Playing chess doesn’t always require a partner sitting in front of you. As technology continues to advance, so does chess. The first advancement started with Deep Blue, a supercomputer developed by IBM, which played against chess legend, Garry Kasparov.
It was a pair of six games that ended with Kasparov winning (4-2), it was pretty much a landslide. The second match, however, was a different story. Played in New York, NY, Deep Blue was able to win (3–2), which earned it the accolade of being the first program to defeat a chess world champion. It took everyone by shock. But, little did they know, chess computers will be accessible for everyone, at any age soon after.
Today, you’re able to enjoy the same benefits with an electronic chessboard that plays against you. If you’re an avid chess player, it can be a great way to increase your chess abilities and keep track of progress. The chessboard remembers the last time you played, and the final move made, so you can always go back and develop from previous games. And if anyone owns the same board, you can play online against millions of other players and record your games.
Below, we are going to give you the 4 best electronic chess computers that have been tried and tested by some of the best chess players across the globe.
Our Top Picks For The Best Electronic Chess Computers In 2020
DGT Centaur: Revolutionary Chess Computer
We put DGT Centaur on our list as the ultimate chess computer for both beginner and advanced chess players. It’s a beautiful chessboard, with a light-contrast, which is soft and comfortable on the eyes.
The bottom display shows historical moves, hints, and the score. So, you can keep track of any progress you’ve made and go back if needed. The squares also have a lighted display that indicates moves so that you can outsmart the computer if you’re a beginner and looking to have fun.
Many other chessboards have unrealistic difficulties and don’t adapt to your level of chess play. And if you’re a beginner or intermediate, this can be frustrating starting off learning how to play chess. With Centaur, It adjusts to your level of play with chess-playing algorithms (or machine learning), so you can improve on your skills without an unforgiving top-level challenge. As an advanced or club player, this will help you continuously improve, which is both educational and exciting.
The board size is moderate, sitting at 17.5 x 15.8″, which shouldn’t take up any room on a table or coffee top. It also has a rechargeable internal battery, which is excellent for travel or long-term use. The downside is that it doesn’t have online chess and cannot integrate with your computer. But, the software, Stockfish, has new development that may introduce this in the future.
- Adapts to your level of play
- Smart display that monitors your moves and score
- A rechargeable internal battery that is great for travel
- Lighted Square display that shows move hints
- No online play or computer integration
If you’re looking for an advanced chessboard that can significantly improve on your skills, Lexibook CG1300 is an excellent choice. It doesn’t have the bottom display or as simple as Centaur, but outmatch it with sophisticated chess features that many intermediates and advanced chess players will appreciate.
Lexibook has a touch-sensitive keypad and 64 games integrated, which can adjust and improve your overall skill level. You can also play with another person or with a computer. The system has an ELO of 1800, so you can enjoy more human decision making at lower difficulties, instead of harsh punishment for making weak moves. But, higher ELO will give you a club or chess tournament experience to further increase your skill. But, this may be extremely difficult for beginners.
It also has a learning mode, where the computer indicates whether a move is optimal or not and will attempt a move after. This helps guide players with hints, similar to having a chess tutor right on your table. The board itself is top-heavy, and the pieces are lightweight with small parts, so keep away from children. We suggest placing Lexibook CG1300 at a centralized area in your home, as the pieces can fall off and break.
- ELO system of 1800 (great for advanced or intermediate players)
- Learning mode to guide players with hints
- 64 built-in games, which second on our list.
- Touch-sensitive keypad with 16 light diodes
- Top-heavy board with lightweight, small pieces
Millennium Model M810
Millennium M810 is a chess grandmaster on your table, with an ELO of 2000 and USF of 2400. The M810 uses the ChessGenius program, which was developed by Richard Lang, a British professional chess computer programmer. ChessGenius is one of the most robust chess-playing software to date and uses the same algorithms that conquered world champion, Garry Kasparov.
With M810, you’re getting a superior chess playing experience that will undoubtedly be an exceptional playing partner, especially if you’re looking to defeat players online or local parks. It’s also great for beginners, with adaptable playing strength and an integrated chess trainer, to help you learn chess or progressively increase your skills.
It has a digital display that shows the entire chessboard and clock/timer. There are about 12-bottoms beside the digital display, including the power, hint, and info bottom, which are essential. INFO bottom on the bottom left allows you to understand the computer thought process, which helps you learn high-level ELO playstyle. But, always advance your practice with other players. The HINT bottom sits right next to INFO, giving you suggestions on the next move. There is also a takeback all, which provides you with unlimited past moves.
The chessboard size measures 8 inches, all-around (20 cm x 20 cm). The cabinet is roughly 12 inches x 11 inches, so you’re getting a relatively small chessboard. Similar to Lexibook, keep it within a safe area, or you’ll be left with missing pieces. It also may be hard for you to see the single digital display, measuring at 1.5″ x 1.75, so keep that in mind when comparing M810 to other chessboards.
- Great for beginners and high-level chess players (High ELO)
- Unlimited past moves (or takeback all)
- Digital display that shows the clock and chess hints
- Uses ChessGenius Program developed by Richard Lang
- Relatively small chessboard and digital display
- The magnet may wear off, which holds the chess pieces
iCore Electronic Talking Chess Computer Set
iCore chess set is a fun and entertaining chessboard for all ages. It includes 12 chess modules, 8 mind-bending challenges, 30 unique chess levels, and 100 pre-set exercises, which is the most on our list. If you’re a beginner, this is best suited for you. It has 100 pre-programmed voice-activated guidance, announcing legal moves and general training. So, if you find chess rules intimidating, this will help get through the initial growth pain.
The LCD display has a visual indication where all the pieces are at any given time. It also flashes the square when chess pieces have been moved, similar to having a chess app on your phone. But, like other models on our list, the display is small and can be hard to distinguish between each piece towards the mid to late game of chess. We don’t recommend this if you’re a strong player looking to improve your skills as there is no indication of ELO. However, it’s full of strategies and games, making it an excellent gift for novice players or children getting started with chess.
- Plenty of game, challenges and pre-set exercises
- 100+ Voice-activated guidance of legal moves and training
- Great for beginners and novice players
- Not great for skilled players