Incredible Second Wave of Interest in Chess

Incredible Second Wave of Interest in Chess

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Eight months ago I wrote this post about the massive spike in chess interest due to COVID-19. At the time I imagined we were seeing "peak chess", and we would return to normal. I was so wrong. 

Chess is currently experiencing a surge that hasn't been seen since the days of Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky in 1972. We honestly never expected this level of chess interest, born from a combination of a COVID resurgence, The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, Twitch, and massive amounts of news coverage in the media. 

Google Trends interest in

At, we are currently capturing a huge amount of this unprecedented chess interest. In the last year we have grown so much. And we have no idea when it is going to stop! Every single day is a new record for us right now.  

Maximum number of people playing in Live Chess:

  • +160% since last year
  • +67% since last month
  • +12% since last week
  • +5.7% since yesterday (and we aren't even at peak!)

Daily active players is also growing scary fast!

  • 1.3M in March
  • 1.9M on Oct 23
  • 2.6M on Nov 15
  • 2.96M yesterday
  • We estimate 3.1M for today

Previous scary loadThe graph above is what I posted when I was first worried. 

That is at the spot of the pink arrow on the graph below. LOL. (Or COL... cry out loud?)

Current load on

We are working as hard as we can to scale our services, but some things don’t look like issues until they hit a certain threshold. If you experience any glitches, errors, or problems, we are deeply sorry, and we are all-hands on desk trying to build greater capacity. We are grateful to you for choosing as your chess playing platform, and we are doing everything we can to keep our service running at this time. We appreciate your patience and support! Now please, tell all your friends to STOP PLAYING CHESS! (Just kidding, I think...)

Reposting the meme from the previous article, because who doesn't love a repost!?

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