Hits 1 Billion Games Played In February Hits 1 Billion Games Played In February


Back in January, we proclaimed a new chess boom that was so big it was troubling our servers. Thankfully, those problems have been fixed now.

But if you thought that sudden wave of interest in the game would pass, or it was perhaps just a fad fuelled by New Year’s resolutions, then think again: this is the new normal. New figures released on Thursday show that last month the bump just got bigger as more than one billion games were played on our platform—a new all-time record.

In total, there were an astonishing 1,057,320,754 games played on Of those, 576,946,832 were live games, of which 3,181,513 were daily games, and 480,373,922 were against the computer.

It works out as around 37.67 million games per day played in February. For comparison, that’s nearly 2.8 times the average number of games played per day in 2022, which was 13.53 million.

To put the numbers into context, there were a grand total of 16.83 billion games played here from September 2016 to February 2023. Unfortunately, does not hold an accurate figure for the total amount of games played on the platform before 2016.

Records have been broken at regular intervals since the turn of the year. In fact, on December 31, the site hit 7,000,000 daily users for the first time. Within three weeks, that record had risen to 10,000,000.

The obvious question is why?

January took off on the back of a series of factors discussed here which included the most popular social media post in 2022 featuring Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing chess; the high-profile cheating controversy; and Mittens, the killer kitten who went viral and caught mass media’s attention.

Moving into February, the shortest month of the year, the boom continued—but there were some immediate reasons. February saw the long-awaited resumption of the Pro Chess League and the launch of the 2023 Champions Chess Tour. Both have been big successes and appear to have drawn even more users to the site.

Mittens and her fellow cat bots may have disappeared, but they were replaced on the bot roster by the basketball superstar Luka Doncic’s hugely-popular virtual self, Luk.AI. So far, he has played more than 10 million games.

Chess’com’s CEO Erik Allebest, who helped relaunch the site as a chess server in 2007, pointed to longer-term factors and a strategy that has seen the site revamped over time, along with a wider transformation in the way chess is seen.

“It’s lots of seeds planted, lots of fertilizer, lots of irrigation, and all coming to fruition now,” he said. “We’ve been working for 15 years to change how the game has been perceived. It worked.”’s Chief Chess Officer Danny Rensch added: “And there is more to come. This is not a boom, it’s the new normal.”

At, we’d like to thank all the newcomers who have joined our ranks since the start of the year and, of course, those who were here before. Together, we can grow the game even more.


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