Blogs During this Global "Stay Home" Moment During this Global "Stay Home" Moment

| 53 launched in May of 2007. Since then, we have had a pretty steady growth pattern each year where traffic increases, then flattens out during summer for USA/Europe, before growing again. We've grown from 20-50% every year since starting out 13 years ago. This month, everything changed. Not just for us, but for the entire world.

Our CTO recently sent an email with the subject line: "The Next 10 Years, Before June". Basically, we are now expecting that our next 10 years of growth could happen in the next three months. Right now, a huge percentage of the world's population is staying home and playing games due to COVID-19, and a LOT of people are choosing chess. Our entire Engineering Team is working overtime to do everything it can to scale our systems, address errors, and keep everything stable. In addition to that, our Content Team is trying to find new opportunities to provide the content that all of us chess fans want in the wake of so many cancelled events. And, our Support Team is helping hundreds of thousands of new players with their questions about how to get started with chess.

This meme pretty accurately sums things up:

Obviously our sysadmins are not running away from this. They have more than risen to the challenge, but it hasn't been easy. Each new day brings new records: More new players than ever before, more games played than ever before, more titled players online than ever before. Honestly... it feels like the gif above!

Over the next few months we expect some bumps in the road. We are not the only ones. Websites around the world are struggling with the unprecedented traffic - especially in gaming. We hope you will be patient with us as we work tirelessly to keep our services fast and stable. Thank you for your continued support. 

Meanwhile, we are also making a few changes to our regular Premium offering due to coronavirus, by making the following features free on

Free to Create / Manage a Club
Starting on Tuesday March 31, anyone can create and manage clubs. We are doing this to make it easier for offline clubs to come online and build their communities here on In addition, we recognize the importance of connecting with friends and family and building a sense of togetherness in an extraordinary time like this. In the past we have required a premium membership, in part to prevent spam and abuse, but we will step up our efforts to monitor this while providing club administration to everyone for free. (If you are a club looking to set up and run events online, check out this article and join this club for help from fellow club administrators and staff.)

Free Unlimited Puzzle Battle
If you haven't tried Puzzle Battle, now is the time! It's like a 3-minute blitz chess game... but solving puzzles instead. Try it! is driven by a mission to help the world enjoy chess and at this time, more of the world is online and looking to do just that. Our team is working nights, weekends, and overtime to keep everything on track so that despite the craziness of the world around us, we can also relax and enjoy a game of chess. Stay safe everyone!

I blog about the past, present, and future of! (And sometimes my amateur games...)