Pacey Penguin Proudly Peaks Podium Pinnacle

Starting the Decade with a Bang

With 448 titled players joining the first event of the decade (and 356 playing) it's one of the largest titled events we've had! It wasn't just the size that was impressive though, and the performance of one player took centre stage: GM Andrew Tang (@penguingim1), the Penguin. Starting off with a magnificent streak of 11 wins and a performance rating of 3,419 he laid down a serious marker for the rest of the competition. It wasn't all plain sailing though and the lead he achieved was narrow to start with, chased by Dmitry Andreikin (@Vladimirovich9000) and GM Alireza Firouzja (@alireza2003) at the half hour mark.

As the games passed though, the lead became greater, leading GM Sergei Zhigalko (@Zhigalko_Sergei) and GM Nihal Sarin (@nihalsarin2004) by 15 points just before the halfway point. The Penguin, time and again, showcased how he earned his "slippery" epithet, with escape acts like this one:

With half an hour to go, Sergei Zhigalko was the nearest competition, a whopping 28 points behind! It's never time to get complacent though, or you may have to come back from being a queen down:

As the tournament clock ran down, first place was clear, but second and third were duking it out in their final game. Nihal Sarin was one point clear of Sergei Zhigalko, but agreed to a draw while the latter was on a streak - giving him the extra points need to level the points and surpass on performance rating! Heartbreak for the youngster but a fine performance nonetheless. In the competition for the Women's prizes, an exact replica podium of the November competition, congratulations to all the players!

The final standings were:

1st: GM Andrew Tang (@penguingim1)
2nd: GM Sergei Zhigalko (@Zhigalko_Sergei)
3rd: GM Nihal Sarin (@nihalsarin2004)
4th: GM Arjun Erigaisi (@Inventing_Invention)
5th: GM @NeverEnough

Women's prizes:

1st: WGM @slowdumb
2nd: WGM Alina Bivol (@zabivol_mc)
3rd: WGM Karina Ambartsumova (@karinachess11)

As always, great thanks to all the participants, viewers and streamers who make the event so much fun for us all. Another Titled Arena will be scheduled soon, stay tuned to our standard communication channels for details:About
!The passed pawn Inn  !Children's World

The Magic of Chess
by Jenny Schweitzer Bell on Vimeo

Filmed at the 2019 Elementary Chess Championships at the Nashville Opryland resort, a group of children share their uninhibited, philosophical insights about the benefits of chess.

The dust settles on the battlefield

Congratulations to Crestbook Chess Club and GM Sergey Shipov on their victory!

A hush fell as the clock ticked down its final seconds, to the end of the


, ChessNetwork, Eric Rosen.

A further congratulations of course to all the individual players, making up some impressively strong teams. You can see the full individual standings on the tournament page. We hope to organise another similar event soon, stay tuned to our standard communication channels for details:About

Streamer Team Battle!

Whose rallying battle cry will you answer?

A horn sounds in the distance... a call to arms! This Thursday (9th January) at 19:00 UTC, some of the largest chess streamers around will be clashing head to head in a Team Battle on Lichess - and they need your support! But what is a Team Battle?

You may have already heard about the new feature on Lichess, but in case you haven't:
  • It's an arena format event - complete with berserking and streaks
  • You join the Battle under the banner of a specific Team
  • You play against members of all the other Teams joining - but not against your fellows!
  • The points of the top performing 20 players from each Team go towards the overall leader-board
This event will be 2 hours long, with a 3+0 time control, starting at 19:00 UTC on the 9th of January. Now for the most important question: whose call to arms will you answer? The participating streamers are below, be sure to join their Team - and then when joining the event, just select that Team.

Join the event here

Antonio Radić (@agadmator) (Join team here)
NM @Chess-Network (Join team here)
GM Sergey Shipov (@Crest64) (Join team here)
IM Eric Rosen (@EricRosen) (Join team here)
CM Kingscrusher (@Kingscrusher-YouTube) (Join team here)
GM Andrew Tang (@penguingim1) (Join team here)
Emre Hasgüleç and Sabri Can Onay Yontar (@SatrancMedyaYoutube) (Join team here)

Three more mystery streamers to be announced...

Titled Arena Announcement

The first Titled Arena of the decade is here!

The first Lichess Titled Arena of the decade will be on Wednesday the 15th January at 19:00 UTC!

The event will as usual be preceded by a bullet 1+0 Warm-up Arena, open to all players with a minimum of 20 rated bullet games. Yes, even you.

Lichess Titled Arena

When: Wednesday, January 15th, 19:00 UTC

Format: 1+0 Bullet arena, 2 hour duration


1. $ 500

2. $ 250

3. $ 125

4. $ 75

5. $ 50

Women's prizes:

1. $ 100

2. $ 50

3. $ 20

Participation requirement: Verified FIDE or NM title (see below)

Join here!

Practical Information

If you are new to Lichess, it's important to become familiar with the arena tournament format. Read our FAQ and consider trying out an arena tournament in advance. Arena points are awarded based on the number of games you win. If multiple players finish the tournament with the same number of points, tournament performance is used to break the tie. Prizes will be awarded within three days after the event, through PayPal or BTC.

Title Verification

To participate in the Titled Arena events, you need a verified titled account on Lichess. If you don't already have a Lichess account, create one. Then, to get your FIDE or NM title verified, please fill out this title verification form, and we will process it within 24 hours. If you already have verified your title on Lichess, you don't have to do this again. When your title has been verified by us, you will be able to join the tournament.


We've had a bunch of players streaming the previous Titled Arenas, including Magnus Carlsen, John Bartholomew, Eric Rosen and ChessNetwork. We encourage both participants and fans to live-stream the tournament. If you plan to, check out our small streamer's kit for some useful graphics to include in your overlay.

Lichess End of Year Update 2019

The real state of the union address

It’s been another eventful year for Lichess. We continue to grow in all metrics of activity - average players online, numbers of games played per month, and events held. Along with this, we’ve made significant changes to support the website and ensure our players get the most out of Lichess. As per tradition, we’ve decided to highlight what’s happened this year, and to set the bar for next year.

Titled Arena Announcement

The December Titled Arena is here!

The Lichess Titled Arena is back on Saturday the 14th December at 19:00 UTC!

The event will as usual be preceded by a bullet 1+0 Warm-up Arena, open to all players with a minimum of 20 rated bullet games. Yes, even you.

A new logo for Lichess

A major open-source contribution!

The good old Cburnett knight has served us well, but it was not truly our logo. We always wanted something unique and distinctive for Lichess, and we finally found it.

The Imagery of Chess Revisited (Exhibition)

Guest curated by Larry List, The Noguchi Museum recreates and expands the groundbreaking 1944 exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst at the Julien Levy Gallery. In addition to Isamu Noguchi, the exhibition features original designs by artists such as Man Ray, Arshile Gorky and Yves Tanguy.

The-Imagery-of-Chess-Revisited-2005-06 (Exhibition Brochure, pdf file)

!The passed pawn Inn
Isamu Noguchi (Wikipedia)
The Isamu Noguchi Museum Puts Online an Archive of 60,000 Photographs, Manuscripts & Digitized Drawings by the Japanese Sculptor (2019,
The Imagery of Chess -Surrealism and Chess
 Chess  Art  Culture

Noguchi table (Wikipedia)

FIDE: Confidentiality Clauses and Secret Votes

An interview with GM Peter Heine Nielsen

GM Peter Heine Nielsen is a Grandmaster from Denmark who has worked at the very highest level in chess for decades. He played in seven Olympiads for Denmark and won the Danish Championship five times. He may be even better known for his work as a second. He’s worked to help both Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen prepare for World Championship matches.

Lichess conducted an interview with Peter via email. Lichess questions are in bold italics.

Firouzja keeps the streak going!

The young Iranian tops the TA with another convincing performance

We were treated to an extra long exhibition of chess skill this month, as the Titled Arena was immediately preceded by agadmator's 500k subscriber celebration tournament. The YouTuber's event was so popular that it pushed Lichess's servers to the max and we had to restart the event! Have no fear though, we were back up and running in short order. Congratulations to agadmator for reaching levels of popularity that challenge our servers, and congratulations to the winners of that event, splitting a $2,000 prize pool (GM Daniel Naroditsky (@RebeccaHarris), GM Oleksandr Bortnyk (@Night-King96), GM Alireza Firouzja (@alireza2003), GM Andrew Tang (@penguingim1) and GM Nikolay Chadaev (@N-Chadaev)). The event was open to all, but titled players quickly dominated the standings - it turns out they are quite good at chess.
Stupenda animazione

A brief history of chess - Alex Gendler


I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players,
all chess players are artists.

–Marcel Duchamp

!The passed pawn Inn
A Brief History of Chess: An Animated Introduction to the 1,500-Year-Old Game (2019,

Titled Arena Announcement

The November Titled Arena is here!

The Lichess Titled Arena is back on Saturday the 23rd November at 19:00 UTC!

The event will as usual be preceded by a bullet 1+0 Warm-up Arena, open to all players with a minimum of 20 rated bullet games. Yes, even you.

Firouzja on Fire!

The start of a new dynasty?

The Isle of Man International is in full swing (and you can catch the live games and commentary here on Lichess) but the allure of bullet chess is too strong, and during the rest day snuck in another installment of the Titled Arena. Willingly drawn away from their preparations for the next round were GMs Nihal Sarin (@nihalsarin2004), Parham Maghsoodloo (@grizzlybear79) and Eduardo Iturrizaga (@Eduiturri) - no doubt amongst countless others. All told, this is one of the largest Titled Arenas to date - possibly the largest, diligent fact-checkers are more than welcome to review this bold claim.

Titled Arena Announcement

The October Titled Arena is here!

The Lichess Titled Arena is back on Wednesday the 16th October at 19:00 UTC! In addition to the usual prizes, the three top-placing female participants will win additional prizes of $100, $50 and $20.

The event will as usual be preceded by a bullet 1+0 Warm-up Arena, open to all players with a minimum of 20 rated bullet games. Yes, even you.

Announcing the 2019 Horde World Championship

It's finally here!

The first installment of the Horde World Championship is here at last, so get ready for the greatest pawn storm in Lichess history!

The event will kick off on October 13th. If you would like to participate, please make sure to read the rules. Registration closes October 12th and will be conducted through the official Horde World Championship team. If you are only interested in following the tournament, joining the team is a great way to stay tuned as well!

960 Ways to Die in the West

GM Zaven Andriasian takes home the gold!

This September, we were treated to a double-bill of Lichess Titled Arenas, with a 960 variant edition at the unprecedented 3+2 time-control. Players were out in force with 270 participants. GM Andrew Tang (@penguingim1) took an early lead, but it was short lived - protesting on stream that he was only tired and not ill, the penguin was not in his finest form. IM Raunak Sadhwani (@Raunaksadhwani2005) took up the mantle with an impressive start and indeed led the field for over an hour and a half before starting to be pegged back by his opponents.

World Cup Drama in Khanty-Mansiysk – Just What the Doctor Ordered

Round 2 Report from the 2019 World Cup

The foyer of the 2019 World Cup venue, the Ugra Chess Academy just outside the centre of the city in Khanty-Mansiysk, is its own little world.

Chess960 Titled Arena - Back Again

Chess960 Returns!

It's been a little while since the last 960 Titled Arena. For this iteration, the duration will be 3 hours as last time but with a time control of 3+2.

This event will also be preceded by a Chess960 Warm-up Arena, open to all players with a minimum of 10 rated Chess960 games.