Can you guess how many games of chess people played against each other on Chess.com in June? The answer might surprise you: 257,503,084.
That’s 99 new games started between players every single second—and that’s without counting an additional 100,000,000+ games played against the computer.
While the 2022 Candidates Tournament was dominating the chess world for most of June, we were covering every second of the action while also working quietly behind the scenes to keep these millions of games fair, fun, and faster than ever. Keep reading for a summary of what we’ve been up to, as well as the latest updates on events, features, and more.
Here’s what this update will cover:
As always, the team has been working hard to keep everything running smoothly, and adding quality-of-life improvements across the website and app. Here are some of last month’s highlights:
- A number of improvements were made to the Events pages. You’ll notice a better layout when watching events on smaller screens, and some eval bar modes in Tablebases in endgames.
- Profile pictures were added to mobile push notificationsso now you can easily see who has made their move, sent you a challenge, or sent you a friend request.
- While completing your Daily Puzzle on our Android and iOS apps, you may notice a new Streak’s counter! This makes it easier to keep track of your progress:
- Ever found yourself wondering what the lifetime score of wins, draws, and losses is between two players? Wonder no more. We’ve now added these lifetime scores to the popover which displays when you hover over a player’s profile plate:
- The Android and iOS apps have also been updated to display Chess.com verification badges when viewing a verified profile.
A special message for the Chess.com community this month, from our CTO Josh Levine:
“We’re excited and humbled to be growing the game of chess and supporting Chess.com. In addition to shipping improvements across Play, Learn, Connect, and Core Chess, we’ve been focused on quality and performance and we hope you’ ve felt the improvements.
Check this out: https://youtu.be/9ryeG4sjGkI?t=65
We also hope you enjoyed the 2022 Candidates Tournament!
If you run into any issues, don’t hesitate to report a bug or reach out to our support team.
June may have been the month of the Candidates, but there was plenty of other action going on! Our Events team worked tirelessly to make sure you could enjoy it all as much as possible.
- We were thrilled to have so many of you with us during our Candidates coverage in Madrid. The team overcame some big technical challenges to bring high-quality coverage to you Twitch, YouTube, and Chess.com/TV.
- At its peak, we had 142,000 people watching the broadcast across all different platforms. That’s an amazing number of people, and we’re so grateful to everyone who participated in chat, shared their thoughts and opinions, and made it such a fun experience to be part of.
- The Junior Speed Chess Championship concludedwith GM Arjun Erigaisi preventing defending champion GM Nihal Sarin from completing his three-peat in an exciting final.
- Chess.com Global Championship open qualifiers took place all throughout June. We also received exciting news that some of history’s most legendary GMs will be playing in the knockout stages of the tournament! Qualifiers are still ongoing, so it’s not too late for you to reach the play-in phase of the event.
- The I’M Not A GM Speed Chess Championship had some incredibly fun matchups and dramatic comebacks. There were some big upsets, like FM James Canty III defeating the top-seeded IM Polina Shuvalova, and we saw some top-tier trash talking from IM Lawrence Trent (among others). Canty will be taking on gambit-master IM Eric Rosen in the final.
- We’re gearing up for more amazing events over the coming month. BlitzChamps begins on July 9 and will determine who the best chess player in the NFL is.
We had lots of exciting community activity in June, with some of it still continuing into July. There’s also a special event coming up in Amsterdam, where you’ll be able to meet fellow chess fans, streamers, and some of the Chess.com team!
- The Chess.com College Ambassador Program Summer Season has begun! This is a fun and rewarding way to keep college chess clubs active over the summer and give chess-loving college students tons of sweet rewards. We encourage all college students to apply.
- More good news for university students: the Collegiate Chess League is returning. The Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 seasons will feature a combined $50,000 prize pool and give college students of all skill levels the opportunity to participate and represent their schools.
- We launched a new competition in June, and you can take part! Upload your best game from the Chess.com Global Championship here and GM Daniel Naroditsky might be covering your moves for all to see.
- The play-in phase of the CGC is starting soonon July 11, and will continue until August 5. Winners will qualify for the knockout phase, and may find themselves up against legendary GMs!
- Have you ever dreamed of becoming the next big chess streamer? In June, we began trialling a new feature that lets you showcase your Twitch channel and build your streaming community on Chess.com… stay tuned for some big news coming soon.
- We’re happy to announce that Chess.com is sponsoring the Jersey women’s chess team at the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. This is the first time that the island of Jersey (based in the Channel Islands) has sent a women’s chess team to this event.
- Lastly, we’ll be at TwitchCon Amsterdam on 16-17 July, with a booth full of merch, activities, and general good chess vibes. Even if you don’t have a TwitchCon ticket, we’re planning a special Chess.com community picnic on July 15 at Beatrixpark in Amsterdam.
Our Content Team has worked around the clock to bring you the best Candidates coverage found anywhere, with recaps spirit news delivered at lightning speed.
The level of interest and engagement the Chess.com community (and the chess community at large) showed during this tournament has really been amazing to see, and shows the immense appeal of the Candidates Tournament and the players in it.
During the tournament, we saw:
- 2.6 million reads on Candidates-related reports and articles.
- 13.5 million views on TikTok.
- 26.3 million views on YouTube.
- 10.7 million views on our Chess Clips channel.
On top of hard-hitting analysis and news, the Candidates Tournament has been an absolute blast in more ways than one. We’ll just leave these here:
As well as the usual diligent monitoring of regular games being played on Chess.com, the Fair Play team is working hard to ensure the integrity of all events. A big thanks to everyone involved in covering the IMSCC, WSCC, CGC Qualifiers, Titled Tuesdays, and all the other competitions the team is involved in checking! It’s these eagle-eyed chess experts that make Chess.com a safe and fair place to play.
Fair Play stats for June:
- FP Closures: 25,651
- Mute Actions: 53,854
- Muted Accounts: 44,653
- Abuse Closures: 74,228
Note that none of these bans are for GM Alireza Firouzja, who was auto-banned over six years ago on Chess.com as a child for being suspiciously good (before the human review confirmed that he was actually just a chess genius).
Finally, some numbers from the Chess.com Support Team. This squad of support superstars is always ready to help you with any problems you’re facing, or answer any questions you might have. Here are the stats from June, according to our Director of Support:
- Total Support Responses: 30,939
- Average Time to First Response: 23 hours and 31 minutes
- Average Quality by Member Rating: 94%
- Hours Support Spent Watching the Candidates: >9,000
As always, thank you for making Chess.com such an amazing place, and thank you for the comments you leave on these updates. Rest assured that we read them, and while we can’t respond to or implement every single idea, they give us a great perspective on what our priorities are and how we can best serve you. Stay tuned, your thoughts might be featured in one of these updates soon enough!