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Unboxing DGT CENTAUR Chess Computer and How it Works

I unbox the DGT Centaur and demo all the key features. I also give my thoughts on who will enjoy this machine – and who might not. The DGT Centaur is unique in that it intelligently adapts to your chess play level while playing in a human-like style. This means you’ll have a chance to win while being challenged! The Centaur really focuses on providing an intuitive, distraction free, and innovative chess playing experience, solo. If you or someone you know would love to play chess and is struggling to find a chess player at a skill level that’s matched evenly, the Centaur is that perfect chess friend. While other chess computers boast hundreds of different features, DGT has packed only the most essential into the Centaur, keeping the experience free of complexity. For this reason, connoisseurs might be disappointed. It’s more appealing to casual players wanting to play, practice, and improve their game and not so much for collectors – in my opinion. That said, it can play at it’s highest at nearly world champion level, so you’ll know that the hints, or analysis provided are very high level suggestions. What if you want to review a game of your own, or a game you saw somewhere? Setting it up on the Centaur is very easy. From this position you can then play or watch the computer’s analysis of best moves. While the features are not as extensive as the most advanced computers – in fact very limited, the comfortable size and playability without dependence on the display is impressive.

DGT Centaur Chess Computer


Video transcription:

Hi, it's Raphael with Chess House, let's unbox the dgt centaur and take a look at this computerwhich is designed to play chess against you in a more simple and intuitive way.It'll adapt to your level, give you a challenge, give you a chance to win andenable just those things that will help you practice and improve your game.Let's unbox this amazing looking unit here the DGT Centaur. On first impressionI like the way they packaged it.simple and good presentationNow, let's see what's inside.Immediately we see the chess computer board itself,the e-paper display right heresnd we have a user manual,Quick Start Guide, the chess pieces,the power adapter, and we have several international and other power sources.From the packaging design to my first impressions of the product, I'm already getting the sense of the simplicity thatDGT was obviously striving to achieve. This ePaper displayIs designed to work well in low lightbright light or any environmentWell, let's go ahead and turn on the machine right away and to do so I'm going to pressthis button in the corner.Immediately you see it light up.This is a startup sequence andwe can go ahead and begin putting the pieces on the board.The pieces have a little bit of weight to them.This computer has an internal battery and it already has a charge but it's recommended to charge it first with thisUSB type charger.And I'll mention some of the more interesting things. I've learned about this computer, but I just like to explore it with you now.Notice as soon as I set it up it recognizes the beginning position and begins to play once I make a first move.So I could go ahead and make another move.What's really cool about this machine is just the onboard display very different than any other chess computers.That are currently available.And you notice there's no need to focus on a display… you can focus solely on playing your game.But I'll go into the features that are available in this display very soon. And what those mean.What I like in particular about this experience is that it focuses on the onboard play.What is on the board is immediately reflected on this display.There's a move listshowing the chess notation andat any point you can get a hint by using this question mark.It's giving mefive different options. It's even suggesting it on the board. Although that one's not in view right now andfor those that might be thinking the display is a bit small, let's just start by increasing the size of the display.Here I'll change the text display size to large.Press the back button, and now we have a larger text display.To enter a settings menu at any point there's a checkbox.True to the simplicity that DGT seems to have been striving for there's not a whole lot of options here.But let's go through them real quick – game mode,we have friendly challenging or expert. Now friendly is supposed to give you a real chance at winning.The computer, even though it has a very powerful engine in it, isable to sense your level of play almost immediately andstart giving you chances. At challengingIt's, well, going to give you a challenge and, it's going to be much more difficult to win.At expert it's going to play at its very highest level be almost impossible to beat. I can see this beingbeneficial to see what would be a great move in any given position.It'd also be great for analysis.Now you can also set whether the computer plays black or white also in analysis mode.This means you can play both sides and see what the computer scores the position as.Next, you can set game times. You can set 2 minute games, 5 minute, all the way up to 90 minute games.Set pieces – this is a very useful feature becauseanywhere you set up the pieces on the boardyou can then start playing from there. After I set the pieces in their new position its immediately reflected on hereand I press the check mark to save it and then I can say is white to move?White moving this way or towards meIs it white to move or black to move and then the computer plays as black plays as white or analysis in this case?I'll just save itThe Save button is here. Back into the menu with the checkbox,there's displayYou can showClockScore, and hints. You can turn those on and off.Save that with this button. Now you can see that there is a clock on each side.There's a scoring of the position so the computer evaluates this as a slightlybetter position for white by 0.67.It's even showing a hint right here because I turned that on. And at any point I can get a hint from this key.You can see here, it's suggesting a night move from g1 to f3.It's suggesting multiple hints as well. Now, back into the menu,there sound on and off,but, there's not much sound on the board overall, so keep that in mind. Then there's light.This will give you a low, medium, or high brightness on the squares. So let's say we turn this to highandsave thatThen if we look at a hint, notice how this is even brighter.So that's on the brightest setting there's even a low light setting. This unit can be used in bright sunshine.I have gone through most of the features already.There are multiple languages. The key thing is you have the basics to play chessYou have a timer. You can play in this case, let's say a blitz game. You can confirm any position here andjust play by focusing on the board. Here are some ways you might just naturally use the computer.I'll set up the board in a new position.The computer beeped to let me know that it recognizes a new game is being started.And you could just begin play right away. The clocks say five minutes each side.Now I can see the move list here: Bishop to b4, Knight to f3.I can reverse and look back through the move list with these keys.If I want to reverse the position, I can just make this move back hereThen make my knight move back. I can reverse the game and continue playing in a different lineNow the chess computer does not store your games other than if you want to save thatparticular game and continue it later. You would then just turn off the computer by holding this down for three seconds.You'll see this square flash a few times.Now you could remove all the pieces from the board, you could transport it, and when you come backyou would press the power button in the corner it'll turn back on.Here's the board with the position that we had before you could then reset up your pieces asYou were playing in that previous game. Let me show again how to set up a chess positionSelect set piecesLet's say you want to look at a differentopeningSay you want to set start here…or you might have a position that you're studying.Or one you've seen in a book somewhere else. Let's analyze that or let's play from that positionWell, I can go ahead and set it up. It's already recognized.I'll save it here, say white is moving that way it's white to move and the computer plays black.We'll play.Now I can go ahead and play from this position.So I'll talk about a few more features, but in my mind it's impressive thatDGTone of the foremost producers of electronics for chesseven at the world championship levels – in factthey provide the dgt boards for the world championship games and a host of tournaments throughout the world…they've been able to take their knowledge their and condense it down into a list of verysimple but intuitive features.I imagine it was hard tolet go of many of those features to create such a unit as this which frankly for anyone that isa collector or connoisseur orenthusiast who is looking for very advanced featuresIt would be a bit disappointing because it is so oversimplifiedBut I believe that for anyone that is looking for just a play experience that's going to be challenging,that's great for practice, andfor learning, this computerreally takes some of the most essential features and builds them in. Yes, I would have liked to seerating calculation to say what level am I playing at? What does the computer assess my rating level as?That doesn't appear to be part of the function.However, it has all the basics all the essentials for a hands-on play experience – soloand that's what many of us are looking for as we're learning.I've noticed that the pieces slide very easily on the squares.You may or may not like that.Typically pieces have some sort of felt. These have kind of asmooth hard surface.The reason for that of course is that the pieces areindividually chipped to be sensed on the board and it needs a very thin square for the lights to show through. Thebattery on this lasts for many hours. When you first get it is recommended to charge itbut I like the fact that it doesn't have to be plugged in all the time and that there's nobatteries to replace. Now a few things you may be wondering…Can this plug into a computer? does it have an SD card or anything like that?Asdesigned it's notdesigned to interface with any other devices. It's a standalone machineThere is a USB port here. But as far as we know there's nocommunication there other than as a charging port. So let's look a little bit more at the hardware.I'm gonna go ahead and remove these pieces from the board.It's a half inch thick andAbout seventeen and a half inches by sixteen inches deep.I'd say comfortable size. These pieces are just under three and a half inches tall.Take a closer look at the e-paper display.Now looking at the back of the board a very interesting visual – some may wonder why not just have covered this.Well dgt chose to design it this way and from what we can seeit provides more strength. This layout and design does provide somerigidity to the board itself. After all it is only a half inch thickMy opinion of the Centaur is that it does provide a veryeasy andenjoyable chess playing experience.Those that are technical or looking for a vast array offunctionality are going to be a bit disappointed. However, I think it was DGT designed to oversimplify and make thisaccessible to anyone.As far as chess play and provide thatopponent that is both somewhat challenging but not discouraging by never letting you win.The adaptability and the adaptable level play to me is really the winning feature.Just being able to focus on the chessboard itself,focus on enjoying the game and playing the game iswhat it's all about.If you're looking for something to connect your computer to save games, toshare those games and so on .. do all these kinds of advanced things, you should be looking at a different chess computer like a DGTboard itself or evena Millenium Exclusive.But in this case if you know someone or if you yourselfwant to just enjoy playing the game and have aover the board chess experience, have a human-likeopponent, the Centaur seems to be a great option.What I find most interesting and useful about the Centaur is the adaptable chess level so that whatever your level,you'll be able to have a challenging game or a slightly easier game. I'll personally be exploring that a lot further with the Centaur.I hope you found this video helpful.We're here at Chess House to help you, enjoy the game in your home, events, or wherever you like to play chess.You


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