'I declare it's marked out just like a large chessboard!' Alice said at last. 'There ought to be some men moving about somewhere—and so there are!'
—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found there. 1872

Chess Grabber

Create a FEN from a chess diagram picture

What is this?

Welcome to Chess Grabber, the web page where you can scan your chess diagrams. You can use Chess Grabber to generate Forsyth-Edwards Notation from a picture of a chess diagram.

Chess diagrams are a nice way to represent a position in a chess game, aimed at human beings. A chess player can understand a chess diagram and even play a game of chess looking only at chess diagrams.

Chess computers, on the other hand, cannot cope with chess diagrams very well, as they are usually pictures. Most chess computer programs can accept board positions in the Forsyth-Edwards Notation, or FEN records, though. FEN is a simple text-based representation of a board position, suitable for computer consumption.

So if you have a chess diagram, you can either use the Setup Board facility of your chess computer, or manually craft a FEN string, to feed the diagram into your computer. But Chess Grabber can do that work for you. Chess Grabber will take a picture, recognize the chess board position on it and produce a FEN record for you that you can feed into your chess computer.

You can point to pictures on the web by providing a URL; upload pictures that you have on your computer; or even take a snapshot using your computer's built-in camera. Chess Grabber will do it's best to find the chessboard, recognize the pieces on it and create the FEN record. You can then copy the FEN and paste it into your chess computer.

Chess Grabber is not perfect. If the image is fuzzy or distorted, it may well fail to recognize it properly. The best results are obtained with clear pictures with solid colors.

Why don't you try it?