DGT Centaur chess computer brief review

I believe you have to connect a powered speaker for that to work though. Still, my Talking Chess Academy announces moves and I agree, it does save one from having to look at the LCD screen.

Not a powered....even a pair of headphones...

On the subject of sound, I noticed that on a timed game the Centaur did not make an audible sound when my time ran out (or at least I did not hear it if it did). I had to look back through the move list (only a move or two) to see where the flag had actually dropped.

Also, I noted that while the result officially would have been a draw as the Centaur had insufficient material to mate, the Centaur stated that it had won.

Since Centaur does not have dedicated piece recognition but rather placement recognition, can a person use metal pieces (for conduction). I ask because I can place a metal washer on a square and it will show whatever piece had been pre-selected. Someone has also mentioned using aluminum foil tape. Is that a possibility?

There is a YouTuber who showed using Copper felt enabled conversation of a wooden chess set. I don’t think it would hurt the centaur to try so long as your all metal chess set is not massively heavy as I don’t think the board is that well supported underneath.

I have a similar question but the set I want to use has magnets underneath. I could take them out but it would be a destructive process. I am concerned the magnets could damage the closed loop sensors under the board surface.

I definitely wouldn't try magnetic pieces but one would think some sort of metal or metal alloy would work. I did try aluminum foil tape, that works as long as the pieces are heavy enough and the bottoms are flat to give a flush contact.
  I saw that YTber, that's what started me on this roll. LOL


Just got one of these and I think they're amazing especially for blitz play. super strength up to 3000 Elo on expert setting courtesy of stockfish. ...I'm loving it ! 😊

GM4-U wrote:

Just got one of these and I think they're amazing especially for blitz play. super strength up to 3000 Elo on expert setting courtesy of stockfish. ...I'm loving it ! 😊

It does look interesting. 

sound67 wrote:

A bizarre element of the design of the Centaur is that DGT for whatever reason decided not to cover the bottom of the machine, leaving the field sensors visible and potentially susceptible to damage:


Great pic BTW !

Rubicon0367 wrote:
lasertswift wrote:

I ordered the DGT Centaur chess computer a month ago and finally received it last night.  I have played about 10 games so far and here is my brief review.

To start with I REALLY like playing on it.  The pieces have a nice feel and I have experienced no glitches except it didn’t seem to recognize enpassant when it came up in one of my games.  I will have to ask DGT about that if it happens again........

I have also just bought the DGT Centaur.  I have a collection of chess computers ranging in age and strength - nearly all attained via charity shops.

I suspect the problems you are having with your Centaur may have more to do with your unfamiliarity with move inputs when making moves on a chess computer than the computer itself.  In terms of enpassant capture, you have to move your pawn diagonally first then remove the computer's pawn second.  (remember that enpassant can only be made in the replying move and not the next or later moves). If you remove the captured piece first in any capture the computer will correctly think that either you are trying to take a move back or that you you are trying to move the same side consecutively.  All chess computer work this way and factually, it is how you would move your chessmen and pawns in a tournament given you are only allowed to use one hand to make your move and press your chess clock button.  Additionally, if in a tournament you move your opponent's piece first it would be considered an illegal touch move.  Thus the computer is in fact correct to insist this move order when conducting a move for you or the computer.

Another thing to note is that when castling, it is imperative that you move your king first and then your rook.  This applies both on the computer chess board and in a tournament.  If you moved your rook first you have made a rook move that, if you let your rook go would have to stand,  If you still have hold of your rook, you can put your rook back but in a tournament, under touch rules, you have to move the rook and no other piece.  Chess computers in this instance play under friendly rules as they allow you to move any other piece instead.

A side note is that when setting up a position, if you want castling rights, you must NOT clear the board first, then place your king and rooks on the board.  The computer will count them as having moved and will not allow castling.  Therefore, if you want castling rights, you must set up a New Game position, enter set up mode and leave your kings and rooks alone that you want castling rights for.  This applies to all stand-alone chess computers I have used.

I have not experience any problems with my Centaur making moves and captures which is why I make this post because occasionally I come across folk who who blame the chess computer because they are not understanding the strict move inputs the computer requires.

Given the centaur uses standard chess computer move inputs, if you are still having problems I would recommend you search a chess computer manual online such as the Millennium 2000 which has a more in depth user guide than the Centaur.  Just remember you don't need to press down on the squares with the Centaur. 

Very useful technical tips on how chess computers deal with set up positions 👍

There is currently a “no castling” tournament going on. If you wanted to replicate such a game on your chess computer, simply enter set-up mode, remove the kings for both sides. You would then re-enter both kings and exit set-up mode. The computer will not try to Castle nor will it allow castling.

This is the case with my collection of computers. I haven’t actually tried it with the Centaur yet and don’t have the Millennium King Performance nor the Millennium Chess Genius nor the SquareOff board to try it on but in theory it should still work.

How do you charge Centaur? Do you charge it with the pieces on the board or without the pieces off the board. When Centaur is charging does it show the degree of charge at present? How do you know when it finish the charge?

Please advise



You can charge the Centaur while you play your games on it and while it is in standby.

In my experience there is a better view of the charging process while the computer is in standby and yes, the display is updated as the battery is charged.

To put the computer into standby, press and hold the play/pause button until the screen changes. Avoiding holding the play/pause button for too long otherwise the computer will be reset to factory settings (according to the manual).

It does take a while for the battery to charge.