Building Part 15 - Happy 2nd Birthday!

Building Part 15 - Happy 2nd Birthday!

| 27 | News

Two years ago this week opened its doors to the public and it's been a wild ride ever since! Today we're celebrating our 2nd birthday and wanted to share a few thoughts. (If you haven't read the whole series on how came about, click here...)

First, a huge thank you to all the members who have helped make what it is today: an awesome community of people who have come together around chess - which is more than just a game. Chess can mean something different to each individual: a casual lunch-break activity, an artform, a science, a way of life. Regardless of how you enjoy it, we appreciate you bringing that passion to We've enjoyed building the tools that have made it possible.

Second, remember that we're still in the toddler years! Chess has been around for well over 1,000 years, and chess has been on the internet since the earliest days (at least 15 years!). But we're new and we've made some childish mistakes :) The biggest one is obviously that our current Live Chess doesn't work for everyone. But we hope to have some really great news on that front very soon. We have also learned a lot about what you want - the members - and have tried to build those features. Here's something most people don't know - when we first thought about we weren't sure it was ever going to be a place where you actually played chess! We thought maybe members would play elsewhere and then just come here for the community and learning tools. But we quickly realized how core it is to play here and did our best to meet that need. I think we've done a pretty good job in correspondence chess and tournaments, but we have a long a way to go and hope to make major improvements in the PLAY department this year.

Third, we're proud of :) Everyone who has been involved with it, from me and Jay on down to the icon designer and people who have done 2 hours work for us - we're proud. Not in the "we're awesome" kind of way, but in the "pleased with the outcome and fortunate to be a part of it" kind of way. We've employed at least 50 different people in some capacity over the years (with 10 current full-timers and many part-timers. We now have a staff of writers, video authors, three full-time customer support people, and a bunch of programmers all working hard. Sometimes our wives can't tell if we're working or playing (and maybe we can't either!) because we're so addicted to our own site.

This week we will hit 600,000 registered users on and more than 400,000 on Facebook Chess, which means that at some point 1 million people have registered to enjoy chess with us. I couldn't ask for a better birthday present! I hope that will continue to grow and touch more and more lives in a positive way.

Thank you again for your support!

- Erik, Jay, Piotr, David, Igor, Matias, Matt, Josh, Jules, Eugene, Nik, Peter, and many others


For fun, here are some OLD snapshots of from!

1996-2005 - The oldest version when was only Chess Mentor software:

July 2005 - A landing page announcing what was in development:

May 17th 2007 - Days before launch:

June 7th 2007 - Just after launch:

We've come a long way!

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