Beginner’s Guide: How to Play Online in is a popular online platform for chess enthusiasts of all levels, offering a wide range of features to enhance your playing experience. From creating an account and choosing a membership option to playing games online and improving your skills, this article will guide you through the ins and outs of using Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the ropes or a seasoned player wanting to sharpen your skills, has something for everyone. Let’s dive in and explore all that has to offer!

What is is a web-based chess server that integrates social networking with chess practice and competition. has 33 million registered users and provides online-play, puzzles, video lessons, articles, a database, etc. It is one of the largest online chess communities where you can play, learn, and master chess. offers a standardized set of features, playing variants, and tournaments. is a free service with paid premium options, and its website and app provide one of the easiest and most intuitive ways to play chess on devices ranging from newer smartphones to large monitors. Adhering to the standard features provided by ensures the broadest compatibility for chess play online and for fair play. In particular, if you are trying to play on non-standard platforms or with pieces that are guaranteed not to transmit moves in real time such as automatically moving DGT boards, is not able to guarantee compatibility. In general, Online follows with the classical rules of chess and is one of the most widely used platforms for both ranked and unranked online chess play. These aspects are what define in terms of the following factors:

  1. Platform: Web, iOS and Android
  2. Pricing: Free with a paid Premium upgrade available
  3. Features: Play, training, puzzles, community
  4. Standards: Offers a consistent feature set for all of its many users
  5. Rules: Follows with traditional rules but allows for setting up custom rules for private games
  6. Popularity: One of the largest online chess platforms with 33 million registered users as of February 2022
  7. Ranking, Tournaments and Features: Frequent tournaments and a wealth of training features

Why Play Chess Online?

  • Convenience. Online chess can be played at any time and without leaving the house.
  • Practice. Skill and consistency are keys to improvement in chess, and online chess is arguably the best way to play regularly and without the need for in-person training or games.
  • Statistics and analysis. Online chess platforms offer post-game statistics and analysis which can be invaluable for improving your play.
  • Learn from better players. Online chess opens the door to many wonderful players all around the world and allows you to plays games against players of differing playstyles and abilities.
  • Variety. With action-packed variants and rapid playing modes as well as classic chess play options, there is something for everyone.

According to the Chess Federation of Canada’s Registered Player Statistics, there was a peak of registered players at approximately 108,000 in 1975 and 65,000 in 1990, while the number today is about 55,000. ChessDB, the database containing the results of international games, shows 36,000 new monthly games around the world. However, the best way to truly play more games on a consistent basis and improve is via online chess platforms. One Online playing platform especially recommended is for its ease of use for beginners. While the overall number of registered and casual players can only be guessed at, the number of games played per day can be tracked and is around 3 million games per day according to metrics from the site itself.

Creating an Account on

An account on is essential to playing chess online. To get started, navigate to the home page. You can create an account for via Google, Facebook, or email. To create an account via email, input an email address and password in the dialogue, and then click the Create New Account button. Users will receive a verification link through email, which should be clicked. The user will then be prompted to input their name, date of birth, location, and language. A unique username should also be selected and input in the relevant space. A professional or or premium membership can be selected, or can be joined for free. To verify an email account, a captcha prompt must be solved. If creating an account via an existing account, the player’s password should be input. The security of the future account is then protected. With proper account creation, an email is sent which should be clicked to verify the new account is legitimate. Players will also need to allow access to the user’s personal Google account. Once the user clicks the appropriate button in the email, the new account will be ready to access.

How to Sign Up for

How to sign up for Players sign up for, playing chess online for free, by following the registration process outlined above or by going to the website and following the prompts. Registration takes a minute and allows a basic free account entitled to play in tournaments, join clubs, and challenges local and worldwide players. Choosing a free membership option allows new users to take advantage of options available on the website for approximately a month, at which time those users may choose to remain with a free membership with limited options, or pay for an annual or monthly premium membership plan, which brings various benefits. Included are no ads, unlimited access to the lessons, videos, and puzzles libraries, and additional tools that assist in analyzing games.

What are the Different Membership Options?

There are two membership options with many levels and increments of fees. The three levels of the two memberships are free, anonymous, and paid. Members with paid memberships play without being bothered by advertisements. The two memberships are part of an overarching scheme that offers multiple benefits. These include daily lessons, videos, and drill puzzles, against AI and human opponents. Free membership allows easy cancellation at any time.

Playing Online on

  • To Play Online in, you can start from opening an account and playing with friends or finding some opponents online on or using where you can play in big open tournaments for free.
  • To get started, go to the secure website (bypassing any lending pages), and click on the Login / Sign Up link in the top right corner of the homepage. After creating or signing into an account, you can play opponents using the search tool in the bottom center of the page. For a tournament joining guide, follow the step-by-step instructions.
    • Make sure you have a solid internet connection before playing, especially if you are playing with the timing / speed features.

How to Find and Join a Game?

You can find and join a game where the system finds you a random player by selecting New Game when looking at the Play tab at the top left of the screen. You can also create games to play with either friends or random opponents by clicking on the <b+ Create a Game button. Choose the game type and settings, decide if you want to invite somebody or make it a challenge game, and then click . .

What are the Different Game Modes?

  • Time control: Length in seconds or minutes of a player’s individual clock.
  • Increment: Number of seconds/carries added to a player’s clock after their moves.
  • Sudden Death: Clock starts at a base time and there are no additional increments added throughout the game. The first player to run out of time loses. This occurs in almost all varieties of chess, so it is generally referred to as the normal time control.
  • Time Odds: Range of different tactics to handicap players with different skill levels, besides the standard game they are in. You can play almost every chess variant.

Time control is the most important aspect of deciding what game mode to play in as it selects against different levels of dedication to chess that people may have. Sudden Death, meaning there is no additional increment and the first player to run out of time loses, is the most authentic way to play online chess. Other game modes using time increments and time odds, mean that players can receive additional time, potentially from certain opening sequences, to uniquely implement tactics against opponents. No matter your preference, using you will be able to choose a time and increment against or for your play style.

How to Set Up a Game with a Friend?

To set up a game with a friend, you must have an active account, their user ID, and know how to add them as a friend. First, log in to your account. In the Everybody’s Playing section under Play vs Person, copy and paste your friend’s username into the text field. Hit search and select their username. You can now create a new game or go to Play Favorites and select them as an opponent to start playing with them. The mobile app also allows you to search for them if they are your friends. Tap on Home, then Friends. On the next screen, you will see a magnifying glass symbol on the right-hand side. Select your friend and tap on Start Game.

What are the Different Time Controls?

The different time controls on are

  • UltraBullet (less than 1 min per player)
  • SuperBlitz (1 – 3 min)
  • Blitz (3 – 8 min)
  • Rapid (8 – 15 min)
  • Daily (1 – 7 days per move)

In each time control there are different increment levels– zero, one, two so on. UltraBullet, which is any game with less than 1 minute for each player is the fastest of the time controls. As noted, in formats with games between three and eight minutes long per player, every second of the countdown clock either adds or subtracts an additional two seconds. This time format still provides for fast games and the shorter increment time means less frantic play.

Using the Interface

There are multiple options to choose which mode you want to play online with individuals all over the world. offers live chess games with rapid, blitz, and other time controls as well as correspondence chess. Follow these steps to set up and play online using the interface.

  1. Go to and log in. You now are at the Home Interface.
  2. Click on Play from the upper menu and then click Live. Now you are at the Play Interface. Click a time control option through which you can search and challenge opponents anywhere in the world.
  3. Click on the Play button against the Computer to start a game against Gavin the AI opponent.
  4. Click on the 3 dot (…) icon, then click on the Create Game button to play a customized game against others. Search country or rating ranges, set a custom start position, handicap, and more.
  5. Click on the left menu icon from Home and then click on Learn. Then click Play vs the AI. There you can select the Puzzles button or start a game with Gavin the Computer.

How to Make Moves on the Board?

To make a move on the board in, click one of your pieces and then click the square you want to move the piece to. A preview of the move may also be visually tested before committing by merely hovering the cursor over a potential square. After clicking the move, it is now the opponent’s turn. The opponent’s move will be highlighted, and a flag will appear next to the player profile whenever a move is possible. Once the other player makes a move, a new preview of reachable squares will appear for the moving player to assist in drafting strategies, which can typically only be done when it is not their turn.

What are the Different Features on the Interface?

The interface has the following features and areas as outlined below in

    items A-E

. Some assigned at time of article composition, meaning they are not current, although the layout of the website has not drastically changed.

  1. Main Menu Buttons:Located on top right.
  2. Tactics Function:Training button at top right.
  3. Live Server Area:Live games on main page.
  4. User Area:User name and ticket to settings for example at top right.
  5. Notification Area:To see notifications including for who has moved in your games.

You can see Video Walkthroughs of the interface out of date as of the time of writing as extras in episodes 1.109 and 1.110 of the Back Rank Brawl . episodes on How to Play Chess on Youtube.

How to Communicate with Your Opponent?

You can communicate with your opponents on using private messages during gameplay or the forums and comment sections for the site’s articles. This feature varies by format on the site, so you may be able to use the chat rooms in Live Chess but not with other formats of the game. You can begin chatting with your opponent by clicking on their username, which will open their profile. From here, you can view their stats and send them a friend request. If your opponent accepts, the Chat button will be enabled, and you can start messaging them directly. Since private messaging on can only be accessed at the Gold and Platinum Membership levels, free users will have to use the broader comments, posts, and discussions features. Although you will not be able to chat with your opponent directly, you can provide links to specific content using the chess interface. If you wish, you can link to the move list in the top left corner. Modifications in how free users can direct opponents to other casters’ channels could enhance the communication options. Comments, posts, and discussions are available for all users on

Improving Your Game on

On you can improve your game by utilizing the numerous instructional and practice resources available to free and paying users. These include Unlimited Tactics to improve your pattern recognition, Guided Lessons by highly rated players or trainers to work on time-outs, forks, and other chess skills, and playing opponents at Live Chess, daily games, tournaments, drills, and other activities like Vote Chess, Puzzle Battles, Computer Battle of the Bots or Titled Tuesday. also enables you to join Clubs, a feature that allows you to engage with people with similar interests or backgrounds or sharpening your skills by studying various club tournaments or chasing trophies collectively. One major pro of is its renowned Dr. Wolf training tool. Based on their identified skill level and areas needing focus. It comes up with the following drill type, playing strength, and minimum required specification for the users to start noting down the same. Frequency of training, progress per drill is also shared to track weekly play progress at a quick glance. Users can track progress via community involvement by contributing to articles, studies, conversations with top players, and Thematic Blogs such as Endgames for beginners and Chess for kids. View Key Concepts to remember every time you return to this drill or website as another way to practice and reinforce what has been learned. On the Insights Page, you can check to see if you remember the key concepts of the last time you completed a drill.

What are the Resources Available on

The resources available on include the following as shown in the table below. You can check this link for all levels of resources offered by Resources Description Courses Online lessons taught by experts with video content to aid learning. Camps runs over two dozen chess camps that help people of all levels try to improve on the game. Titled Tuesday Live tournament on Twitch. Tactics Trainer (TT) A tool on that helps users solve critical positions and helps develop important skills. Computer Workout Interactive exercises against the computer to work on patterns and technique. Puzzles Users can solve chess puzzles and along the way choose themed puzzles and time challenges for their needs. Computer Analysis A tool on that provides detailed game analysis and performance data. Articles regularly writes and shares learning material, trending content, and user’s guide. Videos Video teaching of opening, middle, and endgames as well as chess analyses and games.

Resource Section Description
Courses Online lessons taught by Industry Experts with aids to learning
Camps Regional or Themed Camps that help community members learn and play together
Titled Tuesday Live tournament on Twitch for titles Chess Masters
Tactics Trainer Tool that helps solve critical positions and develop important skills
Computer Workout Interactive exercises against the computer to work on patterns and technique
Puzzles Community platform to solve +500M chess puzzles
Computer Analysis Tool that provides detailed game analysis and performance information
Articles Sharing of learning material, trending content, and platform user’s guide
Videos Teaching of opening, middle, and endgames as well as chess analyses and reviews of games

How to Analyze Your Games?

To analyze your games on, click your username in the left navigation. Then click ‘Games’ and use filters at the top of the page to find games you wish to analyze. For recent games, click ‘Analysis’ below the game you would like to analyze. Once in Chess Analysis mode,’s computer analysis will automatically start moving through the game. After the automatic review is complete, you can click to any move and see the computer evaluation at that move.

What are the Different Training Tools?

The different training tools under Learn on are titled as follows. The hardest training tool on is Learn from the Champions and contains 301 master level videos by famous players such as Capablanca, Carlsen, Fischer, Spassky, and many more. For lower ranks or rookies, the easiest tool for training on is the Lessons which are automatically tailored to a player’s strengths and weaknesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I create an account on and start playing online?

To create an account on, simply go to the website and click on the “Sign Up” button. Follow the prompts to enter your information and once your account is created, you can start playing online by choosing a game mode and finding an opponent.

2. Can I play online for free on

Yes, there are various game modes and features on that are available for free. However, there are also paid membership options that offer access to additional features and benefits.

3. What game modes are available for online play on offers a variety of game modes, including live chess, online tournaments, chess puzzles, and more. You can also choose to play against the computer or challenge other players from around the world.

4. How do I find opponents to play against online on

Once you’ve chosen your game mode, you can either select a specific opponent or let the system match you with an opponent based on your skill level. You can also join online tournaments or create your own game and invite friends to play.

5. Are there any rules or etiquette I should follow when playing online chess on

Yes, has a code of conduct that all players are expected to follow. This includes using appropriate language and fair play during games. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules to ensure a positive and respectful online experience.

6. Can I access and play online on my mobile device?

Yes, has a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices. You can download the app and log in to your account to play online chess on the go.

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