How to Play Chess Online: A Beginner’s Guide

how to play chess online

Introduction to the Digital Chessboard

Chess, the ancient game of kings, has found a new lease on life in the digital age. With the ability to connect with players worldwide, online chess is growing in popularity daily. Whether a novice or a grandmaster, understanding how to play chess online can open doors to endless hours of strategic fun.

Choosing the Right Platform

Free vs. Paid Platforms

While many websites and apps offer free access to online chess games, some premium platforms may charge a subscription fee. These often come with advanced features and tutorials.

User Interface

Choose a platform that offers an intuitive user interface, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.

Skill-Level Matching 

Opt for platforms that match you with players of similar skill levels. This ensures that games remain competitive and engaging.

Setting Up Your Profile

Once you’ve picked a platform, setting up your profile is the next step. Here’s how:


Choose a fun, unique username that represents you.

Profile Picture

Some platforms allow you to upload a picture. Make sure it’s appropriate for all audiences.

Skill Level Indication

Indicate your skill level. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or expert? This helps in matching you with the right opponents.

Dive into the Game

Tutorials and Lessons: Many platforms offer lessons for beginners. Take advantage of these to refine your skills.

Play Friendly Matches: Start with friendly matches to get a hang of the online interface.

Join Tournaments: Feeling confident? Join online tournaments to challenge yourself and win accolades.

Respect Online Etiquette

Just as in physical games, online chess has its etiquette:

Avoid Quitting Mid-Game

It’s disheartening for the opponent when players quit unexpectedly. Play till the end!

Communicate Politely

Most platforms have a chat feature. Always communicate respectfully.

Advantages of Playing Chess Online

Global Connectivity 

Play against people from all over the world.

Flexible Timing 

Play anytime, anywhere.

Skill Improvement 

With diverse opponents, your chess skills will improve faster.

Staying Safe Online

Avoid Sharing Personal Information 

Never share personal details like your address or phone number.

Report Harassment

If someone bothers you, report them immediately to platform administrators.

Eco-Friendly Chess? Yes!

Playing chess online reduces the need for physical chess sets, saving wood and reducing carbon footprints. It’s an eco-friendly way to enjoy your favourite game!


Playing chess online is not just about moving pieces on a digital board. It’s about connecting, challenging, and growing. With the right approach and a respectful attitude, the virtual world of chess can be as fulfilling as the real one. Dive in, make your move, and may your strategy always lead you to checkmate!


What platforms can I use to play chess online?

Numerous platforms are available, ranging from free websites to premium subscription-based services. Popular choices include, Lichess, and the Internet Chess Club.

Do I need to pay to play chess online?

Not necessarily. While some platforms offer premium features for a fee, many websites and apps allow you to play chess online for free.

Can I play against my friends?

Absolutely! Most online chess platforms allow you to invite friends for a match. Set up a game and share the link, or use their username.

I’m a beginner. Are there tutorials available online?

Many online platforms offer lessons and tutorials for players of all skill levels. These can help you understand the game better and improve your strategies.

Is playing chess online safe?

While playing the game is generally safe, always be cautious about sharing personal information. Avoid revealing details like your real name, address, or phone number.

How do I ensure I’m matched with players of my skill level?

Most platforms have a system to match players based on their skill levels or ratings. Ensure you accurately indicate your level when setting up your profile.

What do I do if someone is rude or harassing me online?

If you encounter inappropriate behaviour, use the platform’s reporting feature. Always prioritize your safety and well-being.

How is playing chess online eco-friendly?

Online chess eliminates the need for physical chess sets. This reduction in production means fewer resources are used, making it a more eco-friendly option.

Can I join tournaments online?

Certainly! Most online platforms host regular tournaments. You can join based on your skill level and even win prizes or accolades.

How different is the online experience from the traditional board game?

While the basic rules remain the same, playing chess online allows playing anytime, anywhere, and with players worldwide. The digital interface might take a little getting used to, but it provides a unique and engaging experience.


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