Chess.com: 1 Billion Games Served

Chess.com: 1 Billion Games Served

pete
pete
Dec 15, 2014, 12:00 AM |
93 | Fun & Trivia

How many games have been played on Chess.com?

OK, so maybe Dr. Evil asked for 100 billion, but we're getting there.

A billion is a big number. If one game started every second, 24 hours a day, it would take nearly 32 years to get to a billion.  

Chess.com officially launched on May 17, 2007, so that means that an average of 4.18 games have started every second, around the clock since then. 

For a more visual sense of scale, check out how big a billion is in the famous 1977 video "Powers of Ten" by Charles and Ray Eames.

From a view of a picnic starting one meter away, a billion meters takes us so far out into space that the entire earth is a tiny speck in the distance. 

As they (kind of) said in The Social Network...

Chess.com offers two types of games: correspondence-style and live.

Since May 2007, Chess.com members have started 100 million turn-based online games, and an astounding 900 million live chess games. 

The billionth game was won, appropriately enough, by Chess.com member helpmewin:

Black had equalized until he hung his knight, which was adroitly snapped up by helpmewin to force a sportsmanlike resignation.

Eight years earlier, the site's first official online game was played:

White won the game with a nice family fork made possible by a pinned pawn.

Chess.com's member support guru Shaun pointed out that since the number of possible chess games has been estimated as 10 to the 123rd power, "with a billion down, we only have 999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999000000000 to go."

This calculation, of course, assumes that no two Chess.com games have been identical -- this is almost certainly correct, since Chess.com's membership is too smart to fall for opening traps like scholar's mate or Légal's mate

Various studies have revealed that the average number of moves in a chess game is around 40, or 80 half-moves.

While some of Chess.com's billion games were aborted, that's still a lot of moves -- tens of billions half-moves. 

If you want to see a whole bunch of those moves, check out IM Daniel Rensch's "Bullet Brawl" YouTube series, where he comments in real time on his live matches against some of Chess.com's strongest speed players.

Chess.com thanks all its members for helping us reach this amazing milestone.

Let us know how many games you've contributed to the billion in the comments section. 

Here's to the next billion games!


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