Chess has been a part of our culture since it conquered the hearts of Brits in medieval times. But progress moves on and chess doesn’t stay behind. Today, there are plenty of unusual chess sets UK market has to offer, and an electronic chess set doesn’t seem like something out of the ordinary. An electronic chess board has lots of advantages, actually, but before we get to describe those, let’s first see when they were created how they actually work. 

A brief history of electronic chess

There have been many attempts to build a machine that could play chess, but naturally, all the attempts before computers came along were, more or less, hoaxes. Like the famous ‘mechanical Turk’ that was created in the 1770s and was just a figure of a Turk, who could supposedly play chess and move the pieces on its own. Naturally, it was just a parlor trick to get money from amused and entertained crowds, nothing more.

The first real computer chess algorithm was created in the 60s but it was rather primitive at the time, compared to what we have today. In the 1980s, when computer power took a leap, so did the capacities of the computer chess. 

But electronic chess is actually a combination of computer chess and ordinary sets. In that, you can play with a real-person opponent next to you, or far away (it’s not relevant) and record the game instantly for future reference. Or play with a chess computer, by hooking the board to your devices and using a GUI. 

E-boards weren’t even thought of until the late 90s, when the International Chess Federation requested an electronically enhanced board that they could use to instantly broadcast the Chess Olympiad matches.  Their request was satisfied and the first e-board prototype was created. Since then many different models were created, and e-boards became a valid option on the chess market. 

How do electronic chess sets work?

The board usually doesn’t look much different from an ordinary wooden chess set, except it has USB ports and additional lighting indicators sometimes. It connects to your device via USB or Bluetooth and you can either play with someone else online, or in person, or you can challenge the chess computer, which is basically artificial intelligence, or a GUI. 

Also, an e-board has piece recognition. So basically all the pieces have info about its color and value, which is transmitted to your device immediately once you make a move. Some boards that have light indicators around each square, let you know where to move your opponent’s piece by flashing a light around a particular square. This adds an extra charm to the game, don’t you agree?

What’s the advantage of using E-boards?

The most obvious and indisputable advantage is the possibility of recording and later recalling any game you need and replaying it for learning purposes. This board makes developing a skill so much easier. Learning from your own mistakes makes you sharper and more skillful, so imagine how much you could grow as a player if you could go over your games step by step and analyze them later on, without the fear of forgetting the details. 

E-boards don’t really have boundaries in time or geography for that matter. If you don’t have anyone in close proximity who you’d like to play a match with, you can do it with a chess enthusiast on the other side of the globe, while having your favorite board in front of you, and not a software on the screen. 

There’s a valid question to be asked, whether en e-board can be replaced by simple computer chess, but a click of a mouse doesn’t have the same power as a movement of the hand, and you can play for a long time without straining your eyes, which is a huge plus. Our brain is like a hard drive, and if you know what learning techniques to use, you will get a better result every time. 

Electronic chess already has a solid niche in the chess market and has won the hearts of many chess enthusiasts around the world. It gives us a chance to learn faster and more effectively, and speed up the long and difficult road of becoming a strong and confident player!

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