Improvements to Lichess - June edition

T. Alexander Lystad (arex)Announcements

Developers had too much coffee during the last two weeks, and lichess took a big step forward.

New players of all skill levels continue to discover Lichess every day. It's amazing to see how the Lichess community continues to grow. We hope that one of the reasons for that growth is that we take user feedback very seriously, and often turn that feedback into action quite quickly. In this post I want to mention some of the most important changes we have made to Lichess just in the last couple of weeks.

Relay Beta

If you have visited Lichess lately, you have probably noticed the orange globes to the top left on the front page. These are on-going international chess events that Lichess now broadcasts directly, on chess boards, as they happen. Take part in the excitement by following the games live, and join in on the spectator chat. If you miss a particular game, round or event, you can always go back and look at it later. You can access all the international events in the main menu: WATCH --> International events.

Although we think this is pretty cool, beware that the relay functionality is still in beta. We know it still has some quirks that we need to iron out in the coming days.


With all the different tournament action going on, we thought we needed a better way of showing you the tournament schedule. On the tournament page, we now show upcoming tournaments in a timeline view allowing you to plan your next few hours of chess in an easier way. We hope you like it.


During the last few weeks we turned our attention to the sounds of Lichess. We already had visual theming (boards and pieces), so we thought: Why not sound themes? Since then, we have added two new sound themes - in addition to the default Lichess sounds. If you're a fan of classical opening lines you might favor the Piano theme, while if you are more of a retro person we think you'll like the NES theme.

Not only have we added new sound themes, but we have also added many new sounds, e.g. for berserking, a tournament start countdown, and special victory sounds depending on how you finish in a tournament. A special thanks goes to Enigmahack, who has worked hard to create most of the new sounds.

Turning to visual matters, we already had 16 different chess boards and 9 different chess sets which players can choose from to customize their experience. Today we added a new board as well as a new chess set. This is what they look like together:

Other changes

We have also made many other smaller changes to Lichess; here are some of them:

  • Simuls now have a button for accepting a random candidate player
  • New registering players must now confirm their email address, as to mitigate multi-accounting.
  • Our chess engines are more powerful than ever - we now have 116 CPU cores constantly checking games for cheating
  • Drawing circles and arrows on the chess board can now be done in 4 different colors
  • Some preferences can now be changed in-game while playing (instead of having to go to the Preferences page)
  • There is a new preference for move confirmations, allowing you to require an extra click before you actually submit your move
  • General improvements to the tournament pairing system
  • Scheduled tournaments are now more diverse in terms of variants
  • It is now possible to play the machine from any valid chess position, and to computer analyse games from a position
  • Lichess TV finally got the long requested channel selectors

Marathon tournaments

Finally, the 4 hour bullet (1+0) Experimental Marathon took place on June 20th and can't be considered anything other than a big success. Thanks to every one of you who participated in the event, and congratulations to Velocity-Chess for winning the tournament. We are happy to report that the Lichess servers handled the action with ease, and that we have scheduled a full 24 hour blitz (5+0) Summer Marathon for August 1st. Clear your schedules today!