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Lichess (About this sound/'liː-tʃɛs/ [4]) is an Internet chess server. Anyone can play anonymously, although players may register an account on the site to play rated games. All features are available for free, as the site is funded by donations.[5][6][7]

Lichess Logo.svg
Type of site
Internet chess server
Available inEnglish. Portions of the website have been translated to over 80 languages, with about 30 languages marked as "complete," but the terms of service, privacy policy, blog posts, and coach biographies, are not yet fully translated.
Created byThibault Duplessis
Alexa rankIncrease 1,268 (February 2019)[1]
CommercialNon-profit and donation-only
Launched20 June 2010[2]
Current statusActive
Written inScala, JavaScript, HTML and CSS[3]



Lichess was founded by French programmer Thibault Duplessis.[8] The software running Lichess and the design are open source under the AGPL license.[9]

On February 11, 2015, an official Lichess mobile app was released for Android devices.[10] An app for mobile devices running iOS was released on March 4, 2015.[11]

As of February 10, 2019, had a global rank of 1,268 at Alexa, with most of its visitors coming from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and Canada.[12] According to the Alexa rank, Lichess is ranked second only to as one of the most popular online chess servers in the world.[13]

Being ad-free, Lichess relies on donated money to maintain over a dozen servers with over a hundred processor cores while paying programmers.[14]


The website allows users to play games of live and correspondence chess against other players at different time controls. It has training features, including chess basics, tactics training, chess coordinates, chess video library, Chess insights, opener explorer, and studies.[15][16] It also has a section where chess coaches can advertise their services to users.[17]

In addition to enabling blindfold chess,[18] the website supports the following chess variants:[19]

Lichess was the first chess-site to have features to help visually impaired people play chess on a website.[22][23] It also has a chess puzzle-based CAPTCHA system.[24][25]

Users can also play games against the Stockfish chess engine at a number of difficulty levels.[26] They may also analyze specific positions from standard chess or any of the supported chess variants. The website implements a version of the Stockfish engine that runs on the user's local machine within the user's web browser for limited or infinite analysis,[27] which will calculate best lines of play or major opponent threats. An opening book based on games played on the site or a database of two million games played by FIDE titled players is available.[28] In Antichess variant, users can switch for Mark Watkins's antichess solution database.[29]

For registered players, Lichess employs a rating system, and grants the ability to compete in tournaments, post in the forums, and request a server-side full game analysis for any finalized game. The ratings for standard chess are categorized into Ultrabullet, Bullet, Blitz, Rapid, or Classical, depending on the game's total time or estimated total time (if using Fischer time control which increments time after each move).

Lichess runs live tournaments both in standard chess and in variant chess, and at different time controls, with the slowest not custom-made time control being 15 minutes per game with a 15 second increment per move. Where it differs from other online chess tournaments is they are run in an arena format where a member can join and leave at any time, and their score is retained if they rejoin during the tournament. In order to join a tournament, there is a requirement for the user to have played a sufficient number of games (in the same time control or the same variant).[30]

A Lichess mobile app is available for iOS and Android.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Lichess Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Duplessis, Thibault (2014-08-05). "How old is lichess?". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  3. ^ Duplessis, Thibault. "README". GitHub. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  4. ^ "How do you pronounce Lichess?". Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  5. ^ "Why is lichess free?". Retrieved Jul 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "Lichess Features". Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Become a Patron of". Lichess. Retrieved 22 November 2017. We are a non‑profit association because we believe in a free, world-class chess experience for anyone, anywhere. We rely on support from [lichess users] to make it possible. If you've gotten something out of lichess, please take a second to pitch in!
  8. ^ Gravagna, Pierre (15 December 2017). "Carnet d'échecs". Libération (in French).
  9. ^ Duplessis, Thibault. "LICENSE". GitHub. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Android apps in Google Play". Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  11. ^ "lichess - Free Online Chess in the App Store". Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  12. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Chess Links and Websites". Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Lichess detailed cost breakdown official spreadsheet".
  15. ^ Wilde, Tyler (2017). "The best chess games on PC". PC Gamer. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Play chess for free". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool, UK. December 11, 2010. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  17. ^ "Certified Coaches". Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Lichess embraces blind players with new chess site features". Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Lichess variants •". Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  20. ^ "Atomic Chess! And more". Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  21. ^ "OMG Crazyhouse!". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  22. ^ "Accessibility for blind players". Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  23. ^ Torres, JC (23 June 2014). "Lichess embraces blind players with new chess site features". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  24. ^ Leyden, John (14 March 2013). "We shall CRUSH you, puny ROBOT... with CHESS". The Register. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  25. ^ Araújo, Santi (2017). "Captcha de ajedrez: la mejor jugada contra los bots". (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Сайт дня: - чёрное и белое онлайн". (in Russian). 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Recent Improvements". Retrieved Feb 2, 2017.
  28. ^ "Opening Explorer". Retrieved Feb 26, 2016.
  29. ^ Watkins, Mark. "Losing Chess: 1. e3 wins for White" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  30. ^ "what's a berserk game?". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Mobile •". Retrieved 5 June 2017.

External linksEdit