Sometimes I get sick of the board themes I am using on different sites and try to mix it up a bit. I wanted to do this in Chessbase, but I did not like any of the themes they provide so I decided to make my own. Here is what I came up with:
I like the subtle wood grain, but still using the blue theme that I can find on many other sites. I think the wood texture makes it stand out and makes it a bit less sterile. The default wood textures are a bit too much for me. I also like this because, at least for me, it is easier on the eyes than some of the higher contrast themes.
If you want to use the same texture I used, you can download the files here:
This includes the separate light and dark square images that you can load into Chessbase. It also has a flat image that I use for the color of the margin.
Setting the board theme can be a little complicated if you haven’t done it before. Here is what I did:
- Download the texture files (or create your own) and put them some place Chessbase can find them
- Open Chessbase. It might help to have a game open to see the changes.
- Go to the program options. This is a little wrench at the very top, or Ctrl-Alt-O
- Go to Design and then click the Board Design button
- Under Colour schemes, choose User BMP
- Another popup will appear asking for the location of the 3 files. You can leave the margin one blank if you want.
- Click OK a few times and any boards should have the new theme.
In these menus you can also set the background color for behind the board. I was fine using the “Plain Colour” option and picking a blue that kind of matches.
Creating the Textures
I tried to take a picture of a wood texture, but I could not get it quite how I wanted. Instead, I decided to use the image program Gimp to generate the texture for me. You can find a tutorial on that here.
Once I had a wood-looking texture, then it was just a lot of trial and error until I got the colors to be something I liked.
Ideas for improvements? Let me know on twitter.