Ten Years of Chess Innovation. How Lichess grew from a simple tech | by Samuel Sullivan | SUPERJUMP | Sep, 2020 – Medium

Chess

Lichess (Lichess.org) started as a simple tech experiment and grew into the second most popular chess website on the internet, second only to Chess.com. According to Alexa, Lichess is currently one of the 1,150 most visited websites globally. Lichess is entirely free for users, has no advertisements, and is open-source, meaning the code is publicly accessible.

1. Lichess.org will always be free.

2. It will never contain advertisements.

3. It will always be open source.

Over the past ten years, Lichess has evolved to push the boundaries of online chess. On a 2017 podcast episode of The Perpetual Chess Podcast hosted by Ben Johnson, Thibault Duplessis, the founder of Lichess, talked about how Lichess has evolved through the years. Duplessis was a twenty-four-year-old coder at the time and described himself as an average chess player. Duplessis decided to use chess as a vehicle to show the abilities of open source for real-time communication. Early improvements were just for Duplessis technical pleasure.

Lichess attracted an enthusiastic community that would cause the site to expand rapidly. Coders, developers, and players were all attracted by the core principles of Lichess. Having no advertisements is a point of emphasis for Duplessis. He describes advertisements as pollutants that make people stupid.

Duplessis said, I want to interact with people, not just consumers. I want them to be contributors if possible.

By contributors, Duplessis means with their time and energy, but the site does rely on donations from users who become patrons. I have been a Lichess user for almost four years, but only recently decided to become a paying supporter. It wasnt easy to find the donation page, which is by design.

The site is maintained and developed by people who want to work on it. They work on the site out of passion, not for money, which Duplessis says brings out peoples best work. Lichess has been translated into over ninety languages and was the first chess site to have features that support players with blindness.

Duplessis proudly touted that The bus factor for Lichess was up to four people. The site is not wholly reliant on Duplessis to continue. It would take a bus to hit him and three other of the top developers for Lichess to fail.

The Lichess community is welcoming, and it is an excellent place to play chess for all levels of skill and experience. The site, behind its founder, Thibault Duplessis, remains true to its core principles of being completely open-source, staying free to users, and having no advertisements. This fidelity has caused the Lichess community to grow because it does not answer to anyone. The passion of the contributors and players continues to keep Lichess on the cutting edge. May the next ten years of Lichess be as successful and inspiring as the first.

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Ten Years of Chess Innovation. How Lichess grew from a simple tech | by Samuel Sullivan | SUPERJUMP | Sep, 2020 - Medium

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