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Chess.com Chooses Azul Zing to Enhance Real-Time Gaming Experience

World’s largest online chess site eradicates multi-second application pauses by deploying Zing

Azul Systems (Azul), the award-winning leader in Java runtime solutions, today announced that Chess.com, the world’s largest online chess site with more than 14 million members, has deployed Zing®, Azul’s Java Virtual Machine (JVM) designed for systems that require consistent performance and predictable latency. Chess.com uses Azul Zing to power its Java-based infrastructure and eliminates application stalls and slashes peak latency to levels unachievable using a legacy JVM.

With over one million games played every day and thousands of chess moves handled every second, system-induced stalls in game flow can severely impact user loyalty and degrade the overall gaming experience. Despite extensive tuning efforts, Chess.com was suffering from Java’s infamous “Stop-The-World” (STW) garbage collection pauses, which were causing multi-second application delays and impacting user response time. By simply replacing the legacy JVM with Zing, Chess.com completely eliminated these problematic pauses and stalls and greatly improved their end user experience.

Erik Allebest, CEO at Chess.com, said: “Blitz games can have hundreds of moves a minute, which means that we need maximum speed and consistency in our Java applications to ensure the best possible customer experience. Zing has clearly reduced our application response time and has eliminated painful garbage collection pauses, with no changes to our application or hardware infrastructure. It is also an extremely stable solution.”

Scott Sellers, CEO of Azul Systems, said: “Zing is a fast, reliable, and scalable Java runtime used by hundreds of companies worldwide and proven in their most important applications. Gaming is an ultra-competitive market, so using Zing gives providers like Chess.com a unique advantage by improving the end user experience without exhaustive tuning and requires no change to the application. In an industry like gaming where there is a constant need for new features and capabilities, Zing is the perfect fit.”