If you want to take your Chess to the next level in terms of convenience of playing and learning, playing online is the holy grail for practicing. This option didn’t exist fifty years ago. Imagine if Grandmaster players from the past like Paul Morphy and Emanuel Lasker could have played online? No doubt they would have been even better at the game of Kings.
The Big 3
There are a plethora of chess websites around the internet, but only three of them stand out as the most viable options you should consider.
These three have the most traffic, the most users, the most tools and resources, and all serve different purposes that we will expound upon here to give you insight into which one is appropriate for your personal benefit.
As a chess player in this modern time, it would be wise to take advantage of one or all of these online resources to help you thrive in a competitive world. These three sites have successfully dominated the internet with their incredible set of tools, resources, and entertainment options that are excellent for any chess player!
Features To Consider
There are some key features of each website that makes each one more ideal for different ambitions. You might wish to get better at the game and this is your central focus to make strides for improvement. However, you may also want to simply watch some chess videos and visit a site for entertainment purposes. Playing for pure fun is the most common approach to utilizing online play, and there are few who seek serious improvement.
We have categorized this analysis into three different tools that include training, playing, and entertainment. All players will fall into one of these categories and from here you can consider which website is the best option!
A comprehensive chess website should have an emphasis on the game and must be an intuitive and customizable interface that is comprehensive for all users. The playing interface should be ergonomic with variants to consider for increased entertainment with a sense of continuity when traversing the whole website.
How the interface flows is imperative for players to enjoy a well-rounded experience and you can definitely tell the difference between good and subpar platforms. The playing experience will drastically affect whether or not a chess user will return for more. Certain features such as dark mode, tournament play, and overall fluidity of the platform are also important for a seamless playing experience.
Each website will offer players different training methods and experiences and you’ll find that chess.com and chess24 implement these exercises as a part of their business model. The categories to take note of regarding chess training that is found throughout all the websites are comprehensive lessons, video library, opening study tools, tactics trainer tool, in-depth game analysis tool, and informative educational articles.
All three of these major chess websites contain these training elements and seek to give players the resources to thrive in a competitive chess world. Each site offers you different subtleties in their approach to these categories, but the general training principles remain consistent.
No matter what your background or skill level, you have the ability to thoroughly enjoy the classic game of chess. All of these prestigious websites have the resources players need to thrive including showcasing exclusive tournaments, organizing live shows, and uploading educational chess resource videos to social media outlets like Facebook and YouTube.
We are confident in giving you the correct understanding of the right entertainment resources from each of these sites and will help you distinguish the differences effectively. You will be able to make the right decision based on the information so you’re playing on the right platform for entertainment. They all offer you options, but some sites stand out among others.
If you’re a busy chess player then you might not have time to sit down at a computer for a long time because you’re always out doing important things. This is why finding the right mobile chess app is critical to get your daily dose of tactical chess stimulation. Even a few games a day will help you maintain a sharper focus overall and chess.com is considered to be perhaps the most well-rounded option to consider.
These apps were analyzing while considering the variables of quality of the user interface, mobile performance, and offline capabilities. Chess24 mobile will lack in chess variants and Lichess chess will not have any articles to read.
Chess.com – The Largest Community of Chess Players
Chess.com is definitely the most popular chess website with the most users and was started in 2005. Ever since then it has updated its servers and continues to give engaging content and a supreme user experience. Chess.com hosts over a million chess games every day which is highly impressive along with an interface that is top-notch. Players gather here to increase their chess knowledge, play casually, and enjoy many entertainment features that make it incredibly viable. It is considered to be the best go-to chess website on the web with over 50 chess players posting regular useful content for training and having a fun time!
The chess.com interface is comprehensive and excellent with incredible attention to detail where you can navigate effectively whether it’s on a browser or mobile device. Everything is easy to observe so you have a clear view of the board with distinguishing features that give you the option for different board designs.
They keep up with the website with updates and you will find new chess content here every day to keep you informed, engaged with the community, and entertained for years to come! The platform is highly organized and you can tell that it’s tailor-made for entertainment purposes. It’s an excellent site for leisure chess where you can also hone your skills.
There is the chessify diagram scanner which is a great tool for teachers to consider in aiding their students. You will also have access to a fun feature where you can play chess on discord when you are on chess.com if you want to talk through some strategy with other people and have a more personable experience. Another unique feature of chess.com is that you have the capacity to make some pre-moves in your turn to help with calculations and seeing how the board turns out.
In addition, you can play through chess variants like chess 960, 3 check, King of the hill, crazyhouse, and many more. You will find Simuls and Tournaments here too for competitive play.
Number of Players & Who plays here
Chess.com has surpassed 20,000,000 users and continues to rise which is remarkable and is a testament to their reliability and chess prowess. Over a million of these players are active daily so you will always have access to an opponent online no matter what with no downtime or long waits. Many renowned grandmasters including Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura play on this site for entertainment and practice. No matter what the context, if you’re playing chess you’re improving and learning. It’s possible that you will run into a famous player on this website, and perhaps they will give you the advice to thrive in a competitive world.
Largest Chess Community
Best Paid Memberships on the Market
There are many articles on Chess.com to consider that will expand your horizon and give you insight into improving and also what’s happening in the chess world. If you’re passionate about the game then you will be able to stay updated on all the recent news and have a well-rounded entertainment experience. There are many useful interactive chess lessons here that will hone your skills and keep your mind engaged with new openings.
The Tactics trainer offers puzzles that will adapt to your calculation strength and give an increased perspective of where you stand as a player. The website is considered to be the best overall with opportunities to have fun, grow, and learn.
Limited access to lessons and puzzles without membership
The tournament broadcasts, shows, and video library tend to be more for the lower-ranking players so a master might not have much use for them. It definitely won’t be as entertaining or useful to players that are 2000+ and this can be frustrating.
If you want the full training experience to improve your game then you will have to pay for services such as puzzles, lessons, video library, and computer analysis options. The subscription services will definitely be more advantageous for beginners which is why the top-rated players tend to use chess.com for practice and leisure chess games with timed options.
Free and Paid options
You can play for free on chess.com and choose between many different game mode options to hone your skills such as practicing blitz or timed matches. You should definitely check out their free options before considering subscribing. Paid features include access to puzzles, unlimited video libraries, and lessons that will help beginners thrive more and increase their rating.
They have a yearly pricing option where you save more.
They also offer a monthly payment plan making it even more affordable.
There is also an extended game report and analysis where you can effectively survey your games and improve through realizing your mistakes. However, this is also available in the free version of the website after each online game but it’s limited. There are more than enough free features to thoroughly enjoy chess.com, and they give you the option to take it a step further with a paid subscription.
Here’s what the Chess.com membership options include:
25 Puzzles Daily
3 Lessons Weekly
Unlock all bots
5 Lessons Weekly
Unlock all bots
Unlimited Video Lessons Library
Unlock all bots
The bottom line is, Chess.com is the as close to a perfect Chess platform to play on that could exist. They have everything. I play, practice, and learn every day on the site and it’s helped tremendously.
Lichess.org is a favorite among many other chess websites and has become a go-to option for the community. Both the server and mobile app survive through donations and are completely free to access.
The site has steadily improved since 2010 and is now one of the best websites available. Its interface and advanced comprehensive features make it a rival of Chess.com and Chess24 with supreme services and opportunities to play chess, learn, and thrive in a fun and informative community with an apparent minimalist approach. It allows you to focus more by taking only the game seriously and keeps the appearance simplistic.
The interface of Lichess.org is perhaps the most notable feature to consider worthy of playing on because of its simple, intuitive, compact, and accessible for all skill levels. It’s a lightweight version of chess that is perfect for blitz games without any excessive information to clutter the experience. Here you will find everything needed to thrive in chess and will easily understand how to customize options and keep things interesting.
Lichess offers other features including training tools and customization options that will benefit the user in keeping things fresh and informative. You will also gain access to concrete positional analysis that will enhance your game further.
There are more than 20 options available to customize your pieces and you can conveniently change the sound and volume of the interface which is perfect for customization because everyone has different preferences.
There are 8 different chess variants here and users can also choose to play in exhilarating tournaments and the hourly arena. The website features a dark mode so you won’t have to worry about unnecessary eye strain and can play more chess without the stress. You can get better through the tactics trainer that is designed to help you conquer bad habits and develop a plan of action. In addition, there are multiple analysis tools at your disposal to improve understanding.
Number of Players & Who plays here
There are over a million players registered here and you will find different skill levels and rankings from all over the world. Magnus Carlsen famously visits here occasionally for blitz practice. Many other top-ranking players use this reliable website for a more simplistic approach where they can focus intently on the game and get some good practice before a tournament.
High-level players and beginners alike come here to improve and meet each other head-on in a comprehensive chess experience that is true to the original simplicity of the sport. It’s a great community to thrive in where you will be paired with your skill level or you can challenge others.
You will find that Lichess.org benefits players with a very comprehensive minimalist interface that is reliable for bullet games. Many rapids players come here to hone their skills with no distractions that are inevitable in other sites. It’s a great option because you have access to the tactics trainer which gives puzzles in the server and allows for a thought-provoking challenge. You will be able to effectively develop your calculations that can later be implemented in-game. Analyze your games with study tools that will give you everything you need to discern between positions and find the right moves. This study tool is exceptionally easy to use for beginners and it’s all free.
Smaller Number of Players
Less Options For Playing Bots
There is more of a chance that you will run into cheaters here since it’s not as heavily moderated. If you’re not a serious player and just want to have fun then you will find that Lichess.org may not be the site for you. It’s a place for seriously honing your chess skills. Casual players may not feel as comfortable here because it tends to be all business towards improving your game with a comprehensive interface that favors blitz play.
Free or Paid options
This is a great website if you’re looking for free features because you can access it all here. Unlike Chess.com, you can just come here for all your analysis and tactics needs because the site is completely free. You won’t have to worry about upgrading here and will get the whole package to enjoy for the long term.
Nearly everything is unlimited and free.
They do take supporters through Patron contributors.
lichess.org is an excellent place for serious players to enjoy many options like the ability to analyze games for free.
Chess24 – Premium Options For Playing Chess Online
Chess24.com is reliable as the second most popular chess website in the world and it quickly grew to become the central hub for learning from grandmasters at a reasonable price. It’s perfect for those seeking to find counsel in the game where they will grow quickly.
Here you will find resources for all levels that cater to your individual needs and will help you thrive in an evolving meta. It is praised immensely for exciting tournament play and educational resources that help to grow your skills and take on new challenges. You will gain access to many resources here but will have to pay to fully enjoy the benefits of the site.
Here you will be able to grow under the tutorship of real grandmasters who have a comprehensive understanding of the game. Chess24.com puts great emphasis on improving your game overall and takes an approach to help you meet your goals with affordable pricing. If you’re looking to enhance your skills and actually grow without stagnating then this is a great option to consider over the long term.
Chess24.com takes the game very seriously and you will develop your abilities in a more rapid manner here because of the viable resources at your disposal. You will also gain exposure to many prestigious tournaments with exciting live options!
The first feature that distinguishes chess24 from others is the superior video library which is a valuable resource for players of all skill levels. If you happen to get a subscription with this site then it’s not uncommon to have access to analytical games and lessons with top grandmasters. If you’re a fan of their style then this can be very exciting as you learn from the best.
Another key feature is access to top tournament broadcasting where you will stay in the loop and listen to advanced chess concepts. You can also watch convenient transmissions on YouTube and Twitch completely free. Chess shows and downloadable videos are also available here.
Number of Players & Who plays here
Millions of players gather on chess24.com to play and learn from each other and these range from beginners to the best in the world. You will find famous chess players like Magnus Carlsen, Anand Viswanathan, Peter Svidler, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Francisco Vallejo, and many more.
It’s a great place to network and take part in the community of those who share the same passion for the sport. There are considerable advantages to having such a vast community with varying skill levels because it can give you a sense of what’s out there and help to increase your own ranking.
Comprehensive Video Library
Chess24 has the best video library with access to many learning resources that will keep you engaged for years to come. There is always something new to learn, and this site features tactical analysis that will bring you up to speed on what to do in critical situations. You will get access to training from the best players in the world who will help you improve without question. You will benefit from watching chess in the most comprehensive tournament setting and gaining insight into many different positions while watching your favorite players compete!
Premium Plans are more expensive than others
To thrive fully here, you will need to subscribe to attain the benefits of training and access to the entirety of the website. However, this is offered at an affordable price that will help you overcome your chess challenges reasonably. The interface isn’t the best and looks thrown together without much consideration. You will definitely experience an element of lag here. There is no longer access to any chess variants so that’s another lacking area. If you’re aspiring to play blitz, then the other two sites will be better for this purpose. Puzzles are also not as intricate or beneficial here so it would be wise to get them elsewhere.
Free and Paid options
If you aren’t considering purchasing the premium membership on chess24 then you might be wasting your time here. There isn’t much regarding the free version that can benefit you overall as an intermediate to advanced player. If you want to access all the video material then you will need to pay for it. That’s one of the most defining and advantageous features that is worth using this platform for, so consider subscribing to get the full benefits or try the other chess sites for more valuable free options.
They offer a monthly and a yearly paid plan for membership.
Chess24 is the most sophisticated of the options. It’s up to you whether you think paying a premium for membership is worth it over the other options.
We’ve covered a lot of details about all three options. Each have pros and cons. However, the bottom line is, Chess.com is the best overall options with a paid subscription. Any of the plans are so cheap that you’ll get your moneys worth in the first month of using it.
The number of lessons, tools, members, and resources is superior to other options. It would take a long time to go through all of the lessons alone.