8 Best Websites to Play Chess Online

Are you looking for the best place to play chess online? You have come to the right place, as this article lists the eight best websites to play chess online against other chess players. While there are many websites that offer the ability to play chess online, this list is narrowed down to the eight best chess websites with my opinions of each site:

#8: Gameknot.com – Gameknot is one of the oldest chess websites where you can play chess, having been open for the better part of two decades. For those that are unfamiliar with Gameknot, they specialize in Correspondence Chess, where you have a number of days to make moves, so it is one of the slowest forms of chess. With this website, you can play many Correspondence games at once, but they do charge a fee. They have other features, such as a huge chess games database and chess tactics to practice. This is a site that I used to frequent, but it seems that popularity has fallen, as many people left it because of the inability to play with faster time controls.

#7: Chess24.com – While Chess24 is not just a place to play chess online (they have live coverage of tournaments, as well as chess news), they have a section where you can play chess with other humans or a computer. Trying out this website, the board was smaller than on other sites, and the page was filled with advertisements, making for an unpleasant experience. This site is good for the beginner chess player, as it will show you the last move with arrows, but if you are a serious chess player, there are much better alternatives.

#6: Freechess.org – The Free Internet Chess Server (FICS) is one of the oldest chess websites that is still in existence today. This free-to-play chess site has over 300,000 registered users, and is completely non-profit, as there are no ads anywhere on the website. While it may not be as user-friendly as some of the other chess websites on this list, you can’t beat the price, and it still remains one of the top websites to play chess online. From my experience, the interface is outdated and this entire website needs a remodel. 

#5: Chesscube.com – While the popularity of Chesscube is not where it was a few years ago, it still remains on the list of top websites to play chess online. Chesscube has over 1,400,000 registered users and has a pleasant and unique interface, making it easy to play chess. They also have a different system than other chess websites, as you need their own currency, called Cubits to play a chess game. This is a free-to-play site, and you get cubits for completing tasks or beating other players. They also have instructional videos by Masters for the beginner-level players.

#4: Chessclub.com – The Internet Chess Club (ICC) has the largest chess server in the world today, as well as the largest player pools. They are also host to the most number of Master-level players (International Masters, Grandmasters) of any other playing chess website. The only negative about this website is that it is not free-to-play. There is an annual fee of $70 for all members but the website still gets mostly positive reviews, and it is considered the top website for all serious chess players.

#3: Playchess.com – PlayChess is a website that is run by Chessbase, and is popular by many chess players around the world because of the clean interface and software. Chessbase is known for their large variety of chess software on the market, most notably Fritz, and to play on PlayChess, you will need a Chessbase account. PlayChess is advertised as having 20,000 unique players on any given day, and a total of over 200,000 registered users, so give it a try if interested.

#2: Lichess.org – The newest website on this list, Lichess has grown in popularity into one of the biggest chess websites in a short number of years. This is my favorite chess playing website from the eight on this list because of the clean interface, easy access, and able to play either anonymously or by creating an account. Lichess is run by an open source chess server and is completely free to play. They also offer eight different chess variants, if you aren’t interested in playing standard chess, and have around 25,000 simultaneous players playing on their website at once.

#1: Chess.com – With over 24,000,000 registered users, the most popular chess website to play chess online currently is Chess.com. The website offers so much more than just a place to play chess online, but strictly talking about their online playing software, they play host to the biggest online tournaments that the best players in the world play, including Titled Tuesday and the Speed Chess Championships. Chess.com is free to play, but does offer a paid feature for those who want to do unlimited chess tactics, tournaments, lessons, and computer analysis.