One of the most fun ways to play chess is against real people and in person! But when meeting at a coffee shop for a real game with a real person on a real chess board isn’t possible, you can play online against real people!
The most reasonable way to play online against a person is on a website where everyone plays chess! There are very many sites you can do that, here I will point out the better ones to go to where you can find the better rated and more respected chess players.
ICC (free/paid membership)
ICC stands for Internet Chess Club and is one of the oldest chess servers you can play on with world reknown Grandmasters including some of the greats such as US champion Yasser Seirawan and many well known Grandmasters of Today go and play chess, watch videos analyze chess games and kibitz where appropriate.
The free version of ICC is FICS. FICSstands for “free internet chess servers”, you can sign up at freechess.org, all they ask is to make only one account and not to abuse the site and services.
On FICS is where I pitted my older chess engines that I had developed against real people and other chess engines, it’s not only human players there! You can select if you want a human game or if you allow chess engines to play against you. (Somewhere in settings).
Chess.com (free and paid/premium)
Chess.com is another one of the best online servers you can play chess for free, and also has premium member options such as more puzzles and videos narrated by top Grandmasters of the game.
If I remember correctly notable youtube chess player jrobi plays here sometimes and on ICC.
Lichess.org has had a really ambitious developer for the last half a decade and has made an incredible site, every time I log in there are vast improvements and better boards and tactics training and players! and it’s 100% free!