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 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.

So thoughts?



  • 4 weeks ago

    FM brutoman

    hi Matt, can I get a copy of the software? usb chessy board
  • 9 months ago


    I can't say for sure, but I believe you're right - probably not in production any longer.  You'd have to luck up on with Ebay or Amazon or something.

  • 9 months ago


    Anyone know what ever happened to this product? Appears to have been discontinued. 

  • 16 months ago


    Hi Matt,

    I just managed to get a new Dream Cheeky today in Australia for $10 in bargain basket at rural electronics store. May I please have a copy of your software sent to  

    I am running Windows 7 64 bit but can set up another PC either XP or Linux if needed.

    Many Thanks

  • 23 months ago


    Hi! Thera are some USB roll up chessboard on ebay! I bought two for me and my dad!

    I 'm searching for the FRAGILIO's software if is possible to receive it by email.

    BYE from RomeWink

  • 3 years ago


    Hi guys,

    Just an update on these "Dream Cheeky USB Roll Up Chess" boards.

    The device can work under Linux too rather easily. They show themselves as a very simple HID periphery, and the protocol was already reverse engineered for the rather similar "Dream Cheeky/Dream Link USB Piano". Using libusb, a usermode support program was already written by somebody else and is available here,
    (I wouldn't be surprised if differences are minor with respect to other, apparently very popular, USB missile launcher toys by the same company, for which a variety of Linux hacks are available).

    Device and Product ID are apparently the same as for the piano keyboard. Then it is simply a matter of claiming the device, and looping through usb_interrupt_read. The pressed square returns a long integer, from A1 to H8.

    With this, it is trivial to interface i.e. to Crafty. With its "speech on" shell option and the text2speech Festival program, computer moves are read aloud and a play well enjoyed :-)


  • 3 years ago


    luffyzanderssen You can suspect that if you want, but you'd be wrong. Not sure if you're accusing Fragilio of lying or just being inaccurate. I got mine a year or two ago, and it had gone UP to about $15 or $20 by then, if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, Dream Cheeky discontinued the item. If there were inexpensive sets that would interface well with a PC, this forum probably would not be here. BTW, what did you see for $75? Does it interface with a PC? I haven't seen anything other than Dream Cheeky under $300 or so.

  • 3 years ago


    i only see a $75.00 set for sale on amazon and that's still the cheapest one i've ever seen.  i suspect that there was never a $10.00 set in existence to begin with.

  • 3 years ago


    I am building a chessboard based on RFID. What is the protocol in passing the data to Fritz or Chessbase? I can, perhaps, supplement your program. Can you comment on this?

  • 3 years ago


    Hi Matt,

        Amazing work! I didn't know there was such an active and enthusiastic crowd of DIY USB chessboard builders on here. I too would like a copy of your interface software please. My email address is [address-deleted] Thank you!

  • 3 years ago


    Looks like Dream Cheaky is difficult to find now, any source still selling it?


  • 4 years ago


    Hi Matt, just picked up a Dream Cheeky, would really appreciate a copy of your software. My emails Thanks a bunch.

  • 4 years ago


    Hi Matt, I was reading about your work and Bryan`s work... and I want to make a chessboard like this.. can you send me a copy of your software, my email is thanks...

  • 4 years ago


    Amazing! I have a Dream Cheeky and I really want this software! Would you please send me a copy? My email is

    Thanks, regards from Brazil,


  • 4 years ago



       Does anyone have a Dream Cheeky board they'd like to sell?  Looks like they're not making them any more.  If so, you can contact me at or 832-816-8006.

    Thanks, Robert

  • 5 years ago


    I just read your fascinating story of how you came to the practice of chess ...This story deserves comment in forums chess!
    I wondered if your software was possible to visualize the two games (or more) simultaneously on the computer ...
    Suppose you have two boards Sisch and connect to the USB ports on my computer ... Could see the 2 games?
    Working with children in the practice of school and would like to organize chess tournaments where parents and teachers can enjoy the game ..

    Again, sorry for syntax and other errors ...

    Javier Uria

  • 5 years ago



    Thanks for the kind words! Check your inbox and enjoy!


  • 5 years ago


    You're a genius!

    I would like to request the shipment of its software as I am putting together my own board at home (then send the photos to see how it was)
    My email is

    Javier Uria

    PS: I do not speak English correctly, I used the google translator. Sorry for the syntax.

  • 5 years ago


    hi Matt, can I get a copy of the software?



  • 5 years ago


    Sure send me a pm with your email and I'll send it to you.


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