New King Rises [April Fool's Day!]
GM Anish Giri. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

New King Rises [April Fool's Day!]

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Edited April 3, 2023: Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone. Stay safe!

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone!, the world’s leading online chess platform, is pleased to announce the appointment of GM Anish Giri as its new CEO.

Giri, a renowned chess grandmaster, will assume the role effective immediately, succeeding Erik Allebest, co-founder and CEO since 2006.

Giri, who has been a prominent figure in the chess world for over a decade, is widely regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation. The 28-year-old has also won numerous national and international championships, including the Dutch Chess Championship and the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. He is a two-time participant in the prestigious Candidates Tournament, which determines the challenger for the World Chess Championship.

Anish Giri, CEO
Giri has taken over as's CEO. Photo:Maria Emelianova/

As CEO, Giri will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of's operations, including product development, marketing, and community engagement. He will work closely with the company's leadership team to develop and implement strategies that will continue to grow and improve the platform.

Giri said he will approach his new role with “ferocity” and has already prepared a nine-point plan of action to revamp, which will be presented to staff immediately.

“It is about time for chess to rise up to its rightful place as the king of all games,” Giri said. “And this revolution starts today.

“What will I add to One word: Distinction, subtlety, class…”

In a farewell message to staff issued yesterday, Allebest said he is stepping back as CEO after 17 years in the role.

" has been my baby, and as I step back I’m delighted to now hand over the reins to Anish,” he said. “We should all be excited to see what the future holds under Anish's leadership, and you can be sure he’ll approach this job with more desire to win than, well, frankly, he shows over the chessboard.”

About is the world's leading chess website. In February, hit a new record of 1 billion games played in a month, and it hosts around 30 million games daily. More than 125 million people are registered on The award-winning Champions Chess Tour is's flagship elite online tournament. The 2023 edition offers a record $2 million prize pot, making it the richest and most prestigious annual circuit in chess history. It features all the world's best chess players and Giri.

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