Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify

Chessify is a multi-service chess platform. Since I am not registered with I cannot say much about it. But a single feature of their phone app is really amazing: it allows to take photos of chess diagrams (printed or screen) and converts them into FEN (Forsyth-Edwards-Notation). This is a standard for machine readable description of chess positions. PGN employs it to record games which do not start from the standard beginning position. And you can directly past it into ChessBase and many other chess apps. This is pretty helpful in these times where chess training is restricted to online meetings.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 1

I made a series of tests with diagrams from books out of my private library. Roughly spoken it is very reliable with books from the 1980s and later. The only fail I experienced there is a book dealing with chess programnming having very low resolved diagrams (presumably for matrix printers or shells).

Prior to that date most tests failed. Main reason is a bishop with a kind of pompom hat that confuses the app. The test series in chronological order:

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 2
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 3

FAIL

Jean Dufresne, Sammlung leichterer Schachaufgaben 2.
Leipzig: Reclam n. d. [ca. 1882].

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 4
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 5

FAIL

Karl J. S. Portius, Katechismus der Schachspielkunst. Leipzig: J. J. Weber 101889.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 6
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 7

FAIL

Rudolf Spielmann, Richtig opfern! Voraussetzungen, Ziel und Durchführung des Opfers im Schachspiel. Leipzig: Hedwig n. d. [ca. 1935] [Reprint Düsseldorf: Schachverlag Manfred
Mädler ²1985].

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 8
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 9

FAIL

Kurt Richter, Der Weg zum Matt. Ein Blick in die Schachtechnik
[Sonderdruck für das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht Abteilung Inland]. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co. 1941.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 10
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 11

FAIL

Schach-Welt 2, 1947.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 12
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 13

OK

Alfred Brinckmann, Matt in 20 Zügen. Einfälle und Reinfälle.
Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 1955.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 14
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 15

FAIL

Rudolf Teschner, Schach für Fortgeschrittene. Wiesbaden:
Falken-Verlag 1970.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 16
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 17

OK

Reuben Fine, Die größten Schachpartien der Welt. Von Morphy
bis Fischer und Karpov. München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag ²1981.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 18
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 19

OK

Klaus Lindörfer, Großes Schachlexikon. Geschichte, Theorie
und Praxis von A bis Z. München: Mosaik Verlag 1982.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 20
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 21

OK

Klaus Lindörfer, Schach. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Club n. d. [ca. 1982].

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 22
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 23

OK

Emil Gelenczei, 200 Eröffnungsfallen. Berlin: Sportverlag 1983.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 24
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 25

FAIL

Rainer Bartel/Hans-Joachim Kraas/Günther Schrüfer,
Das große Computerschachbuch. Düsseldorf: Data Becker 1985.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 26
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 27

OK

Hans Bouwmeester, Schachtraining mit den Großmeistern.
Niedernhausen/Ts.: Falken-Verlag 1986.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 28
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 29

OK

Robert Hübner, Fünfundfünfzig feiste Fehler, begangen und
besprochen von Robert Hübner. Schach 1. Stamesried: Vögel 1990.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 30
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 31

OK

Sam Collins, The French Advance. London: Gloucester Publishers plc 2006.

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 32
Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 33

OK

Günter Lossa/Bernhard Schmid, “Das Haar muss ziehen!”
150 Jahre Schachclub 1968 Bamberg. Bamberg: Karl-May-Verlag n. d. [ca. 2018].

Converting chess diagrams to machine readable FEN with Chessify 34

Ingram Braun

Archaeologist, web developer, proofreader

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