Upgrade of all chess boards

Thibault DuplessisAnnouncements

Breaking news from the development team!

What is the most important part of a chess website?

We think the key to a great chess experience is a fast, precise, and elegant board.

So today we are proud to present chessground, the new interface that powers all chess boards on lichess.

Customise to your taste

Many themes available

Chessground is available in 2D and in 3D. Try the third dimension now by opening the theme manager from the top menu bar:

We've designed a lot of boards and piece sets to choose from, so try them out and find the combination that you find the most beautiful!

Configure highlights and helpers

By default chessground will highlight the legal moves you can play with little green dots. You can disable that by going to your preferences page:

Then disable the piece destinations.

You may also disable the board highlights (last move, check, ...) if they distract you from the action.

Finally, you can change the piece animation speed, and decide where you want the board coordinates displayed - or just hide them.

Everything just got better

Chessground brings the same level of excellence to all lichess boards. Here's a non-exhaustive list of things that chessground has improved:

  • Chess captchas now support drag'n drop and can validate moves
  • Puzzles and board editor now support move by click
  • Game previews are now animated
  • Takebacks no longer require a page reload
  • All boards can be rethemed without a page reload
  • Pages load faster, and all animations run smoother

Material difference in a glance

A new way to display taken pieces, or rather material difference, was also introduced:

Before, we used to see all pieces that were taken for both side. But it quickly became crowded in endgames, and did not answer properly the important question:

"who is up in material, and how much?"

Now that's exactly what we see. In the image above, MisterBiggStuff is up one rook, and Nimrod64 got two pawns in compensation. Or in other words, Nimrod64 has 2 more pawns than MisterBiggStuff, and MisterBiggStuff has one more rook than Nimrod64.

New technology, bright future

Chessground was built from scratch using latest Javascript technologies - namely NPM for composing programs, and mithril.js for optimizing the DOM updates.

Not only do we enjoy better and faster boards right now on the website, it also unlocks interesting possibilities. So what's next?

Well for a start, it's now possible to implement a move list, that allows you to review your moves while the game is playing. We're already working on it, so expect that long awaited feature to land anytime soon.

Furthermore, chessground was built with mobile development in mind. It will power the upcoming lichess mobile application! Stay tuned for updates on this subject.