Building a USB Chessboard Interface for < $10!
Ok, this is just awesome geeky-ness.
Recently I purchased one of these <$10 USB Chessboards. The hardware appeared to be pretty decent, however the software was just horrible. I couldn't save pgn files, I couldn't interface with things like Fritz..bottom line I was beginning to think it was a waste. However, not willing to leave well enough alone I decided it was time to build my own software interface for the board.
I'm a software developer/CTO by trade so interfacing with this USB HID device was a relatively straightforward operation. In the end I was able to develop a simple dialog that the locates the board and then allows you to pick a "Window" to send the moves from the board to.
Here's a view of the dialog.
Ok, now here's where the coolness really gets going, each time I make a move with the Chessboard it "sends" the move to Fritz (the selected window). Important note, in the dialog above it looks like I'm interfacing with Chess.com Live Chess, however I'm not, I'm replaying an old game with Fritz.
Here's an example of what is sent..
Fritz will take that input and immediately make the requisite move.