Best Chessmen Ever

Picochess on DGT 3000

The newest addition to the DGT chess clock lineup makes the old DGT XL it replaces look, well, ... old. Wider display, more characters available for our chessbots and there's that US tourney mode with USCF approved time controls. It's a cool clock.

The web user interface running on the iPad (or any other locally connected machine) is quite intriguing. It runs in any standard browser like Safari, Firefox or Chrome. It shows the opening tree, connects to a remote database of games for reference and can show engine evaluation. But for now, there is no way to play the game via UI. When this is enabled in the future, you will be able to simply give the URL of your machine to a friend and play a remote game on your DGT board, Picochess keeping score and storing PGNs. Skyping each other on top of that for a fine quiet evening match is a nice option ...

Of course I am quite aware that DGT boards already come with software enabling remote play on ICS and other chess servers. But it never works, really.
I believe here's a chance for DGT to develop a new platform for remotely connecting chess players. I believe they would be served well by a small investment into programming resources for this (OpenSource) project. (Sadly, I am no programmer, can only do ideas, design and testing.)
Imagine this scenario:

  1. You give the URL of your machine to a friendly chess coach, he observes you playing a game against the machine from their comfy home using their Chrome browser. Coach comments on the game via chat or Skype. The point is: a.) You are playing against a known trusted person, not "Kacpar0v_1991" or some other 11-year old with an engine in Brazil. b.) Remote player only needs a browser and URL address of your machine. No logins to monthly-fee servers. No usernames. No ads.
  2. You turn off the engine, play a remote game against the intrigued friend. You are using the DGT board, they are using a mouse and the Picochess web user interface from their home. It's fun, convenient and instructional. Picochess is keeping score and recording PGNs.
  3. Next day friend gets a Picochess machine themselves, they have a coach too, you know. (Bingo!, there goes another DGT board sale!)
  4. Your chessbot connects to their chessbot via a simple IP exchange, now you can play a remote game with pieces on both ends. Picochess keeping score and PGN's, of course.
  5. Next day the coach gives their URL to another coach. And a friend. A friendly GM. A twitter follower. A chess club member. There's another Bingo! there. And maybe another.
  6. Next year there are online tournaments, Picochess bots connecting players, keeping score, analyzing, verifying identities, checking for cheating, running automated tournaments.

It could go viral. Bingo, bingo, bingo!


P. S. Please excuse my excited naiveté.

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