What are some of the best sites for online chess?

Free sites with friendly communities are better.

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    Stack Exchange doesn't generally work well for questions that are just polling the community. The guidance is "real questions have answers, not items or ideas or opinions." That always sounds crazy to a new community, but trust me, avoiding these recommendation questions (especially early in the best) has proven itself time and time again as the core community starts to see where it all goes wrong. I urge you to read this short blog post: Real Questions Have Answers because I am running out of room here. Thanks. Commented May 2, 2012 at 15:57
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    Agreed .but why not converting this to community wikik instead of closing?
    – Tachyons
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 15:07
  • Because community wiki does not make this question any more of a "list your favorite chess site" poll. See blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/the-future-of-community-wiki Commented May 7, 2012 at 21:36
  • I like Chessfriends.com. Free to use (with some limits), nice UI, and great Android/iOS apps! Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 6:22
  • I was using chesscube they were the best in matching skills, but they went commercial and website is in flash , I google and found chess24.com to be have very nice UI and that they have actual grandmasters playing over there. I will give it a try for a while and see how it goes Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 14:21

5 Answers 5


Chess.com has become a hot spot, with live and correspondence chess, along with tactical problems, articles, etc. The live chess is OK, but not the best.

ICC or playchess are the best for live chess, FICS if you want free, but it doesn't have as many titled players or features. Those sites will also have video's, live commentary of top level tournaments, and much more.

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    I've used all these options, and I've found chess.com to have the friendliest community, and FICS by far the worst.
    – JaredDef
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 22:15
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    I've been a member of FICS, on and off, since 1996. I've found both to be friendly with a few extreme exceptions. As for community, FICS can't be beat with it's chat channels on everything from math, movies, etc...
    – Rex Butler
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 2:16
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    I don't like the ads on chess.com - also, their free memberships are VERY limited.
    – user95
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 7:25
  • @Sean: I have AdBlock.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 13:17
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    Recently a new hotspot for live chess has arisen at lichess.org, and most chess streamers on Twitch (e.g. penguingim, KingsCrusher) usually use that site now.
    – TMM
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 23:04

If you would like to play a lot of quick games, I would recommend FICS, or the Free Internet Chess Server. Using a good interface like BabasChess or Winboard, it's response time is a lot crisper. It has a long history with a lot of "culture", off-topic chat channels, 'bots', and a lot more master level players that some of the other sites.

Chess.com is also a good option.



ChessCube has one of the nicest user interfaces, although it cannot be used with iPhone or iPads since it uses flash.

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    Agreed with you. ChessCube is pretty cool, Jerry from Chess-Network and KingsCrusher often frequent the Warzone tournaments. Also, ChessCube is now the number 1 chess tournaments site online - with over 400 tournaments per day. There are chat rooms, chess learning and mastering chess videos, and a great community.
    – user95
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 7:15
  • ChessCube feels like playing in a very different world. Liked it, but doesn't give a classical feel.
    – m4n0
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 16:36

Chess.com is very popular and free. It also has a Facebook app that you can use to play. You can also play with a time limit of days/weeks and this is very useful if you rarely can find the time to sit down and have a serious game straight.

  • And it has both a iOS and Android app. Commented May 1, 2012 at 21:23
  • Answer is fine, except appears to be a duplicate.
    – Bryan
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 7:13
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    @Sean Before downvoting for duplicate answer you should order the answers by the "oldest" and see how they have been posted chronologically. This site orders the answers by voting and that could be misleading. There was only James Tomasino answer when I typed mine. Also, it's very common that two or more people start typing similar answers concurrently and they post them basically at the same time Commented May 2, 2012 at 13:01
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    @Bryan See comment above. Commented May 2, 2012 at 13:02
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    @Sean This answer is 7 minutes older than Bort's answer. +1
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 1:13

Red Hot Pawn has a great chess community and is available for free, or with a paid subscription.

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