The Ultimate World Championship Setup

by Albert Silver
11/7/2013 – In our recent guide to the world championship, there was one recommendation that was saved for last: The Ultimate World Championship Setup. Although we gave our heartfelt recommendations for the best experience possible, there is one way to make it even better: two screens. See why it is the best, and why you do not need two monitors in this step-by-step How-To guide.

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In our recent guide to the world championship, there was one recommendation that was saved for last:

The Ultimate World Championship Setup

Indeed, although we gave our heartfelt recommendations for the best experience possible, there is one way to make it even better: two screens. Before you close this article feeling you will not be able to use this How-To guide, first scroll down and look at the list of requirements since the two screens do not need to be two monitors.

First, you need to know why this setup truly beats a single screen setup. The official site, as well as, will be providing live high-definition video coverage of the players, boards and more, There is no question that watching the game live on Playchess with grandmaster commentary is as good as it gets, but if you have ever seen the great video coverage offered by some events such as the Tal Memorial, you also know that being able to see the players, their expressions, their concentration and their nervousness, brings an added dimension to the viewing. Choosing either this or the board and analysis becomes a question of pros and cons, gives and takes. But what if you did not have to choose between them, and could watch both at the same time? You can!

A basic setup that ensures the most enjoyment: two monitors, with the first showing
Playchess with live grandmaster commentary, and the second streaming the
high-definition video full screen.

Possible setups

Aside from a computer, you will need a second screen, but they do not need to both be monitors. Here are a few of the possible configurations:

  • Desktop computer connected to two monitors. This is the most obvious solution, but there are others.
  • Desktop connected to a monitor and a TV.
  • Desktop connected to a monitor and a laptop next to it. They are not connected, and essentially you are viewing Playchess on the desktop and the video transmission on the laptop, or vice-versa.
  • Laptop connected to a monitor or a TV. Laptops all have external video connections, whether HDMI or VGA, and can usually be connected to a modern TV, just like you connect a DVD or Blu-Ray player.
  • Two laptops side-by-side. This may not be the most probable solution, but it is bound to be the best for some.


  • One desktop computer with two video outputs. Even the cheapest video cards will have two, and many new machines with integrated video will also.
  • Almost any laptop from the last fifteen years.
  • A second monitor, or a TV with an HDMI/VGA connection.

How to set it up

To set up a dual screen configuration from a single computer you first need to be able to connect your computer to a second screen. If you plan to use your desktop computer, then check in the back to see if it has a second video connection. If you are using a laptop, then this question is almost unnecessary as it is almost certain it will have a video out option. It can be any kind, whether HDMI, DVI, or VGA, and you can connect it to a TV via cable, or a second monitor.

A typical video card with a VGA connector, HDMI, and DVI. HDMI and DVI provide
the best image quality.

Note:  All of these connection types have adapters in case you have ‘the wrong one’. In other words, if your TV is HDMI and the extra output is DVI, you can buy an adapter in most computer stores. The same goes for cables.

Once connected (you may need to reboot before this step), go to the video options (usually right-click on the desktop – the main screen) and set the second screen to Extend. You do not want to set it to Clone, or it will just copy the first screen to the second, which defeats the purpose. The screen may flash a couple of times, and ask you to confirm this is what you want. Click yes or ok.

On the desktop or laptop, right-click on the desktop (main screen) and at the top you
should see the video card software. 99% of the time it will be AMD, nVidia or Intel. Click
on it to enter the options. You will probably need to do this to activate a second screen.

This is the options screen for AMD, but the idea is the same for other brands: find
where you can enable a second screen and choose Extend. In the case above, you
must right-click on the screen you want, and select it. Do not choose Duplicate or
Clone, as this will only create a copy of the same image on both screens.

NB: If the screen goes black or something strange happens, do not panic. Just wait and if you do nothing, it will automatically revert to the previous single-screen configuration after 15 seconds. Unless you confirm, it will not keep it. Alternately you can just unplug the second screen. The point is simply that if you are not a tech expert and are nervous about trying this, rest assured there is no risk.

Now you are ready to maximize your enjoyment. On one screen open Playchess and open the board, or live commentary. On the second screen open a browser and locate the video transmission from the official site or ChessTV. Since ChessTV has videos running almost all the time, you can use them as a testbed to make sure everything is working before D-Day.

Although there is no question this enhances the experience, if you don’t already have a dual-screen setup and wonder why bother, then consider this: study after study have concluded that it also increases your productivity, and not by a small margin either. Here is some further reading on the benefits of multi-monitor setups.

Get a Second Monitor to Increase Your Productivity and Save Time

One day this might be you

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site, with special coverage on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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