"Lego builders are becoming insane. And I enjoy that."
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Design Team
This is the main introduction video that explains how it works.

"Wow, how did they make a child that tiny? He's walking on a chessboard."
This clip shows a single game being played out. It's a pretty short game, played by a chess master.
Come see it live at
White Chess Pieces
Other locations will be listed here, as arrangements are made.
Quick Facts
  • Over 100,000 LEGO® pieces
    • 37,612 in the chess board
    • 17,748 in the robot bases
    • 17,114 in the bodies
    • 22,688 in the mosaics
    • 1,853 in the move selection center
  • Size of board: 156ft2 (14.5m2)
  • Took 4 people about a year to create
  • Opponent types
    • Human vs Human
    • Human vs Computer
    • Computer vs Computer
  •  Play options
    •  Normal chess game
    •  Chess puzzle
    •  Replay historical match
  •  Programming languages used
  •  LabVIEW for the robots
    Powered By LabVIEW
  •  C# for the PC user interface
  •  Interfaces with standard chess engine

Production Team
We had 3 “build parties” where we built large segments of the Monster Chess project. We’d like to thank everybody involved in helping bring Monster Chess to fruition. 
Drew Baldwin
Maclane Baldwin
Mike Baldwin
Bryan Bonahoom
Kathie Bonahoom
John Brost
Bunnie Cleland
Steven Canvin
Brian Davis
Andrew Dykstal
Heather Hassenplug
Kurt Hassenplug
Matt Hassenplug
Steve Hassenplug
Doren de Jong
Jacqueline McRae
Ron McRae
Zoe McRae
Chad Phillips
Tom Phillips
Barbara Price
Dan Siders
Jenn Wagner
We’d especially like to thank the LEGO MINDSTORMS® team for their efforts in making this a reality.

ChessBot software
· Controls game to Fédération Internationale des Éches (FIDE) rules
· Either color can be human or computer
· Interacts with various third party chess engines using Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN) format
· Currently optimized to work with “Crafty” chess engine
· Save and restore board layout to/from Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN) record
· Save and Replay games to/from Portable Game Notation (PGN) file
· Load “Chess Puzzles” for players to solve
· Graphical on-screen helpers highlight available moves
· Battery status of individual chess pieces reported on-screen
· Uses Bluetooth to communicate with individual chess pieces
· Uses an enhanced and customized version of Steve Norris’ original ChessBot

Additional Robot Control Functions
· Calculates robot paths using a recursive square-by-square tree search
· Optimizes the chosen path by assigning point values to…
· the overall length of path
· the number of turns
· the number of border squares used
· the number of occupied squares used
· the ease of moving any blocking pieces
· Automatically clears and restores blocking pieces if necessary
· Parks captured pieces in the border zone of capturing color
· Exchanges promoted pawns for a previously captured piece (where possible)
· Calculates inter-move dependencies to allow multiple pieces to move simultaneously
· Orients parked pieces based on current square and color
· Operates piece-specific functions where appropriate (e.g. knight galloping)
· Automatically resets all pieces to desired position (standard, FEN or off-board)

Nothing but hits
Where are those hits coming from? (follow the links to the ARS review for another cool story)

Sponsored by: LEGO, the LEGO logo, DUPLO, BIONICLE, MINDSTORMS, the BELVILLE, KNIGHTS’ KINGDOM and EXO-FORCE logos, the Brick and Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2010 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. and the LabVIEW logo are trademarks of National Instruments.
Other Team Hassenplug stuff here