Chess.com Update: Are You The Next Streaming Sensation?


Another month has gone by, and there’s a lot to talk about! What are some of the highlights? The 44th Chess Olympiad has officially started, we’re making it easier than ever for you to start streaming chess, one of your favorite tournaments is making a comeback, and much more.

Here’s what this update covers:


Product

The product team has been giving plenty of love to our Twitch streaming and viewing community, with lots of additional functionalities and quality-of-life improvements. There are also some nice updates for tournament players, as well as general improvements for the Game Review feature.


  • Added functionality for Community Streamers:
    • Any member can now connect their Twitch account and become a Community Streamer; this updates your profile to include a banner and a Twitch embed:
      A banner showing someone is a Chess.com streamer.

    • While live, a Community Streamer will enjoy an ad-free experience regardless of their membership status.
    • Streamers (including Community Streamers) can now see when a direct challenge is coming from one of their subscribers, making it easier than ever for streamers to play their subs, and vice versa.
    • If you’re playing a game with someone who is streaming, you can start watching the stream straight from the play UI.
    • As a Community Streamer, you can now choose to allow only incoming challenges from your Twitch subscribers.
  • Recommended Matches
    • We’re happy to announce a cool new feature: Recommended Matches! For the first time ever, you’ll be able to find personalized pairings on your home screen. It’s a great way to play fun games with people close to your level, building some new chess friendships (or friendly rivalries) along the way.

An image of the Recommended Matches feature, showing IM Danny Rensch as a frequent opponent.

  • Improved tournament side panel
    • Titled events are now shown to titled players, and verified-only events are shown to all players when available. This makes it easier than ever to find relevant and interesting tournaments for you.
  • General improvements to the Game Review feature
    • Reviewing your games is a crucial part of improving your chess, so we want to make sure the process is as smooth as possible for you.
    • This includes better support for translations, and the first phase of a process called “piece disambiguation” (which means coach commentary) will begin using specific piece names instead of general terms.

A screenshot of the Game Review feature.

We’re also planning plenty of great improvements in the next month, so stay tuned…

Events

July gave us no time for a post-Candidates hangover; it was right back into the action! We had a number of exciting events, online and in real life, to keep things moving quickly.

A picture of the final score of the IMSCC, with IM Eric Rosen as the winner.

  • The 2022 I’M Not A GM Speed ​​Chess Championship came to a conclusion with an exhilarating final showdown between IM Eric Rosen and FM James Canty III, culminating in a 12-9 victory for Rosen.
  • Chess.com Global Championship open qualifiers finishedwith 13,081 participants taking part for the chance to play in a tournament with some of the world’s top grandmasters.
  • The play-in phase of the Chess.com Global Championship happened shortly later and has almost concluded as of the time of this writing. Players who have advanced to the knockout round include (take a deep breath before reading): GMs Ding Liren, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand, Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
  • One of the world’s biggest and most exciting chess events is officially underway; the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad features national teams from all over the world vying for the title of the world’s top chess nation. Make sure you catch the action on Twitch, YouTube, or ChessTV.
  • We’re happy to announce the return of Arena Kings! As of August 3, some of your favorite chess streamers will be competing against each other in this fun event, which features a brand-new format and a weekly prize of 400 Twitch subs!

An image announcing that Arena Kings returns on August 3.

Community

Here are some of the Community Team’s highlights from last month:

  • It was incredible to meet so many of you there Chess.com’s TwitchCon booth in Amsterdam. Our experience there was made so special by everyone who came to play, talk, and connect with other chess lovers of all levels. Whether you were crushing it at the “winner stays” table or trying chess puzzles for the first time, it was such a pleasure to have you there.

A picture of the Chess.com booth at TwitchCon 2022 in Amsterdam.

  • Our community meet-up on July 15 was a blast as well. We’d love to host more events like this where you can talk to other community members, meet your favorite streamers, and—of course—play lots of chess.

A picture of the Chess.com community picnic, as part of TwitchCon Amsterdam in 2022.

  • As the product team mentioned above, the The Community Streamer program is officially launched. You can check out this announcement article for more informationbut the main takeaway is that this will make it easier and more fun than ever to engage with the chess community on Twitch.
  • We enjoyed celebrating International Chess Day with you on July 20 and hope you enjoyed the 24-hour marathon arena. Congratulations again to the winners.

Content

The Content Team has been keeping up with the latest news (on a minute-by-minute basis in some cases) as well as producing some amazing articles, including a series on the Match of the Century to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fischer vs. Spassky.

An image of GM Bobby Fischer as part of the Fischer vs.  Spassky article series.

  • July saw the release of the Fischer-Spassky article series, taking you directly into the action of a chess match that was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. Follow all the action as if you were there, from GM Bobby Fischer starting the world championship match with a colossal blunderthaw going AWOL for the second game, before an epic comeback as he turned the tide with a positional masterpiece
  • The last month was a huge one for our news team, as you might have expected. While it wasn’t a total surprise, the world champion’s decision not to defend his title still came as a shock to many. Check out this overview of reactions from across the chess world, including the thoughts of former world champions such as GMs Viswanathan Anand, Garry Kasparov, and Vladimir Kramnik.
  • Even with a busy schedule and plenty of breaking news, the team still managed to have some fun. Pedro Pinhata explored the most divisive chess opening in this not-entirely-serious look into why the haters are wrong and the London System is actually the greatest opening in chess. Please don’t shoot the messenger.

A picture of GM Magnus Carlsen smiling and pointing at the London System written on a blackboard.

Fair play

In addition to their usual efforts, members of the Fair Play Team have spent the past three months working weekends to cover the open qualifiers of the Chess.com Global Championship. We want to shout out their amazing effort in keeping Chess.com a fair and fun place to play.

Fair Play stats for July:

  • 24,702 Fair Play closures (including four titled players)
  • 45,951 mute actions
  • 39,326 accounts muted
  • 70,763 abuse closures

Support

Finally, some numbers from the Chess.com Support Team. Here are the stats for July:

  • Average Time to First Response: 29 hours
  • Total Support Responses: 33,462
  • Average Quality by Member Rating: 94%
  • Total Ratings: 3,601

While this squad of support superstars generally works behind the scenes, it’s possible (and very fun) to follow them through this amazing employee blog by Greta. It’s an enjoyable and informative look into a bunch of support-related questions. Wondering how to change time controls on the Android app? Want to create your own club or host tournaments? Greta’s got the answers!


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

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