Social network for chess fans Chesspark is merging with that other online chess community site, Chess.com, the two companies announced last night.
Chess.com is making the transition easy, as former Chesspark users can simply log on with their familiar credentials and find that their usernames, avatars and ratings have automatically been transferred.
West Palm Beach-based Chesspark.com raised $1 million from angel investors in July 2007, including True Ventures founder and managing partner Jon Callaghan, Burnt Norton and Eaglebrook School.
That was around the time Chess.com surfaced as well, with a better domain name but a very similar offering (see our coverage).
Chesspark founders Jack Moffitt and Brian Zisk likely decided a merger was in everyone’s best interest because they decided to focus more of their attention on their latest venture, real-time search startup Collecta.
Update: the official merger announcement provides more details:
Chess.com did not acquire the technology, servers, or team behind Chesspark – just the name. We at Chess.com are trying our best to accommodate all Chesspark members with a smooth transition to Chess.com. We recognize, however, that some people may be disappointed by the change.
Why did this happen? Well, the Chesspark.com founders had already left in 2008 to work on a new real-time search company. Eventually Chesspark ran out of funds and was faced with shutting down the service. They reached out to Chess.com to see if we could provide a home for all of the Chesspark members and we agreed on a way to make that happen.