What is a CERTABO® chessboard?
Certabo® chessboard is an electronic fine wood chessboard with automatic recognition of pieces and can be interfaced via usb to PC, Mac and raspberry Pis for an interactive gaming experience.
What does that mean?
It means that you can play on a real wood fine chessboard as you would do against your friend in the old fashion way on wood chessboard but against a strong electronic player instead
After I buy CERTABO® chessboard can I play right away or do I need something more?
Certabo® chessboard comes complete of 34 electronic self-adhesive recognition chips. What you need to do is simple.
- stick the provided chips to any plastic or wood chess set to transform it into an electronic set
- download from our website the Certabo® PC / Mac software or the PIs software if you want to run on PIs.
Why you give 34 pieces instead 32?
Because it’s usual, for example in case of promotion of pawn, to have a spare queen available to use even if the first is still in the game. It may happen that you can be stuck in the game if you do not have a spare piece.
Can I add more than one spare piece?
Sure you can add as many extra pieces as you want for both the black and the white. You can also add entire extra sets and play with different sets as you prefer.
What if I need or I want to make an extra set of electronic pieces?
There are many ways to do that, you can buy additional sets of 34 chips and use a commercial set of plastic or wood pieces or you can also buy our finest electronic wood chess set pieces or also you can download for free our Staunton 3D printable set specifically designed for Certabo® chips and print them yourself.
Do I need to watch out the display or the pc while I play?
No, Certabo® is thought to give you an intimate experience with your wood chessboard. The chessboard recognizes all the pieces and their position. Once the game is started the leds on the chessboard will just guide you in what you have to move for Certabo®. Everything is intuitive, simple and made to let you concentrate on the game with minimum level of disturb.
What the display is required for then?
The display is required just to start the game, select the strength and some other initial game parameters or during the game if you decide to take back a move, ask for an hint, to save or finally to check the pieces current positions in case you accidentally drop pieces or lose position.
What is the strength of CERTABO® chessboards?
The strength does not depend on Certabo® chessboards, it depends on the pc or other hardware device you are running the chess engine on. The Certabo® chessboard transmits the positions and names of pieces to the Certabo® software engines and this visualizes them into a user-friendly graphical interface on PC.
What does it mean?
It means that the more powerful is the PC you are running the Certabo® software on the more powerful is the electronic player and the richer will be your interactive experience with Certabo® chessboard
Can i use any UCI chess engine?
Yes sure! For PC and Mac version just copy them into the engine directory and select from list. For PI there are more than 50 already embedded ready to be selected
Can i play Random Fisher chess 960 mode?
Yes sure all versions for PC/Mac/Pi support it.
Can i start playing from any position on board?
Yes you can, you just need to place pieces in any wanted position and select who has to move and you can start playing.
Can i save or import PGN files
Yes you can directly import your pgn file and play from that position at same time anytime you save a .PGN file will be saved for you to use and open everywhere you like
Can i broadcast my game?
Yes you can and you can launch easy the game in broadcast mode on our server broadcast.certabo.com
Can I play on Raspberry PI3 instead PC
Yes of course! You just need to connect the PI3 to the chessboard and turn the PI3 on, the software will start automatically and will visualize the game on the PI3 touch screen display
Do I need to buy a raspberry PI3 to play with CERTABO® chessboards?
No you don’t, you can play connecting the chessboard to a normal PC running standard Certabo® software available for downloading on Certabo® website
Do I need a touch screen display for PI3 to play? I see you have a kit without it
No you don’t need a touch display for PI3. Once connected to PI3 every Certabo® chessboard generates its own Wi-Fi network so you can simply download our app and connect with your phone directly to the chessboard and use your smartphone as touch display.
Can I use CERTABO® chessboards with PI ZERO W?
Yes absolutely. The same image file works on both devices and you can use your phone as display. Anyhow be aware that the computational power of PI zero is limited so your game experience can slow down significantly. On the other hand the limited power gives you more possibilities to win :)
What if I lose my micro sd or I corrupt the file?
Remember always to properly shutdown the PIs, after you finish playing, by long pressing on the Certabo® logo. This will avoid corruption of files on micro SD. Anyhow, in case of corrupted file on micro SD just go to our download area, get the .img file and burn it again on the micro SD from any pc.
What does it mean that CERTABO® chessboards have open protocol?
This means that the information about positions, names of pieces and commands for the leds are available on the USB port in ASCII format and can be read by any software with serial interface. In other words it means that the board can be controlled by other hardware and software platform as you wish.
What language is CERTABO® software written with?
It’s written in Python, but the open protocol lets you to program a newer version in any language you like C++, C# etc.
Can I receive the source codes of Certabo® software and modify it?
We would be pleased to give! Certabo® software source codes for PI and PC are available under GPL V3.0 license, this means that as buyer and user of the Certabo® platform you have the right to receive them together with the binary code if you ask for them and do whatever you want but under the same license terms.
What does it mean?
It means that you can personalize the software, make your own versions use your logo, and integrate whatever you want from openings, to chess libraries down to different UCI chess engine. Imagination is your limit.
Do I need competence to do this?
Yes you need programming competence to make your own modifications and testing but the open community is already there working for you :).
What can I do without having programming competence?
You could for example change the graphics of the software on both platform PI and PC. You could also personalize it with your icons, logos, change the banners etc. : all the graphical elements can be changed. It's very simple and funny a kid could do it with paint :) ! Visit our forum to know how to do it.
Will CERTABO® team develop custom software for me if I need it?
Depending on the type of requests Certabo® team will evaluate the possibility tof developing custom software, anyhow the customer shall be ready to bear some development costs for custom personalization. But again the protocol is open so everybody can develop his own software. This is philosophy behind, with little effort from everyone we can get great results for all!
If I want, can I create my software for Certabo® chessboards?
Yes absolutely but Certabo® team and Inventhio Srl cannot be at any time liable for third party software and disclaim any responsibility. Anyhow we are always open to evaluate partnership with customer interested in doing customization on software and hardware too.
Can I use CERTABO® chessboards with other hardware platforms different from PCs and PIs
Sure you can basically use any computer platform but you need to customize the software for it. Software for other platforms may be available in the near future from Certabo® team or community.
What is that I can’t do ?
Else if the Certabo® software is provided under GPL v.3.0 version, Certabo® logo is a registered trademark of INVENTHIO Srl. You cannot at any time use or reproduce or distribute the logo and the related brand along with graphical elements. The use of Certabo® logo and brand is forbidden at any time, no right to use or disseminate, distribute Certabo® logo brand and graphical element are granted to recipient of source codes. You must remove logo and graphical part from the software and distribute your own copy without any part covered by trademark
Why CERTABO® chessboards wood has different shades?
Each Certabo® board is manufactured from a unique and different piece of wood and hand finished. Wood is a natural element and different shades are normal and the reflect the genuine materials and handmade finishing