Check out the best sites to play online chess games

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Affiliate Disclosure

  • Looking for the best sites to play online chess games? You've a lot to choose from, whether you want a just quick classic game or a correspondence game.
  • We want to make some recommendations, based on the resources found on various chess servers and dedicated websites, so keep reading.
  • We've converted important gaming topics, which you can find in our Online Games section.
  • For an extensive database about the gaming world, visit our Gaming Hub.
best sites to play online chess games
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Without overshadowing the excitement of a good classic real-life board game, online chess has become increasingly popular starting with the 1990s and the introduction of Microsoft’s basic chess game.

Nowadays one can find a multitude of possibilities to stay focused on a virtual chessboard, from specific chess apps for mobile of Windows, to specific chess software for Windows.

Not to mention Chess Tutor, a software that anyone can use to better their chess technique.

And then there’s also the multitude of online chess games, which allow amateur players to play just occasionally, but also to join huge chess communities worldwide, where they can share tactics and learn strategies.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best sites where you can play online chess.

What are the best websites to play free online chess?

Chess.com

At the moment, Chess.com is the largest community of chess players from all over the world, with over 28 million members, and over 1 million online chess games hosted daily.

It’s a community where there’s a place for everyone, no matter if you’re a beginner or an expert. The dynamic is fantastic: not only you can join live games and compete against reputable opponents, but you can also find correspondence-style games, read useful articles, follow live events and tournaments, and join forums.

Signing up is free, as is the basic membership. But to enjoy the full experience and gain access to extra training features and videos, you need a paid membership.

Go play on Chess.com

Lichess.org

lichess

Considerably smaller than the previous community, the one a Lichess is similarly important.

The website provides a variety of online play modes as well as training materials and learning tools. You can opt to play standard chess games, choose your opponent, and even create your own chess game.

Since the chess community is not that large, you might find an opponent a bit harder, but the website is an excellent learning open source.

Membership is free, but of course, donations are encouraged.

Go play on Lichess.org

Chess24.com

chess24

Currently, Chess24 is one of the largest chess communities that you can join and have fun playing good quality online chess.

The platform offers the same game features and training opportunities as the previous options, plus a gift shop for avid chess fans.

You can either user the site’s web version, or download their app for Android or iOS and keep training at your own pace, anywhere.

Basic membership is free, whereas a premium upgrade allows full access to training material such as video series and ebooks. 

Go play on Chess24.com

Free Internet Chess Server (FICS)

FICS

FICS is one of the oldest internet chess servers, with a still strong community.

It’s a good place to start with an occasional game, and then move on to more serious games against other players or strong computers.

They don’t have an official interface, though, so in order to play you need to download a compatible interface, depending on your device. Most interfaces are free.

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Go play on Free Internet Chess Server (FICS)

Playchess. com

playchess

Another great online source to play free chess, watch live games or tournaments, and improve your chess moves.

Membership is free and recommended to have access to all the tools they offer, plus access to all other ChessBase Web Tools.

Besides playing regular games or blitz games, you will be able to even store your own games in the cloud for further analysis and improvement, take chess quizzes to study previous strong games.

Go play on Playchess. com

Red Hot Pawn

red hot pawn

As the homepage says, Red Hot Pawn is a perfect place to enjoy just a basic chess game on the spot, against a computer. You have to sign up for customizable features, and also to be able to record your games and moves, to pause and resume games at a later time.

You can also download their dedicated app for Android or iOS and enjoy correspondence chess games.

For premium paid membership, you get access to training material and other features, as expected.

Go play on Red Hot Pawn

Chess Tempo

chess tempo

Whether you fancy some live chess or just a correspondence chess game, Chess Tempo is always a good option.  You can choose an opponent based on their ratings, and you can opt for a blitz game or a longer one.

And if you want to improve your moves, this is the place to be, since you can find specific training from opening to endgame or just tactics.

Free membership offers just enough features for an amateur player.

Go play on Chess Tempo

Gameknot

gameknot

With Gameknot, once you register (for free) you have instant access to correspondence chess games only, tournaments, annotated games, and whole chess database.

You can even play several chess games online simultaneously and try different strategies.

Give it a try whenever you are at your computer and have the knack to make a move.

And with this, we end our choices. We’d like to hear about your favourite website to play online chess so drop us a line in the comments section below.

Go play on Gameknot

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Of course. You can choose from a multitude of websites where you can play live chess for free. Our top recommendations are Chess.com and Lichess.org.

  • Chess.com is considered the best website where you can play free online chess and join the largest community of chess lovers from all over the world.

  • It depends on what you’re looking for. While Chess.com is the strongest in terms of community, tournaments and database, Lichess is great for basic games and an important resource for learning tactics.

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