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The DGT Chessboard

With the electronic chessboard from DGT Projects you can play games with real pieces at a real chessboard and yet you can take advantage of the variety of modern chess programs and engines. The electronic chessboard from DGT relays all moves you make by hand to your PC.

Arena and DGT Board
Arena and the DGT Electronic Chessboard

To activate the DGT-support, choose ‘Extras/Configure DGT chessboard’ and make sure (under ‘options’) that you have selected the correct COM-port to which your DGT chessboard is connected. You don’t need a driver for your DGT chessboard, but you can use the driver fom DGT, if you want. Select the appropriate radiobutton DGT support without driver or Use Driver from DGT. If you want to use the DGT-XL clock, you have to use the driver from DGT, see below.

Then start under ‘Extras/DGT Chessboard’ the DGT support. The position on your DGT chessboard is now shown in Arena.

Arena supports the following features:

  • You can make moves.
  • If you choose the ‘edit’ mode in Arena, you can make moves without a chess engine interfering with what you do by beginning to calculate or making a move.
  • If you are not in ‘edit’ mode, the selected engine begins to calculate after you have made a move.
  • You can take back the moves and replay them again.
  • You can set up a position
  • Arena can announce the moves if you have installed the sound files from DGT and have chosen the corresponding option

Making moves: 

If you make moves, Arena takes a little while to recognise that you are e.g. not just sliding with your rook along the line, but the process of making a move is finished. This time is adjustable in milliseconds in the options tab in the DGT-dialog (‘Options/Configure DGT chessboard’). It defaults to 350 ms. If you prefer to move slower, you can rise the value. If you want to have the recognition of a move signalled with a sound, you can choose a sound file there, too.

Set up a position: 

Please save a previously played game. If you want to set up a position, remove the kings from the board. Arena is now in set-up mode and doesn’t recognise any moves. You can now set up a position, of course also the normal starting position. 

At last you place the kings on the DGT-chessboard. You place the king of the side to move on the board last. If black is to move, you place first the white, then the black king on the DGT board. 

Move announcement: 

If an engine has made a move, it is reasonable to let it announce by Arena, so you don’t have to look on the computer screen again and again. You can download English and other move announcements from the Arena Website (, section User files). The DGT XL chess clock can even show the moves on the clock, see below. 

Move announcements are also found on the DGT website. Go to

 and select ‘download’. There you find files like ‘MoveAnnouncements_English’. Download and install them. All you have to do now is tell Arena where to find the files. Select ‘Options/Appearance’ and the tab ‘sounds’ and type or select the appropriate path. If  you always want a move announcement, check the checkbox there. If you only want to have sounds announced if you’re playing with the DGT chessboard, select the corresponding option in the DGT configuration dialog. 

A hint on reversing the DGT board: 

If one day you choose to reverse the DGT board and the white and black pieces are now on the opposite side than they were before, set up the initial chess position once. Arena now remembers the board orientation for future games, even if you leave the Arena program. 

Leaving the DGT mode: 

You can leave the DGT mode the same way you started it: ‘Options/DGT Chessboard’. 

DGT 2000 Chess Clock: 

Arena supports the chess clock. The times of the clock are transformed into times used for the corresponding move. 

DGT XL Chess Clock: 

Arena supports the DGT XL chess clock, if you use the driver fom DGT. Moves and evaluations can be displayed on the clock. If you check Show evaluation, Arena constantly shows the evaluation from the engine.


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