It is just as enjoyable to play chess today as it was 1500 years ago. It’s also easier than ever to learn and find the right opportunities to play chess.
As long as computers were capable of simulating chess, there have been many great chess games. You don’t even have to download anything in this age of the internet.
Many websites allow you to play online chess with your friends and help you improve your game. Although you might have to pay for chess lessons, most of these sites offer at least some chess instruction free of charge.
1. Chess.com Free with Paid Options
Probably the most well-known site on the internet, chess.com is worth stealing from all the pretenders. Sign up quickly and you can play against either a human or a computer in no time. You can access almost everything a typical player would want as a free user, but you will have to accept a few ads.
You will learn chess basics and have a wonderful guide to help you play chess. You can also purchase Gold, Platinum, and Diamond memberships.
These are not only ad-free but also offer advanced data analysis and access to more chess questions. The paid levels on Chess.com cater to serious chess players.
Some notable features of Chess.com include:
- Unlimited chess in various styles and variations
- Support for joining clubs or leagues
- Unlockable achievement system
2. Red Hot Pawn (Free with Optional Subscription
Red Hot Pawn is a unique site that offers a slower pace of play. Red Hot Pawn offers correspondence chess, which is one of the many options to play against other players.
It is easy to use, join and create correspondence games on the site. The site has a great community of players, as well as a functional chess board that is simple but still very useful.
It is a free service that is supported by advertisements. Subscriptions remove them. However, there are no other benefits we can see.
Red Hot Pawn has some notable features like:
- A hilarious name.
- It has a clear and intuitive interface that makes it easy to juggle multiple games.
- A forum for information and support from the community.
3. Lichess (Free and Open Source)
Lichess does not require you to pay anything or advertise. It also offers the possibility to learn and play chess. Although it sounds like a great service, you need to know that the site is very basic. If you are into minimalism, it doesn’t have much aesthetics. Although there is nothing wrong with this, it can be difficult to know where everything is.
There is little to be unhappy about in terms of content. You can play, as well as learn how others play and solve chess puzzles. This feature is great because it makes you a better player and also helps you have fun.
Although Lichess is not the best at everything, it’s a great value for money because you get a complete experience and don’t have to pay a cent.
Some notable Lichess features are:
- There are eight chess variations to go along with standard chess.
- Cloud-based analysis of chess engines
- Complete set of chess basics lessons
- Advertising at all
- Supported languages include more than 80
4. Chess24 (Free, or $14.99 per month)
Chess 24 provides access to chess games and learning materials without having to pay upfront. However, there are some restrictions on the learning side. Premium users are limited to streaming content from chess masters and live instructional videos.
You can find videos of different types and prices, but there are only two videos free at the moment. However, many YouTube videos can be viewed free of charge.
Chess24’s online chess board is a standout feature. It is very appealing and provides a bit more visual appeal than the standard online chess service. It displays each move with an arrow, and also shows it in chess notation. It is also easy to use and read the integrated clocks.
Some notable Chess24 features are:
- An easy beginner’s chess class
- Great glossary of chess terms
- A beautiful chess board that is easy to use
5. Sparkchess (Free, or $14.99 for Premium).
Sparkchess is one of the most restrictive chess games on this list. You can play against the computer or other human opponents online but you cannot access the chess education features unless your pay.
Sparkchess offers a web-based version for those who only want to play chess online. With three AI opponents, you can practice against the AI. You can play against AI opponents online for free, but you will need to pay for 2-player matches in person.
Sparkchess highlights include:
- 3D Chess Board
- Full-screen play
6. ChessTempo (Free with a $3 Per Month Option
Although ChessTempo offers a free online chess game, the true value of the site is its ability to analyze and understand the game.
ChessTempo analyzes every game that is rated. It provides detailed statistics on what happened during the game. This allows you to learn more about yourself.
ChessTempo is for those who are already familiar with the basics of chess but want to improve their skills through serious chess tactics training.
The service’s free version already provides a lot of tactical training. If you don’t exhaust it, you will be ready to pay for it. You’ll then be playing chess every day.
ChessTempo’s most notable features include:
- You can play unlimited online games.
- If you have rated games, chess engine analysis.
- There are 2 endgame problems per day.
- You can access a database of all recorded games.
- Unlimited tactics training with over 110 000 problems to solve in real games.
You can check and match!
There are many ways to play chess online. It’s worth spending time exploring them all. You can be sure that at least one of the five choices listed here is the right fit for you. However, certainly, there will always be people who want to play chess online.