What factors are important when selecting a website to play chess on, including but not limited to features and community?

Note: Since asking for the best chess websites does not fall within the rules for types of questions that are allow on Stack Exchange, I figured I'd attempt to ask basically the same question in a way that will not result in it being closed.

4 Answers 4


It would depend to a certain extend on what your playing level is and what you want from the experience. Whether you want to play a few games for fun, or if you want to play to improve your game. Also whether you are looking for a free site or are willing to pay a subscription. I play for fun as well as to improve my game, so I look for a site with a larger number of active players with a good range of rating. And if you are willing to pay the subscription there are sites like ICC and Playchess (hope it isn't against the rules to name sites) that offer very good learning materials like video lectures by very strong players.


I'd say:

  • User interface
  • Availability in your mobile device of choice
  • Tournaments. I like tournaments.
  • Free version is good enough, or at least reasonable pricing
  • A good rating system and stats (to track evolution)
  • Some kind of analysis tools

Well, my wish list goes something like the following:

  1. Intuitive interface with no annoying bugs.
  2. Mobile phone access.
  3. A generous amount of free content.
  4. No cheating.
  5. Large player base, so I can get a game fairly promptly at any time of the day against players at my skill level.
  6. That the player base be skewed toward highly skilled rather than lower skilled, because I would rather be challenged and improve than stroke my ego, with perhaps incentives for highly skilled players to be visible and get involved.
  7. Controls that allow you to manage connections with other players, like placing players that annoyed you into an ignore box and players you enjoyed playing into a friends would-like-to-play-again box, chat facilities, etc.
  8. A vibrant forum for discussion and analysis.
  9. Learning content.
  10. Rating system and awards.
  11. Tournaments and events.
  12. Choice with regards to time controls.

Factors to consider when finding the best site to play chess on I guess depends on what you would consider best, but some of my factors are:

  1. User interface. It must be intuitive. I shouldn't have to guess what to do or guess what it is doing.

  2. Strong community. The community can be a mixture of ratings. Another important thing about the community is that they must be nice.

  3. Lots of learning content

  4. No lag time

  5. Mobile phone access (this will be good once I get a smartphone)

  6. Various time controls.

  7. Tournaments

  8. if it is free, then it is even better, but if it cost something like the ICC, I wouldn't mind paying for a membership as long as the pros outweighed the cons.

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