Tornelo welcomes the use of e-Boards for Hybrid events or broadcasting Over-The-Board events.

Tornelo has created an open protocol to enable e-Boards manufacturers to access all the features and arbiter controls in Tornelo and maintain simplicity in their hardware. We also have an Open Source reference server to help get you started. You can download the server app as a Simulation e-board and test it immediately with any Tornelo tournament.

Our vision of the future is that every chess board in every school and club is an e-board. These boards should be able to easily connect to the pairings program (Tornelo) which can then capture moves and results.

This document defines a protocol for communication between a Chess website or application (the client, eg. Tornelo), and a server application which manages one or more Chess e-Boards (the server).

At the most basic level, an e-board manufacturer needs working hardware and a server application with just 3 capabilities:

  • Runs a local webserver with websockets
  • Accepts a connection from Tornelo
  • Passes an FEN whenever the board state changes via the websocket

Any e-board meeting this open protocol should work “out of the box” and a player will need only to click “Connect e-Board” in order to use the e-Board.

Different boards will have different features; we envisiage supporting:

  • Self-moving pieces
  • Squares lit by LED
  • LEDs in the corner of squares
  • On-board display of names, flags, clock times etc
  • Multiple boards connected to a single computer

Individual play

An individual wishing to use an e-board must sign-in to Tornelo, connect their e-board to their computer and then click “connect via e-board”

This player can now make moves on the board or on their screen.

How will a tournament work?

Note; this is work in progress, and not a currently available feature.

In a tournament situation there may be many hundreds of tables, with players scattered all over the world; in homes, in hubs or tournament halls. We must be able to handle any configuration of games:

  • Both players on a standard board (not an e-board)
  • Both players on the same e-Board
  • Each player on an e-Board, in different locations
  • One player on e-Board, the other on a computer
  • Both players playing on a computer

Regardless the method of making moves, there will be a seamless experience for all players, and for arbiters.

The Chief Arbiter will define a number of Locations in use during the event. These are the Hubs or Playing Halls that will have multiple e-Boards connected to a single (Technical) Arbiter’s computer.

Each arbiter will select their location and define the ‘local table number’ for each board serial number.

When the pairings are done, Tornelo will allocate each player a table number based on their location. eg. 1.1.2 (round 1, match 1, table 2) might be between a player in Germany and a player at their home. The German player will be mapped to Table 1 in Germany, and the other player will see the Play Now button on their screen.

Tornelo will provide a set of “Pairings” for each location, and as long as the players sit at the correct Local Table number, then their moves will be relayed to the correct game on Tornelo.

The players in a Hub will not need to sign-in, the arbiter is providing the permissions on Tornleo for players to play games.

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