Originally Posted by Švejk
I remember my dad had a chess computer - an actual computerized board with actual pieces, that would blink to indicate its move - which would have been in the middle to late 1980s, if not earlier than that, so it definitely followed pretty quickly on the movie.
We had one around that time that also used blinking lights. Each row/column had a light and two would blink to indicate the piece to be moved. Each square on the board had a tiny hole in the center, and each piece had a pin that would go in the hole. You had to press the piece down slightly, which would be detected underneath the board somehow. Then another set of two lights would blink to indicate where the piece was to be moved. To move your own piece, you would also have to press it down before moving, and also after, so the computer would know where the piece was placed.