Chess is one of those strategy games that can take a while to master. Fortunately, with the best online chess games, you’ll be able to play unlimited matches to improve your understanding of this classic game. Chess is one of the oldest board games in existence, with records pertaining to its invention in the sixth century in India. Since then, the game has spread to various corners of the world, becoming one of the most popular games of all time.
There’s a good reason for this too. Chess involves complex moves, with players constantly trying to think two to three steps ahead of their opponent. As a player, you’ll also have to think about possible counterstrategies and multiple methods to defeat your opponent. In other words, this is a cerebral game that will challenge and change the way you think. So, even if you don’t have a chessboard at home, you can always play these online chess games without a hitch!
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Today, if you think about playing chess games online, chess.com will be the first name to pop into your head. This online game was released in 2007 and has since garnered over 100 million players. Basically, chess.com features the most prominent online chess community in the world. It’s also the most comprehensive site for playing chess. You can get a basic membership for entirely free, which will allow you to play chess with other players online. You’ll be able to set the time limit based on the match type, and you’ll also have the liberty to play correspondence-style matches.
However, if you’re willing to pay for the premium membership, the benefits are innumerable. From statistics of all your matches to tutorial videos, chess.com’s premium membership is perfect for beginners who want to know the game better.
If there’s any competition for chess.com, it comes from chess24.com. This website provides some of the best chess games if you want to play chess online. The website was founded in 2014, with its main offices in Hamburg, and surprisingly, Gibraltar. A few years later, in 2019, chess24.com merged with Play Magnus, another significant website for learning chess. Since then, there’s been no stop to chess24.com’s popularity. If you want to play the best online chess games, you can head over to the website and create a free account. This basic membership will grant you games with three types of time limits, which are blitz, bullet, and rapid. The rapid time limit is more similar to the classical time limits we’ve seen in regular chess tournaments.
If you want to understand chess better and improve your game, you’ll also be able to access articles on the website. These articles provide excellent insight into the game’s evolution, with beautiful anecdotes about famous chess players. Finally, live chess tournaments are broadcast on the website, with critical commentary and analysis at the end of each game. It can’t get much better than this if you want to play chess online!
Internet Chess Club
Before the popularity of chess24.com and chess.com, Internet Chess Club (ICC) was the crown jewel of online chess games. It was founded in 1995 by Daniel Sleator, and by 2005, it had over 30,000 members. However, the website no longer draws the attention that it used to once upon a time. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for websites to play chess online, Internet Chess Club is still a great choice. It even had International level chess players and Grandmasters playing against other chess enthusiasts from around the world. This makes the Internet Chess Club one of the best online chess games and communities, especially if you want to learn from the best.
However, the community’s membership isn’t free by any means. You will have to pay a premium to enjoy all the benefits. In case you’re interested, you can try out the free trial membership, which will give you access for a month!
In stark contrast to the likes of Internet Chess Club, lichess.org is perfect if you want to learn about chess without paying exorbitant amounts of money. This is an open-source chess website that provides some of the best online chess games that you can find today. The website was founded by Thibault Duplessis in 2010, initially starting out as a hobby. Duplessis wanted to provide an alternative to chess lovers everywhere who were frustrated with the paid online chess websites. Since these websites hold their best features only for premium members, lots of chess players who couldn’t afford the membership were left out. However, with lichess.org, you get access to thousands of hours of chess online. In fact, this portal now hosts over 1 million games per day.
You won’t have to pay a single dime to play chess at lichess.org. Instead, you can donate to the website, as it runs only through community members’ efforts and patrons’ donations. Regardless, it’s still an excellent place to find the best online chess games!
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This website is another excellent portal for the best online chess games. It was started 35 years ago by a group of three – Matthias Wullenweber, Frederic Friedel, and Gisbert Jacoby. The website is a part of ChessBase, which is a German company for developing and selling chess software. playchess.org features both paid and free memberships, based on what you can pay.
If you’re a through-and-through chess enthusiast, you’re going to love this website. The servers for playchess.org started in 2001 for holding live chess games across the world. However, if you follow chess tournaments, you’ll be able to watch them live on this portal as well. Plenty of international tournaments are broadcasted through the portal, with renowned players providing commentary.
For complete beginners, the portal also offers video lessons taught by the world’s best chess players. So, whether you want to watch live games, play chess online, or just learn more about the game, playchess.org is a decent option!
While the other entries mentioned here are extremely popular and well-established, chessworld.net is relatively new. Nonetheless, this doesn’t stop the portal from being an excellent choice for beginner players. The portal was founded by a popular chess blogger by the name of Tryfon Gavriel. Since its release, the website has had thousands of active members all across the world. Even for the free membership, the website offers plenty of courses, lessons, and free games for people to play. In fact, if you want to sharpen your chess moves, you can partake in the tournaments that are held daily.
In case you’re a beginner, the website will welcome you with open arms. Its collection of courses, video lessons, and extensive video library of famous chess plays are all that you need to know more about the game. Overall, there’s a lot of content here to explore, especially if you’re a paid member!
FICS (Free Internet Chess Server)
As the name states, this chess server to play the best online chess games is completely free. It was initially set up to rival the Internet Chess Club when the latter started charging its members a membership fee. However, there’s no official interface for the website. So, you can download their compatible interface and play live chess games online for free through the interface itself.
At the moment, the interface supports Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. There are a few interfaces available, but we recommend you try Babaschess if you’re running a Windows PC. For other operating systems, Raptor works best. Regardless of whichever interface suits you, you’ll be able to play unlimited chess games online or even participate in international tournaments through the portal. Beginners will also find access to a guide that will run them through the website’s functions and the general rules of chess. Overall, it’s a decent website to play the best online chess games for absolutely free!
Chess continues to evolve with each passing day. Whether you’re a classic chessboard player or prefer playing the game online, you get to learn more about this game every day. However, if you don’t have a chessboard or want to play with other chess enthusiasts online, this list of the best online chess games and the best websites for chess will work wonders for you. In case we’ve missed out on any of your favourite websites for playing chess online, let us know about them in the comment section below!
Writer, researcher, and avid gamer. Geeks out over postmodern novels and the latest PC games. Usually intends all his puns.