Monday, December 23, 2013

USB Chessboards

Bryan Whitby features a nice USB Chess Board website with a lot of information and links on USB chess boards. On this site, you can find details on hardware and software for connecting a chess board to a tablet or computer. A must read for anyone who enjoys playing computers but prefers playing on a real board.

I, obviously, especially liked the video of Frank Walls Android USB board that features Chess for Android. I have embedded the video below.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chess OCR

Gerhard Roth wrote various very interesting chess OCR applications that enable you to scan chess positions from books and open these directly in your favorite chess application for further analysis. Much faster than manually entering these positions through a position setup editor.

The application supports the Android sharing mechanism I blogged about a while back. For example, as illustrated below, first open a chess book at an interesting position, then invoke Gerhard's OCR application to scan the position, and finally select sharing to open, for instance, Chess for Android for further analysis with your favorite UCI or XBoard engine.

Chess for Android version 4.5 also introduced a fast way to invoke Gerhard's application. Long press the notation window, and the select Retrieve Position. This will bring you back in the OCR application again (or give you a choice if several such applications exist) to scan the next position. Great job Gerhard writing this nice Android application!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chess for Android v4.5

It has been a while since the last update, since I have been a bit busy at work, but I finally had some time for two new features in Chess for Android, version 4.5 now available through the playstore or as direct download:
  • Spoken chess text (option to announce all moves)
  • Retrieve position function (direct link with Gerhard Roth's OCR app)
To enable the new chess speech feature, simply press the menu button, select "Options", and then enable the "Spoken Moves" option (see check-mark below). After that, Chess for Android announces the chess moves made on the board, as well as the final outcome of the game. For now, only the english language is supported.

A follow-up posting will go into more detail on the OCR feature.