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react chessboard

The React Chessboard Library used at

Inspired and adapted from the unmaintained chessboardjsx

Pull Requests Version MIT License

What is react-chessboard?

react-chessboard is a React component that provides chessboard functionality to your application. The Chess game logic that controls the board should be independent to the board, using a library such as Chess.js. An example of these two working together is shown in the example below. For interactive examples visit was originally built utilising the chessboardjsx library. With chessboardjsx being unmaintained, it made it difficult to add functionality or optimise performance, so react-chessboard was made.


npm i react-chessboard





  • Accessible Functions
    • chessboardRef.current.clearPremoves();, takes optional boolean parameter clearLastPieceColour to allow/disallow further premoves of the last moved piece color. Default: true
  • Board Orientation Choice
  • Custom Actions
    • getPositionObject
    • onArrowsChange
    • onDragOverSquare
    • onMouseOutSquare
    • onMouseOverSquare
    • onPieceClick
    • onPieceDragBegin
    • onPieceDragEnd
    • onPieceDrop
    • onPromotionCheck
    • onSquareClick
    • onSquareRightClick
  • Customisable Board Styles
  • Customisable Pieces
  • Customisable Square Styles
  • Drag and Drop
  • Draw Arrows with Drag or Props
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Moving Piece Animations
  • Optional Square Coordinates Notation
  • Position Control
  • Premoves
  • Promotion Piece Select
  • Responsive Board Width
  • TypeScript Support


Bare Minimum

import { Chessboard } from "react-chessboard";

export default function App() {
  return (
      <Chessboard id="BasicBoard" />

Basic Example

IMPORTANT: Examples use the current stable release of chess.js. As of writing this, chess.js v1.0.0 is still in beta. These examples use chess.js ^0.12.0

import { useState } from "react";
import Chess from "chess.js";
import { Chessboard } from "react-chessboard";

export default function PlayRandomMoveEngine() {
  const [game, setGame] = useState(new Chess());

  function makeAMove(move) {
    const gameCopy = { };
    const result = gameCopy.move(move);
    return result; // null if the move was illegal, the move object if the move was legal

  function makeRandomMove() {
    const possibleMoves = game.moves();
    if (game.game_over() || game.in_draw() || possibleMoves.length === 0)
      return; // exit if the game is over
    const randomIndex = Math.floor(Math.random() * possibleMoves.length);

  function onDrop(sourceSquare, targetSquare) {
    const move = makeAMove({
      from: sourceSquare,
      to: targetSquare,
      promotion: "q", // always promote to a queen for example simplicity

    // illegal move
    if (move === null) return false;
    setTimeout(makeRandomMove, 200);
    return true;

  return <Chessboard position={game.fen()} onPieceDrop={onDrop} />;

Advanced Examples

For more advanced code usage examples, please see example boards shown in Storybook.


Prop Default Value Options Description
allowDragOutsideBoard boolean: false [true, false] Whether or not to allow pieces to be dragged outside the board.
animationDuration number: 300 Time in milliseconds for piece to slide to target square. Only used when the position is programmatically changed. If a new position is set before the animation is complete, the board will cancel the current animation and snap to the new position.
areArrowsAllowed boolean: true [true, false] Whether or not arrows can be drawn with right click and dragging.
arePiecesDraggable boolean: true [true, false] Whether or not all pieces are draggable.
arePremovesAllowed boolean: false [true, false] Whether or not premoves are allowed.
autoPromoteToQueen boolean: false [true, false] Whether or not to automatically promote pawn to queen.
boardOrientation string: 'white' ['white', 'black'] The orientation of the board, the chosen colour will be at the bottom of the board.
boardWidth number: 560 The width of the board in pixels.
clearPremovesOnRightClick boolean: true [true, false] If premoves are allowed, whether or not to clear the premove queue on right click.
customArrowColor string: 'rgb(255,170,0)' rgb or hex string String with rgb or hex value to colour drawn arrows.
customArrows [Square, Square, string?][] array of string arrays Array where each element is a tuple containing two Square values (representing the 'from' and 'to' squares) and an optional third string element for the arrow color e.g. [ ['a3', 'a5', 'red'], ['g1', 'f3'] ].
customBoardStyle object: {} inline CSS styling Custom board style object e.g. { borderRadius: '5px', boxShadow: '0 5px 15px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5 '}.
customDarkSquareStyle object: { backgroundColor: '#B58863' } inline CSS styling Custom dark square style object.
customDndBackend BackendFactory: undefined Custom react-dnd backend to use instead of the one provided by react-chessboard.
customDndBackendOptions any: undefined Options to use for the given custom react-dnd backend. See customDndBackend.
customDropSquareStyle object: { boxShadow: 'inset 0 0 1px 6px rgba(255,255,255,0.75)' } inline CSS styling Custom drop square style object (Square being hovered over with dragged piece).
customLightSquareStyle object: { backgroundColor: '#F0D9B5' } inline CSS styling Custom light square style object.
customPieces object: {} Custom pieces object where each key must match a corresponding chess piece (wP, wB, wN, wR, wQ, wK, bP, bB, bN, bR, bQ, bK). The value of each piece is a function that takes in some optional arguments to use and must return JSX to render. e.g. { wK: ({ isDragging: boolean, squareWidth: number, droppedPiece: string, targetSquare: string, sourceSquare: string }) => jsx }.
customPremoveDarkSquareStyle object: { backgroundColor: '#A42323' } inline CSS styling Custom premove dark square style object.
customPremoveLightSquareStyle object: { backgroundColor: '#BD2828' } inline CSS styling Custom premove light square style object.
customSquare ElementType: "div" Custom renderer for squares. Can also use an html element.
customSquareStyles object: {} inline CSS styling Custom styles for all squares.
id number: 0 [string, number] Board identifier, necessary if more than one board is mounted for drag and drop.
isDraggablePiece function: ({ piece, sourceSquare }) => true returns [true, false] Function called when a piece drag is attempted. Returns if piece is draggable.
getPositionObject function: (currentPosition) => {} User function that receives current position object when position changes.
onArrowsChange function: (squares) => {} User function is run when arrows are set on the board.
onDragOverSquare function: (square) => {} User function that is run when piece is dragged over a square.
onMouseOutSquare function: (square) => {} User function that is run when mouse leaves a square.
onMouseOverSquare function: (square) => {} User function that is run when mouse is over a square.
onPieceClick function: (piece) => {} User function that is run when piece is clicked.
onPieceDragBegin function: (piece, sourceSquare) => {} User function that is run when piece is grabbed to start dragging.
onPieceDragEnd function: (piece, sourceSquare) => {} User function that is run when piece is let go after dragging.
onPieceDrop function: (sourceSquare, targetSquare, piece) => true returns [true, false] User function that is run when piece is dropped on a square. Must return whether the move was successful or not. This return value does not control whether or not the piece was placed (as that is controlled by the position prop) but instead controls premove logic.
onPromotionCheck function: (sourceSquare, targetSquare, piece) => (((piece === "wP" && sourceSquare[1] === "7" && targetSquare[1] === "8") || (piece === "bP" && sourceSquare[1] === "2" && targetSquare[1] === "1")) && Math.abs(sourceSquare.charCodeAt(0) - targetSquare.charCodeAt(0)) <= 1) returns [true, false] User function that is run when piece is dropped. Must return whether the move results in a promotion or not.
onSquareClick function: (square) => {} User function that is run when a square is clicked.
onSquareRightClick function: (square) => {} User function that is run when a square is right clicked.
position string: 'start' ['start', FEN string, { e5: 'wK', e4: 'wP', ... }] FEN string or position object notating where the chess pieces are on the board. Start position can also be notated with the string: 'start'.
promotionDialogVariant string: 'default': ['default', 'vertical', 'modal'] Style of promotion dialog.
promotionToSquare string or null ['a1', 'a2', ..., 'h8', null] The square to promote a piece to. Must be passed when promotion dialog is manually shown.
showBoardNotation boolean: true [true, false] Whether or not to show the file and rank co-ordinates (a..h, 1..8).
showPromotionDialog boolean: false [true, false] Whether or not to manually show the promotion dialog.
snapToCursor boolean: true [true, false] Whether or not to center dragged pieces on the mouse cursor.


  1. Fork this repository
  2. Clone your forked repository onto your development machine
    git clone
    cd react-chessboard
  3. Create a branch for your PR
    git checkout -b your-branch-name
  4. Set upstream remote
    git remote add upstream
  5. Make your changes
  6. Test your changes by running storybook
    npm run storybook
  7. Push your changes
    git add .
    git commit -m "feature/cool-new-feature"
    git push --set-upstream origin your-branch-name
  8. Create pull request on GitHub
  9. Contribute again
    git checkout main
    git pull upstream main
    git checkout -b your-new-branch-name