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The debate on which is the "best" chess website tends to be subjective and thus is inconclusive. On the other hand, the site that has the strongest players should be objectively ascertainable provided metrics are available.

So which is the strongest chess website in terms of:

  • Number of registered titled players (FM, WFM, IM, WIM, GM, WGM)
  • Number of active (routinely visit) titled players
  • Number of super-GMs (> 2800)
  • Or other verifiable metrics.
  • If your aim is to actually play against titled players you might have a higher chance at chess24 where they have (for members) regular "banter blitz" sessions with Peter Svidler, Jan Gustafsson, Pepe Cuenca and more. – user1583209 Feb 27 '17 at 9:36
  • WFM, are you kidding me...? – user1583209 May 20 at 10:30
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    @user1583209 A WFM (around 2100 FIDE) would still be considerably stronger than the average player on a chess site. – Inertial Ignorance May 20 at 11:16
  • @InertialIgnorance Sure, but on the other hand there will be a lot more untitled players that are stronger than the couple of WFM out there. So, if we are talking about strongest players, I'd limit that to GM, IM, WGM. – user1583209 May 20 at 11:18
13

ICC and playchess.com are definitely the top two in terms of the number of registered titled players who play actively.

I was able to find metrics on how many titled players are on ICC, seen here; I couldn't find the numbers for playchess, however they are similar. Many titled players play on both.

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  • 3
    I wish ICC was better usability-wise, I Can't stand their UI. – Soufiane Hassou May 2 '12 at 13:17
  • I love the Blitzin UI, don't like Dasher as much. No problems using it, what don't you like? – Bort May 2 '12 at 13:18
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    The million $ question is how to get them here! – Binoj Antony May 2 '12 at 16:27
  • +1 for ICC. For non-programmer people, the command interface of blitzin is annoying. They keep trying to make it more GUI-based, but underneath it's always a command. – Eve Freeman May 22 '12 at 21:13
  • Please note that a title player having an account and a titled player actually playing htere are two different things – David May 21 at 6:42
5

chess.com is definitely one of the contenders. If you're a member, you'd know that GM Carlsen, GM Caruana, GM Nakamura; to name a few, are quite active there.

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  • What? Carlsen isn’t active on chess.com – Nick Zuber May 23 at 21:30
  • @NickZuber When this was answered back in 2015, he was pretty active. But yes, you're correct about it now. The last game he had completed on chess.com was on March 7, 2018. – wrik003 May 24 at 2:45
  • oh wow I completely missed the date on this — thanks for the clarification – Nick Zuber May 24 at 18:54
5

As of 2020 I believe by far the most popular sites to play online chess are lichess, chess.com and chess24.

I am not aware of any publicly available statistics on the metrics you suggest. From what I see many of the top players are active on several sites.

The commercial websites chess24 and chess.com are likely paying some of the titled players giving them an advantage. Still, even Magnus Carlsen is seen regularly on lichess as well.

On the other hand, what should count most would be, how likely is it that you play a game against a titled player. If that is your aim, the total number of titled players is fairly irrelevant and you'd better look at what tournaments/shows/... the websites offer in this respect.

Banter blitz sessions are one way, but there are also tournaments (particularly those with minimum rating requirements) that are a good way to find titled players.

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