– part 01 – play like a King!

In a chess landscape dominated by heavyweight brands, such as,, ICC, FICS et al, some with millions of users, designing / creating / launching a chess website is a herculean task. One of the critical success factors in competing against the big guns is a clear focus on  ‘differentiation’; in essence, offering a something different a unique mix of consumer-valued features and benefits. A good example of this is chess start-up, – where futuristic graphics design and cutting-edge social media functions combine, to deliver an amazing chess experience.

An example image from, designed by ExtremeOvercast differentiates itself with an unrelenting focus on beautiful, unique chess designs.  On most websites, the chess fonts – the design of the pieces we use in the game – is either fixed, or rather limited. Often, it’s the ‘same old, same old’, rather tired piece designs – devoid of inspiration and innovation. Ditto for the board options.  In contrast, offers 30+ original chess sets, and 40+ board designs; a mouth-watering 1200+ possible combinations.  The amazing thing is the site’s Founder, Ernesto Ortega, who is a professional graphics designer, has created these himself. In addition to the piece and board designs, the  user-interface is full of wonderful graphics – medals, badges, smileys, icons et al – all unique, and all stunning.

An example chess set from, designed by ExtremeOvercast

The best thing is, currently, everything on is free; in addition, it’s also a fun place to play, offering traditional and chess960 in real-time (live) and correspondence (turn-based) formats. To support Ernesto and his colleagues at, this is the first of a series of posts on his amazing, innovative chess designs. In future posts, I’ll showcase more stunning graphics, and provide updates on features and functions.