Same Lichess, just better
Changes are mostly cosmetic, and all your beloved features are still here. All your data is still here. Lichess is still 100% free, without ads or tracking. We made lichess work on mobile browsers, and we added a few features in the process!
We know that user interface changes can be disturbing. Habits die hard, and now we need to learn again how to interact with Lichess. Things don't look the same as they did. Why change something that was working?
Why the need for change
Lichess v2 brings responsive design. It means that instead of having a fixed width, the site now adapts to your screen. Do you have a large screen? Lichess now makes use of it, with a 3-column layout. Do you play on tablet? Lichess now displays a flexible 2-column layout. Smartphone? No problem: Lichess switches to a single-column layout.
Lichess is now fully mobile ready: every page and feature should look great on a phone's browser.
3 mobile screens from left to right: Homepage, Correspondence game, Tournament schedule
Source code ages, and then it becomes harder to maintain. We decided to rewrite the entire front-end (templates and CSS) using better technologies. Thanks to this fresh and modern codebase, it is now easier than ever to fix bugs and add new features.
Code rewrites are a necessity in software development. If you don't care for your programs, they eventually die. It has been many months of work but we're proud to say the rewrite is complete.
3 mobile screens from left to right: Broadcast game, Forum index, Board editor
What has changed
The rewrite allows us to introduce some new functionality:
- In-game board resize handle - you can disable it from your preferences page
- Speech synthesis as a sound setting, if your browser allows it. This means a voice will read out each move and other actions!
- Simul hosts can display some text to the participants and spectators
- Better accessibility for blind players
- Anonymous players can read public chats (tournaments, simuls, spectating game, analysis, studies, broadcasts)
- Improved keyboard move input - enable it from your preferences page
- Announcements of server restarts and maintenance in advance
- Tournament shield pages
- Command line: press / to open, and type /help for a list of commands
While Lichess v1 was already notoriously fast, we managed to squeeze even more performance out of the v2 code rewrite. By dropping support for old browsers, building better stylesheets, and reducing font file sizes, we manage to accelerate every single page. According to our measurements, Lichess v2 is leaner and faster than v1 in every regard. In particular the dark and transparent themes get a very nice speed boost.
- Coordinates are displayed inside the board by default - change it in your preferences page
- Fonts now have a standard default size (14px) and are therefore larger than on v1
- The top right "hamburger" menu is gone. All functionality is available from the top menu
What doesn't change
The core values of Lichess are the same. These will never change:
- All features are free for all, no premium model
- Zero advertisement and zero tracking
- 100% Open Source and Free Software
We've also kept the original design ideas: a slick, clean, no-frills user interface, with focus on the board.
All pages, features and settings available in v1 are available in v2.
Your account, games, ratings, messages, preferences, and everything else is still here in v2. You lost nothing.
Should we try to support the same old browsers forever, at the cost of performance and code soundness? We think not! For Lichess v2, we decided to update our browser requirements.
Which browsers are supported?
- Firefox 55+ gets full support
- Chromium/Chrome 60+ gets full support
- Opera 55+ gets reasonable support
- Edge 17+ gets reasonable support
- Safari 10.1+ gets reasonable support
- Internet Explorer is no longer supported
- Exotic browsers like Brave are supported if they have a modern rendering engine
Even though this is not necessary to use Lichess, make sure you install a good ad blocker! It will protect you from many threats and tracking on most websites.
[EDIT] Thank your for reporting the blurry pieces on chrome when browser zoom is not 100%. We're working on it.
Lichess v2 brings in a lot of new code. This means new bugs. We've worked hard to fix as many as we can, but we need your help to catch them all. Please report the bugs you find in the forum, and we promise to fix them quickly. To help us identify the bug, don't hesitate to be specific:
- Share the URL of where the bug happened
- Explain what you expected to happen
- Explain what happened instead
- Take a screenshot, upload it to https://boring.host/ and share the image URL.
With your help, we will get rid of the new v2 bugs, and can all quickly enjoy a stable and reliable Lichess.
You can skip this if you're not into web development.
Here's the list of all 1360 commits from v1 to v2. Highlights include:
- Rewriting all 365 Twirl templates to Scalatags templates. This is long and boring work, but we now enjoy added type safety and expressiveness of pure Scala templates. Also supposedly faster to compile and run.
- Rewriting the entire website CSS to SASS and gulp. The use of build tools allows for building better production stylesheets, that only contain the required selectors. While v1 homepage loads 5 CSS files for a total of 22.6KB, Lichess v2 only needs 3 files and 13.8KB.
- Moving from box-sizing: content-box to box-sizing: border-box.
- Moving from static sizing to viewport-relative sizing.
- Using CSS grids for layout. This is the main reason for updating browser requirements. A 100% CSS responsive layout was achieved on browsers with the Blink rendering engine (namely the Chrome family). Firefox and Edge lack support for min-content and max-content, and require some JS hacks.
- Dark and transparent stylesheets are statically built for each section of the site. These themes no longer require loading an extra CSS file.
- jQuery and other libraries were trimmed down some more to remove specific code for all browsers that Lichess no longer supports.
- Fonts have been edited to only contain the glyphs Lichess actually uses.
- And a bazillion other micro optimizations here and there, backed by obsessive profiling.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I switch back to v1?
Sorry, it's not possible to switch back to Lichess v1. It is gone. Forever. Never to be seen again. Please try to take a few days to get used to Lichess v2, which we believe is superior in every regard. Also let us know what you miss about v1, and we'll see what can be done to address your concerns.
- It looks too big
Lichess v2 is bigger than v1 used to be on large monitors - and this is the intention! Lichess v2 uses standard font sizes, where v1 had really tiny fonts. Use the handle on the bottom-right of the board to resize the board to your favourite dimensions.
- Is the mobile app deprecated?
Our mobile app remains available on both Android and iOS. It has features the website cannot yet provide, such as offline play and notifications. It will continue to be developed and be the best chess app on the market.
We believe people should be able to browse the Internet on their browsers, without being constantly prompted to install mobile apps. For this reason, we made all Lichess v2 pages compatible with mobile browsers.
- Does v2 come with a new mobile app?
No, v2 is only about the website. But it works well in your mobile browser!
- My userstyle / browser extension / stream layout, is broken
Yes, these need to be updated. The good news is that we only roll out a new Lichess version every 9 years.
- The lobby pairing buttons are no longer squares
They can't be square anymore, because the page layout is flexible. Trying to keep them square resulted in the lobby section being often too high, pushing other elements of the homepage down.