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Developer Update

James 'Clarkey' Clarke Announcements

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

It's been only 4 months since our last update, but in the developer world it's been a long time and much has changed. So much so that it's been a challenge for us to keep track of everything that's improved. But we're going to try our best to summarise all those changes big and small for your convenience.

Game Analysis & Studies

The analysis page is without doubt a gem to behold. We like to think that it's become the defining feature of lichess, so it goes without saying that it's been getting a lot of love from the development team.

Unprecedented performance improvements

Thanks to the changing landscape of web-browser technologies we've been able to squeeze out performance improvements of up to a staggering 4000%. This means the local Stockfish engine will be able to analyse your games much faster and deeper than ever before. You can also change how many threads and how much memory you would like to dedicate to analysis, allowing you to unlock the full potential of your computer.

This has been enabled by a technology called 'PNaCl' - or Portable Native Client - that allows the Stockfish engine to be run as if it were running natively on your machine. At the present time this functionality is only available on Chrome, Chromium, and Opera, however we intend to support other browsers as the WebAssembly standard becomes finalised.

Did we mention how much cooler the side menu looks now?

Multi PV

This has been a much requested feature for a while now, but we held off on implementing it as the JavaScript chess engine being sported at the time wasn't quite powerful enough, but now that obstacle stands no more!

Multi PV (Multiple Principle Variations) allows the local chess engine to show you alternative top engine lines (up to 5 of them!). To enable this feature simply open the side menu on the analysis page and drag the slider next to 'Multiple Lines' across.

Threat Mode

Have you ever wondered 'what would my opponent play if they had another move'? Well now that question can be answered by pressing the crosshair button on the top right of the analysis board or pressing the 'x' key on your keyboard.

Turning this feature on will display a red arrow indicating what the last move is threatening if play is not accurate.

Improved Comments and PGN Display

It's easier to let the pictures do the talking for this one. Simply put, comments and variations now look much prettier.

Embeddable Games and Studies

This feature has been on the todo list for a VERY long time, but rejoice as now you can embed games and studies in the forum, or on your very own website!

For games, when ever you paste a link to a lichess game in the forum it will be replaced by an embedded version of the game. For studies just click the 'share & export' button beneath the board and follow the instructions. It will look just like this:

https://lichess.org/study/71vzXLay/82jL4oeu

And more...

  • Clone studies and make them your own by pressing the 'fork' button beneath the board.
  • Download the entire study as PGN; or only the current chapter.
  • Press "?" to display all analysis keyboard shortcuts
  • Performance improvements to the opening explorer and improved transposition support.
  • 'Brain Only Mode': Disable and hide all computer analysis from the side menu.
  • New setting to display moves with piece letters (like Nc3) instead of symbols.

Coaches

The study feature is an excellent way to create lessons for your peers to view at a later time, but did you know that it's also an excellent coaching tool? That's right! If you're a coach or a student, you can use the study board to broadcast moves, draw arrows, and write comments on the position and have them appear live to your students.

But at this point you might be wondering: where do I find someone to teach me? That's why we made a page dedicated to the excellent coaches from the lichess community.

The dot points

Mobile App

  • Standalone clock with 7 different time control settings for OTB play.
  • Send and receive PMs from other people.
  • The opening explorer is now available.
  • Push notifications! For PMs and when its your turn to play (much requested by correspondence players)
  • Server game analysis!
  • A TV icon next to your friends on the friends list when they are playing, making it easier to follow their games.
  • New Mithril.JS improving application responsiveness

Game Play

  • New setting to input moves using your keyboard.
  • Enable/disable click-to-click or drag-drop to make moves. This feature has been implemented to help reduce misclicks.

Tournaments

Technical

  • There are now 40k new puzzles in the database and growing fast. Stay tuned for additional improvements to the tactics feature.
  • IPv6 support on the website and app. Lichess is now prepared for the future of the internet.
  • Better search engine for studies, forum and teams.

Moderation

  • Rating points are now refunded if you lose to a cheater.
  • Tournament scores and leaderboards are recalculated when a cheater is removed from the tournament.
  • Improvements to automated cheater detection. Your reports are now processed even faster.

Some final words

Lichess is the result of the efforts of a small group of like-minded individuals who believe that the best online chess experience should be accessible to everyone for free and without limitation. It's a project of passion that we all commit to and don't expect anything in return for. So we'd like to take a moment and thank everyone who has helped make lichess what it is today. Thank you for all of your suggestions on the forums, bug reports, GitHub PRs, donations, and just being here to make the lichess community the vibrant place it is.

If you'd like to help keep the project running, please consider becoming a Lichess Patron. Thank you!