First of all, I have absolutely no experience in electrical engineering, so bear with me.
I want to build a chess set in which it can recognize what piece is on which square. Initially, I thought I could do that with RFID transponders, but as far as my layperson's research goes, the lowest read range is about 10cm/~0.4in, which is too wide in order to make sure the reader only recognizes the piece on its square, given that I do not want to make a large chess board. The desired read range would be 2-3cm/~0.8-1.2in.
But, I found this question which is more or less exactly what I want, so maybe I am wrong with the read range or misunderstand RFID-Transponders?
So, my question is, are there (read only) RFID-Transponders with a read range lower than 3cm?
If not, are there any alternatives, given that I need to know what piece is on a square, which means a simple "something is on that square" does not achieve my needs (for example a hall effect sensor)
The board will be roughly 0.5cm thick half-transparent PETG.