Chessly grew out of Gotham Chess, a popular YouTube channel and website featuring educational chess videos for beginners. Chessly expands this content into a comprehensive online platform with immersive courses and hands-on exercises that reflect the interactive nature of the game. Learning to play chess can be intimidating, but Chessly’s lessons make it easy and fun.
To keep their platform simple and inviting, Chessly needed to remove any roadblocks that might disrupt the user experience. That meant offering a variety of passwordless and password-based authentication options that meet users where they are. With Stytch, they get a full suite of flexible, frictionless auth solutions — including Google OAuth flows that log users in with a single click.
- Flexible flows: Stytch’s all-in-one product suite lets Chessly expand and adjust their auth setup as needed to improve their users’ experience, with passwords and passwordless flows working seamlessly together.
- Effortless scalability: Chessly didn’t want to be locked into a fixed auth flow. Stytch’s integrated product suite lets them choose which methods they implement and when.
- Zero stress: Chessly trusts Stytch to manage security and access and to keep auth simple, so their three-man development team can focus on their business — not on password-reset tickets.
As a self-funded startup, Chessly relies on third-party services like Stripe to handle specialized functions like payment processing. That allows them to keep their team small, agile, and focused on their core product: chess. When it came to authentication, they needed an experienced partner they could count on to abstract away the heavy stakes and strains of cybersecurity.
“We knew we didn’t want to handle all of the nitty-gritty details of authentication ourselves,” said Omar Torres, Chessly’s co-founder and engineering manager. “Auth is easy to implement, but it’s very hard to get right.”
Chess is already a complex game, so for Chessly, the user experience comes first. They didn’t want to discourage users with the hassles of creating, confirming, remembering, and resetting credentials, and they knew passwordless options had to be front and center in their auth flow.
To strike the ideal balance between strong security and a frictionless UX, they turned to Stytch.
Chessly initially looked at four different auth providers, but they found Stytch’s documentation and integration process to be head and shoulders above the rest. Moreover, they liked that Stytch kept one eye on the future, adding new functionalities to their roadmap at every turn.
“We experimented with several auth providers, but Stytch was the easiest to use by far,” said Torres. “We also saw that Stytch had a number of handy features in the works, and we’d get access to a whole system of integrated, innovative products through one simple integration.”
Chessly started with passwordless Email Magic Links, but they learned some users weren’t ready to let go of passwords altogether. Luckily, Stytch had an off-the-shelf, enhanced Passwords solution on deck, and adding it to Chessly’s auth flow was as easy as flipping a switch. Chessly soon added One-Time Passcodes and OAuth Logins to the mix, as well, allowing users to move seamlessly across devices and to sign in with a single touch.
“It’s all about listening to our customers,” said Torres. “With Stytch, we can adapt our auth flows little by little as we go, so we can deliver the exact experiences they desire.”
More people than ever are embracing virtual experiences for work and play, and online chess has surged in popularity. Working with Stytch has allowed Chessly to avoid the growing pains that often come with rapid scaling and to reward their users (and their developers) with a smooth auth experience.
What does that look like in practice?
- 4+ Login Options: Chessly currently offers four ways to sign up for and log in to an account, and they have access to many more through Stytch’s platform, giving users a choice and ultimately boosting their conversion, engagement, and retention rates.
- More resources: With Stytch’s experts at their backs, Chessly’s team can unload the stress of keeping up with cybersecurity standards and the costs of hiring a specialized team to deal with auth issues in-house.
- More time: When they worked on Gotham Chess, Chessly’s dev team used passwords alone, and they’d spend days sorting out broken password-reset tickets. With Stytch, most of their users opt for passwordless logins like Google OAuth, freeing up time and energy for higher-impact tasks.
The bottom line
With Stytch’s flexible, scalable auth solutions, Chessly not only provides users with a frictionless chess experience, they can channel their own engineers’ time and energy into improvement and innovation.
Case in point: They recently released a new subscription service called Chessly Plus with exclusive original content, and they’re excited to become the go-to resource for aspiring chess masters who are just beginning their journey.
“We built our entire platform — all of our courses, all of our features — with a small team of three developers,” said Torres. “That’s a testament to how valuable Stytch has been to us. They’ve enabled us to focus on our products and our growth.”