SparkChess.com and Chess.com offer online gaming platforms that do not require additional downloads. Both sites allow users to either play against a computer or a live person. Each requires a user registration to play.
To start a game on SparkChess.com, select a virtual character to play against, or choose to compete against another live player. Choosing a virtual character allows users to play without registering; however, users must register if playing against a live person to unlock key features in the game. Though the game is available to play online, there is also a downloadable game where users take advantage of the features provided in the full version.
Chess.com offers games for users who wish to play against other users, in addition to contests for users who want to compete against a computer. To begin playing, select either the Player Vs. Friends or Player Vs. Computer link on the homepage. Two games are offered where users play against live competitors: Live Chess and Online Chess. Live Chess allows users to chat with other players worldwide while competing, and Online Chess offers a multi-player platform where users have the opportunity to play multiple games simultaneously. Players must register on the site before playing, but signing up is free.