The Best & Most Useful Chess Sites
ChessBase – By many accounts the best of the database programs, with every feature imaginable (almost). Download ChessBase Light and see for yourself.
Chess Cafe – Awesome site with columns, book reviews, and historical information.
ChessBase Online – A searchable online game database. Server can be a bit flakey.
Chesslab – Another database. Along with the ChessBase Online site, a very useful tool for finding games by position, player, year, etc.
Chessopolis – Hey, let’s not forget who is really important.
ChessWorld.net – This site has emerged as the best place to play a correspondence-style game on the web.
CorrespondenceChess.com – “Suite” of sub-sites devoted to CC.
Crafty – Robert Hyatt’s amazing freeware chess engine, the strongest non-commercial product. You will find examples of most advanced chess programming techniques within this program. This link is to the ftp directory; just look for latest version. Source code available. A must have. Works with most operating systems.
Exeter Chess Club Coaching Page – Excellent in-depth chess lessons to take you to an A player.
FICS – Free Internet Chess Server. An excellent place! Although nearly identical to ICC, it is somewhat less popular for some reason. I haven’t been able to figure this out, considering that it is totally free. Graphical interface needed.
FIDE – The world chess organization has much improved their official site, with tournament info, ratings, a playing area, links catalogue, and chess banner exchange.
Internet Chess Club (ICC) – The most popular place to play for serious chess enthusiasts, and you can usually find at least one GM hanging around. Has a subscription fee (well worth it), although you can observe games and play unrated for free. Graphical interface needed.
Tim Krabbe’s Chess Curiosities – A wealth of fascinating tidbits from the history of chess. Well worth your time.
The Week In Chess – The best! THE place for chess news and tournament results (including gamescores). Also has a few columnists.
Winboard / Xboard – This wonderful piece of freeware is probably the most popular of all the chess clients. It is a triple threat: can be used as a PGN reader, as a front-end for many popular chess engines (including Crafty), and of course as a online interface. A must have! Check out Ed Collins’ Winboard Tribute Page.
University of Pittsburgh Chess Club – Has what is probably the biggest collection of games and downloadable chess stuff on the internet. Openings, players, events; it’s all here. You can use our web interface to access the collection.