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Type of site
Internet chess server
Available in English. Portions of the website have been translated to over 80 languages, with about 30 languages marked as "complete," but many important parts, such as the terms of service, privacy policy, blog posts, and coach biographies, are not available for translation.
Created by Thibault Duplessis
Alexa rank Increase 1,603 (August 2018)[1]
Commercial Non-profit & donation-only
Registration Optional[2][unreliable source?]
Launched 20 June 2010[3]
Current status Active
Written in Scala, JavaScript, HTML and CSS[4][need quotation to verify]

Lichess (About this sound /'liː-tʃɛs/ [5][need quotation to verify]) 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.[6][7][8]


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

As of 14 January 2018, had a global rank of 2,312 at Alexa, with most of its visitors coming from the United States, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and Iran.[10] Lichess is ranked second only to as one of the most popular online chess servers in the world.[11][unreliable source?]

On February 11, 2015, an official Lichess mobile app was released for Android devices.[12] An app for mobile devices running iOS was released on March 4, 2015.[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][need quotation to verify] It also has a section where chess coaches can advertise their services to users.[citation needed]

In addition to enabling blindfold chess,[17] the website supports the following chess variants:[18]

Lichess has features to assist visually impaired people to play chess on the website.[20] It also has a chess puzzle-based CAPTCHA system.[21][22]

Users can also play games against the Stockfish chess engine at a number of difficulty levels.[23] 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,[24] which will calculate best lines of play or major opponent threats. An opening books based on games played on the site or a database of two million games played by FIDE titled players is available.[25] In Antichess variant, users can switch for Mark Watkins's antichess solution database.[26]

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).[citation needed]

Lichess runs live tournaments both in standard chess and in variant chess, and at different time controls, with the slowest time control being 10 minutes per game. 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).[27]

A Lichess mobile app is available for iOS and Android.[28]

Lichess Titled Arena[edit]

Since December 2017, Lichess organizes the "Lichess Titled Arena", a tournament reserved to titled chess players. Cash prizes are given to the top five places.

Name Date Number of participants Prize fund 1st place 2nd place 3rd place 4th place 5th place Notes
First Lichess Titled Arena[29] 14 December 2017 118 $1000 Magnus Carlsen Fabiano Caruana Andrew Tang Georg Meier TheWarning (Anonymous) Carlsen gave his prize back to Lichess
Lichess Titled Arena 2[30] 18 January 2017 145 $1500 Magnus Carlsen Andrew Tang Vincent Rothuis (nl) Arka50 (Anonymous) Tuan Minh Le Carlsen gave his prize back to Lichess
Lichess Titled Arena 3[31] 1 March 2018 188 $2200 Magnus Carlsen Daniel Naroditsky Vincent Rothuis (nl) Andrew Tang Jules Moussard Carlsen gave his prize back to Lichess
Lichess Titled Arena 4[32] 12 April 2018 218 $3200 Magnus Carlsen Andrew Tang Olexandr Bortnyk Vincent Rothuis (nl) Jahongir Vakhidov Carlsen gave his prize back to Lichess
Lichess Titled Arena 5[33] 4 May 2018 237 $3600 Andrew Tang Alireza Firouzja Arka50 (Anonymous) wizard98 (Anonymous) Jules Moussard First time Carlsen does not win the Titled Arena
Lichess Titled Arena 6[34] 4 August 2018 208 $1000 Magnus Carlsen Daniel Naroditsky Olexandr Bortnyk Vincent Rothuis (nl) Akshat Chandra Carlsen gave his prize back to Lichess[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lichess Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  2. ^ Patkar, Mihir (31 July 2015). "10 Free Two Player Games You Can Play In Your Browser". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Duplessis, Thibault (2014-08-05). "How old is lichess?". Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  4. ^ Duplessis, Thibault. "README". GitHub. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "How do you pronounce Lichess?". Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  6. ^ "Why is lichess free?". Retrieved Jul 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lichess Features". Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "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! 
  9. ^ Duplessis, Thibault. "LICENSE". GitHub. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  10. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Chess Links and Websites". Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "Android apps in Google Play". Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "lichess - Free Online Chess in the App Store". Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  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. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  17. ^ "Lichess embraces blind players with new chess site features". Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "Lichess variants •". Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  19. ^ "OMG Crazyhouse!". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  20. ^ Torres, JC (23 June 2014). "Lichess embraces blind players with new chess site features". Slashgear. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Leyden, John (14 March 2013). "We shall CRUSH you, puny ROBOT... with CHESS". The Register. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Araújo, Santi (2017). "Captcha de ajedrez: la mejor jugada contra los bots". Genbeta (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  23. ^ "Сайт дня: - чёрное и белое онлайн". (in Russian). 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  24. ^ "Recent Improvements". Retrieved Feb 2, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Opening Explorer". Retrieved Feb 26, 2016. 
  26. ^ Watkins, Mark. "Losing Chess: 1. e3 wins for White" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Mobile •". Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
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  32. ^
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  35. ^

External links[edit]