app houses the Stockfish engine.
5. DGT Smart Board
If you like the classic look of traditional chess boards, then you might like the DGT Smart Board, which you can buy for around $400. This is another famous product from DGT because it combines the elegance of a classic wooden finish and the functionality of an electronic interface.
The Smart Board is specifically designed to work with Windows operating systems. This compatibility allows it to integrate seamlessly with several software programs like online chess coaches.
Additionally, it has the same practical features as other electronic chess boards. You can play with others remotely and record your games directly on the board.
Electronic chess boards have transformed the experience of playing chess, providing players with a more enjoyable way of learning and improving their skills.
You can experience the convenience of playing against AI, replaying and analyzing past games, and connecting with other players—without the hassle of endlessly staring at a screen.
There are many exceptional electronic chess boards to choose from that fit a range of budgets and preferences. We’ve outlined five of the best and most popular models for you to choose from, ensuring that you find the perfect board to take your game to the next level!